Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Riesling Vertical Tasting 1970 Vintage

It is not everyday a person is able to taste one wine that is 44 years old, and we were able to taste twelve bottles of Riesling of this vintage at one sitting! What fun! I will do my best to describe this for you.

The event took place at the castle of Kientzheim, home of the "Confrerie Saint Etienne".

The tasting was conducted starting from the South of Alsace to the North. All of the grapes were harvested in October 1970.

At this point in time "Grand Cru" did not exist yet in Alsace. Some producers did use this term already on their label though.  Another point of interest is that some "full" bottles contained 70 cl and not 75 cl as today.
All of the bottles had a cork change in 1994.

1. Clos St Lanselin: Beautiful golden color, floral to the nose, slightly acid. Amazingly this wine can still be kept longer, as it smells and tastes young. Flavor and aroma open up more in the glass, seems to be alfalfa. May still keep longer.

2. Grand Reserve Cave cooperative Westhalten. Beautiful golden amber color. Finer and more complex. On the nose a bit of honey. Balanced acidity. This one is at its end, drink it now, it will not get any better.

3. Leon Beyer Equisheim. Golden amber in color. On the nose the scent of nutmeg, and with tasting, spicy, pepper and nutmeg. Drink now.

4. Joseph Schafar Winzenheim. Golden amber color. On the nose black licorice and caramel. Shorter, less complex, lost its power a bit. Drink now.

5. De La Bourse Colmar. Light yellow in color. On the nose almond and muscat. Fresh, good acidity, lemon citrus fruit. Can keep another 5 to 10 years! Amazing.

6. Pierre Sparr Altenburg. Amber color. Tired, acidity on the end. Falls apart. Drinkable but hurry up.

7. Sick P Dryer Ammerschwihr. Light yellow. On the nose vegetable. High acidity, nice structure. Rhubarb, light sugar, light minerals specifically granite. Very clean. May keep a bit longer.

8. Preiss Hemny Mittelwihr, Mandelberg. Yellow amber in color. Not too alive anymore, nose is gone, flavor flat. Drink now.

9. Ed Rentz-Ray Zellenberg. Dark yellow color. Nose cassis fruit. Mild acidity. Drink now.

10. Gustave Lorentz - Bergheim. Orange golden color. Nose fruity. Classic attack, fresh, round short on the end with a bit of acidity. A bit more sweet, like a vendange tardive. Drink now.

11. Riesling coming from Barr. Amber in color. Nose mostly gone. Tired, low acid, short. Drink now.

12. Riesling coming from Obernai. Color yellow gold. On the nose petrol and white flowers. Round, and bites on the tongue, carbon dioxide, cold fermentation. Drink now.

My conclusion : Riesling IS the king of age in Alsace.

Cheers from Terry!

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