1996 seemed to produce high-acid wines all over Europe. I’ve had worries about a lot of my wines from that vintage. These two are certainly not short of tooth-fizzing action, but are really pretty good. The Nuits needed a lot of air before it blossomed.
Riesling Spätlese Brauneberger-Juffer Sonnenuhr 1996, Fritz Haag
A mature, petrolly nose, but it retains a citrus fruit zip and is incredibly mineral. On the nose it is very impressive and promises loveliness, plenty of style and complexity here. Hell’s bells, that palate is acidic! There is some good fruit there, and reasonable weight and richness, but the initial impression of this is that it is concentrated lime juice acidity designed to make those with stomach ulcers howl with pain. I had a stomach ulcer fixed a few years ago so this doesn’t bother me so much. I like the combination of ripe fruit, acidity and minerality very much. Even our guests (who are less completely obsessed about wine than me) were impressed with its slatey character. OK, this is for the brave, but it is certainly a goodie.
Nuits-St.-Georges Premier Cru Perrières 1996, Robert Chevillon
After leaving this to sit in a decanter for a while it shows a lovely, earthy nose of undergrowth and softy ripe fruit. It is certainly very complex and like a classic (high-quality) Nuits on the nose. The palate starts off being a tough, but with further swirling in the glass it seems a lot less butch. Not that I am denying this has a serious tannic structure, but it just seems in balance with the fruit and fine core of acidity. The acidity is definitely present, but not out of harmony. It has a lot of complexity; earth, minerals and fruit. It is pretty long, too. Certainly a good, interesting wine. I must remember that any 96 red Burgundy I open over the next few years need the aid of a decanter to blossom.