2012 German Riesling is great. It is very ripe with luxurious Kabinetts and Spatlesen bursting with ripe, rich fruit. There is plenty of acidity too. The wines fizz with vibrant life, burning through your tooth enamel and sending thrills of excitement through your body as they scold your stomach. Most of the 2012 German Rieslings made were of Kabinett or Spatlese quality levels, and they are excellent. Indeed, in previous decades many of them would have been sold as Auslese quality. However, these days producers try to make their Auslesen something special and out of the 2012 German Rieslings I have tried it is the Auslesen that set my pants on fire!
The Auslese wines are not incredibly botrytic but have powerful late harvest characters – the fruit moves toward candied in aroma. They still have the incredible acidity of the lower Pradikats so even though they are sweeter than a huge bag of sugar, the impression on the palate is that they are almost dry wines of incredible density and power. Yet thanks to that acidity you are never overwhelmed by their scale – you still feel the elegance of a good German Riesling. I have not had a disappointing 2012 German Riesling Auslese and the one I report on below is one of the most staggeringly great wines I have had in recent times – and I drink well. Oh so very well.