More notes from the recent Terry Theise/Skurnik portfolio tasting in New York, this time from the lineups poured by Johannes Leitz and Andreas Spreitzer.
Leitz seems to get stronger with each vintage — last year, Gault Millau named him its winemaker of the year – and his 2011s again represent excellent values with tremendous consistency across all styles and price points, and some outstanding wines. Spreitzer also presented a very good collection, though without quite the consistency that Leitz showed.
Tasting notes below the fold:
2011 Leitz Rüdesheimer Riesling trocken
This isn’t a particularly complex or aromatic wine, right now showing fresh pear fruit over a mineral base, but there’s a sense of lovely purity and wonderful balance here. Very elegant, and a fine value.
2011 Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling “Katerloch”
This has previously been bottled with a “trocken Alte Reben” (dry, old vines) designation; the vines remain the same but it’s now named after the subparcel in the Roseneck that it’s from. And it’s still bone dry with a fragrance that suggests it may have come from stone rather than grapes, fresh fruit on the palate that’s infused with a vivid minerality and striking length and power. Impressive, but it does lack some charm.
2011 Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Kaisersteinfels Riesling “Terrassen”
Johannes says this has slightly more residual sugar than the legally allowed limit for dry wines, but it still tastes quite dry with piercingly intense pear and citrus fruit up front, turning more stony and steely on the back end. There’s wonderful purity and clarity to the flavors, and again remarkable persistence, though this comes across with a little more finesse and delicacy than the Roseneck Katerloch.
2011 Dragonstone Riesling
Another fine year for one of the great values in German Riesling with fresh lime and apple fruit around a spine of nervy acidity. It may not be the most complex wine, but it’s delightfully refreshing, very well balanced and a great buy at around $15.
2011 Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Spatlese
This doesn’t quite have the cut and energy of previous vintages; this is rather ripe (more like a Spätlese) with fresh herb-tinged apple fruit and good length, but it’s slightly soft.
2011 Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling Spätlese
A spectacular wine, and one of the finest Spätlese I’ve tasted so far from the vintage. Stunning depth, complexity and power conveyed with remarkable finesse; layers of fruit, mineral and florality that come together seamlessly and a finish that just keeps persisting. Outstanding.
2011 Spreitzer Hallgartner Hendelberg Riesling trocken
Pleasant, pale fresh fruit framed by mineral notes, but a little austere on the back end.
2011 Spreitzer Lenchen “Rosengarten” Riesling Erstes Gewächs
This is a powerhouse. Broad and layered with ripe citrus and stone fruit flavors and a vividly saline mineral base. There’s plenty of depth, good acidity but while it’s certainly impressive it does lack a little charm.
2011 Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Kabinett
One of the best Kabinetts of the tasting; light on its feet with a bright acid spine beneath fresh apple and peachy fruit. Conveys flavor with an elegance and a sense of refreshment that I felt a lot of other Kabinetts lacked in 2011.
2011 Winkeler Jesuitengarten Riesling Spätlese
Very intense, an iron fist of a Riesling. It’s certainly very sweet but there’s a sense of tremendous extract and intensity here; layers of exotic floral and lavender notes and mineral elements around a core of ripe white fruits with good acidity beneath. More like an Auslese than a Spätlese in its richness and sweetness, a wine to either bury in the cellar or save for fairly spicy/rich food, but very fine.
2011 Oestreicher Lenchen Riesling Spätlese “303″
Bigger still; a powerhouse of ripe melon and peachy fruit tinged with honeyed and spicy notes that hint at some botrytis. It’s very long and intense, but comes across unfocused without the acidity to balance the sweetness.
This is part of a three-part series reviewing some of the new 2011 German releases. You can read part one on the Nahe here.