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.
Riesling Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Auslese 25 2012, Carl von Schubert’schen Schloßkellerei
Pow! Zap! Wheeee! What a monster truck death race of lunatic intensity this wine displays on the nose! It is bonkers in its fulgurating brilliance with concupiscent aromas throbbing in the glass and engorging my nasal cavities with lascivious pleasure.
To try and characterise the layers of libidinous, sublime set of aromas that pulse with life as I sniff this is a bit of a challenge, but what the hell, I will give it a whirl.
There is a lot, an awful lot, of very focussed, very ripe, slightly candied lime zest coupled with a lusty seasoning of lemon juice. It is as slate-themed as a mine in Cornwall. These aromas are bound up together synergistically to create a scintillating entity of both power and refinement.
I feel I should say there is not a hint of Botrytis here and all the power comes from rich, carefully selected, late harvest fruit, but I cannot be bothered as I must drink now!
Now the palate also does that terror balance-thing of a properly fine wine with awesome style. The acidity is screaming yet beautiful. Loony but lovely.
There is an incredible amount of sugar too, giving this weight and density. However, the acidity and a livid stone tang, which is like being pelted with rocks, make this seem almost dry and some sort of approximation of elegant. I feel I am drinking from some limpid pool of radiance.
It is certainly not a dessert wine, nor would you match it with cheese. Indeed, I do not think it would go with any food as it is so intense. Therefore I would suggest you pop yours to invigorate yourself after a punishing evening at ‘Boys and Sirs’.
Relentlessly brilliant, and why would you want to risk missing out on any of that by putting it in your cellar? Drink, drink and be infused with the power of the übermensch!