TN: Four Old Rieslings...(short/boring)

Tried these four from Blair’s cellar last Sunday at Pig+Fig:

  1. Friedrich-Wilhelm Gymnasium Bernkastler Badstube Riesling Auslese (Q; A.P.Nr. 3 561 024 47 72; EA) Trier 1971: Deep gold/burnished bronze color; very strong old Auslese honeyed/orangey/botrytis/apricotty bit earthy slight pungent/petrol/cedary very complex nose; lightly tart old Auslese/very honeyed very light sweetness some peachy/botrytis/apricotty slightly bitter/metallic/tangy complex flavor; very long/lingering slightly sweet some botrytis/peachy/apricotty slight pungent/cedary/petrol/honeyed delicate/ethereal quite complex old Auslese finish; starting to dry out a bit but a beautiful example of a fully mature and a bit beyond Auslese Riesling. $5.99 (LM)

  1. Domaine Weinbach Tokay Pinot Gris Cuvee Ste.Catherine AC: Vd’A (13%; MeBalP) Colette Faller ses filles/Kayserberg 1993: Med.dark gold color; light orangey/floral/gardenias/PG light cedary/smokey rather complex if quiet nose; tart bit dried out light orangey/floral/PG/gardenias slight cedary fairly complex/quiet flavor w/ slight bitterness; very long slightly bitter/dried out light/floral/PG/gardenias slight earthy bit cedary fairly complex finish; a lovely quite complex nose but a bit quiet on the palate and drying out a bit, but still lovely drinking.

  1. Bott Freres Riesling Cuvee Exceptionnelle AC: Vd’A (12%) Ribeauville 1981: Med.dark color; slight musty/fusty (that clears) bit earthy slight nutty/toasted hazelnuts/oxidative rather petrol/Mosel valve oil bit cedary/smokey rather complex old R lovely nose; lightly tart slight bitter/earthy slight petrol/valve oil bit cedary/herbal some old R/floral/complex bit dried out flavor; long slightly dried out/bitter slight petrol/valve oil/old R slight cedary fairly complex finish; a bit tired & dried out on the palate and lost a lot of oomph but still offers up some pleasure. $3.99 (D-E vTH)

  1. Bott Freres Riesling Reserve Personnelle AC: Vd’A (12%) 1983: Med.dark color; beautiful cedary/pencilly old R/valve oil/petrol smokey slight floral quite complex nose; lightly tart slight floral/R some old R/valve oil/petrol rather cedary/pencilly bit earthy quite complex smooth/gentle flavor; very long/lingering low-key/petrol/valve oil some old R/floral quite complex beautiful finish; slightly drying out on the palate but quite complex and a beautiful example of an old Alsatian R. $5.30 (D-E vTH)

A wee BloodyPulpit:

  1. I came to LosAlamos in 1973 and soon discovered the LiquorMart in Boulder. Wine dept run by PhilReich and ReneRondeau. The '71’s had arrived and the LM had great prices, so I (and a bunch of others) went heavy on them. And the '75’s and '76’s when they later came along. They all are holding up, by & large, very well at the Spatlese/Auslese level.

  1. BottFreres: After Rene left LiquorMart, he went to SanFrancisco where he ran the wine dept at Draper&Esquins, the retail arm of Esquin Imports. This is where the Vintner’sClub used to hold their tastings. One of their employees developed a love of RedBurg wines there and wanted to make them in Calif. By & large, FrankMahoney was pretty successful at it.
    Esquins brought in the BottFreres '81 wines, Riesling & GWT, Cuvee Exceptionelle and Reserve Personelle levels. Rene gave me a heads up not to miss them. I tried them & loved them. He gave us a special discount and we bought a bunch of them. Same thing when the '83’s came in as well. I think, except for Blair’s cellar, they’ve pretty much vanished from LosAlamos.
    Rene eventually left Draper&Esquins, left the wine business I believe, and went on to become the World’s expert on Hamilton watches. Even has written a book on the subject. I haven’t had contact with him since the mid-'80’s. He, unlike me, may have even gotten a bit older since those days.

  1. Alsace Riesling: These used to be magnificant wines that aged like nobody’s business. They were tart/lean and, best of all, cheap. They aged into magnificent wines. A no-brainer buy. My rule of thumb was the more acidic/lean they were, the greater the potential they had to age into something great. Did I mention that they were inexpensive?
    Since Zind-Humbrecht, maker of the world’s greatest white wines according to a Monktown attourney, and their very ripe/low acid/off-dry/high alcohol style, Alsatian Riesling are no longer a no-brainer buy.

Very interesting Alsatian thoughts, Tom :slight_smile:. Do you have much experience with Boxler? I’ve aged a few into 15+ years and have been truly fascinated by how they develop, and certainly not the Z-H style.

Quite the old line-up.

The Trimbachs would beg to differ with Mr. Hill’s assessment, as would the folks at Dirler.

And they’ve been around at least 200 years longer than Tom.

More like 300!

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Yup, Nick. Have had the Boxlers and like them quite a bit. A more traditional style of Alsace. Don’t see them much in my NM market here.

Awwww, David. A golden opportunity for you to accuse me of [stirthepothal.gif] and you muffed it big time!!
The Trimbachs are certainly the most traditional in Alsace. But when I fell in love with the Alsatians in the early '70’s, you could find those traditional style wines standing on every street corner. Now so many have gone to the Z-H model that you have to search them out.
And they used to be cheap.

Everything used to be cheap.

You just have to use your generic Parker scold whenever you can. It gets old.