an overdue tasting note from July ~
and my very last bottle of 90s-era Koehler-Ruprecht Rieslings from the fabled vineyard Kallstadter Saumagen in the Pfalz—
~ this one the 1996 Spätlese Halbtrocken,
Cynthia Sexton over to my suburban burrow for dinner one Saturday evening, and a dish of scallops sautéed in butter and freshly ground coriander, garnished with carrot and spring-onion shreds marinated all day in saké vinegar...
The riesling perfectly mature, though would’ve had plenty of life ahead—
very little in the way of noticeable petrol—the creamy texture that always comes with Bernd Philippi’s rieslings which ferment on their own yeasts till the cows come home in ancient barrels, some very innocent green apple and quince remaining, ginger and ginger-snap—and perhaps the wine’s only concession to its age was that it offered an impression just a little bit drier than halbtrocken might indicate. 11,5% alcohol, beautifully balanced and still slightly citric— heavenly with the scallops.
Kallstadter Saumagen, named after a local delicacy, is a bowl-shaped heat-trap in limestone north of Bad-Durkheim. And all said, this has been my favourite German estate for nearly as long as I can remember.