Sunday, July 17, 2011

Riesling Homework

Okay, rieslings.  This is essentially a repeat of the last tasting, but despite the fact that I just blogged about it, it actually happened two weeks ago.  So the exercise bears repeating.  Germany versus Alsace!  But this time, it's Rheingau instead of Mosel, which should should show fewer floral notes and more fruits.

I called each wine blind, and it was easy because the Leitz was off-dry, despite being a Kabinett.  The term Kabinett refers to the German system of classifying wines according to the ripeness of the grapes.  The scale is often confused with levels of sweetness, and with some reason, as many Kabinetts are dry while all Trokenbeerenausleses (the top level) are seriously sweet.  But it's a winemaker's decision what to do with all that ripeness, ferment it until it's dry, or stop the fermentation to make a wine that is lower in alcohol and has some sugar left in it.

Wine #1, Trimbach Riesling from the 2008 harvest in Alsace, had wicked acidity and was dominated by lemon, acid, and petrol.  It had a zingy and clean finish and was a very well made wine.  Everything that I have been taught to look for when blind tasting to peg a riesling.

Wine #2 is Leitz Rudesheimer Klosterlay Kabinett 2009.  It too, is high in acid but has much more going on in the nose besides minerals and oil.  If I tasted this from a black glass or under red lights, I might have some issues, as it presented lot of red fruit flavors.

Both wines were excellent. 

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