Sustained Delight – Riesling Spatlese

Sustained Delight – Riesling Spatlese

Posted on Feb, 10. 2011 by

Categories: Wine

Today I bring you the final wine in the line up of everyday affordable Terry Theise selections, at least from those I have had the honor to sample. It is the end of a great sample batch but the beginning of the new wave of Terry Theise wines as the Spring Presale is available right now. If you are interested in any of Terry Theise’s Presale wines for the Spring please let us know as we have to have our order in by tomorrow. Evan and I will be making a selection to offer out to you at some point so if you are not particular you can simply wait for our choice from the finest imported German and Austrian wines available.

This wine is the best of the bunch. A Spatlese level Riesling that drinks like a Spatlese level Riesling but is still under $20. And now to get a little German on you all, this is the 2007 Carl Schmitt-Wagner. Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg, Riesling Spatlese. Mosel -try saying that five times fast. This is an exceptionally refined and yet easy drinking wine that I wanted to drink two bottles of the first time I was handed a glass.

But let’s stop for a quick info short: German wines are delineated with terms on their label loosely specifying sweetness level. From driest to sweetest these terms are as follows:

  • Trocken
  • Halb-Trocken
  • Kabinett
  • Spatlese
  • Auslese

To say these terms are only a sweetness level grossly under represents their actual meaning but for us regular folks it is a good rule of thumb. Each term has specific rules one must conform to to achieve it’s designation. And generally put, the quality level goes up as the sweetness designation goes up, Auslese wines often being the finest German wines one can obtain. So it is for this reason that I geek out when a Spatlese is of actual Spatlese quality but is under $20. In Burgundy terms it would be like saying 1er Cru for under $20…sort of.

A quick note about sweetness: Personal feeling here but Riesling needs to be at least a little bit sweet. To make a Riesling bone dry is like making honey dry, hence, you have taken the very essence of the thing from it. Sweetness is the body of the Riesling, the weight and vigor and when done correctly it does not come off as sweet. It is the meat of the wine, the presences, the thick canvass that is able to hold and exhibit all the nuance and variations achievable in this grape for which it is called by most experts the most complex and regal of all white grapes.

When you have one of the great German Riesling there is something about it that no other wine possess and it evokes the specific mental association linking it somehow to, what one expects through a lifetime of study in Greek mythology, the nectar of the gods. From this experience you judge all other Rieslings. Does it have it? Even a little? Ahh, it’s there, yes, this is a good one.

At least once in your life, on the level of pilgrimage to the Louvre in Paris, everyone should seek out, buy and enjoy a very top level German Riesling with some age to it.

The 2007 Carl Schmitt-Wagner. LMH, Riesling Spatlese. Mosel has it. Now don’t get me wrong, this is an extremely well priced Riesling but you won’t feel like a thief with the Mona Lisa tucked under your arm by having it. There is tremendous acid and mineraltiy to this wine, it has place and plenty of individual character. And there in the center reaching out of the medium body is a golden fruit like essence, lifting it above the common experience, that’s why this wine is a Spatlese, that place where it touches the divine. Put less romantically, there is a definite quality to this wine that is immediately recognizable by wine drinkers as being a fine wine, a touch better than the every day.

I highly recommend this wine. It would be perfect with the right foods but is a philosophic wine, pleasant to be sipped on its own. Michael Davis and I knocked a bottle back while grilling pork chops over an open fire standing in the crisp winter air and were blown away.

2007 Carl Schmitt-Wagner. Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg, Riesling Spatlese. Mosel
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $14.66 • Premier Cru: $15.33 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $20.99
Buy Now!

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