Much Ado About Riesling

Another great tasting at the Boiler Room.  The theme was Riesling, a grape variety considered by some to be the greatest of all grapes due to its capacity to develop complexity in aromas and flavors after extended aging..   We started with Bründlmayer’s 2008 Riesling Steinmasel, an Austrian Riesling with classic notes of citrus, peach, dried apricots and a racy acidity which matched well with the Russet Potato Rösti.

Next was J.J. Christoffel Erben’s 2008 Ürziger Würzgarten, a Kabinett from Germany. Well liked by all, this off-dry Riesling revealed aromatic white gardenia and acacia flowers, lychees and that characteristic petrol aroma so distinctive of this variety.  Paired with this was a delicious steamed Chieftain Apple and Ricotta Knödel. It just gets better!

To better get an idea between a Kabinett and Spatlese style from the Mosel, I next chose Dr. F. Wein-Prüm’s 2005 Graacher Domprobst, Riesling Spatlese Feinherb. Spatlese or “late harvest” identifies the grapes as having been picked later than those for Kabinett thereby achieving a rounder, fuller style of wine.  Drier than its counterpart, the richer mid-palate was evident and  matched perfectly with the Chicken Liver Mousse with Celeriac Espuma.  This was the pairing of the evening!

Last but not least a Riesling from Alsace, France, from one of my all-time favorite producers, Zind-Humbrecht, his 2008 Riesling. Having the highest level of alcohol at 12.5% of all the wines, Rieslings in Alsace are found in more calcerous soils than Germany with it predominance of slate. More subtle in aroma than the German counterparts, there was an earthier mineral component and a refreshing acidity that went well with the fried Squash Pazetelli and Crisp Pork Belly dish.

One very generous guest, Mr. Tom  Brown, a Riesling enthusiast, brought a bottle of 1971 Friedrich Wilhelm Gymnasium Ockfener Geisberg Auslese for his dinner and gave me the honor of tasting it.  A golden amber liquid with a fair amount of weight with an initial aroma of band-aid which wafted away to real caramel and toffee aromas.  Thank you, Tom!

And so, our Riesling tasting comes to an end.  Our next tasting will be Wednesday, February 9th at 6pm when we will enjoy Spanish reds.





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