TN: When wines deceive - Faiveley, G Conterno, Mondavi Reserve, Willi Schaefer

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John Morris
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#1 Post by John Morris » June 17th, 2017, 2:59 pm

What I love most about my bi-weekly brown-bag group is that it keeps us all honest. We have no idea what other people have brought. Everything is served completely blind.

We had a brilliant line-up this week, starting with a 92 Peter Lauer Sekt, and later 82 Figeac and 83 Canon. (Also an oxidized 2000 Bonneau du Martray - Corton-Charlemagne. Sigh.)

But it's the wines that taste nothing like you expect that are often most intriguing:

1998 Faiveley - Echezeaux: "Northern Rhone," I thought from the get-go. There was some spice on top of ripe, plummy, perhaps dark cherry fruit on the nose, and later some celery. In the mouth, this had a warmth about it -- like it was from some sunny spot. I was guessing a 1990 Hermitage. It was too beefy (in the muscular sense) to be Cote Rotie, and too refined for Cornas. Some tannin in the finish, but that had softened substantially. A full-bodied mature wine marching at full stride.
What a surprise when it was unveiled. There were some sour cherries emerging by that point, but this did not have a Burgundy or pinot signature. But I find 1998 Cote de Nuits are sometimes like that. The Hermitage-like body was the grand cru speaking, I guess -- so much bigger and more full-throttled than the 98 premier crus I've had. 92-ish for me.
Several of us went in on a big lot of 98 Faiveleys at Premier Cru in 2004. This was $44.50 at the time. Needless to say, I'm happy I have two stashed away, even if my guess was off the mark.

2006 Giacomo Conterno - Barolo - Cascina Francia: Some cherry and earthiness on the nose, and a bit of funk. Later a bit of celery. In the mouth, the tannins showed some maturation. Indistinct earthy flavors, with full body. It's got some age, but it's very fresh and vigorous. Someone guessed Bandol with some age. That made sense. Then I started to wonder if it was a very refined 100% sangiovese -- a Pergole Torte, perhaps. Lovely. Good acid and tannin on the finish, but all balanced. 91-ish.
Uh, where's the nebbiolo here? And why are the tannins so soft? No Barolo character -- certainly no Serralunga speaking here. But, then, the 01 Cascina Francia was also a puzzlingly smooth wine when I last had it, at a similar age.

With both these wines, I suspect that longer decanting might have revealed a little more classical signature. I think these were each decanted only about 30 minutes ahead of being tasted. That doesn't explain the soft texture of the Conterno, though.

On to the next surprise, though this was less surprising.

2001 Robert Mondavi - Napa Cabernet Reserve: We are in California, everyone agreed immediately. Inky, almost opaque. This is big, but well balanced. There were ripe raspberries, so I thought perhaps a zin. Chocolate, black licorice flavors, plus black cherries. Sweet, smooth texture. Quite a bit of soft tannin. Long, black licorice-dominated finish, with chocolate. It made me think of Banyuls without the fortification. Lots of softening tannins. I started to wonder if it might be a petite sirah. Maybe a Turley during one of their restrained periods. This isn't my preferred style, but I thoroughly enjoyed this wine. 91-ish
I don't think anyone guessed cabernet. But then we've had many from the last 15 years that have no (to me) cabernet flavors. With hindsight the chocolate perhaps should have been a clue.
This was marked at 14.5%, but the Banyul-like flavors made me wonder if the natural ABV wasn't higher and that they reduced it somehow. It's hard to think the brix wasn't very high at harvest.

Finally:

2015 Willi Schaefer - Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese: Very pale color, almost clear. A trace of sulfur on the nose. In the mouth, the body is lightly sweet, and plainly riesling. Some white beach flavors but not a lot -- or enough -- acid at this stage. A bit of honey. The sweetness seemed like Kabinett level, but this had none of the umph of '15 Kabinetts some of us tasted recently. The guy who brought this often brings things that Eric Asimov has praised in recent columns, so there was speculation it might be an Australian riesling.
Based on the earlier '15 Kabinett tasting, I was really surprised when it was unveiled. The Kabinetts were showing fabulously -- with great fruit, appropriate sweetness and solid acid structures. This was not nearly as sweet-tasting at this stage, and it lacked acid zip. Weird. My hunch, based on the pale hue, is that it's a bit bleached and dumb from sulfuring right now -- something that was more common in the Mosel in the past.

As consolation for all the bad guesses, one person actually pegged the Lauer Sekt as just that (albeit a more recent vintage), and the Figeac and Canon were clearly Bordeaux to most people. I guessed the vintage on the Figeac, so I'm not ready to turn in my blind tasting card yet.
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#2 Post by Marcu$ Stanley » June 17th, 2017, 3:08 pm

Ugh...your notes are very polite but to me a blind guess of Banyuls when you are tasting a Cabernet indicates that something has gone VERY VERY wrong.

A shame since I have had a lot of Mondavi Reserves from the mid-1990s that have plenty of varietal character and are very well balanced.

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#3 Post by John Morris » June 17th, 2017, 3:13 pm

It had the chocolate and intense cooked berry flavors of Banyul, but it was still a balanced, dry wine. I really don't like most uber-ripe Napa cabs, but I quite enjoyed this one and repoured my glass several times.
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#4 Post by David Cooper » June 18th, 2017, 8:37 pm

At a recent blind wine dinner I thought a Luciano Sandrone 1997 Le Vigne was Cote Rotie. It was so peppery and had nice notes of beef broth. Great wine one way or the other.

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#5 Post by c fu » June 18th, 2017, 9:05 pm

hm. i really enjoyed the 01 mondavi reserve I opened out of magnum last month. Certainly a touch modern, but still a nice cabernet.
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#6 Post by Alex Rychlewski » June 19th, 2017, 2:00 am

Hi John,

I was struck by the word decieve in your header.

In French, "décevoir" is "to disappoint" rather than "to decieve", and "une déception" is likewise "a dissapointment" rather than "a deception".

To deceive in English implies making a point of lying doesn't it?
Perhaps the fact that these name wines did not match their reputation and/or price tag made you feel deceived...

In any event, beyond the linguisitic nitpicking, I think it's wonderful to hit wines blind, to give an honest appraisal whatever they are.

All the best,
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#7 Post by Markus S » June 19th, 2017, 4:50 am

But where is the salinity? [snort.gif]
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#8 Post by John Morris » June 19th, 2017, 7:37 am

Alex Rychlewski wrote:Hi John,

I was struck by the word decieve in your header.

In French, "décevoir" is "to disappoint" rather than "to decieve", and "une déception" is likewise "a dissapointment" rather than "a deception".

To deceive in English implies making a point of lying doesn't it?
Perhaps the fact that these name wines did not match their reputation and/or price tag made you feel deceived...

In any event, beyond the linguisitic nitpicking, I think it's wonderful to hit wines blind, to give an honest appraisal whatever they are.

All the best,
Alex R.
There's a sense of "deceive" that doesn't imply a deliberate lie -- just that something gives a mistaken impression. For instance, we can say, "Looks (or appearances) are deceiving," which means things aren't always what they appear to be. That's the sense in which I was using it. And, of course, I was trying to be a bit provocative with the subject heading. [stirthepothal.gif]

In the case of the Faiveley Echezeaux and the Mondavi cabernet, the wines weren't disappointing at all. I liked them both a lot. They just didn't taste like I'd expect those wines to -- particularly the Echezeaux.
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#9 Post by John Morris » June 19th, 2017, 7:38 am

Markus S wrote:But where is the salinity? [snort.gif]
None here, but I had a Rivetto Langhe Nascetta last night that has a decidedly salty finish!
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#10 Post by Jay Miller » June 19th, 2017, 7:48 am

John Morris wrote: 2015 Willi Schaefer - Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese: Very pale color, almost clear. A trace of sulfur on the nose. In the mouth, the body is lightly sweet, and plainly riesling. Some white beach flavors but not a lot -- or enough -- acid at this stage. A bit of honey. The sweetness seemed like Kabinett level, but this had none of the umph of '15 Kabinetts some of us tasted recently. The guy who brought this often brings things that Eric Asimov has praised in recent columns, so there was speculation it might be an Australian riesling.
Based on the earlier '15 Kabinett tasting, I was really surprised when it was unveiled. The Kabinetts were showing fabulously -- with great fruit, appropriate sweetness and solid acid structures. This was not nearly as sweet-tasting at this stage, and it lacked acid zip. Weird. My hunch, based on the pale hue, is that it's a bit bleached and dumb from sulfuring right now -- something that was more common in the Mosel in the past.
I've been drinking a fair amount of WS Spatlese and have definitely noticed that the acidity has retreated and they are not showing as complex on day 1 as they were a few months ago. They improve noticeably on day 2 and 3 (corked and put in the refrigerator) but I'm concerned that 2015 Germans may be starting to shut down. And I haven't even received all of mine yet! [cray.gif]
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#11 Post by GregT » June 19th, 2017, 8:03 am

Well John, this helps illustrate why points are so important. You may not be able to peg a wine when tasting blind, but at least if it received high points you know you like it.

Banyuls is an interesting one for Cab though. And that was the time when they were going through some big changes right? I think right around then they released their first joint wine with Rosemount and Tim had been getting a lot of flack from Laube for not keeping up with other wineries. It's also around the time they re-designed the winery and gave up some of the steel fermenting, going back to barrel fermenting, etc. A confused phase for the winery, just a couple years before they lost it entirely. I haven't had that wine since release and haven't had any Mondavi wines for many years. Might be interesting to try a vertical of some.
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#12 Post by John Morris » June 19th, 2017, 8:06 am

GregT wrote: Banyuls is an interesting one for Cab though. And that was the time when they were going through some big changes right? I think right around then they released their first joint wine with Rosemount and Tim had been getting a lot of flack from Laube for not keeping up with other wineries. It's also around the time they re-designed the winery and gave up some of the steel fermenting, going back to barrel fermenting, etc. A confused phase for the winery, just a couple years before they lost it entirely. I haven't had that wine since release and haven't had any Mondavi wines for many years. Might be interesting to try a vertical of some.
Yes, it would be interesting to do a vertical. As I said, I quite liked the wine -- particularly when I thought it was a zin or petite syrah. [wink.gif]
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#13 Post by John Morris » June 19th, 2017, 8:09 am

Jay Miller wrote:
John Morris wrote: 2015 Willi Schaefer - Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese: Very pale color, almost clear. A trace of sulfur on the nose. In the mouth, the body is lightly sweet, and plainly riesling. Some white beach flavors but not a lot -- or enough -- acid at this stage. A bit of honey. The sweetness seemed like Kabinett level, but this had none of the umph of '15 Kabinetts some of us tasted recently. The guy who brought this often brings things that Eric Asimov has praised in recent columns, so there was speculation it might be an Australian riesling.
Based on the earlier '15 Kabinett tasting, I was really surprised when it was unveiled. The Kabinetts were showing fabulously -- with great fruit, appropriate sweetness and solid acid structures. This was not nearly as sweet-tasting at this stage, and it lacked acid zip. Weird. My hunch, based on the pale hue, is that it's a bit bleached and dumb from sulfuring right now -- something that was more common in the Mosel in the past.
I've been drinking a fair amount of WS Spatlese and have definitely noticed that the acidity has retreated and they are not showing as complex on day 1 as they were a few months ago. They improve noticeably on day 2 and 3 (corked and put in the refrigerator) but I'm concerned that 2015 Germans may be starting to shut down. And I haven't even received all of mine yet! [cray.gif]
The '15 Kabinetts that one of my groups tasted in April, including Schaefer's Domprobst, showed ample acidity and fruit (notes posted here). That's why I was so surprised at this Auslese. This would seem a bit early for the wines to shut down.
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#14 Post by Jay Miller » June 19th, 2017, 8:34 am

John Morris wrote:
Jay Miller wrote:
John Morris wrote: 2015 Willi Schaefer - Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese: Very pale color, almost clear. A trace of sulfur on the nose. In the mouth, the body is lightly sweet, and plainly riesling. Some white beach flavors but not a lot -- or enough -- acid at this stage. A bit of honey. The sweetness seemed like Kabinett level, but this had none of the umph of '15 Kabinetts some of us tasted recently. The guy who brought this often brings things that Eric Asimov has praised in recent columns, so there was speculation it might be an Australian riesling.
Based on the earlier '15 Kabinett tasting, I was really surprised when it was unveiled. The Kabinetts were showing fabulously -- with great fruit, appropriate sweetness and solid acid structures. This was not nearly as sweet-tasting at this stage, and it lacked acid zip. Weird. My hunch, based on the pale hue, is that it's a bit bleached and dumb from sulfuring right now -- something that was more common in the Mosel in the past.
I've been drinking a fair amount of WS Spatlese and have definitely noticed that the acidity has retreated and they are not showing as complex on day 1 as they were a few months ago. They improve noticeably on day 2 and 3 (corked and put in the refrigerator) but I'm concerned that 2015 Germans may be starting to shut down. And I haven't even received all of mine yet! [cray.gif]



The '15 Kabinetts that one of my groups tasted in April, including Schaefer's Domprobst, showed ample acidity and fruit (notes posted here). That's why I was so surprised at this Auslese. This would seem a bit early for the wines to shut down.
Perhaps, but I'm not alone in my concern:

"As it was the case with the 2007s, many wines have gained weight as of late summer, which indicate that these are likely to close down soon. The incredible depth of fruit makes that the wines remain enjoyable, but without showing the full cut and finesse that will eventually show at maturity. We have an inkling that this great vintage will test our patience."

-Mosel Fine Wines, April 2017
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#15 Post by Russell Faulkner » June 19th, 2017, 8:36 am

I've not tried any 15s this year but the Domprobst often closes earlier than the other wines in my experience. Timing is unpredictable.

I wouldn't be concerned.

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#16 Post by A S K R O B A C K » June 19th, 2017, 1:29 pm

John Morris wrote:What I love most about my bi-weekly brown-bag group
[wow.gif] [wow.gif]
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#17 Post by John Morris » June 19th, 2017, 2:10 pm

In the every-two-weeks sense, you'll be relieved to know.
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#18 Post by Charlie Carnes » June 19th, 2017, 2:46 pm

Markus S wrote:But where is the salinity? [snort.gif]
It right there in the Willi WS Auslese... "white beach"...
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#19 Post by A S K R O B A C K » June 19th, 2017, 2:47 pm

John Morris wrote:In the every-two-weeks sense, you'll be relieved to know.
Uh, bi-monthly in my book, but I guess definitions cover both.....good to know, John. [cheers.gif] Although I was briefly impressed beyond measure!
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#20 Post by Charlie Carnes » June 19th, 2017, 5:52 pm

John Morris wrote:In the every-two-weeks sense, you'll be relieved to know.
So fortnightly...
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#21 Post by John Morris » June 20th, 2017, 5:50 am

Yes, but that term is rarely heard in the US.

(I first learned it when a high school friend proposed furlongs per fortnight as a measure of speed.)
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#22 Post by Russell Faulkner » June 20th, 2017, 6:59 pm

The use of fortnight and Boxing Day used to draw complete blanks from my US colleagues.

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#23 Post by alan weinberg » June 20th, 2017, 7:31 pm

Russell Faulkner wrote:The use of fortnight and Boxing Day used to draw complete blanks from my US colleagues.
and for the French, two weeks is quinze jours--15 days!

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#24 Post by Charlie Carnes » June 20th, 2017, 8:07 pm

John Morris wrote:
Markus S wrote:But where is the salinity? [snort.gif]
None here, but I had a Rivetto Langhe Nascetta last night that has a decidedly salty finish!
OK, I thought you would catch on. For the Schaefer, you said it had "white beach". I assumed you meant white peach... But with the salinity and graphite thread, I thought this was a pretty funny. Not a true juxtaposition, but none the less it was pretty funny. Heck, unless you were trying to describe a salinity perception (I might have to use this one day). Then Markus asked, "where is the salinity?"
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#25 Post by Tom Reddick » June 20th, 2017, 10:06 pm

FWIW- on a recent trip I brought some 2015s to tastings where it was not possible to air the wines in advance. At one dinner I opened all of the 2015 Willi Schaefer Spatlesen except for the auction wine, and others brought Schloss-Lieser and von Schubert. A couple of days later I opened 2015 Haag BJS Spatlese at lunch in Chinatown.

In all cases we popped and poured and only had 2 hours with the wines. All showed tremendous promise and were strongly on the uptick in terms of showing their stuff as the bottles ran out, but I have been dabbling in Riesling long enough to know we missed out big-time. The wines were not shut down- but rather needed quite a lot of airing to show their best.

I have a few more 2015s to try young and my firm rule going forward is 6+ hours of air first. With any good young German wine I think 4-6 hours can be helpful, but the 2015s seem to demand it. I am not sure I have had another vintage where this was so strongly the case- maybe 2008, but even then for entirely different reasons.
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#26 Post by Jim Brennan » June 21st, 2017, 4:52 am

John Morris wrote:Yes, but that term is rarely heard in the US.

(I first learned it when a high school friend proposed furlongs per fortnight as a measure of speed.)
Hows about bimonthly?

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#27 Post by John Morris » June 21st, 2017, 6:52 am

Tom Reddick wrote:FWIW- on a recent trip I brought some 2015s to tastings where it was not possible to air the wines in advance. At one dinner I opened all of the 2015 Willi Schaefer Spatlesen except for the auction wine, and others brought Schloss-Lieser and von Schubert. A couple of days later I opened 2015 Haag BJS Spatlese at lunch in Chinatown.

In all cases we popped and poured and only had 2 hours with the wines. All showed tremendous promise and were strongly on the uptick in terms of showing their stuff as the bottles ran out, but I have been dabbling in Riesling long enough to know we missed out big-time. The wines were not shut down- but rather needed quite a lot of airing to show their best.

I have a few more 2015s to try young and my firm rule going forward is 6+ hours of air first. With any good young German wine I think 4-6 hours can be helpful, but the 2015s seem to demand it. I am not sure I have had another vintage where this was so strongly the case- maybe 2008, but even then for entirely different reasons.
Good point. The '15 Kabinetts we tasted in my group were decanted into pouring bottles 45 minutes or so ahead of the tasting, and we were able to repour for an hour or more after we began. I'm sure that helped the wines.
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#28 Post by John Morris » June 21st, 2017, 6:55 am

Russell Faulkner wrote:The use of fortnight and Boxing Day used to draw complete blanks from my US colleagues.
Kerfuffle was another word that was pretty much unknown in the US a few decades ago. A Canadian friend who was living in the States in the early 80s used to try it out whenever she was in a group, and no one except those of us who had lived in Canada knew it.

I was amused when Trump's tweet of "covfefe" drew a complete blank. My first thought was that he meant kerfuffle. And his mother was Scottish, so perhaps he had heard the word from her. You hear the word occasionally in the US now.
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#29 Post by Pierfrancesco Bini » June 21st, 2017, 11:44 pm

John Morris wrote: 2015 Willi Schaefer - Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese: Very pale color, almost clear. A trace of sulfur on the nose. In the mouth, the body is lightly sweet, and plainly riesling. Some white beach flavors but not a lot -- or enough -- acid at this stage. A bit of honey. The sweetness seemed like Kabinett level, but this had none of the umph of '15 Kabinetts some of us tasted recently. The guy who brought this often brings things that Eric Asimov has praised in recent columns, so there was speculation it might be an Australian riesling.
Based on the earlier '15 Kabinett tasting, I was really surprised when it was unveiled. The Kabinetts were showing fabulously -- with great fruit, appropriate sweetness and solid acid structures. This was not nearly as sweet-tasting at this stage, and it lacked acid zip. Weird. My hunch, based on the pale hue, is that it's a bit bleached and dumb from sulfuring right now -- something that was more common in the Mosel in the past.
You wrote a perferct note for a young Wehlener Sonnenuhr. It is extremely closed vineyard (in its youth) and takes at least 5/10 years to unfold for Kabinett and 15/20 more for Auslese. I am sure you are very familiar with Prum both young and old.

However an Auslese even from Schaefer will have at least 110gr/lt RS. In a vintage like 2015 this is certainly more like 150/160gr/lt. It is surprising to mistake this for a Kabinett. However in a casual tasting when you get hung up on a closed wine you may not focus on the sweet side of things. Also I am not sure how your group thought this could be an australian riesling: nothing in your note (including the residual sugar bit pinned down as Kabinett) screams Australia!

And Kabinets do what Kabinetts do they show great fruit when they are young because they are meant to be drunk young!

Sorry if this comes across a bit harsh but you are a much better taster!!!!

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#30 Post by John Morris » June 22nd, 2017, 5:29 am

Pierfrancesco Bini wrote:
John Morris wrote: 2015 Willi Schaefer - Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese: Very pale color, almost clear. A trace of sulfur on the nose. In the mouth, the body is lightly sweet, and plainly riesling. Some white beach flavors but not a lot -- or enough -- acid at this stage. A bit of honey. The sweetness seemed like Kabinett level, but this had none of the umph of '15 Kabinetts some of us tasted recently. The guy who brought this often brings things that Eric Asimov has praised in recent columns, so there was speculation it might be an Australian riesling.
Based on the earlier '15 Kabinett tasting, I was really surprised when it was unveiled. The Kabinetts were showing fabulously -- with great fruit, appropriate sweetness and solid acid structures. This was not nearly as sweet-tasting at this stage, and it lacked acid zip. Weird. My hunch, based on the pale hue, is that it's a bit bleached and dumb from sulfuring right now -- something that was more common in the Mosel in the past.
You wrote a perferct note for a young Wehlener Sonnenuhr. It is extremely closed vineyard (in its youth) and takes at least 5/10 years to unfold for Kabinett and 15/20 more for Auslese. I am sure you are very familiar with Prum both young and old.
I don't think you can generalize about the vineyard that way. Yes, Prum's WS sometimes are very shut down early on, but I don't think that's necessarily true of other producers' renditions (Schaefer and Richter come to mind). And in recent years, I've tasted a number of young Prums that showed good fruit. That was true of the '15 Prum WS we tasted in April (notes here).
Pierfrancesco Bini wrote:However an Auslese even from Schaefer will have at least 110gr/lt RS. In a vintage like 2015 this is certainly more like 150/160gr/lt. It is surprising to mistake this for a Kabinett. However in a casual tasting when you get hung up on a closed wine you may not focus on the sweet side of things. Also I am not sure how your group thought this could be an australian riesling: nothing in your note (including the residual sugar bit pinned down as Kabinett) screams Australia!
This wasn't a case where we were distracted and didn't notice the sweetness. If you had been there, I think you'd have been shocked to find it was an Auslese.

As I explained above, the wine was very pale, almost clear, which I think is likely the result of sulfuring. And I suspect that's also why the wine was shut down right now.

My Australian speculation (and it was just that) was offered because:
(a) The person who served it often brings wines that have been recommended recently by Eric Asimov in the NY Times, and Asimov had written a column the previous week about Australian rieslings.
(b) The wine tasted like a riesling, but didn't taste like a typical German riesling. I've had a few quite good Aussie rieslings, and I don't think this was a crazy guess. I've drunk a lot of German riesling (and Mosels in particular) over a long time, and this just didn't fit the typical flavor profile.
Pierfrancesco Bini wrote:And Kabinets do what Kabinetts do they show great fruit when they are young because they are meant to be drunk young!
Yes, but Ausleses can also be very fruity and delicious young, too.
"I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated." - Pete Townsend

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#31 Post by Jay Miller » June 22nd, 2017, 6:06 am

Pierfrancesco Bini wrote:
And Kabinets do what Kabinetts do they show great fruit when they are young because they are meant to be drunk young!
Couldn't disagree more, at least from top quality producers. Some of my favorite wines in the last 5 years have been 25-45 year old Kabinetts from Prum and Egon Muller.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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#32 Post by John Morris » June 22nd, 2017, 6:09 am

Good point, Jay. I'm enjoying 01 and 02 Kabinetts and QBAs now.
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#33 Post by Russell Faulkner » June 22nd, 2017, 6:31 am

In my experience Mosel producers love nothing more than serving old Kabinett to their best clients. By old I mean back to the 70s and beyond. Not just Kabs also QBa.

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#34 Post by Pierfrancesco Bini » June 23rd, 2017, 12:03 am

John Morris wrote: I don't think you can generalize about the vineyard that way. Yes, Prum's WS sometimes are very shut down early on, but I don't think that's necessarily true of other producers' renditions (Schaefer and Richter come to mind). And in recent years, I've tasted a number of young Prums that showed good fruit. That was true of the '15 Prum WS we tasted in April (notes here).
Pointing to Schaefer and WS as example is not really ideal. He has been making the wines for the first time last two years. WS is generally v backwards. Chez Prum year in and year out WS and GH shown side by side make this point very clear (Chez Schaefer is the same with GD vs GH and in the last two years GH vs WS+GD. You just need to taste them side by side(. Moreover, Prum's style changed somewhat over the last few years and in combination with peculiar vintages made the wines kind of accessible. I am referring to '12 (ripe and dense), '13 and '14 when Prum showed their wines in London in June (something that never happened before). However '15 and '16 were much backwards (with the '16 not shown yet).
Wines from producers with a more generous style like Molitor (not a great parcel), Wegeler or Loosen show WS characxter slightly earlier but if you pick Selback Oster or Weins Prum (who recently retired) you are back in the camp of Prum with reticent wines in their your (the most recent wines of Lieser from the WS are in this style as well). I did not drink enough Kerpen WS to comment on it.
John Morris wrote: This wasn't a case where we were distracted and didn't notice the sweetness. If you had been there, I think you'd have been shocked to find it was an Auslese.

As I explained above, the wine was very pale, almost clear, which I think is likely the result of sulfuring. And I suspect that's also why the wine was shut down right now.

My Australian speculation (and it was just that) was offered because:
(a) The person who served it often brings wines that have been recommended recently by Eric Asimov in the NY Times, and Asimov had written a column the previous week about Australian rieslings.
(b) The wine tasted like a riesling, but didn't taste like a typical German riesling. I've had a few quite good Aussie rieslings, and I don't think this was a crazy guess. I've drunk a lot of German riesling (and Mosels in particular) over a long time, and this just didn't fit the typical flavor profile.
Yes, but Ausleses can also be very fruity and delicious young, too.[/quote]
Now it is v clear thanks for the explanation.

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#35 Post by Pierfrancesco Bini » June 23rd, 2017, 12:05 am

I hear all you guys re ageing Kabinett but I get more excited by the nuances of aged Spatlese and Auslese. They just take much longer to come around...

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#36 Post by Russell Faulkner » June 23rd, 2017, 2:29 am

Schaefer has been making wine from the Sonnenhur for a long time no? Just not the Auslese which comes from a newly planted parcel.

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#37 Post by Pierfrancesco Bini » June 23rd, 2017, 4:26 am

Correct my mistake. However the quantities are tiny.

Kabinett 1998-2008
Spatlese 1997/03/05-07/09-11
Auslese 1995/2015

- = from and including to and including
/ = and

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#38 Post by John Morris » June 23rd, 2017, 6:59 am

Pierfrancesco Bini wrote:
John Morris wrote: I don't think you can generalize about the vineyard that way. Yes, Prum's WS sometimes are very shut down early on, but I don't think that's necessarily true of other producers' renditions (Schaefer and Richter come to mind). And in recent years, I've tasted a number of young Prums that showed good fruit. That was true of the '15 Prum WS we tasted in April (notes here).
Pointing to Schaefer and WS as example is not really ideal. He has been making the wines for the first time last two years. WS is generally v backwards.
I'm not sure I understand. I own some 2008 Schaefer Wehlener Sonnenuhr and they've been bottling from WS for at least 20 years, according to CellarTracker.
"I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated." - Pete Townsend

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#39 Post by Charlie Carnes » June 23rd, 2017, 8:19 am

Because of the bridge they rearranged...
So shines a good deed in a weary world!

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#40 Post by G. Newman » June 23rd, 2017, 11:11 am

Sorry for the absence of rhubarb, graphite or nose hairs but this is the best picture I could find to accompany John's post:
Attachments
FullSizeRender 2.jpg
G r a y


El que al mundo vino y no toma vino, ¿a qué ...vino?

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#41 Post by Pierfrancesco Bini » June 23rd, 2017, 12:41 pm

John Morris wrote:
Pierfrancesco Bini wrote:
John Morris wrote: I don't think you can generalize about the vineyard that way. Yes, Prum's WS sometimes are very shut down early on, but I don't think that's necessarily true of other producers' renditions (Schaefer and Richter come to mind). And in recent years, I've tasted a number of young Prums that showed good fruit. That was true of the '15 Prum WS we tasted in April (notes here).
Pointing to Schaefer and WS as example is not really ideal. He has been making the wines for the first time last two years. WS is generally v backwards.
I'm not sure I understand. I own some 2008 Schaefer Wehlener Sonnenuhr and they've been bottling from WS for at least 20 years, according to CellarTracker.
John as said I was wrong but WS from Schaefer is v patchy as shown but how often they bottle each praedikat. I don't consider it a benchmark or even representative for the vineyard. It was bottles twice in the last 5 vintages (2011-2015). There are many other producers that have been bottling across the spectrum for years.

However if you would like this to make it a representative example of WS you are free to do so. It just looks a bit ridicoulous in my view. Even DRC's Batard is bottled more often but no one assumes it is a benchmark/representative because not widely available. On top I restate once again that WS is NOT a fruit forward vineyard and again this quite a well known fact/conventional wisdom.

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