Livid, thrilling Riesling

When [link2post id=”2649″]I tried the 2009s at Howard Ripley’s tasting[/link2post] this stood out as being a top wine. I had forgotten I had already purchased a bottle from the Wine Society for speculative tasting purposes. What a good purchase it was, this wine is just fantastic.

In very ripe vintages like 2009, the lesser quality-level wines can often provide the highest quality/price ratio for the careful buyer. The German winemakers have to sell some Kabinetts and Spatlesen even if all their grapes are ripe enough to make Auslese wines. These super-charged lesser wines are distinctly more affordable than the super-flash Auslesen yet are often almost as ripe. Moreover, the acid levels can often be more pleasingly painful intense in the lesser wines. This wine is manifestly a Kabinett only as far as the label is concerned, it is certainly of Spatlese ripeness and an opulently giving Spatlese at that.

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Riesling Kabinett Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg 2009, Karthauserhof

The nose bursts with the very freshest, gorgeously ripe grapefruit and lemon aromas. They smell so inviting I want to knock this wine down in one but I shall restrain myself until I finish the note. The fruit may be ripe but it is not overblown and bursts with a nervy, exciting tension. There is a livid stoniness on the nose as well. All of these characters make this a complex and thrilling wine to inhale and promise good things for when it is time to drink. Which it is for me now. The palate is also expressively lively, with plenty of deliciously ripe citrus fruit, star-bright acidity and a powerful mineral tang. It does seem very ripe for a Kabinett but there are certainly no problems with the balance – it has what it needs where it needs it. The finish is quite impressive and leaves me wanting to drink more and more of this riveting, rousing Riesling; Kabinetts rarely treat one to as many gustatory fireworks as this. Hilarious to drink now but clearly a long, lewdly enjoyable life ahead of it.