Monday, March 3, 2008

A couple of fun German tastings coming up & a couple of good older German Rieslings tasted today

First of all, I found out last week that Fritz Hasselbach of Gunderloch will be in town, since he is going to Canada, he will swing by California to visit us. So we grabbed him to do a consumer tasting at our store for our customers. I figured since we have no less than 7 of his wines, we should have him in to lead a tasting.

(By the way, he consults up in my native British Columbia, Canada, where Mission Hill is growing Riesling and consulting with world Riesling experts, which are German winemakers, of course!)

So we had just one week to promote a tasting, so we are promoting away and calling all our German wine fans to come and taste with Fritz Hasselbach. Especially since he will be bringing 2007 barrel (tank) samples which will show off wines which won't be on the U.S. market for another 6 months!

This tasting will be on Thursday evening.

Tomorrow, I'll be attending a trade tasting hosted by Rudi Wiest - we are tasting his 2007 barrel/tank samples that he brought back from his recent trip to Germany. I hear 2007 is a great vintage in Germany. I look forward to tasting all those young, fresh wines.

I'll post some notes about what I learn.

Today, I tasted some German wines brought by a broker who sells wines for a company called Age of Riesling. The most impressive of the lot for a couple of wines from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr vineyard in the Mosel. The wines were by Eduard Hauth-Kerpen, supposedly the cousin of the Kerpen brought in by the Terry Theise people.

The first one I tasted was the 1994 Hauth-Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese which showed pleasant petrol on the nose coupled with pie spice and honey. On the palate, the wine was weighty, with evidence of botrytis, and tons of peach and pineapple along with a minerally salinity and beeswax. A nicely developed older Riesling that was in no way over the hill but definitely dropping some of its primary sweetness.

The second wine was a bit younger - 1996 Hauth-Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett which was aging so gracefully that there was no hint of petrol on the nose, just fresh Riesling-type aromas like lime and peach. On the palate, fresh acidity, good weight for a Kabinett, and just fresh fruit. Cannot tell this wine is 12 years old. Good stuff, something you can see yourself just finishing a bottle just drinking it for the sheer pleasure of it.

These wines will be coming, and I'll be bringing them in in 5 case stacks - you wait and see! And yes, I did get Randy (the store owner) to taste these wines and he agreed they were quite tasty.

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