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Thread: TN: Nice Mosel, ok Burg Blanc, not so good Rioja

  1. #1
    DaleW Guest

    Default TN: Nice Mosel, ok Burg Blanc, not so good Rioja

    Tuesday we had lemon sole, bok choy, and red cabbage (hey, cabbage 2
    ways). Wine was the 2009 Matrot Bourgogne Blanc. I only had a half
    glass due to driving - found it tight, soft, with a little matchstick.
    Went to the city to meet a group of college students and give out some
    stuff to those in need, drove back through snowstorm. Decided I'd have
    a midnight glass to relax. Sulfury edge was gone, had opened up, but I
    still didn't love. Classic pear/apple Chardonnay fruit with a little
    hint of oak, but softer acids than my wont. Decent Bourgogne, but not
    the "baby Meursault" I hope for with Matrot, and this won't be my
    normal multiple bottle buy. B-

    Wednesday was all snow shoveling and work, when I got home I looked
    forward to the short rib with horseradish broth Betsy had prepared
    (with potatoes and salad). I went to grab a red, ended up with the
    1996 Dominio de Conte Rioja Reserva. I had purchased this because I
    read it was a traditional producer, which is usually my preference in
    Rioja. I think in this case some tradtions should pass. There's a dill
    note that I assume is traditional American oak, but this wine is
    mostly about VA, very ripe plums (actually a few maybe fell off tree
    and started rotting on ground), and (welcome) dilution. With some time
    a bit of ashtray emerged. Bad storage or bad wine? C-

    Tonight striped bass with an avocado sauce along with leftover
    vegetables, and the 2009 AJ Adam Hofberg Kabinett. Spatlese sweetness/
    body, white pit fruit with a touch of citrus, floral, hint of spice.
    Works great with the food, though on it's own I'd prefer it to have a
    touch less honied sweetness. Still, excellent wine. A-

    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.

  2. #2
    Bi!! Guest

    Default Re: TN: Nice Mosel, ok Burg Blanc, not so good Rioja

    On Jan 13, 10:18*pm, DaleW <Dwmi...@aol.com> wrote:
    > Tuesday we had lemon sole, bok choy, and red cabbage (hey, cabbage 2
    > ways). Wine was the 2009 Matrot Bourgogne Blanc. I only had a half
    > glass due to driving - found it tight, soft, with a little matchstick.
    > Went to the city to meet a group of college students and give out some
    > stuff to those in need, drove back through snowstorm. Decided I'd have
    > a midnight glass to relax. Sulfury edge was gone, had opened up, but I
    > still didn't love. Classic pear/apple Chardonnay fruit with a little
    > hint of oak, but softer acids than my wont. Decent Bourgogne, but not
    > the "baby Meursault" I hope for with Matrot, and this won't be my
    > normal multiple bottle buy. B-
    >
    > Wednesday was all snow shoveling and work, when I got home I looked
    > forward to the short rib with horseradish broth Betsy had prepared
    > (with potatoes and salad). I went to grab a red, ended up with the
    > 1996 Dominio de Conte Rioja Reserva. I had purchased this because I
    > read it was a traditional producer, which is usually my preference in
    > Rioja. I think in this case some tradtions should pass. There's a dill
    > note that I assume is traditional American oak, but this wine is
    > mostly about VA, very ripe plums (actually a few maybe fell off tree
    > and started rotting on ground), and (welcome) dilution. With some time
    > a bit of ashtray emerged. Bad storage or bad wine? C-
    >
    > Tonight striped bass with an avocado sauce along with leftover
    > vegetables, and the 2009 AJ Adam Hofberg Kabinett. Spatlese sweetness/
    > body, white pit fruit with a touch of citrus, floral, hint of spice.
    > Works great with the food, though on it's own I'd prefer it to have a
    > touch less honied sweetness. Still, excellent wine. A-
    >
    > 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.


    You know Dale, I really struggle with German wines regarding the
    sweetness issue. Generally speaking I'm not a fan of sweet wines with
    food although I've had some Auslese that were just superb. This wine
    really points out the conundrum. I would expect a Kabinett to be
    pretty darn dry yet you describe "Spatlese sweetness" and without
    opening and tasting one would have no idea what to expect. I guess
    I'd prefer some standardized method across the board for expressing
    sweetness even if it means just including the RS level on the label.

  3. #3
    santiago Guest

    Default Re: TN: Nice Mosel, ok Burg Blanc, not so good Rioja

    "Bi!!" <[email protected]> wrote in news:f14d1f2c-d320-47da-8178-
    [email protected]:
    >
    > You know Dale, I really struggle with German wines regarding the
    > sweetness issue. Generally speaking I'm not a fan of sweet wines with
    > food although I've had some Auslese that were just superb. This wine
    > really points out the conundrum. I would expect a Kabinett to be
    > pretty darn dry yet you describe "Spatlese sweetness" and without
    > opening and tasting one would have no idea what to expect.


    I disagree with your statement that a Kabinett should be pretty darn dry,
    for a certain residual sugar is needed to counterbalance the acidity,
    specially if you need what the Germans call "ripe acidity" (which means
    that grapes arrive to phenolic ripeness which is usually associated with
    must weight.

    When I drink a Kabinett I want a very balanced wine that does not leave
    me a sweet aftertaste, but that's different from being dry. I hope I
    managed to express myself.

    Most Mosel Kabinetts are now harvested at Spatlese levels, specially from
    big vintages (which usually are which appeal the American market). It
    might be an issue with global warming, better knowledge of vineyard
    management or other causes but it is quite a fact.

    If you look for true Kabinetts, my suggestion is to look for vintages
    such as 2004 or 2008 where it was actually possible to make them.

    Another option is to look for the "Feinherb" or "Halbtrocken"
    designations in labels. Kabinett Feinherb or Kabinet Halbtrocken usually
    hit the spot for me nowadays.

    Some Mosel Kabinetts are also made in a "Trocken" style and they are
    pretty darn dry as you put it, but I usually find them unbalanced, with a
    character in the sourness that is not of a big appeal to me. I favour the
    Feinherb.

    I guess
    > I'd prefer some standardized method across the board for expressing
    > sweetness even if it means just including the RS level on the label.


    Not a bad idea, but the problem here is that it can be misleading. The RS
    alone is not the only parameter to take into account, and a wine with
    higher RS can taste dryer than one with lower RS.

    Normally, every Weinhaus or Weingut tries to make a wine that resemble
    what a Kabinett should be, but the degree to which they sucess is related
    to what Nature provided that harvest.

    Best,

    s.

    Best,

    Santiago


  4. #4
    Bi!! Guest

    Default Re: TN: Nice Mosel, ok Burg Blanc, not so good Rioja

    On Jan 15, 5:21*am, santiago <m...@privacy.net> wrote:
    > "Bi!!" <rvwr...@aol.com> wrote in news:f14d1f2c-d320-47da-8178-
    > 2fb6b37bc...@k13g2000vbq.googlegroups.com:
    >
    >
    >
    > > You know Dale, I really struggle with German wines regarding the
    > > sweetness issue. *Generally speaking I'm not a fan of sweet wines with
    > > food although I've had some Auslese that were just superb. *This wine
    > > really points out the conundrum. *I would expect a Kabinett to be
    > > pretty darn dry yet you describe "Spatlese sweetness" and without
    > > opening and tasting one would have no idea what to expect. *

    >
    > I disagree with your statement that a Kabinett should be pretty darn dry,
    > for a certain residual sugar is needed to counterbalance the acidity,
    > specially if you need what the Germans call "ripe acidity" (which means
    > that grapes arrive to phenolic ripeness which is usually associated with
    > must weight.
    >
    > When I drink a Kabinett I want a very balanced wine that does not leave
    > me a sweet aftertaste, but that's different from being dry. I hope I
    > managed to express myself.
    >
    > Most Mosel Kabinetts are now harvested at Spatlese levels, specially from
    > big vintages (which usually are which appeal the American market). It
    > might be an issue with global warming, better knowledge of vineyard
    > management or other causes but it is quite a fact.
    >
    > If you look for true Kabinetts, my suggestion is to look for vintages
    > such as 2004 or 2008 where it was actually possible to make them.
    >
    > Another option is to look for the "Feinherb" or "Halbtrocken"
    > designations in labels. Kabinett Feinherb or Kabinet Halbtrocken usually
    > hit the spot for me nowadays.
    >
    > Some Mosel Kabinetts are also made in a "Trocken" style and they are
    > pretty darn dry as you put it, but I usually find them unbalanced, with a
    > character in the sourness that is not of a big appeal to me. I favour the
    > Feinherb.
    >
    > I guess
    >
    > > I'd prefer some standardized method across the board for expressing
    > > sweetness even if it means just including the RS level on the label.

    >
    > Not a bad idea, but the problem here is that it can be misleading. The RS
    > alone is not the only parameter to take into account, and a wine with
    > higher RS can taste dryer than one with lower RS.
    >
    > Normally, every Weinhaus or Weingut tries to make a wine that resemble
    > what a Kabinett should be, but the degree to which they sucess is related
    > to what Nature provided that harvest.
    >
    > Best,
    >
    > s.
    >
    > Best,
    >
    > Santiago


    Thanks for your thoughtful response. My comment "pretty darn dry" was
    poorly choosen in retrospect as all things are relative. Relative to
    Auslese, Kabinett can be "pretty darn dry". I didn't mean to imply
    that Kabinett was a dry wine but in the scale of sweetness, if
    sweetness is the only qualifier, Kabinett is theoretically drier than
    Spatlese and Auslese, etc. Thanks for the recommendations. Germans
    wines can be wonderful with food...I just wish that there was a
    standardized indicator for sweetness level for all off-dry and sweet
    wines. I understand that acidity can balance sweetness but sweet
    wines with high acid levels can still be quite sweet. I recently
    opened a bottle of old Sauternes (1971 Climens) which had a tremendous
    honeyed-brown sugar sweetness to it but it also had a very high acidic
    component to the finish that kept it from being cloying and kept you
    wanting another sip. Cheers!

  5. #5
    DaleW Guest

    Default Re: TN: Nice Mosel, ok Burg Blanc, not so good Rioja

    On Jan 15, 6:52*am, "Bi!!" <rvwr...@aol.com> wrote:
    > On Jan 15, 5:21*am, santiago <m...@privacy.net> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > "Bi!!" <rvwr...@aol.com> wrote in news:f14d1f2c-d320-47da-8178-
    > > 2fb6b37bc...@k13g2000vbq.googlegroups.com:

    >
    > > > You know Dale, I really struggle with German wines regarding the
    > > > sweetness issue. *Generally speaking I'm not a fan of sweet wines with
    > > > food although I've had some Auslese that were just superb. *This wine
    > > > really points out the conundrum. *I would expect a Kabinett to be
    > > > pretty darn dry yet you describe "Spatlese sweetness" and without
    > > > opening and tasting one would have no idea what to expect. *

    >
    > > I disagree with your statement that a Kabinett should be pretty darn dry,
    > > for a certain residual sugar is needed to counterbalance the acidity,
    > > specially if you need what the Germans call "ripe acidity" (which means
    > > that grapes arrive to phenolic ripeness which is usually associated with
    > > must weight.

    >
    > > When I drink a Kabinett I want a very balanced wine that does not leave
    > > me a sweet aftertaste, but that's different from being dry. I hope I
    > > managed to express myself.

    >
    > > Most Mosel Kabinetts are now harvested at Spatlese levels, specially from
    > > big vintages (which usually are which appeal the American market). It
    > > might be an issue with global warming, better knowledge of vineyard
    > > management or other causes but it is quite a fact.

    >
    > > If you look for true Kabinetts, my suggestion is to look for vintages
    > > such as 2004 or 2008 where it was actually possible to make them.

    >
    > > Another option is to look for the "Feinherb" or "Halbtrocken"
    > > designations in labels. Kabinett Feinherb or Kabinet Halbtrocken usually
    > > hit the spot for me nowadays.

    >
    > > Some Mosel Kabinetts are also made in a "Trocken" style and they are
    > > pretty darn dry as you put it, but I usually find them unbalanced, witha
    > > character in the sourness that is not of a big appeal to me. I favour the
    > > Feinherb.

    >
    > > I guess

    >
    > > > I'd prefer some standardized method across the board for expressing
    > > > sweetness even if it means just including the RS level on the label.

    >
    > > Not a bad idea, but the problem here is that it can be misleading. The RS
    > > alone is not the only parameter to take into account, and a wine with
    > > higher RS can taste dryer than one with lower RS.

    >
    > > Normally, every Weinhaus or Weingut tries to make a wine that resemble
    > > what a Kabinett should be, but the degree to which they sucess is related
    > > to what Nature provided that harvest.

    >
    > > Best,

    >
    > > s.

    >
    > > Best,

    >
    > > Santiago

    >
    > Thanks for your thoughtful response. *My comment "pretty darn dry" was
    > poorly choosen in retrospect as all things are relative. *Relative to
    > Auslese, Kabinett can be "pretty darn dry". *I didn't mean to imply
    > that Kabinett was a dry wine but in the scale of sweetness, if
    > sweetness is the only qualifier, Kabinett is theoretically drier than
    > Spatlese and Auslese, etc. *Thanks for the recommendations. *Germans
    > wines can be wonderful with food...I just wish that there was a
    > standardized indicator for sweetness level for all off-dry and sweet
    > wines. *I understand that acidity can balance sweetness but sweet
    > wines with high acid levels can still be quite sweet. *I recently
    > opened a bottle of old Sauternes (1971 Climens) which had a tremendous
    > honeyed-brown sugar sweetness to it but it also had a very high acidic
    > component to the finish that kept it from being cloying and kept you
    > wanting another sip. *Cheers!


    I agree with both of you!
    Seriously, I agree that it can be a little confusing, but actually if
    you know producer and vintage, you can guess pretty accurately. Maybe
    more so than in Alsace, where folks like ZH are all over the place.
    I actually find the "Spatlese masquerading as Kabinett" to be great
    with spicy Asian dishes.
    Auslese (or in vintages like 2005 & 2006 "Auslesen+ calling themself
    Spatlesen) are harder matches for me. Great with cheese, but beyond
    that....
    Of course once they age a decade plus they do well with......spicy
    Asian dishes.

  6. #6
    graham Guest

    Default Re: TN: Nice Mosel, ok Burg Blanc, not so good Rioja


    "DaleW" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    On Jan 15, 6:52 am, "Bi!!" <rvwr...@aol.com> wrote:
    > On Jan 15, 5:21 am, santiago <m...@privacy.net> wrote:
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > > "Bi!!" <rvwr...@aol.com> wrote in news:f14d1f2c-d320-47da-8178-
    > > 2fb6b37bc...@k13g2000vbq.googlegroups.com:

    >
    > > > You know Dale, I really struggle with German wines regarding the
    > > > sweetness issue. Generally speaking I'm not a fan of sweet wines with
    > > > food although I've had some Auslese that were just superb. This wine
    > > > really points out the conundrum. I would expect a Kabinett to be
    > > > pretty darn dry yet you describe "Spatlese sweetness" and without
    > > > opening and tasting one would have no idea what to expect.

    >
    > > I disagree with your statement that a Kabinett should be pretty darn
    > > dry,
    > > for a certain residual sugar is needed to counterbalance the acidity,
    > > specially if you need what the Germans call "ripe acidity" (which means
    > > that grapes arrive to phenolic ripeness which is usually associated with
    > > must weight.

    >
    > > When I drink a Kabinett I want a very balanced wine that does not leave
    > > me a sweet aftertaste, but that's different from being dry. I hope I
    > > managed to express myself.

    >
    > > Most Mosel Kabinetts are now harvested at Spatlese levels, specially
    > > from
    > > big vintages (which usually are which appeal the American market). It
    > > might be an issue with global warming, better knowledge of vineyard
    > > management or other causes but it is quite a fact.

    >
    > > If you look for true Kabinetts, my suggestion is to look for vintages
    > > such as 2004 or 2008 where it was actually possible to make them.

    >
    > > Another option is to look for the "Feinherb" or "Halbtrocken"
    > > designations in labels. Kabinett Feinherb or Kabinet Halbtrocken usually
    > > hit the spot for me nowadays.

    >
    > > Some Mosel Kabinetts are also made in a "Trocken" style and they are
    > > pretty darn dry as you put it, but I usually find them unbalanced, with
    > > a
    > > character in the sourness that is not of a big appeal to me. I favour
    > > the
    > > Feinherb.

    >
    > > I guess

    >
    > > > I'd prefer some standardized method across the board for expressing
    > > > sweetness even if it means just including the RS level on the label.

    >
    > > Not a bad idea, but the problem here is that it can be misleading. The
    > > RS
    > > alone is not the only parameter to take into account, and a wine with
    > > higher RS can taste dryer than one with lower RS.

    >
    > > Normally, every Weinhaus or Weingut tries to make a wine that resemble
    > > what a Kabinett should be, but the degree to which they sucess is
    > > related
    > > to what Nature provided that harvest.

    >
    > > Best,

    >
    > > s.

    >
    > > Best,

    >
    > > Santiago

    >
    > Thanks for your thoughtful response. My comment "pretty darn dry" was
    > poorly choosen in retrospect as all things are relative. Relative to
    > Auslese, Kabinett can be "pretty darn dry". I didn't mean to imply
    > that Kabinett was a dry wine but in the scale of sweetness, if
    > sweetness is the only qualifier, Kabinett is theoretically drier than
    > Spatlese and Auslese, etc. Thanks for the recommendations. Germans
    > wines can be wonderful with food...I just wish that there was a
    > standardized indicator for sweetness level for all off-dry and sweet
    > wines. I understand that acidity can balance sweetness but sweet
    > wines with high acid levels can still be quite sweet. I recently
    > opened a bottle of old Sauternes (1971 Climens) which had a tremendous
    > honeyed-brown sugar sweetness to it but it also had a very high acidic
    > component to the finish that kept it from being cloying and kept you
    > wanting another sip. Cheers!


    I agree with both of you!
    Seriously, I agree that it can be a little confusing, but actually if
    you know producer and vintage, you can guess pretty accurately. Maybe
    more so than in Alsace, where folks like ZH are all over the place.
    I actually find the "Spatlese masquerading as Kabinett" to be great
    with spicy Asian dishes.
    Auslese (or in vintages like 2005 & 2006 "Auslesen+ calling themself
    Spatlesen) are harder matches for me. Great with cheese, but beyond
    that....
    Of course once they age a decade plus they do well with......spicy
    Asian dishes.
    ------------------------------------------
    Before they privatized the system, the government liquor control board
    stores here classified the wines by sugar content from 0-20. Naturally, all
    the dry, table wines were 0 or #1 and many of the German wines were 2 or
    higher. The trouble was that , to my taste, #3s were dessert wines.
    Graham



  7. #7
    santiago Guest

    Default Re: TN: Nice Mosel, ok Burg Blanc, not so good Rioja

    Re-thinking about this issue during the weekend, I came to the conclusion
    that an easier way to get apparently dry German Rieslings is going outside
    of the Mosel.

    In other areas, such as Rheinhessen or Nahe, there are plenty of producers
    making dry (less than 10 grams of RS) wines inside the Grosses Gewächse
    movement.

    Many of the big names from such areas (and I guess it could be more or less
    in Pfalz or the Rheingau, just that I do not know these areas well), make a
    basic Riesling Trocken that tastes dry (even if they have a little residual
    sugar).

    Many of these wines are QbA wines, so they can be chaptalized (from grapes
    harvested as low as 7 %vol potential alcohol), so it is really important to
    go with only very reputable producers.


    s.

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