TN: 2012 Peter Lauer Riesling Schonfels Faß 11 GG (Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer)

Fair enough. You like what you like, but I don’t think it’s fair to call GG wines from the MSR, or wines that would now be labeled as GGs a “waste of good grapes.” The insinuation that winemakers are wasting their precious resources to pander to a new trend towards dry Riesling despite the resulting wines being of a worse quality than their pradikat bottlings is pretty insulting.

I wonder she’s not looking over your shoulder right now! [wow.gif] [snort.gif] champagne.gif

Fair. Doesn’t change the fact that I find MSR GG wines to be far behind the GG wines of other regions, not to mention Austrian Rieslings.

Adrian, a lot of people, particularly Germans, feel equally strongly about the horror of all the sweet German wines. (Well, among knowledgeable people not the TBA etc., but non dessert wines with RS.) A friend of mine, German born winemaker in Italy with extensive tasting and collecting background and a very advanced palate has nothing but disdain for RS in German Riesling, his viewpoint is anything but unique. I find both his and yours a little amusing and “wrong”, not in the sense I am right; I think it’s unnecessarily narrow and based strictly on personal taste.

I can understand your preoccupation with the shift in styles and market preferences, personally it suits me, but I think you worry somewhat unnecessarily. RS wines will continue to be made in the MSR, probably less than today and ten years ago, but we’re far from it being a threatened species and I doubt we’ll get there. The selection of the best grapes for the best (in the eyes of the market and hopefully also winemaker), most ambitious wine seems like normal, expected practice everywhere great wine is made. (To be pedantic, the best grapes are probably reserved for production of super expensive TBA, the very best sweet wines in the world to my opinion, but mostly way out of my price range.)

I would reserve words like horrors and monstrosities for the many many artificial, spoofy wines on the market, especially the famous, ambitious and expensive ones. The best thing about high level German wine is the abundance of growers/winemakers making genuine, transparent wine. The ones you dislike are simply juice from grapes riper than they were years ago, helped by warmer climate and better viticulture, fermented dry.

Of course we all have our personal taste and preferences, thank goodness. (Edit: the last thing I would call high quality dry Riesling is one dimensional and boring.) I’m not saying yours is bad or wrong in any way, just see it as a little sad you find no pleasure and intrigue in wines that are very well made, genuine and expressive of terroir. Of course the terroir of MSR can be expressed through many different styles, I’m sure you will still find your preferred one years from now.

I’m a hound for acidity and structure in wines, white and red, it can hardly ever be too much if there is reasonable balance. My balance is probably your reaching for antacids. As an example my other favorite type of white is Chenin Blanc from the Loire. There too I prefer it dry, and from the darker schist soils giving more structure and raciness.

Generally speaking, I would agree, and with the exception of the producers I named above (as well as Grunhauser, who has been making awesome trocken wines for a very, very long time) the majority of the wines that I buy from the MSR are off-dry to nobly sweet. There are definitely more options in the Rheinhessen, Nahe and Pfalz.

Austrian Riesling are tough to call these days, with climate change really affecting a lot of the top sites and pushing many of the wines into over-ripeness for my palate. Alzinger Steinertal is still one of the best QPRs for serious dry Riesling anywhere on earth, but is really hard to find.

Great post, Geir.

Riesling is the most versatile wine grape on earth and Germany’s terroir is capable of producing an incredibly wide spectrum of mindblowingly great wines from it. There isn’t any credible evidence to suggest that any style along that spectrum is going to go the way of the Dodo, so we can all enjoy what we like. [cheers.gif]

I don’t think it’s insulting at all.

I understand why they might do it, experimentation, commercial reality, but I wish they wouldn’t, and they certainly don’t bat an eyelid when asking to skip dry wines when tasting with them.

That TBAs are probably the best sweet wines in the world, I won’t argue. Except maybe sometimes Eiswein can be better. neener However, I’m not sure that it is the same grapes that go into the TBA as the GG. More knowledgeable parties should correct me if I’m wrong on this, but GG grapes require botrytis-free, clean berries. These are the grapes that would have gone into the Kabinett and Spaetlese wines. Yes, they’re “lower” on the Praedikat pyramid, but they aren’t lesser wines at all. Just different. (Aside: the classification conflating sweetness with quality has always been somewhat befuddling to me.) You can see how a lover of Kab and Spaet might feel like he’s losing out when a good chunk of the production is now going to GG wines.

Fair enough. The terms are more provocative than I meant for them to be. But the GGs do strike me as creatures of the latest fad and fancy, of a crowd chasing a butterfly. Yes, there used to be Spaetlese trocken and Auslese trocken, but these were by far the exception rather than the rule (especially in MSR). Like you said, it might be that with the warmer climate, it’s easier to make dry wines than before.

That’s exactly the problem. I usually can’t find the terroir in GG wines, and it’s not for lack of trying. They all taste the same to me… Things would be so much more interesting if I could indeed find something to like in every wine I try, but c’est la vie.

So, according to you, they make dry wines on an experimental whim or for commercial gains despite the wines being unpalatable. You don’t see how that’s an insulting aspersion?

FWIW I buy, or would buy, GG or similar trocken wines from A. Clüsserath, F. Haag, P. Lauer, Maximin Grünhaüser, W. Schaefer, S. Kuntz, Heyman-Löwenstein, Weiser-Künstler, C.Busch. Probably a couple others too if I’d had more money and time to explore region.

Only the Nahe interests me equally or more for dry Riesling, but I have fewer favorite producers there.

I see it as somewhat insulting, but more laughable and lacking of historical perspective. RS wines were not always the norm or the “right” way, not even in the MSR. Styles and market preferences have come and gone.

I’m sure some producers prefer RS or prädikat wines and perhaps make GG or similar with limited enthusiasm, but to infer this is the norm is ridiculous. They do have to tender to different tastes and markets and are probably used to this dichotomy, with N. America (“only RS”) and Germany (“only dry”) as the two most extreme outliers.

Well I didn’t say they were unpalatable… However I don’t care for them generally.

I didn’t mean best grapes in the sense they would be the same ones, and you are right GG and TBA require very different type grapes, and at times I’m sure from different zones within vineyards. It was jocularly saying the “best”, top of pyramid, go into TBA. I also think it is wrong to think the best grapes for GG would necessarily be the best suited for Kabinett for instance. I’m sure that varies amongst producers, vineyards and vintages. Maybe a real concern from your viewpoint is more of the old vine plots are now used for dry wines?

Definitely agree that Kabimett and Spätlese are not necessarily lesser wines. Can also see how a lover of Prädikat style might feel worry, but more fun for us lesser hung up on one style :wink:. Again, I would be more worried about change in style within the Prädikat wines, with Kabinett becoming bigger and sweeter than it once was. To me a big and overly sweet Kabinett has little sense or appeal.

This is absolutely something I’ve run into quite a few times. Kabinett has to stay true to the Kabinett style. If I buy a Kabinett and when I open it to find a Spaetlese, something very wrong has indeed happened… You know who’s really good at staying within those stylistic confines? Florian Lauer.

How does this work for Donnhoff, who notoriously punches at least one pradikat above what is listed on the bottle?

I actually drink very little Doennhoff Kab and Spaet… and once you’re at Auslese level, punching the BA barrier is a bonus. The '12 KK is pretty definitely Kab level though.

Fair enough, had you tried his GG’s?
I myself am not a fan of dry riesling but really have found his fantastic.

Yep, Doennhoff is basically the sole exception to my intense GG dislike (so far). They’re pretty good. But still not wines of sufficient interest that I would want more than half a glass…

A few things:

  1. There is no Kabinett anymore. It may be bright and fresh, but it’s not Kabinett. It’s Spätlese or even Auslese labeled as Kabinett. That goes for everyone. Donnhoff is not some “notorious” exception. Drink some Kabinett from the '80s or even just prior to 1996 or so. Then drink any producer’s kabinett from 2005, 2006(!!), and forward. That’s not Kabinett. It’s Spätlese sold for a bargain price. Lauer may make some wines that show similarly to Kabinett, but they are not Kabinett.

  2. Kabinett is a construction of the 1971 wine law, so selling something riper/richer than what one word on the label implies is not some affront to a long and storied history.

  3. I do enjoy wines in the “Kabinett style” and would be sad to lose them entirely, but it’s really going to come down to vineyard site versus climate-for everyone.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr… neener