Saturday, October 31, 2009

the end of an era ... ~

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.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely loved the wine but the scallops were divine! The wine was showing at its best and had all the markings of a very classic finely made Riesling with high acid and lots of that limeston-y minerality that seems to come out almost always as slight green apple and rocks tumbled together. This bottle also had the pre-requisit light petrol essence on the the nose and palate but was not at all overwhelming; only peeking out of the background very once in a while. One of the best dishes I have had this year!

Trevor McCallin said...

Thanks for the fantastic information! We love the Riesling here in Germany!