This dinner was organised by Shannon from Rare Wine Dinners, with the focus this time on German Riesling plus White and Red Rioja. The event was held at Rise in Sydney, a small Japanese Restaurant that did a good job with the demands of serving this much wine to a full restaurant over the course of the evening. Thanks must go to Shannon for the careful sourcing and planning that goes into running these dinners.

A few very short notes from me follow;

  • 2009 Schloss Vaux Rheingau Riesling Brut – Germany, Rheingau
    Floral, stonefruit and mineral nose. Palate has a burst of acidity and is quite fresh, but there is a lack of depth and interest. 85/100

  • 2011 Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern Hattenheimer Nußbrunnen Riesling Kabinett trocken – Germany, Rheingau
    Light floral notes, with some spice and citrus. Very light richness on the palate. Simple but quite tasty. 88/100

  • 1998 Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach Steinberger Riesling Goldkapsel – Germany, Rheingau
    Grapefruit and marmalade with some orange peel. Drops away too quickly on the palate for my liking, there is a touch of sweetness but not much else. This has aged but not really developed any complexity. 85/100

  • 2011 Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern Rauenthaler Rothenberg Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    Lime, smoke and honeysuckle aromas. Intense sweetness on the palate, I find that there isn’t enough acidity or brightness to cover for it and it ends feeling unbalanced. 83/100

  • 1976 Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern Rauenthaler Rothenberg Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    Kumquat, apple, straw and light smoke. Good acidity brightens the palate. Good length and there is some depth evident. Drink now. 89/100

  • 1964 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Amazing light straw gold colour. Enticing aromas of florals, lemon, talc and some spices. The nose was consistent over an hour or more, not dropping away but not unfurling further either. Palate is a highlight with excellent balance and imposing length – subtle initially it just builds superbly across the mid-palate and holds on for quite some time. 92/100

  • 1981 R. López de Heredia Rioja Blanco Reserva Viña Tondonia – Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
    Caramel, vanilla and lemon with a little bit of nutty oxidative character (but not as much as I expected). Texturally it was very interesting, though the acid was a touch prickly on the finish. 88/100

  • 2011 Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Rheingau
    Lots of sulphur here, there is some white flowers and honey after time. Rich and youthful on the palate, it has just enough acid to carry the sweetness. 89/100

  • 1976 Georg Müller Stiftung Hattenheimer Deutelsberg Riesling Auslese – Germany, Rheingau
    Some aromas in the eucalypt/mint spectrum as well as marmalade and melting sugar. Great balance and depth, the components woven together with purpose. Drinking well now but will hold for quite some time. 91/100

  • 1959 August Eser Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    Honey, grapefruit and coconut aromas. Beautifully balanced on the palate, light richness and a good core of acidity persisting. Great length and a real pleasure to drink. 92/100

  • 1994 Martinez Bujanda Rioja Reserva – Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
    Graphite, leather, strawberry, aniseed and some kirsch. Some balanced savoury intensity on the palate with good length. Mostly resolved and ready to drink, I preferred this to the 95 Finca Valpiedra Reserva served by its side. 90/100

  • 1995 Martinez Bujanda Rioja Finca Valpiedra Reserva – Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
    Interesting aromas of stewed plum, charcoal, orange rind and some brett influence. Tannins still standing out on the palate, there is some red fruited character in behind but not much depth. Maybe another 3-4 years would help this wine round out its edges a little bit. 88/100

  • 1975 Bodegas Valdemar (Martinez Bujanda) Rioja Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva – Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
    Was served two bottles of this, the second blind. The first showed spice, cedar and caramelised fruit. The palate was holding up okay, with some grip from tannins but fades away on the finish. 87/100

  • 1983 La Rioja Alta Rioja Gran Reserva 904 – Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
    Complex and compelling aromas of autumn leaves, cherry, smoky leather, tobacco and spices. Beautifully balanced palate, there is sweet old fruit with earthy savoury notes. Detailed, textured and very long. Fantastic. 93/100

  • 1976 Niederthäler Hof Bochinger Bischofskreuz Riesling Beerenauslese – Germany, Pfalz
    Apple, ginger, candied apricot and sultana aromas. Acidity still in tact provides good drive through the medium sweetness on the palate. Good length with some depth to it as well. 90/100

  • 1975 Bodegas Valdemar (Martinez Bujanda) Rioja Conde de Valdemar Gran Reserva – Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
    The second bottle was fresher with the same spice and cedar, but also some earth and cherry. The red fruit is more evident on the palate as well but there still isn’t great complexity. 88/100

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