A friend of mine and I recently had dinner at a Chicago thai restaurant. Both of us being wine buffs we BYOB'd 3 bottles from the fantastic 2001 vintage in the Mosel.
We wanted to capture "progressive ripeness" so one bottle each of Kabinett, Spatlese, and Auslese were featured:
2001 Fritz Haag Kabinett Brauneburger-Juffer-Sonnenuhr
2001 Reichsgrav von Kesselstat Spatlese Piesporter Goldtropchen
2001 Patheiger Auslese Kaseler Nies Chen
The thai food was uniformly mediocre. The dinner was not held at one of the city's "truly authentic" thai venues so that we would not have to DWI afterwards.
While all 3 wines were interesting, the most exceptional was clearly the Auslese. It was rich and viscous without a hint of "fizz" that you can sometimes pick up in lesser auslese. Everything was there... the sweetness, the depth of fruit, the texture. An awesome auslese.
Also quite impressive was the Kabinett. A perfect balance of "flint and fruit" with great nose.
Surprisingly, the spatlese was a bit of a disappointment. Considering the origin from Goldtropchen it just didn't have the depth of flavor, or an interesting nose... and even the texture seemed a bit watery. Of course on it's own we might have liked it alot more, but sandwiched between an awesome kabinett and Auslese, we'd put it a solid notch below each.
I must admit that only the Auslese really lived up to the "2001 billing" as one of the great German vintages in the last 100 years. I've had many 2001's over the past couple years and they have in the main been very impressive and worthy of great billing. But only the AUslese really got to that level this evening. It could be that it was "great among great" so that even a fantastic kabinett didn't seem so impressive alongside, I'm not sure. Also we had uneven temperatures on the wine and we thought that might have something to do with it.
Regardless, the great thing about German wine is that given the relative even-ness in growing conditions, you never have to wait too long before the next very good or great vintage comes along!