Phases of Aging Riesling

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J. Rock
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Phases of Aging Riesling

#1 Post by J. Rock » August 28th, 2019, 9:05 am

As try to soak up more and more information about wine, I find myself reading a lot, and since I love Riesling, I really enjoy the Mosel Fine Wines publication. I was recently reading their very interesting and informative (for me) piece on aging Riesling (http://www.moselfinewines.com/maturing-mosel.php), which included the following general advice:
Fruity [Rieslings] typically go through the following phases (here on the example of Spätlese / Auslese):

- Primary Youth Phase: for up to two years, the wines burst with primary fruit and can be a joy to drink and taste the essence of the grape.

- Muted Phase: Mosel wines have a tendency to close down after 1-3 years after the vintage. During this period, the wines do not show much beyond vague notes
of citrus, a touch of hay and, in extreme cases, even a touch of caramel.

- Fruit Phase: at around 8-15 years old, the wines start to open up again and show their full primary fruit, but nicely integrated.

- Terroir Phase: at around 15-25 years of age, the wines still show some fruitiness but the sweetness has receded and blended into the flavors of the wine.

- Mystic Phase: at over 25 years of age, the wines tend to develop their own dynamics: Differences between terroirs disappear (to an extent) and tertiary flavors kick in, with notes of marzipan, candied fruit, etc.
I was very surprised to learn about this "muted phase." While I have noticed some younger Rieslings to be muted, I thought it was due to that particular wine, not part of a pattern of Riesling in general. I know some wines go through awkward phases, but I didn't realize Riesling did this. With my limited exeperience, I just assumed Riesling aged a bit linearly, going from more acidic and primary fruit notes, to more integrated fruit and sweet/honeyed/candied notes, and eventually developing more tertiary notes.

What is your personal experience with aging Riesling? Does it seem to follow the information above? This year, I've been loving all of the 2015s I could get my hands on, but should I be getting ready to throw them in the cellar and forget about them (I have to admit, I'm a sucker fur young, acidic Rieslings)?

I'm interested to hear your thoughts. Thank you!
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#2 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » August 28th, 2019, 9:33 am

I think you will find many people on the board agree about the muted phase of Riesling. It's been discussed on many threads, but I'm afraid I wouldn't know what kind of search terms would lead directly to those.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#3 Post by Robert Sand » August 28th, 2019, 10:01 am

Generally not wrong, but it depends vm on sweetness/dryness, vintage, producer - and also region. Saar is different, and also Pfalz, Rheingau etc. not to speak of Baden, Alsace, Austria

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#4 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 28th, 2019, 10:03 am

I have been drinking German Riesling for over 25 years, and yes, many wines go through a muted phase. My general rule is 18-24 months post harvest is when things start to shut down. I then try to wait until 7+ years from the vintage to approach the wines again.

That is what works for me, but it varies from wine to wine, depending on many factors.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#5 Post by Scott E. » August 28th, 2019, 11:02 am

Thanks for posting the link to the article. A few years back I became fascinated with the potential of aged Riesling and began to cellar a few bottles every year as an ongoing experiment. All bottles are non-German though and made in a dry style (the thought of trying to understand and select German wines was too intimidating). The oldest bottles are from the 2012 vintage and I was planning to check in on one of these at age 10. Can I expect something similar to what is explained in the article regarding aging of my wines, or should I be checking in on them now? Cheers!
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#6 Post by J. Rock » August 28th, 2019, 11:34 am

Thank you! This is very helpful.

Maybe this helps explain why, to my surprise, a 2016 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese #10 I had recently, seemed much more muted than the 2017 vintage I had slightly prior.
2016 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese #10:

49.5 degrees; pop and pour; crappy wine glass

Look: medium - pale yellow; pretty much no apparent viscosity

Nose: bottom of new sneaker; soft Meyer lemon; not much nose

Palate: riper Meyer lemon; lime; soft petrol; salinity; limestone; medium sweetness; med-high acidity; light+ body; a touch of creaminess; very slight fizz

Overall thoughts: great balance, energizes mouth with good acidity; good, fresh lemon flavor and crispness from minerality, but seems a bit tight and reserved. I think it might need more air and just more cellar time (even though, I usually love young Rieslings). I'll see if it has improved at all the next day.

Update: There was no noticeable/significant improvement the next day. I suspect that this wine needs some more time in the cellar.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#7 Post by Richard T r i m p i » August 28th, 2019, 11:44 am

It either stinks or doesn't of petrol
If not, lucky you
If so, the stink keeps getting worse
And worse
Then reportedly the hydrocarbons fade and degrade or morph and you have old Riesling.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#8 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » August 28th, 2019, 11:57 am

Great question and good to see the responses.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#9 Post by Keith Levenberg » August 28th, 2019, 12:02 pm

It is really tough to make generalizations about the development curve of a category with so much variation in sugar, acid, and CO2 content. Spatlese and Auslese can range from perceptibly near-dry to sickeningly sweet and lots in between.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#10 Post by Otto Forsberg » August 28th, 2019, 12:46 pm

Richard T r i m p i wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 11:44 am
It either stinks or doesn't of petrol
If not, lucky you
If so, the stink keeps getting worse
And worse
Then reportedly the hydrocarbons fade and degrade or morph and you have old Riesling.

RT
I'm always disappointed when I open some of my aged Rieslings and they don't smell of petrol.

I opened a 2008 Alsace Grand Cru last weekend and it had a subtle whiff of petrol back then when I bought the bottle some 7 years ago. Now it had no petrol notes whatsoever, only somewhat developed Riesling fruit but still going remarkably strong, still far from its peak.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#11 Post by John Morris » August 28th, 2019, 12:49 pm

Robert Sand wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 10:01 am
Generally not wrong, but it depends vm on sweetness/dryness, vintage, producer - and also region. Saar is different, and also Pfalz, Rheingau etc. not to speak of Baden, Alsace, Austria
Keith Levenberg wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 12:02 pm
It is really tough to make generalizations about the development curve of a category with so much variation in sugar, acid, and CO2 content. Spatlese and Auslese can range from perceptibly near-dry to sickeningly sweet and lots in between.
I think the original chronology makes a lot of sense, with Robert and Keith's caveats. For example, Mosel Kabinetts can get to the mystical stage long before 25 years, while Ausleses are unlikely to.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#12 Post by Chris Seiber » August 28th, 2019, 1:10 pm

Age is the #1 most important thing for German riesling, in my opinion. I think $20 90 point kabinett at age 20 is not only better, but far better, than $60 95 point spatlese when young.

Young riesling is a sweet grape beverage which tastes nice, but isn't really a wine experience to me. And I think they taste very similar to each other when young, too. When the fruit recedes and you have modest sweetness alongside the bony mineral, that's when it really become a wine experience for me.

And it's amazing how high your odds are with older riesling. You don't have to have gotten the perfect producer, bottle and/or vintage to get good results decades down the road. Solid bottles from solid producers seem to have a very high hit rate, at least for me.

But it's not easy to source mature riesling. I think very little of it makes it to older age, and most of what does is the ultra-sweet dessert style ones that don't interest me as much. It's sort of the curse of being a wine that goes down easily at younger ages, so it doesn't make it to when it becomes really great. It's a lot easier to lay off your Barolo and Bordeaux until maturity, since it's not that compelling along the way.

Those are must my opinions, and I think I'm in a smaller minority in it.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#13 Post by Keith Levenberg » August 28th, 2019, 1:24 pm

I might add a flab phase after the mute phase, and overlapping with the fruit phase, in which dissipating spritz makes the wine taste sweeter and softer than it did on release. Then you're at the fork in the road where the bad ones hold on to the spare tire the rest of their lives and the good ones hit that terroir phase.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#14 Post by John Morris » August 28th, 2019, 1:49 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Age is the #1 most important thing for German riesling, in my opinion. I think $20 90 point kabinett at age 20 is not only better, but far better, than $60 95 point spatlese when young.
+1
Chris Seiber wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:10 pm
And it's amazing how high your odds are with older riesling. You don't have to have gotten the perfect producer, bottle and/or vintage to get good results decades down the road. Solid bottles from solid producers seem to have a very high hit rate, at least for me.
+1

My experience is like yours. A case in point, a bottle of 2001 Willi Haag - Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese last week. This wine showed well young and I bought a bunch. But this Haag has a reputation as an uneven producer, and bottles I've opened over the years have been disappointing -- disjointed, a bit simple. Until this bottle and another one earlier in the year. Finally, the wine has blossomed. It's not in the first tier by any stretch, but it's come together, it's no longer disjointed, and it's starting to show some real complexity and (finally) gives real pleasure. I've had many other bottles over the years from less producers that showed very well with age.
Chris Seiber wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:10 pm
But it's not easy to source mature riesling. I think very little of it makes it to older age, and most of what does is the ultra-sweet dessert style ones that don't interest me as much. It's sort of the curse of being a wine that goes down easily at younger ages, so it doesn't make it to when it becomes really great.
I don't know if this is still true, but most producers I visited between 1997 and 2006 (my last trip to Germany) had sizeable back lists at different sweetness levels.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#15 Post by Otto Forsberg » August 29th, 2019, 2:00 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Age is the #1 most important thing for German riesling, in my opinion. I think $20 90 point kabinett at age 20 is not only better, but far better, than $60 95 point spatlese when young.

Young riesling is a sweet grape beverage which tastes nice, but isn't really a wine experience to me. And I think they taste very similar to each other when young, too. When the fruit recedes and you have modest sweetness alongside the bony mineral, that's when it really become a wine experience for me.

And it's amazing how high your odds are with older riesling. You don't have to have gotten the perfect producer, bottle and/or vintage to get good results decades down the road. Solid bottles from solid producers seem to have a very high hit rate, at least for me.

But it's not easy to source mature riesling. I think very little of it makes it to older age, and most of what does is the ultra-sweet dessert style ones that don't interest me as much. It's sort of the curse of being a wine that goes down easily at younger ages, so it doesn't make it to when it becomes really great. It's a lot easier to lay off your Barolo and Bordeaux until maturity, since it's not that compelling along the way.

Those are must my opinions, and I think I'm in a smaller minority in it.
I echo all your points! I wish I had a bottomless cellar that I could fill with inexpensive yet immensely delicious Mosel Kabinett.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#16 Post by bob parsons alberta » August 29th, 2019, 3:15 am

Very good thread here. I have various German rieslings in the cellar..mainly Kabinett and I am hoping they will continue to age nicely.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#17 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 29th, 2019, 4:11 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Age is the #1 most important thing for German riesling, in my opinion. I think $20 90 point kabinett at age 20 is not only better, but far better, than $60 95 point spatlese when young.

Young riesling is a sweet grape beverage which tastes nice, but isn't really a wine experience to me. And I think they taste very similar to each other when young, too. When the fruit recedes and you have modest sweetness alongside the bony mineral, that's when it really become a wine experience for me.

And it's amazing how high your odds are with older riesling. You don't have to have gotten the perfect producer, bottle and/or vintage to get good results decades down the road. Solid bottles from solid producers seem to have a very high hit rate, at least for me.

But it's not easy to source mature riesling. I think very little of it makes it to older age, and most of what does is the ultra-sweet dessert style ones that don't interest me as much. It's sort of the curse of being a wine that goes down easily at younger ages, so it doesn't make it to when it becomes really great. It's a lot easier to lay off your Barolo and Bordeaux until maturity, since it's not that compelling along the way.

Those are must my opinions, and I think I'm in a smaller minority in it.
There is never a need to spend $65 for Spatlese. ;)

I love the BA and TBA wines, but so rarely open them that it’s a waste to buy them. Of course they are essentially immortal, so if it takes 40 years to get to one, who cares.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#18 Post by Claus Jeppesen » August 29th, 2019, 4:50 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 2:00 am
Chris Seiber wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Age is the #1 most important thing for German riesling, in my opinion. I think $20 90 point kabinett at age 20 is not only better, but far better, than $60 95 point spatlese when young.

Young riesling is a sweet grape beverage which tastes nice, but isn't really a wine experience to me. And I think they taste very similar to each other when young, too. When the fruit recedes and you have modest sweetness alongside the bony mineral, that's when it really become a wine experience for me.

And it's amazing how high your odds are with older riesling. You don't have to have gotten the perfect producer, bottle and/or vintage to get good results decades down the road. Solid bottles from solid producers seem to have a very high hit rate, at least for me.

But it's not easy to source mature riesling. I think very little of it makes it to older age, and most of what does is the ultra-sweet dessert style ones that don't interest me as much. It's sort of the curse of being a wine that goes down easily at younger ages, so it doesn't make it to when it becomes really great. It's a lot easier to lay off your Barolo and Bordeaux until maturity, since it's not that compelling along the way.

Those are must my opinions, and I think I'm in a smaller minority in it.
I echo all your points! I wish I had a bottomless cellar that I could fill with inexpensive yet immensely delicious Mosel Kabinett.
Chris is right on all counts, except the price of 60$ on a 95 point Spätlese, as David points out is far to high, and the availability of cheap mature QBA, Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese (1975-2001) that is still quite good in Germany.
A bottomless cellar of Mosel Kabinetts would probably be the cheapest bottomless cellar to obtain. champagne.gif
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#19 Post by Howard Cooper » August 29th, 2019, 5:26 am

Where are you guys finding all these $60 Spatlesen? Are you sure you are not buying GG wines?
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#20 Post by Ian S » August 29th, 2019, 5:36 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 5:26 am
Where are you guys finding all these $60 Spatlesen?
They're buying 2 bottles. [snort.gif]
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#21 Post by Otto Forsberg » August 29th, 2019, 5:48 am

Ian S wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 5:36 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 5:26 am
Where are you guys finding all these $60 Spatlesen?
They're buying 2 bottles. [snort.gif]
At $60? At that price one should buy a case of 6 bottles and still get some change. neener

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#22 Post by John Morris » August 29th, 2019, 5:53 am

Howard Cooper wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 5:26 am
Where are you guys finding all these $60 Spatlesen? Are you sure you are not buying GG wines?
It's hard to pay that much, but Egon Mueller Spatlese runs $90-$150, and Robert Weil's Kiedricher Grafenberg can set you back $60.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#23 Post by Mike Francisco » August 29th, 2019, 6:28 am

Otto Forsberg wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 2:00 am
Chris Seiber wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Age is the #1 most important thing for German riesling, in my opinion. I think $20 90 point kabinett at age 20 is not only better, but far better, than $60 95 point spatlese when young.

Young riesling is a sweet grape beverage which tastes nice, but isn't really a wine experience to me. And I think they taste very similar to each other when young, too. When the fruit recedes and you have modest sweetness alongside the bony mineral, that's when it really become a wine experience for me.

And it's amazing how high your odds are with older riesling. You don't have to have gotten the perfect producer, bottle and/or vintage to get good results decades down the road. Solid bottles from solid producers seem to have a very high hit rate, at least for me.

But it's not easy to source mature riesling. I think very little of it makes it to older age, and most of what does is the ultra-sweet dessert style ones that don't interest me as much. It's sort of the curse of being a wine that goes down easily at younger ages, so it doesn't make it to when it becomes really great. It's a lot easier to lay off your Barolo and Bordeaux until maturity, since it's not that compelling along the way.

Those are must my opinions, and I think I'm in a smaller minority in it.
I echo all your points! I wish I had a bottomless cellar that I could fill with inexpensive yet immensely delicious Mosel Kabinett.
+1
Though I tend to like Kabinett in the 8 to 10 year range.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#24 Post by Gerhard P. » August 29th, 2019, 6:32 am

To expect aged Riesling without any petrol is like expecting dry sex ...
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#25 Post by Rudi Finkler » August 29th, 2019, 8:01 am

bob parsons alberta wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 3:15 am
Very good thread here. I have various German rieslings in the cellar..mainly Kabinett and I am hoping they will continue to age nicely.
They will believe me.
My favorites are older Saar Rieslings of course. :-)
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#26 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 29th, 2019, 12:53 pm

John Morris wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 5:53 am
Howard Cooper wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 5:26 am
Where are you guys finding all these $60 Spatlesen? Are you sure you are not buying GG wines?
It's hard to pay that much, but Egon Mueller Spatlese runs $90-$150, and Robert Weil's Kiedricher Grafenberg can set you back $60.
Given the huge number of delicious alternatives, it has been easy for me to walk away from those 2 bottlings with zero regrets.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#27 Post by Chris Seiber » August 29th, 2019, 1:04 pm

2017 Donnhoff Spatlese Hermannshohle is $60+ nowadays.

But I was just throwing a random number out there.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#28 Post by J. Rock » August 29th, 2019, 1:13 pm

Some Willi Schaefer Spat is at or slightly below $60 :( I love it, but sometimes it's hard for me to pull the trigger on that when I can get Schloss Lieser, Fritz Haag, and Markus Molitor for less.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#29 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 29th, 2019, 2:43 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 1:04 pm
2017 Donnhoff Spatlese Hermannshohle is $60+ nowadays.

But I was just throwing a random number out there.
No it’s not. You are getting hosed.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#30 Post by Chris Seiber » August 29th, 2019, 3:46 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 2:43 pm
Chris Seiber wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 1:04 pm
2017 Donnhoff Spatlese Hermannshohle is $60+ nowadays.

But I was just throwing a random number out there.
No it’s not. You are getting hosed.
Vinopolis - $59
Knightsbridge - $59
Wine House - $63
K&L - $65
Crush - $65
Wally's - $75

I'm not claiming somebody might have gotten it at a more favorable price sometime and somewhere, but saying that wine is generally $60+ nowadays is pretty defensible.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#31 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 29th, 2019, 3:49 pm

On release on the east coast it was easily available for $45.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#32 Post by Robert Dentice » August 29th, 2019, 4:05 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 3:46 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 2:43 pm
Chris Seiber wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 1:04 pm
2017 Donnhoff Spatlese Hermannshohle is $60+ nowadays.

But I was just throwing a random number out there.
No it’s not. You are getting hosed.
Vinopolis - $59
Knightsbridge - $59
Wine House - $63
K&L - $65
Crush - $65
Wally's - $75

I'm not claiming somebody might have gotten it at a more favorable price sometime and somewhere, but saying that wine is generally $60+ nowadays is pretty defensible.
I checked and I payed $65 on release from Crush.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#33 Post by J. Rock » August 29th, 2019, 4:08 pm

Wally's can actually have some decent or even good deals once in awhile, but I feel like they usually take a "show no mercy" approach to pricing.

BTW, Dönnhoff Riesling Spätlese Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle 2018 is only $45 at Woodland Hills Wine Co. Please just buy enough to encourage them to stock more Riesling, but don't buy take all of the Rieslings before I can get them!
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#34 Post by ChristopherSK » August 29th, 2019, 4:09 pm

Main question about putting the 2015 Germans away without touching them? I tend to buy riesling by the case, and if its a younger vintage, and I am having a bottle every two or three months, I wait until I get my first bottle that tells me "shutdown", and then I put it away for 4 to 5 or more years. Sometimes I get no shutdown, such as some 2013's I have encountered. But, most of the time I do experience shutdown.

Riesling! I was a 16 year old busboy at the Glockenspiel restaurant just outside of Kutztown PA. We would get to taste the left over wines at the end of the night. Yes, some were just Zeller Swartz Katz which was still tasty, but I remember my first fine riesling and that is what gave me a true love for wine. The "Glock" was a Germanic haven, and sadly it burned down in 1986. https://www.mcall.com/news/mc-xpm-1986- ... story.html
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#35 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 29th, 2019, 4:50 pm

The prices at Crush have always been close to criminal gouging.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#36 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » August 29th, 2019, 4:56 pm

ChristopherSK wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 4:09 pm
Main question about putting the 2015 Germans away without touching them? I tend to buy riesling by the case, and if its a younger vintage, and I am having a bottle every two or three months, I wait until I get my first bottle that tells me "shutdown", and then I put it away for 4 to 5 or more years. Sometimes I get no shutdown, such as some 2013's I have encountered. But, most of the time I do experience shutdown.

Also from Philly area!

We bought pretty heavily in 2015 after tasting extensively and, for the most part, put our cases away, planning to check in after a few years. We've dabbled a bit here and there in the last 6 months on wines we have in quantity and feel that they have come along nicely, are not totally shut down, but are still youthful. Most of these are dry. Hope that helps!

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#37 Post by Chris Seiber » August 29th, 2019, 5:23 pm

I bought a couple cases of 2015s to put away. See you in 2030 and beyond if I’m still around.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#38 Post by J. Rock » August 29th, 2019, 5:41 pm

Do you guys think that different VDP classifications (e.g., Gutswein, Grosse Lage, etc.) tend to have different aging patterns or speeds? For example, I've been drinking some '15 Schloss Lieser Gutswein recently that is simply a party in my mouth; however, I've had some '15 and '16 Willi Schaefer Grosse Lages that seem pretty closed. Do you think this is just coincidence / due to the particular cuvees, or do the higher quality classifications "need" more aging or have a more pronounced muted phase?
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#39 Post by ChristopherSK » August 30th, 2019, 6:40 am

Last night I opened one of my hasn't shut down yet 2013's. Two years ago I bought a case of 2013 Reinhold Haart Wintricher Ohligsberg Riesling Spatlese, a Rudi Wiest selection that clocked in at a rather sweet 7%. This Mosel is still not shut down as it showed lush white fruits and paired well with some chicken sausage.
Link to Reinhold Haart. http://www.rudiwiest.com/wp-content/upl ... -Haart.pdf

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#40 Post by Alan Rath » August 30th, 2019, 10:29 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 5:23 pm
I bought a couple cases of 2015s to put away. See you in 2030 and beyond if I’m still around.
Far too warm/ripe vintage to age into anything interesting. Sell those, and buy something from a better vintage. I know this is an opinion that will be met with scorn here, but it's my opinion. Keep a couple and test my theory - you can either toast me or curse me ;)
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#41 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 30th, 2019, 10:40 am

Scorn? No.

But I look at vintages with fascination, not an assessment of worth, except in the rare cases of truly bad or weird vintages. 2006 is weird because of all the botrytis, and not to everyone's taste.

Richness and acid levels go up and down from year to year. 1997 was not terribly well regarded by some when it came out. The wines are delicious now. 2009 is starting to round into form at age ten. 2003 is even slimming down a bit. They are all "interesting" just different.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#42 Post by Alan Rath » August 30th, 2019, 10:58 am

My point was that, IMO, a vintage like 2015 might be interesting and fun to drink, particularly young (to be honest, it's too ripe for my tastes, even young, overall) - but I don't think they will become more interesting in 10-15 years. For that, my own rule of thumb is to look for higher acid, more taut and zingy wines. Disclaimer: I long ago stopped buying *any* sweet Riesling, because it's just not as interesting to me as the dry versions, young or old.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#43 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » August 30th, 2019, 11:10 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 3:49 pm
On release on the east coast it was easily available for $45.
Yep, I got the 2016 for $43

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#44 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 30th, 2019, 11:11 am

Alan Rath wrote:
August 30th, 2019, 10:58 am
My point was that, IMO, a vintage like 2015 might be interesting and fun to drink, particularly young (to be honest, it's too ripe for my tastes, even young, overall) - but I don't think they will become more interesting in 10-15 years. For that, my own rule of thumb is to look for higher acid, more taut and zingy wines. Disclaimer: I long ago stopped buying *any* sweet Riesling, because it's just not as interesting to me as the dry versions, young or old.
Buy what you like to drink.

But it isn't just high acid Riesling that gets interesting with age.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#45 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » August 30th, 2019, 11:12 am

Sc0tt F!tzger@ld wrote:
August 30th, 2019, 11:10 am
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
August 29th, 2019, 3:49 pm
On release on the east coast it was easily available for $45.
Yep, I got the 2016 for $43
2018 set me back $47.
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#46 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » August 30th, 2019, 12:23 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
August 28th, 2019, 1:10 pm
Age is the #1 most important thing for German riesling, in my opinion. I think $20 90 point kabinett at age 20 is not only better, but far better, than $60 95 point spatlese when young.

Young riesling is a sweet grape beverage which tastes nice, but isn't really a wine experience to me. And I think they taste very similar to each other when young, too. When the fruit recedes and you have modest sweetness alongside the bony mineral, that's when it really become a wine experience for me.

And it's amazing how high your odds are with older riesling. You don't have to have gotten the perfect producer, bottle and/or vintage to get good results decades down the road. Solid bottles from solid producers seem to have a very high hit rate, at least for me.

But it's not easy to source mature riesling. I think very little of it makes it to older age, and most of what does is the ultra-sweet dessert style ones that don't interest me as much. It's sort of the curse of being a wine that goes down easily at younger ages, so it doesn't make it to when it becomes really great. It's a lot easier to lay off your Barolo and Bordeaux until maturity, since it's not that compelling along the way.

Those are must my opinions, and I think I'm in a smaller minority in it.
I agree with all of this *except* I do enjoy young Riesling, and do believe it to be a legit "wine experience."
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#47 Post by Chris Seiber » August 30th, 2019, 12:25 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
August 30th, 2019, 10:58 am
My point was that, IMO, a vintage like 2015 might be interesting and fun to drink, particularly young (to be honest, it's too ripe for my tastes, even young, overall) - but I don't think they will become more interesting in 10-15 years. For that, my own rule of thumb is to look for higher acid, more taut and zingy wines. Disclaimer: I long ago stopped buying *any* sweet Riesling, because it's just not as interesting to me as the dry versions, young or old.
I knew I should have stayed out of this thread. You Riesling people are a different breed.

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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#48 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m » August 30th, 2019, 12:28 pm

Alan is right; his opinion is not shared by everyone.

I'm all-in on 2015 (and 2010).
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#49 Post by Alan Rath » August 30th, 2019, 12:59 pm

Chris Seiber wrote:
August 30th, 2019, 12:25 pm
I knew I should have stayed out of this thread. You Riesling people are a different breed.
Ha, you think talking politics and religion is dangerous, try talking about wine and watch the long knives come out! ;)
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Re: Phases of Aging Riesling

#50 Post by Chris Seiber » August 30th, 2019, 1:04 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
August 30th, 2019, 12:59 pm
Chris Seiber wrote:
August 30th, 2019, 12:25 pm
I knew I should have stayed out of this thread. You Riesling people are a different breed.
Ha, you think talking politics and religion is dangerous, try talking about wine and watch the long knives come out! ;)
[cheers.gif]

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