Not Really Tasting Notes from a benefit for a friend
One of my longtime wine friends is John Dawson (Sr.), one of the most beloved guys in the NYC area wine world. When he retired from the Post Office he turned a passion into a sales position at Zachys. Heís had a long fight with cancer, and Tuesday Zachys held a fundraiser at Harpers in Dobbs Ferry (convenient for me) to help with non-covered expenses. Betsy adores Johnand so was happy to accompany me. Johnís number 1 interest is German Riesling, and so that was focus of evening. Chris from Harpers did a good job with an assortment of Riesling-friendly food, lots of charcuterie, some choucroute-ish dishes, plus an assortment of seafood (crab salad, mussels, shrimp, etc.) on the patio in back.
I didnít take actual notes, so these are impressions by table ( I probably tasted less than half the wines, and then probably forgot some).:
The dry table on patio:
I quite enjoyed a 2009 Zilliken Feinherb, very floral and giving. A 2010 Gunderloch trocken QbA was a bit austere on itís own, but good with mussels.. The 2010 Schloss Schonborn Dry QbA seemed to lack depth. The Knoll 2010 Pfaffenberg Kabinett was my favorite of this table, full and rich but with plenty of zing.
The Kabinett area on bar:
2010 Richter Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett was good but not compelling. The2010 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Kabinett halbtrocken was one of the finds of the evening for me, light and lithe with a nice stony finish. I liked their 2010 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Kab as well, but I already knew that.. A 2010 Karthauserhofberg Kabinett was nice, but maybe a tad softer than Iexpected or preferred. Others seemed to like a 2010 JJ Christoffel UrzigerWurzgarten Kabinett more than I, another surprisingly soft 2010. The 2007 JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett showed very well, probably had been open long enough for the sulphur to dissipate- very nice.
The Dry to OffDry table next to the ham:
The 2009 AJ Adam Feinherb has some sugar, but balanced but some zippy grapefruit acids.
The JJ Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese was much more lively than itís Kabinett brother, powerful and sweet. The 2010 JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese had a little lingering sulphur, but seemed poised for brilliance. The 2009 Leitz Rottland Spatlese was also big and powerful, in an Auslese style. The 2009 Zind-Humbrecht Riesling was aromatic but a bit short and thin.
The Sweet wine table
I saw a Willi Schaefer label and asked for a taste, as he poured he said 2003 Graacher Domprobst BA. Oh, 2003. Hey wait a minutes, this is pretty good, if maybe not as electric as usual. Huge, powerful, long.
Of course, there were some other wines brought by individuals, but with people dashing by with pours I sometimes (well, usually) didnít know exactly what I had. A 2007 Roulot (was it Charmes?) was a beautiful young white Burg as it opened slowly. A 1998 Fourrier was supple and surprisingly open,complex and a touch exotic. An older (1987?) Muller Catoir was lovely, butI have no clue what wine it was! So not exactly a night of useful notes. But it was a good night for the wine community to rally around a friend- it was great to see a load of people I know, and most of all to see John.
Kudos to Zachys, who not only contributed tons of wine and a great dinner, but also set up some silent auctions (which got taken down before I ever bid, damn) and a great raffle (I guess I didnít win the 72 DRC RSV, 82 Pichon Lalande, and good vintage Yquem, but money well spent!). Great effort for a great guy.
Grade disclaimer: I'm a very easy grader, basically A is an excellent wine,B a good wine, C mediocre. Anything below C means I wouldn't drink at a party where it was only choice. Furthermore, I offer no promises of objectivity, accuracy, and certainly not of consistency.