Those of us who learned to taste German Riesling Trockens in the nineties and early noughties realised we should view them with fear and loathing. They were lean, harsh, acrid entities of pain and severity. I utterly hated them and vowed I would never say a good word about them.
Clearly just to irritate me, the Germans learned that this style was utterly horrid, and they developed it into something a bit more acceptable to palates other than the totally warped ones of the German populace themselves. They made them a touch richer, a shade fatter and with that all important property, charm.
Of course, some of the vicious bastards still make battery acid to torture all human-kind. Consequently, when Mr D-J of Dudley-Jones Fine Wines offered to send me this Pfluger Riesling Trocken I was a shade worried that all the enamel would be burned off my teeth and I would be rolling around the floor in gastric agony after each sip. Luckily, his palate can be trusted and he sent me a bottle we could really enjoy.
Riesling Buntsandstein Trocken 2013, Pfluger
Bottled with a screw-cap – GOOD! This is just how wines which should be appreciated for their fruit should be bottled. Corks are such a freaking risk. I recognise they have benefits for ageing wine, but you don’t need or want to age every wine. I would be one hell of a lot happier if a vast proportion of wines were bottled with screw-caps. Even some red Burgundy! Bourgogne Rouge would be… erm… eighty times better if it were legally obliged to be bottled with a screw-cap.
Yum, fruity nose. All the peachy, buxom charm one wants from the Pfalz with not a hint of any of those strange pesticide aromas one occasionally finds from wines of that region. It is a really delicious nose, in fact, with an earthy tang, really loads and loads of fleshy fruit and no hints of alcohol burn.
I admit I normally don’t give two hoots about this anyway, but I was not aware of a lot of sulphur on the nose. Some people will find this gratifying. I found it gratifying – sulphur be buggered!
The palate is a delicious blend of fruit and fizz. Not that it has been bottled with any carbon dioxide but the acidity and stone characters make this bubble with livid energy. There is enough fat and body to keep it balanced and all that fruit is just lovely. The alcohol level is an easily manageable 11.5% so half a bottle of this and you will be more sober than any judge I know. This is just what you want to be drinking in the spring and summer instead of that piss-awful Sauvignon Blanc filth (Jean-Laurent Vacheron’s excepted). It is lively, it is fruity, it is refreshing, you could not really ask for more on the warmish afternoon we are promised today (but I drank this yesterday night so I have missed a real treat!). Quite delicious.
As a side note, I gave this to The Editor blind and asked him how much he thought it cost. He replied £25, but thought it would be a bit expensive at that price. He was right! It is a shade under a tenner (with a 10% discount if you buy a case), so if you are not immediately clicking this link to D-J Fine Wines to get some you can only be a sausage-muncher stuck in some nineties time-warp.
Interesting, David-I assume this is slightly off-dry from your description? I have yet to drink a trocken that I have found acceptable due to the to me really unpleasant combination of dryness and fruitiness, the fruitiness that can be so delicious in the low alcohol wines being not at all appropriate in dry, alcoholic versions. It always seemed to me that 20 years would be sufficient to burn off the fruit but I can’t be arsed with ageing them.
I would entirely agree about screwcaps and Bourgogne rouge if it were bottled earlier and despatched immediately, we always miss the best of its young phase at the moment.
Yes, Tom, it was slightly off dry. You are right about a lot of trockens, though, they may come around by the time we are ancient and spent, but what’s the point? The GG tasting that Sebastian T put on was simultaneously quite impressive and utterly depressing. The wines tended to be enormous and austere as hell. You said, “Oh wow!” as you wept for a lovely Kabinett or Spatlese. Our buying decisions were “No.” and “I said NO!” I’m so pleased we got three six packs at his brilliant ‘standard’ 2013 German tasting. My, now that was a GOOD tasting!