Our guest speaker for the evening was Anne Martin. Anne is an expert on German wines and revealed to us that out of all the wines out there, German Rieslings were her favourite. Currently, German Rieslings are under-appreciated wines but are also under-priced, partially in thanks to global warming making them more accessible. Anne explained the often difficult and confusing classification system that the Germans use to identify their wines. According to Anne, the 2004 vintage was much better than the 2003's (which suffered from too much heat). 2004 saw cooler temperatures during a rainy summer followed up by an Indian summer in the fall, which were perfect conditions to make truly great Rieslings.
Awaiting each person at their table the night of the tasting were some great wine tools that were provided by German Wine. Everyone received a new corkscrew, a DropStop pouring assist disc, a red and white aroma wheel, and some great literature on German wine regions and wine classification.
The final results were, all in all, pretty even right across the board. There was never more than a once place difference between the groups rankings and Anne's for any of the wines that we tasted. The groups' pick of the night was the 2004 Scharzhofberger, Egon Muller (Saar). Anne said that wine had a slightly higher acidity then the others, but that it was perfectly balanced by the level of sweetness. It had hints of star anise and ripe apple on the nose and had, what she describes as, a "salivating finish, which left us thirsting for more".
Name of Wine (in order poured)
|A. 2004 Durkheimer Michelsberg, Kurt Darting (Pfalz)||7||8|
|B. 2004 Winkeler Dachsberg, Prinz von Hessen (Rheingau)||8||7|
|C. 2004 Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus, Balthasar Ress (Rheingau)||6||5|
|D. 2004 Urziger Wurzgarten, Dr Loosen||5||6|
|E. 2004 Ockfener Bockstein, von Othegraven (Saar)||4||3|
|F. 2004 Scharzhofberger, Egon Muller (Saar)||1||2|
|G. 2004 Berncasteler Doctor, Dr H Thanisch Erben Thanisch (Mosel)||2||1|
|H. 2004 Bacharacher Hahn Riesling Spatlese Kabinett, Toni Jost (Mittel Rhein)||3||4|