1. Although I work for a competing importer, Terry and I have been friends for twenty years now. Perhaps not the closest, but that's because we're two different types of frustrated guitarist. He's done more than any other single person to help the cause of first Germany and after that Austria in America—and then for an encore puts grower champagne on the map. Any questions?
2. Michael Skurnik has always been very generous about allowing me to visit his presentations. I stringently avoid doing any business—ie. chasing resto and retail buyers who've been ducking me—and just taste the wines, collect information, greet growers who are friends of mine and sometimes show a colleague around the room.
3. thanks to Jonathan Schwartz for the engraved invite.
4. I concentrated on Germany, having had a heaping helping of Austria at Prowein in Düsseldorf back in March
a tensile brilliance to go with the piquant aromaticity.
Silvaner Halbtrocken Litre bottle, Gysler 08
since I sell litres, I like to taste litres. this one had terrific body, and even more pizzazz than their Scheurebe
Mandelring Scheurebe Spätlese, Müller Catoir 08
luxuriant without being too chewy, great balance and focus. I liked it better until I saw the price.
Nearly everything from Kruger Rumpf. especially the Grosses Gewächs Scharlachberg—as the name indicates, from a red-soil site. his litre Riesling was deelish.
Helmut Dönnhoff tells me once that he considers Spätlese to be the intrinsic express of German riesling. and he proves it repeatedly year after year. I usually like the Kupfergrube the best, but this year loved the Norheimer Kirschheck, and think that Oberhäuser Brücke is the one for the long haul.
Niersteiner Paterberg Spätlese, Strub 08
Not a glamour-site, but this wine is holyshitt delicious.
Kaseler Nies'chen Kabinett, Karlsmühle 08
blazingly brilliant, one of the best in show.
Everything from Spreitzer, from the litre trocken to the Spätlese 303, special mention for the Rosengarten Erstes Gewächs 08 and the Jesuitengarten Spätlese.
Selbach-Oster: I thought that the Spätlese Anrecht was particularly fine, though all the wines had a very pleasing density and persistent focus. Rotlay was also rather well detailed, no surprise, but certainly had no lack of flesh on the finely wrought frame. Is there any doubt that Johannes Selbach is one of the best and most consistent growers in Germany?
I very much liked the Roter Veltliner from Ecker—one Austrian I did visit and carefully taste.
Bert Salomon was more of a social call, his estate is a favourite, and there’s no finer gentleman to be found in my experience—but his GV Von Stein Reserve was quite a mouthfull of spiceful fruit and stone—fine, strong and rich all the way down the gullet.
short conversation with Bruce Sanderson later that evening in the kitchen of Die Blaue Gans—Kurt Gutenbrunner's party for the Austrian Trade Comission ran from the stove on one end and spilled onto the sidewalk on the other— confirming my suspicions that 08 in Germany is
Exactly What the Doktor Ordered.
or as Goldtröpchen—er, Goldilocks—said, "just right"