Excessibe Rhone and Riesling night

St. Marks Place Grand Sich, NY

Tasted February 20, 2016 by salil with 365 views

Flight 1 (18 notes)

White - Sparkling
2008 Chartogne-Taillet Champagne Blanc de Blancs Heurtebise France, Champagne
93 points
Goddamn, the acidity in this is incredible. Such amazing cut and focus on the palate with powerful acids and bright effervescence beneath the array of apple, citrus, biscuit, and yeasty flavours. There's plenty of complexity and depth here, but this is a really compelling wine just for the level of vibrancy and energy here.
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Red
1994 Raymond Trollat St. Joseph France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph
96 points
Last of my bottles, but absolutely magnificent. At first there's a vivid green olive and earthy character accented with delicate red fruited and leathery notes, but with more air the fruit deepens and it becomes more meaty and saline. The sense of refinement and finesse on the palate is hard to put into words. I can think of very few wines that have the elegance that this shows on the palate, with an incredible lightness of touch and delicate palate presence despite the intensity of the flavour. There's tremendous length and complexity, a fragrance that keeps building with air, and this bottle was another a wow experience that very much lived up to my expectations.
Red
1994 Thierry Allemand Cornas Reynard France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
95 points
Another thrilling wine (on a night filled with many of them), and a great companion to the '94 Trollat. This is much more vividly meaty, with saline, cured meat, and leathery elements framing black olives and red fruited flavours. Air and time bring out more aromatic complexity as bright floral and lower toned earthy notes emerge, and it's one of those wines that I could have happily been smelling all evening. It shows more richness and power on the palate than the Trollat, but there's remarkable elegance and finesse with each sip. Thanks Jay.
Red
1986 Marcel Juge Cornas France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Cornas
flawed
Corked. And beneath the TCA, somewhat oxidized. How sad.
Red
1998 Domaine Gallet (Henri et Philippe) Côte-Rôtie France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Some debate on the table whether this might be corked. This didn't have the vivid meaty/leathery character I typically expect from Gallet, but I found plenty of red and dark fruit tinged with more savoury earthy and slightly funky, dirty notes (maybe what others identified as TCA?) I didn't notice any overt TCA, though it certainly didn't show the intensity or depth of previous bottles and seemed to be missing a couple of gears.
White
1973 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
94 points
Between this and the '75 WS Kabinett I opened a few months ago, I'm convinced I need to be a lot more patient with my Prüm Kabinetts. This is beautiful; remarkably light and ethereal on the palate with green apple and citrus flavours that are still quite fresh, accented by an array of more mature creamy, savoury, and herbal flavours. Comes across barely off dry with the slightest hint of sweetness, perhaps a touch short on the back end compared to the '75, but a really remarkable wine. Thanks Adrian.
White
2001 Best's Great Western Riesling Concongella Vineyard Australia, Victoria, Western Victoria, Great Western
91 points
Nice to check into this Aussie classic. This is bone dry, but drinking very nicely right now - light on its feet with tart citrus and green apple flavours accented by vivid petrol and smoky notes, and a stony mineral character beneath. Thanks Z.
White
2007 Rippon Riesling New Zealand, South Island, Otago, Lake Wanaka
88 points
Liked but didn't love this - plenty of bright citrus and sweeter apple and peachy fruit flavours here, framed by bright floral notes on the nose, but it comes across a touch soft with the sweetness coming across a bit cloying on the midpalate and not enough acidity to balance it out.
White - Off-dry
2001 Müller-Catoir Haardter Bürgergarten Riesling Spätlese #2134 Germany, Pfalz
99 points
Words fail. The best performance I've had from this wine yet; just an incredible array of fruit, stone, flowers, and everything else I could expect in a Riesling. The balance between the sweetness and acidity is impeccable, and the length is absurdly long.
White
1990 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
87 points
This came across just a bit faded - the citrus and apple flavours are very gentle and delicate, but also lacking that vibrancy and freshness I usually expect from von Schubert. It's very tertiary in flavour (moreso than the '73 Prum Kabinett that was poured before!) with creamy, smoky, and hay notes, and while it's quite complex, it seems to be missing a gear or two on the palate in terms of freshness and focus.
White - Off-dry
1989 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Auslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
93 points
Such an elegant wine, light on its feet (more like a Spätlese in its sweetness and power) with layers of orchard fruit, pine needles, hay, lemon cream, and mature honeyed and smoky notes all coming together very seamlessly. There's a bright vein of acidity beneath that keeps it very fresh, and each sip invites another. Lovely wine.
White - Off-dry
1996 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese *** Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
94 points
Oh man, the acidity in this one. (Does Seth ever show up to a dinner with a low or even just a medium acid wine?) Ripe peaches, red berried fruit, citrus, and a dusting of lemon cream and honeyed notes, but this feels so incredibly light and finessed with that powerful '96 acidity beneath. Incredibly fresh, vibrant, long, and all too easy to drink.
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White - Off-dry
1995 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese *** Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
93 points
I didn't enjoy this as much during the dinner - perhaps the start of palate fatigue, or just the challenge of having this next to the much higher acid '96 - but leftovers the next night are so much better, showing a lot more focus and cut than it had when freshly opened. The fruit's still very fresh and lively - lots of apple, citrus, and some of those classic Würzgarten red fruited notes - with accents of creamy, honeyed, and botrytis spice elements. Plenty of sweetness, but it's nicely balanced by the acidity and drinking very well with some air.
White - Off-dry
1998 Müller-Catoir Haardter Mandelring Scheurebe Auslese Germany, Pfalz
94 points
Last of my bottles. Not much to add to my previous notes on this - the usual array of exotic tropical, floral, and herbal flavours, and an amazing high wire balancing act of tremendous (BA-level) sweetness and acidity.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1992 Müller-Catoir Mußbacher Eselshaut Riesling Beerenauslese Germany, Pfalz
94 points
Right after I commented that the '98 Scheurebe Auslese was basically Beerenauslese, this shows up on the table. ("You call that a BA? This is a BA!") Of course, given that it's HGS, this tastes more like a TBA with immensely rich peach, pineapple, raisin, and apricot fruit layered with honey and botrytis spice. Massively sweet with lots of power but there's no shortage of acidity beneath and it feels surprisingly light for such a sweet and intense wine, with great freshness and length to the flavours.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1992 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Beerenauslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
90 points
Not the most finessed BA (certainly alongside the '94) - this is a mass of botrytis with tons of ripe apricots, pineapples, honey, brown sugar, and spicy flavours with tremendous sweetness and intensity. It's very fun to drink, though feels a touch soft and leaves me wanting both a bit more complexity beyond botrytis, and more acidity. But the '94 provided both of those in spades...
White - Sweet/Dessert
1994 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Beerenauslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
96 points
This is more like it! Lots of botrytis here again, but this time there's a lot of bright pineapple, strawberry, and citrus fruit beneath, and sweeter vanilla cream and pastry-like notes in between the honeyed and spicy botrytis notes. This feels much lighter and more elegant than the '92 with fantastic acidity beneath and amazing length to the flavours. Great wine.
White - Sweet/Dessert
1996 Müller-Catoir Haardter Bürgergarten Riesling Eiswein Germany, Pfalz
98 points
The last bottle of this I had was amazing. This, somehow, was a step up from what I remember. This is incredibly dark in colour, and yet the flavours here remain amazingly fresh. All sorts of tropical and citrus fruits, high toned spicy ginger and horseradish notes, and sweeter honeyed and marmalade flavours all come together into a really complex, seamless whole. There's almost painful intensity and concentration on the palate - the sweetness and acidity both go to 11, and yet somehow this is impeccably balanced. Wild.
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