For my third birthday dinner I am going out for Thai food – I don’t think that really matches with wine. Maybe the Thai Shiraz they offer might work: it’s the only wine I’ve seen on a list bragging about getting a lowly 82 Parker points. Buggered if I’m drinking dodgy Thai Shiraz, so it’ll be the refreshing Singha beer with dinner.
Lunch, on the other hand, was solely liquid and it did wonders to put me in a birthday mood. I’ve had a few 2011 German Rieslings and, like this one, they practically plead with you to imbibe them with indecorous intemperance. It may not be the greatest vintage ever, but for young drinking Kabinetts and Spatlesen you could not have more fun if someone attached a nuclear power station’s outputs directly to your pleasure-centres.
Riesling Spatlese Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg 2011, von Schubert
Now there is one thing that cannot be denied about this wine: it’s quite sulphury. But there’s no problem with that! Wine is a bacteriologically unstable, partially spoiled product that needs the help of sulphur to stop it becoming totally spoiled. Indeed, the only sulphur you should ever really complain about are those god-awful, leathery, sulphur-laced dried fruits that seem to be constantly consumed by people who value large and regular bowel movements far more than the possibility of actually having some form of pleasurable life. So this wine has sulphur, but we are not bothered by that. What we like is the lime-zest fruit and pure expression of gravelly minerality. It’s sparkly clean with no rot, of either good or bad varieties. Basically, this smells like a fruity, felicific funster that you’ll have no qualms about enthusiastically necking. I’m not having any problems swallowing this saporous sweetie. And it is quite sweet for a Spatlese, but the acid is powerful enough to keep the balance right on the money. Some people have complained about low acid in German 2011s but there is no evidence of that here; indeed there is enough of a tang to make my stomach wince in a not-displeasing manner. The fruit is very pure, as is the minerality, and I think the flavours persist for a reasonable period. But sod the detailed analysis, this is primarily a gloriously gluggable German 2011 – like so many of them are. Sure, you can get a reasonable amount of intellectual interest from dissecting this wine; it is complex enough. However, The Editor and I enjoyed it far more when we quaffed without inhibition and only big grins and occasional “Mmmmm…” noises were the limit of our analysis. A spirited drinking wine; it’ll age but if I had another bottle I’d have opened it ten minutes ago.
Here’s me enjoying my third birthday meal at Winchester’s Bangkok Brasserie: