Wednesday, August 8, 2012

old rieslings and new loves

1992 Max Ferd. Richter Riesling Spätlese | QmP Mülheimer Sonnenlay | Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
2001 Schloss Schönborn Riesling | QbA Rheingau
1991 Schloss Schönborn Riesling Spätlese | QmP Hochheimer Domdechaney | Rheingau

If I gush any more about how much I love these wines MY HEAD WILL EXPLODE. No lie. But why bother to keep looking around when you've found the right one?! Occasionally Vintages will bring in some old, mature bottles, so when you see them, don't let the opportunity slip. I've drank all 3 wines in the past: the 1992 Max Ferd Richter here, the 2001 Schloss Schönborn here, and the 1991 here.
It's all almost too much of a good thing. Mature riesling must be in the top 5 of the greatest things the Germans have given the world, along with the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, Beethoven, the Steinway Concert Grand Model D, schweinshaxe, and of course, beer. These wines are legendary, and if rumours are true about trends turning to more drier styles of riesling, these bottles will soon become few and far between. It will be a sad day indeed, when these perfectly tensile, linear beauties will be a thing of the past. IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT BEING SWEET PEOPLE, IT'S ALL ABOUT BALANCE!!!!!!
Generalizations always do an injustice, but the minerality in these wines (the clear, obvious, most important element of riesling) falls into two groups. With age, as they reach maturity, the minerality settles down as well into (A) a sort of oily, creamy happiness, that lanolin cream/petrol aroma or (B) an intense slate/wet stone kind of love. Along with developed aromas and flavours, the wines change in texture, with many displaying a stunning elegance and viscosity on the palate. You still get all that honey and ripe citrus and spice . . . just more so. I can keep going on and on, but really, it's like those annoying parents who just had a newborn and can't stop gushing about how brilliant, how special their baby is. Let them/me have their/my moment!!
I was so over the fucking moon to taste all three of these wines together. The 1992 Max Ferd. Richter, which I thought was getting a bit tired last year, just booming. So much energy, the most beautiful maturity, all spicy honey and stone minerality. Lean but perfectly balanced, whispering into a long, completely seductive finish. The pair of Schloss Schönborns were simply brilliant. The 2001, a delicious wine, balanced and still wonderfully drinkable. But the 1991; just on another level. For me, it completely redefines what purity is in a wine. Utterly transparent, that kind of wine that goes straight through you into your soul, if I'm allowed to be so melodramatic. Green apple and honey, rich but great electricity on the palate. Zinging. An absolute dream of a wine.
So working on some things lately, internally. Lots of things to figure out in the next two months. Sort of personal, professional life decisions all coming at me at once. But really, no reason to complain about being busy with things; beats sitting on my ass doing jackshit, right?

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