1998 Balthasar Ress Riesling Spätlese, QmP Hattenheim Nussbrunnen, Rheingau
Real riesling fanboys know better than to look down at Balthasar Ress. Yes it's a huge producer and all, but that's like refusing to drink Louis Jadot or Bouchard Père et Fils. There are always gems in the portfolio.
We see a lot of old Balthasar Ress being released in Toronto. Whether it's from their cellars or not, these wines are a fabulous (and inexpensive) way to learn how rieslings do with bottle age. Will they be transcendent experiences? Maybe that's asking for too much, but the wines are delicious and no true riesling lover should ever turn down the opportunity to taste 10+ year old wines. This one, a deep, gold spätlesen, is beautiful. Minerals and oil honey, baked apples. Quite sweet, but the acidity breaks it down on the finish. Mature, slightly irregular in texture. It's a delicious wine for what it is, and if you're thinking too hard about these things, you're missing that point.