This tasting cost all of $20. Afterwards, Bryan Loofbourrow, another friend and I went to Henry's Hunan on Sansome for smoked ham and other delights.
Dee Vine Wines is in Pier 19 on the Embarcadero. They are probably *the* premier German wine retailer in the Bay Area.
Gee, Melanie where were you? ;-)
I tend to take very brief notes at walk-around tastings. Also, I've developed a personal rating systems for such events which has served me well both personally and when I was buying for retail establishments. The system is as follows:
- (minus) = wine with major flaw(s)
check- = wine with minor flaw(s)
check = an ordinary correct wine
check+ = wine of some interest
check++ = wine of major interest
+, ++ = wine that makes one weak in the
Sorry, I don't equate these ratings to any sort of point system and have no plans to do so.
Also, I didn't take down AP numbers. Prices quoted are from Dee Vine's list.
Anyway, on with the show (such as it is...)
2001 Norheimer Delchen Kabinett halbtrocken, Hermann Dönhoff $19
Decent richness, but merely OK. Not much palate interest.
2001 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett, Geheimrat J. Wegeler Erben $14
A bit soft, lacks nerve and could use a bigger core of fruit.
2001 Oberhäuser Leistenberg Kabinett, Hermann Dönhoff $21.50
Nice minerality and nerve, good acidity and length, very Kabinett (that is, not declassified)
2001 Monziger Frülingsplätzchen Kabinett, Emrich-Schönleber $16
Fairly soft and diffuse, a strong lime and mango element to the fruit
2001 Kabinett, Schloss Johannisberg $24.50
nice enough and certainly Kabinett in style, but lacks palate interest
2001 Graacher Domprobst Spätlese, Willi Schäfer (auction) $59
Best of the '01s, but not WOTD (you'll have to wait until the end for that...) This had everything one could want in young German Riesling: structure, great terroir (slate, minerals), palate interest and mouth feel. This tasted like Spatlese, not declass'd Auslese, etc.
2001 Scharzhofberger Spätlese, Egon Müller (auction) $64
Still some spritz and a touch of sulphur. Nonetheless, I thought this was nice wine, but certainly not up to the reputation of this property. The Schäfer auction Spätlese blew this out of the water.
RATING: check+ (feeling a bit generous)
2001 Trittenheimer Apotheke Spätlese, Grans-Fassian (auction) $28
Too sweet and soft, nice fruit core but diffuse mouth feel.
2001 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Spätlese, Grans-Fassian $28.50
Very nice, well-balanced, nice cut and nerve.
2001 Spätlese, Schloss Johannisberg $30.50
Good stoniness and minerality, structured, needs time
2001 Nackenheimer Rothenburg Spätlese, Gunderloch $21
Decent enough, but the finish was quite attenuated.
2001 Haardter Bürgergarten Spätlese, Müller-Catoir $37.50
Very good, nice minerality and excellent acidity. Struck me as a touch alcoholic.
2001 Lorcher Krone Spãtlese, Graf von Kanitz (auction) $32
Good, could use a touch more acidity, fruit too simple.
2001 Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Spätlese Goldkapsel, J. Wegeler (auction) $30
Quite nice, very sweet with decent acidity, good mouth feel and finish.
2001 Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen Spätlese, Baltasar Ress (auction) $32
Mouthful of fruit and sugar, lacks acidity, a fruit bomb
2001 Wickerer Mönchsgewann Spätlese, Joachim Flick (auction) $30
Very good, lots of botrytis, the caramel top of creme brulee, a touch more acidity would help
2001 Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg "Lothar Franz" Spätlese, Schönborn (auction) $26.50
Decent enough, nice stucture and minerality
2001 Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg Spätlese, Hermann Dönhoff (auction) $80
We all wondered if this wine was out of sorts. Disjointed, too acidic, out of balance
RATING: not rated
Additionally, Stefan Gerhard was there pouring 6 of his wines from the 2002 vintage. There were 3 trocken wines, none of which were too thrilling. That being said, the wines were well made. His Kabinett, Hattenheimer Hassel was soft and struck me as being declassified Spätlese. The Auslese from the same vineyard was very good (check+). Very well balanced with a nice creamy mouth feel. The Eiswein, Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus was excellent (check++). A real knockout. These wines aren't due to arrive until September so no prices yet.
Ok, onto the extras...
Dade Theriot (Dee Vine's owner) generally pulls out some oldies. Here they are.
1964 Hochheimer Domdechaney Beerenauslese, Staatsweingut
Very good, nicely balanced with some adequate sweetness of fruit
1969 Auslese, Schloss Vollrads
This was pretty terrific. Creme brulee, some smoky notes, excellent length. A real treat.
1971 Hattenheimer Hassel Auslese, Hans G(B?)arth (couldn't tell if it was Garth or Barth)
This was too old and oxidized although there was still a slight touch of sweetness remaining.
RATING: not rated
1983 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Goldkapsel, JJ Prum (auction)
Just stunning. Ethereal, great depth, still had wonderful acidity. WOTD, no doubt about it. Bryan said he'd drink this now. I'd give it another 3-5 years. Simply a preference as to what stage we'd like to drink it at.