Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tasting Note: 2005 Weingut Johann Peter Reinert Kanzemer Sonnenberg Riesling Spätlese Feinherb


The Story: As I stated in my Wine Schedule post, I acted according to plan tonight. With my dinner of Chengdu Braised Pork with Daikon Radish (from Molly Stevens's terrific All About Braisinging), I drank this Riesling from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region of Germany. I bought this wine with a mouthful of a name for $22 from Moore Brothers. At $22, it is more expensive than what I would usually choose, but I was having a meal with Asian flavors, and even a wine novice knows that Riesling is one of the few varietals that can be successfully paired with spicy Asian dishes.

The Region: According to LovetoKnow Wine, "the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer produces Rieslings of exquisite clarity. Slate soil is the driving force, creating lean wines with piercing acidity and aging potential." Aging potential? I wonder if I should wait a few years before drinking this one, but unfortunately, I had already marked it down in my wine schedule, so I must drink it. Weingut Johann Peter Reinert on Google Maps

The Grape: Riesling Spätlese is a late harvest wine. Spätlese means that this wine is riper than a Kabinett and not as ripe as an Auslese. I do not see "Trocken" in the label, so it is not a dry Reisling, which is just as well since a sweeter wine will pair best with my spicy dinner. Still, I hope it is not too sweet.

The Look: Fairly dark yellow.

The Aroma: Like most Rieslings, this one smells of apples. Crisp Granny Smiths, to be exact. Maybe a hint of lemon, too.

The Swish: I taste apples. It's pretty acidic, and not too sweet. Most of the non-Trocken Rieslings I have tried in the past are syrupy sweet and full of raisin flavor, but this one has a nice balance with no noticeable raisin notes. Interestingly, there also seems to be a slight fizz to this wine that tingles my mouth as I sip it. It is delicious.

The Verdict: $22 is a little bit too expensive for me to buy this wine for everyday drinking, but I would certainly buy it again. I will have to try some more of the sweeter-style Rieslings in the future...

2 comments:

David McDuff said...

Welcome to the blogging world, Eddie. And to the wonderful world of real, good German Rieslings. Reinert's one of my favorite producers from the Saar. $22 may seem a bit steep for everyday but his wines do represent tremendous value.

"Feinherb," by the way, is a traditional German wine term that designates a dryness level which ranges between the richer end of the "halbtrocken" (half-dry) spectrum and the drier end of the range for wines that would normally be designated as Kabinett, Spatlese or Auslese with no trocken/halbtrocken specification. In this case, though there's certainly RS, the naturally high acidity of the Saar keeps the wine refreshing and fairly dry on the finish.

cheers,
David

Eddie H. said...

Thanks for your comment, David. Rieslings definitely get a bad rap, at least for those who do know them all that well. The average novice knows Rieslings as sweet, syrupy, appley, raisiny plonk. I wish everyone could taste the Weingut Riesling and taste a great Riesling for themselves.

Thanks also for defining "Feinherb." One reason Rieslings are so intimidating to novices is that the German wine terms are not usually in the average newbie's vocabulary. I will have to seek out more Feinherb's as I really enjoyed the dryness level of this wine.