A Nahe Riesling from the croquet-cheater

Armin Diel is known amongst ageing Oxford wine tasting-types for two reasons. Firstly, when playing Herr Donnhoff at croquet the afternoon before their joint tasting he cheated in a blatantly obvious manner; Mr T and I were distinctly scandalised. Secondly, when it came to their joint tasting, rather good as Diel’s offerings were, they were were utterly out-classed by Donnhoff’s range. Helmut got the last laugh. I expected more vivacity and better balance from this wine.

[image image_id=”2392″ align=”left” title=”Riesling Spatlese Dorsheimer Goldloch 2006, Schlossgut Diel”]

Riesling Spatlese Dorsheimer Goldloch 2006, Schlossgut Diel

There is some buxom fruit to this nose, really rather ripe and perceptibly exotic citrus fragrances. It also has shades of that Nahe minerality which I think of as smelling slightly of hazelnuts. No one else agrees with me on that front but the association has served me well in countless blind tastings. Yeah the ripe fruit is lovely, but this nose does lack a hint of dimension. The palate is lavishly fruity; many different and baroque varieties of limes, I feel. Its minerality is moderately pronounced, and persists with the fruit for a decent period on the finish. However, it is conspicuously short on acidity and so the balance and vibrancy of the palate are clearly lacking. This low acidity makes it seem more than a little heavy and it doesn’t have that fresh, mouth-watering character one seeks in these wines. Sure, the fruit is nice, the minerality is fairly nice, its got a good finish and almost approaches complexity, but ultimately the balance and excitement of a properly classy German Riesling are absent. Only a bronze star for you, young mister Diel.

  • ed tully

    It just goes to show, you can never really trust someone who cheats at croquet – or at least gets caught cheating. I quite like the Diel label. The pretty frame of the vine leaves is old fashioned in a good way.

  • Peter

    I always thought there was something fishy about your croquet playing, Ed. It’s that pact you made with the devil.

  • ed tully

    I am ashamed to admit that my play was entirely honest; the product of far too many hours in the Master’s Garden rather than Bodley’s Library.

  • Sam Goth

    Hi David,
    I’ve found the Pittermanchen more to my taste with a raciness, herbality and minerality the richer Goldloch tends to lack.

    Love your site.