1959 Karthäuserhof Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg feine Auslese

I was fortunate to attend this small dinner a couple of weekends ago organised by a friend in Sydney, Australia. The theme was based around one of his great passions, German Riesling and as usual he did a great job in the careful sourcing and planing for this dinner. The restaurant Fix St James did a fine job as well, with the food matching as well as wine service – if you are in Sydney and looking for a casual place to eat in the CBD with an interesting wine list, it is pretty hard to beat in my opinion.

The highlights for me were as follows (with plenty of interesting and very good wines closely behind!) ;

1964 Kesselstatt Niedermenniger Herrenberg Auslese
1959 Karthäuserhof Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg feine Auslese
1975 Winzergenossenschaft Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Eiswein Beerenauslese
1976 Weingut der Stadt Frankfurt a. Main Hochheimer Kirchenstück Trockenbeerenaulese

Flight 1 – Same vintage, producer, vineyard but one prädikat level apart

  • 1976 Weingut der Stadt Frankfurt a. Main Hochheimer Kirchenstück Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Rheingau
    Very slightly darker in colour than the Spatlese it was next to. The nose offers earth, ginger and toast. On the palate, the remaining fruit is fading away but there is a good level of acid initially giving some freshness and lift. The wine drops away toward the finish, becoming very slightly bitter from the oxidative characters. Not bad overall. 86/100

  • 1976 Weingut der Stadt Frankfurt a. Main Hochheimer Kirchenstück Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    Good golden tinged colour. More expressive on the nose than the Kabinett next to it – marmalade, pineapple, pear and some peaches. Palate is honeyed with that marmalade character coming through as well. There is acidity there but it is probably a little bit on the low side for my liking, some more would have really helped the palate step up to the sweetness. Very good regardless. 88/100

Flight 2 – Same vintage, prädikat and producer but different vineyard

  • 1988 Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach Steinberger Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    Aromas of pine needles, passion fruit, wet stones and some underlying spice. The palate has well woven acidity and there is good carry of clean flavour into the finish. While there is complexity emerging, you get the feeling that this wine has potential to improve further with time. 89/100

  • 1988 Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    Floral aromas drive the appealing nose, there are background notes of petrol, lemon and orange peel. The palate has lovely bright acidity that compliments the sweetness perfectly, giving the wine spot-on balance. Tasted next to the Steinberg Spatlese, though it has a clear family resemblance, there is just a little bit more of everything that helps this wine stand out – perfume, acidity, sweetness, depth and fruit purity. 91/100

Flight 3 – Rheingau Spatlese

  • 1976 Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach Steinberger Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    I found the nose slightly dull, there is some marzipan and earthiness but it didn’t really open up over the course of the glass. I though that he palate was brighter, it had some tasty light sweetness along with decent drive, though looking at it very critically the depth isn’t really there and thus it didn’t really have the interest I look for, though it was perfectly decent to drink. 87/100

  • 1966 Schloss Reinhartshausen Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    Aromas of melon, earth, honey and some light spice. The palate is clean, with good acidity and a lick of sweetness remaining. The wine trails away a little bit too early on the finish and I didn’t find much complexity here. It may have been slightly better with less bottle age and some more fruit but it seemed to be holding up well overall. 88/100

Flight 4 – Auslese

  • 1964 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Auslese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Started off slightly muted but I found it lifted with air to show a highly perfumed nose – there are bright white floral aromas, slate, turkish delight, lime and pear. The palate is bright, with delicate purity and superb balance of acidity and sugar. A wine with excellent depth and length, this was in brilliant condition and a true pleasure to drink. 93/100

  • 1971 Schloss Eltz Rauenthaler Rothenberg Riesling Auslese – Germany, Rheingau
    Marmalade, caramel, apples and a slightly wooden oxidative character on the nose. The palate doesn’t show the same level of age, there is still a caramel tinged edge to it, but it enhanced rather than detracted from the experience for me. I thought the finish was a bit abrupt at first, but with air the mid palate gained some weight and the intensity seemed to carry better into the finish. Great wine, but drink now based on this bottle. 90/100

Flight 5 – feine Auslese

  • 1959 Karthäuserhof Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling feine Auslese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    A nose with impressive complexity, the initial aromas are in the smoke and tobacco spectrum, with time citrus comes to the fore through lime and tangerine notes as well as a soaring slate and mineral element. Beautifully balanced on the palate, with stunningly focussed purity and stellar acidity giving the wine a wondrous ethereal quality. Textured and with many layers of depth, this is a wine that challenges you to give it your full attention lest you miss some of its many subtle aspects. Seriously exceptional wine that showed no signs of tiring. 96/100

  • 1966 August E. Anheuser Kreuznacher Rosengarten Riesling feine Auslese – Germany, Nahe
    Apricot, stewed apple and some mint aromas. Very good intensity and sweetness pairs with an excellent core of acidity that lifts and drives the palate. Doesn’t have the same class or complexity as the 59 Karthäuserhof feine Auslese it was paired with, but it was interesting in its own right. 90/100

Flight 6 – Eiswine Beerenauslese

  • 1975 Winzergenossenschaft Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Eiswein Beerenauslese – Germany, Nahe
    Creme caramel, honey, orange peel and a salty sea spray character. Excellent acidity frames the palate and gives it a sense of finesse even though there is some serious dense fruit and sweetness. The acidity also contributes to the imposing length, driving the sweetness across the palate and leaving you wanting more. 93/100

  • 1979 Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach Steinberger Riesling Eiswein Beerenauslese – Germany, Rheingau
    An intense nose with roast peach, violets, brown sugar and apricot. Explosive on the palate, with the sweetness taking centre stage. The intensity and force of the flavour leaves an impression on your mouth, but I would value a little bit more restraint and balance in this case. Despite that, it is undoubtedly very good and it will probably live for quite some time given its current state. 91/100

Flight 7 – A return to the producer, vintage, vineyard of flight 1, at the TBA level

  • 1976 Weingut der Stadt Frankfurt a. Main Hochheimer Kirchenstück Riesling Trockenbeerenaulese – Germany, Rheingau
    Excellent complexity on the nose with graphite, gun smoke, coconut, orange peel and ginger. The wine displays superior balance, there is a rush of intense richness and minerality carried across the palate by a incredible core of acidity, leading into a finish that just refuses to end. Wonderfully complex and rich, this is truly great wine. 94/100

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Great write up Cam, with superb notes as always. The 1959 Karthäuserhof must have been amazing for you to give away 96pts, or are you just getting soft in your old age? Good to see Fix St James is still supporting these great dinners.

  2. Thanks David. It was spectacular and well worth the points!

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