Thanks for organizing this Robert! It really was a great time. The food was amazing as always, but the wines were fantastic. I took notes on the ones I tried, but they were very brief and sketched because I was enjoying myself too much.
If I did it again, I’d step out of my comfort zone and meet a few more people. It was fun to talk to Joe and meet a celebrity, and one or two people I follow on instagram, but I also recognized a couple people from here that I was too shy to say hello to. As you see below, the wines I tasted were very different from those listed above, but I loved them all.
Wines my friends and I brought:
2020 Stein Riesling Feinherb “Weihwasser” - The first wine we opened. Shimmering and just sweet, rounded and with enough focused acidity to keep from feeling flabby. Good length, and a nice pure riesling.
2014 Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese - I brought this because it is the oldest in my very humble collection. The favorite of the ones we brought. A really strong petrol nose kind of masked everything else at first but as it blows off botrytized golden fruits emerge, peaches, lemons and more exotic tropical fruits. The palate follows, with a distinctly herbal note lacing through mango and pineapple. There’s definitely honeyed botrytis in there, but that herbs and some stony citrus acid emerge at the end. Beautiful, though as it warmed in the glass to room temperature it became flabby and the only thing that remained was sugar. Definitely needs to be cold.
2019 Bencze (Családi Birtok) Rajnai Rizling - Hungary, Balaton, Badacsonyi
I brought this because I thought it’d be different from other things there. It was a popular wine I suspect exactly because it was so different from anything else we had. Unfiltered and definitely natty, this tasted like a gingery kombucha. I was worried based on skimming that this is grown near a lake resort that it would be overripe, but on the contrary it maybe could have used some RS to soften the sharpness.
Wines from the pairing:
2017 Weingut Beurer Riesling trocken - a nice start to the meal with clean apple fruits and nice crispness. A little bit muted compared to the Loosen open alongside, but that’s not really this wine’s fault.
2013 J.B. Becker Wallufer Oberberg Riesling Kabinett “Halbtrocken” - Paired with the salads. Electric, mineral, salty, but with a lifted and pleasantly softening sweetness. With air (or warmth?) this really opened up and became more expressive.
2020 Weingut Hermann Ludes Thörnicher Ritsch Riesling Kabinett feinherb - served with pizzas.
Effervescent, light, bright. Tasted like the sensation I would imagine you get from driving a buzzsaw into limestone. A surprise favorite amongst the scheduled glasses… glad I bought the 1994 spatlese a couple weeks ago and now can’t wait for it to arrive so I can crack one open.
2020 Peter Lauer Ayler Riesling Faß 4 - A little meek, though I may have not done it justice it with soft serve and amaro (my favorite, Sibilla) alongside. When alone, it was light on its feet and citrusy, almost pop rock-y, but more like a riesling lemonade. Maybe a little bit less focused than other Lauers I’ve had (my favorite riesling producer, I got a few 2019’s as anniversary wines to open down the road), but by no means a slouch.
And then the fun part when we mingled, however briefly:
2020 Weingut Keller Riesling von der Fels - This just had a brilliant nose that makes you see see rocks and gasoline when you close your eyes. On the mouth it was extremely clean and concentrated white fruits, but felt a tiny bit subdued compared to the smell. Also my first Keller, so I’m going to have to try more because this was pretty exciting.
2007 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett - This was singing on the night. By far the wine doing the most, with sharp cut and really ripe mango. Did not feel like a kabinett to me, even after tasting the next two wines. Having only had this once, not sure if it’s on it’s way up or down, but really brilliant now.
2003 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese - By chance had this right after the Schaefer above, and it was a really nice comparison of the vineyard. Remarkably electric. I tasted bananas, which I’ve never noted in a riesling before. When I think of this wine I picture its sweetness being held up by a thin ribbon of acidity; this is I think what people mean when they speak of tension in wines.
2003 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese - This was my wine of the night amongst the shared bottles I got to sample. 03 Prum Auslese head to head, this one was my favorite by a long shot (though many others preferred the Himmelreich). I got tropical fruit befitting the designation, but also a strong citrus streak with a very distinct coriander spice dusted all over it. It was so unique and kept me coming back to the glass.
2019 Wittmann Westhofener Morstein Riesling Großes Gewächs - Never had anything by this producer, but it was excellent. I got really surprisingly fresh squeezed lemon on a salt lick. I could sense fruit under there but right now it felt bathed in acid, the acid hiding the contents. This seems like something that will really shine with time.