I have recently been musing on the importance of being happy, both in relation to wine and also more generally. Indeed, it was this very subject that Editor Daniel and I were discussing as I popped this Riesling. It was therefore serendipitous that it proved to be quite deliciously drinkable allowing us to continue our conversation with large grins slapped across our faces. We enjoyed it so much the bottle lasted less than ten minutes.
In recent years I have had a lot of time for the wines of Karthauserhof. They are making extremely good examples of Ruwer wines and not charging the Earth for them. Buy a bottle and you are pretty much guaranteed a good serving of Riesling gratification. Keep your eyes open and snap them up.[image image_id=”5953″ size=”medium” align=”left”]
Riesling Auslese Nr 31 Eitelsbacher Karthauserhofberg 2005, Weingut Karthauserhof/Tyrell
Great name, eh? The nose is better, with ripe, pure lime fruit, a hint of botrytised apricot tones and a focussed, direct, slate minerality. The aromas are highly attractive and, even though I am normally the first to point out that one cannot smell acidity, when I sniff this I know its going to cause me serious pain. Wehay! It really has the nose of an extremely mirth-provoking wine and by my big bum I want to get drinking. Wehay again, it is delicious! There is plenty of perfectly ripe citrus fruit, a lot of sugar and an absolute bastard load of acidity that keeps the focus and balance spot on whilst delivering so much stomach-scalding pain I wish I had committed acts sufficiently louche and dissolute to deserve such agonising punishment – imagine how much fun that would be! A joy to drink, I recommend any member of The Wine Society visit their website now and cough up as many multiples as you can of the almost rudely low price of £26 per bottle to score some for general pleasuring purposes. Non-members and readers from lands beyond the sea will have to find their own sources, and you bloody well should with definite alacrity. It’s certainly up for drinking now with much merriment, but will keep for quite a few years.
Now I have been as glowing and positive about this wine as it deserves, it does merit you buying it without a doubt, I feel safe raising a hyper-critical point that is knocking around my mind. Whilst this is a hugely enjoyable drink, it is not one of the world’s great wines. It’d be a bit much to expect it to be for £26. Really great, supremely fine wines have a slight unhinged intensity to them, there is more than a suggestion of terror involved in their complex harmony. This wine doesn’t have that; it is just a little bit too nice. It’s is more Tony Blair than Margaret Thatcher so maybe a more crowd-pleasing guest at the dinner table but not as commandingly inspiring when it comes to getting Argentine ships torpedoed. Of course, there is the requirement for both: sometimes you need something terribly nice to make everyone feel happy, whilst occasionally you need to smash the unions’ power with supreme skill and frightening coolness. I really, really did enjoy this wine, it made me happy, but sometimes I still want a walk on the wilder side.
I’m not sure I’d want the swine Blair anywhere near my dinner table. Maggie is welcome any time, day or night. Hurrah for Riesling!
Let me assure you that if any erstwhile politico shows their face – or any other part of their anatomy – around here, he or she will be permitted nowhere near my dinner table. I may graciously permit them to eat their dreary boiled egg sandwiches in the garden shed. Thereafter they will be sent on their way with a backside full of buckshot. Standards must be maintained.
But hurrah for riesling! – undoubtedly the world’s finest white grape. Your enthusiasm has encouraged me to open one for supper this evening. Thank you for this, David.
Not being a native to these isles I shall not comment on either former prime minister (though I was watching TV in German during the Falklands War, one of my earlier political memories), but I feel nationally qualified to say something on Riesling. Although, boring as it may sound, it is just me agreeing with David. Karthäuserhof really do deliver the goods.
Glad you enjoyed this bottle! Karthäuserhof not only make good wines but also seem to bottle the Ruwer fragility in their wines – even at high Oeschsle levels. The wines are to me not particular to Ruwer but have a clarity/nervous bones that is/are instead particular to Karthäuserhof(berg). But this is what is to expected of a vineyard that is rather isolated in comparison to other Ruwer sites.
Two weeks ago I was – amongst many, many other great wines – fortunate to drink and enjoy a Grünhaus Abtsberg Auslese #190 1983. This is another singular Auslese that perfectly conveys what Abtsberg and Grünhaus is all about. Two very different styles but vineyards that are geographically so close. Riesling, terroir and winemaking is interesting!
Thanks for the comment. I am a big fan of Karthauserhof. I haven’t purchased any wine in months, but my last acquisition was a 6-pack of Karthauserhof 09 Kabinett; a stunningly good wine for a bargain price. It’s a real thrill to drink.
One of the last bottles I popped was a Grunhaus Abtsberg Superior 07 and that certainly demonstrated why I love their wines. It was frighteningly intense with acidity and minerality, but supremely balanced with great elegance. A joy! I’ve got a Kabinett 10 in the wine fridge and I’m torn between drinking it when my cold clears up or leaving it for years – when I tried a cask sample I was totally smitten.
Riesling really is the stuff!