A few days ago I tried a bottle of Van Volxem Riesling Scharzhofberger 2005 with a friend; I was terribly disappointed by it. The winemaker, Roman Niewodniczanski, has made some great wines in the past, real models of harmony and elegance, but he just seemed to fail with this wine in this vintage. Normally he picks grapes at Auslese ripeness levels and ferments them to about 11.5% alcohol, which means they are off-dry. This wine was 12.5% and pretty god-damned dry. Like a lot of German trocken wines from the more Northerly wine regions, this resulted it it being extremely taut and linear, with nothing to balance the searing acidity. Indeed, it was actively unpleasant and we couldn’t bring ourselves to finish the bottle. I had really hoped for great things, 2005 is such a good vintage in Germany after all, but with this I felt so let down I couldn’t bring myself to write a note about it immediately.