TASTING REPORT A.J. ADAM, THEO MINGES – AND TOOTH AND CLAW REDUX
For Minges, it was steady as she goes except for one transporting Riesling under their rubric of “Froschkönig.” Theo’s high-voltage daughter Regine does not appear to have altered the style of wines from the estate, so I assume she hasn’t aimed to. Nor was that needed! It’s rather a relief to find someone who doesn’t need to fix what isn’t broken.
For Adam, it was a more textured experience. Here are the wines I liked, and even if I didn’t thirst for them personally, the wines I respected or admired. My admiration for Andreas Adam personally is unabated.
It’s been twenty years since he started his domain, and twenty years since I started offering the wines. The early years were tough for him. Some of the other growers in Dhron were, let us charitably say, under achievers, and they seemed to resent Adam for his idealism and dogged pursuit of excellence. His cellar was vandalized at one point, and at least one of his Fuders was tampered with.
And yet, fast-forward to today, and he’s a VDP estate which has brought attention – very much needed attention – to the superb terrors of Dhron. Thus his work, which began by exposing the slovenly indifference of some of his neighboring growers, has now elevated their stature by association with a noble terroir.
The first serious Riesling I ever drank was a “Dhroner Roterd” Kabinett from 1971 – a supermarket wine made by the huge Mosel co-op. Later I hunted for wines from Dhron, and found a unique spin on the Mosel identity. As a merchant I looked and looked for a good small grower who did justice to those terroirs, and only located one when then-young Andreas Adam staked everything on taking the tiny domain he inherited from his father, and turning it into the latest jewel in the VDP crown.
The tale of a shattered nest: You will recall I told you about a dove who was apparently squatting in a vacant squirrel’s nest in a crook of our crabapple tree. We named her Caroline, and she perched in or (mostly) near the nest as if to see whether her mate would show up (as my wife surmised) or whether she’d be challenged by the nest’s actual inhabitant (as I suspected). In fact, as best I could tell, she was rousted after a feathery conflict with another dove, after which Caroline was banished and the nest sat empty.
Now there is no nest. It was blown to little sticks and bits by a recent and violent nor’easter. It hangs as a ruin now, disassembled by a 12-hour battering. Its detritus is occasionally examined by a curious squirrel, who draws near and then backs away, as if thinking “Nothing to see here.” But it’s a great spot for a nest, and I wonder whether some other critter will build one. Meanwhile, entropy at work in Roslindale, MA."