Thursday, 23 September 2010

A glorious Saar Riesling

After a long day on the road yesterday (presenting a tasting in London, plus a few deliveries to customers around London) and back to the day job today, it was nice to relax just a little this evening. Not for long, though, since there is always something that needs doing. Thankfully, although I am still coughing and spluttering, I feel I might just be turning the corner back towards being healthy again. Which is just as well, as TLD and I are off to Germany for a few days at the weekend - a few days of rest and relaxation (and perhaps even a vineyard visit or two) to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary. By coincidence, I've just added this beauty to my list, so what better way to get myself into the right groove....

Bright gold/yellow colour, with an enchanting nose of lime zest, apricot, nettle and wet slate, with a hint of fresh root ginger and only the merest suggestion of petrol. I even detect an enticing note of fresh emulsion paint - in fact, a quite remarkable combination of fruit and secondary aromas. And if the nose hints at something beautiful, the palate does not disappoint. Great swathes of lime and lemon fruit caress the palate, with a core of intense, tingling acidity and slatey minerality that is simply mouth-watering. Yet there is also an underlying richness, courtesy of beautifully ripe fruit, with suggestions of apricot, clementine, sweet apples and subtle spice notes. Although late-harvested (Spätlese means literally that) I would hesitate to use the term 'residual sugar' in describing this wine, because that always suggests to me that something sticks out. And in this wine, nothing at all sticks out - it is a wine of stunning purity and focus, with that laser-like acidity combining beautifully with ripe, only fleetingly sweet fruit. It balances effortlessly on the knife-edge. And whilst it already has complexity by the bucket-load, I feel it is only just beginning to get into its stride. So you can drink it now, with pleasure, but you could also tuck some away for another few years and discover the joys of truly great old Riesling. It doesn't get much better than this. And at just £12.75, for a mature Spätlese from the finest vineyard in the Saar, I almost feel like I'm selling it far too cheaply.

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