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Weingut Theo Minges

Tasting Year

2021

The following constitutes a truncated version of what is a far-ranging portfolio at Minges, probably because I asked them to focus on what was shipped to the American market. But just so you know, there are many more Rieslings, plus Gewürztraminer, Muscat, Rieslaner, plus red and sparkling wines, all of which I hope to taste when I next visit the winery in 2022 – Covid willing.

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2020 Riesling, Gleisweiler Trocken

A wee slip of a lad at 11.5% alc, it’s the village-level wine (and they do have at least one Riesling GG). It smells wonderful, like essence-of-Pfalz-plus-lees.

On the palate we have a lot of shimmer, like the little diamonds that shimmer off the surface of a pond in the sunlight. It starts with lees and ginger, then quickly offers palpable minerality and a basmati starchiness. It’s very dry but not remotely punishing, and it tasted better indoors than outdoors (though it’s a weird warm day for late November) and better from the Spiegelau than from the Jancis. It’s overt and chipper from MacNeil’s Fresh & Crisp.

I do, though, have more than one opinion about the wine. I like its candid generosity, its enticing aromas, and its purity – yet that same purity draws closer to the puritanical than I think it should. It would be better if it were less dry. But I often had rough sledding among Theo’s dry Rieslings, and this is among the more pleasing.

It’s a mid-range wine from a cool-flavored vintage; we don’t need exegeses to the Meaning Of Riesling. Enjoy the forthright tangy dryness and take the next bite of fresh-water fish.

 

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2020 Scheurebe, Gleisweiler Trocken                                            +

Superb, archetypal varietal fragrances of cassis and sage – not much grapefruit here. While admitting I adore Scheurebe, toward which I have an indulging nature….this little dickens is pretty effing good!

It also shows how good Scheurebe can be in an unpretentious idiom when it’s tended by a master. Theo Minges has captured much of the genius of his friend Hans Günter Schwarz, and I’ve tasted no finer contemporary examples of Scheu than these. It’s riotously, giddily expressive from the MacNeil.

Even taking my subjective slobbery crush on Scheu into account, the variety offers several unusual gifts. It can give the best kind of stupid pleasure though it’s not a stupid wine. It is easy to taste, that is, it meets you more than half-way and fills you with flavor. Yet when it’s this good it isn’t blatant or oafish, and even more remarkable, it can be multi-dimensional and diligently articulate even while it so generously offers its flavors.

In this example, they are allspice, coriander, conifer and voatisperifery peppercorns. I know, esoteric, right? But guess what? You can buy these peppers from Kalustyans in New York -  - so quit thinking I’m some sort of weird geek and see for yourself!

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2020 Scheurebe feinherb                                                                ++

It being Germany, the “sweeter” wine is made from the “lesser” material – in this case the estate as opposed to the village level.

And yet.

 

When Valerie Kathawala asked me (for an interview for the wonderful online magazine TRINK, to which you should rush to subscribe) if I had “house wines” in the cellar, I replied I didn’t, but that if I did, THIS would be the white.

 

I adore it. It’s been one of my favorite wines for the last 7-8 years. I have all the vintages on hand. They do not deteriorate. They continue giving ridiculous pleasure. They do it by tasting wickedly, almost erotically good, and by offering a flexibility that makes them welcome on an absurd range of white-wine occasions. And this little wine has a length most big wines would envy.

 

Does it taste “sweeter” now? Reverse the question: Does the Trocken taste drier? Because this wine barely tastes sweet as I perceive it. It tastes nearly entirely dry, and more salient, it finishes dry. It also finishes with a rich juiciness simply unavailable to its dry sibling – excellent as that wine is. It’s also quirky, as Scheurebe can be, seriously pungent and smoky yet contained within a moderate body. Yet while it is demure in size it is profound in intensity. I find the wine so perfect I’d glug it from an old boot if that were the only way to drink it.

 

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2020 Riesling Halbtrocken

LITER bottle.

I won’t bore you with the story of how this wine became massively popular and then faded from view as generations shifted and the market changed. I will, though, tell you that the wine itself was and remains a remarkable achievement in the “jug-wine” category.

 

If by “dry” we signify the palpable absence of sweetness, and if by “sweet” we signal the palpable presence of sugar, then this wine is neither dry nor sweet. It’s just wine, balanced wine, dry enough for any reasonable palate. It’s limpid and simple – inasmuch as any well-made Riesling can be “simple” – and it’s just a bit herbal, just a bit green tea, just a bit white tea also, and at cellar temp it is snappy and chipper and sharp-witted.

 

If it’s true that you can judge a winery by the quality of its smallest wine, then Minges passes with high honors. And I want to pause to consider the mentality of a vintner who makes a wine like this knowing it won’t be attended to. It will be socked down outside on a summer evening, it will quench thirst in a hot kitchen while dinner’s being prepped; it will be wine in the form of “occasional music,” a soundtrack playing while other more important things are taking place.  It only needsto be tolerable. But here we have a wine, a little wine full of polish and balance and friendliness, modest but considerate, and I’m here to tell you that in my scheme of ethics, no winery can offer more than this to its customers. You don’t have to be a wine “expert” to deserve to be happy with your drink.

 

Hats off and hearts open, to my old friend Theo, for caring as he does when no one’s watching.

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2016 “Der Froschkönig” Riesling                                                       ++

The Frog King has been a wine left-alone. It’s pressed and then it does whatever thing is in it to do. It ferments (wild) as long as it takes, and stops when it feels like stopping. It sits on its lees without sulfur until it’s bottled – whenever that may be. Often it isn’t even tasted by the family until a year or two after the vintage.

 

At times the results have been deeply stirring, and at other times the wines have been an aldehydic chaos. This 2016 seems to be one of the first type….

 

It’s a thing of rare beauty, even esoteric beauty, but it’s also temperamental, and it’s kind of grumpy right out of the bottle. Cellar-temp please, and if you’re going to finish the bottle right away then please decant.

 

It got its AP # in 2019, which is usually the year of bottling and releasing for sale. The 11% alc suggests residual sugar, as the palate confirms. At times my friends at Nikolaihof would have a Riesling that “got away” and finished with RS, and this wine is spirit-kin to those. 

 

It has a slight Manzanilla twang, and the sweetness is redolent of the apothecary – a polite way of saying “medicinal,” which I must qualify because of its negative connotation. It’s as much a potion as it is a wine, and in its untamed nature it presents as tangy-tart rather than “sweet.” Obviously it is entirely tertiary in nature, with scents and flavors of chamomile and beeswax. And when it’s freshly poured I sense it isn’t really playing its music, but only tuning up. It is meditative, but not entirely lucid.

 

But wait. This isn’t a casual drink in any way. We need to pause, and read the poem. A spell is waiting to be cast. Let’s see what the days may bring.

 

A day later, the wine’s taken on all kinds of exotic elements, especially sandalwood and leather (rarely encountered in white wines), butterscotch and honey-mushrooms and mimosa blossoms. It’s stirring and deeply absorbing, and I feel that it wants also to be absorbed, so I won’t be spitting it any more. Reverie is too precious to be squandered by the “tasting” regimen. If you’re able to lay hands on a bottle, set some time aside and just curl up with it. A perfect wine for the golden-hour of a winter afternoon, it will deliver some moments of calm, after which all the angst and drang of our everyday lives will, believe me, be waiting for us.

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2019 Riesling Spätlese                                                                    +

The only ’19 they sent. And a pretty bloody good Riesling.

 

Minges never made sweet wines “sweet,” except for the occasional Rieslaner or “goldcap” style Auslese. This is moderate as the current style goes, with a rich but focused “golden” aroma – that being the ’19 signature, evidently – and a palate replete with jasmine, Asian pears, lees, and vigor.  I don’t know how they made it so cool and gripping with what would seem to be a high-sugar wine with its 8% alc – but they did, and that’s Minges.

 

It’s a language I love, yet it seems to perplex many potential buyers, who want something more bombastic. What I want is precisely this, because I like its contained symmetry, its usefulness, its lack of ostentation. It is seamless and wholesome and delightful, and it is the classic example of the lower “scoring” wine being the first bottle emptied later in the evening with food. It’s a wine to drink, not to preen over!

2023

THEO MINGES NEW OFFERINGS

A quick note; though Theo is working alongside his daughter, who will (one assumes) inherit the estate, and who is already making her influence tangible, her name isn’t yet attached to the label. Thus “Theo Minges” is in fact the work of Theo and Regine Minges.

 

Many of the wines stood with the very best I’d ever tasted from this fascinating grower. But I felt pretty cranky about the dry Rieslings, as you’ll see, and then I felt cranky about feeling cranky. How gnarly could they be? So I babied the samples and tasted them again in different sequences and sipped them in the kitchen while dinner was cooking. And then I wondered, what’s motivating this? Yes I have great regard for this estate, but I was always cool toward the dry Rieslings and offered very few of them. What’s different now?

 

On reflection I arrived at three possible explanations. One, I had grown relieved that most dry German Riesling was pretty tasty these days, because that meant I didn’t have to struggle and fume about it any more. A guy has to preserve his jocund mood, after all. Two, it was brutal to be reminded that all was actually not okay, and there were still some wines that were nastier than they needed to be. Three, each of the wines smelled inviting only to crash land on the palate. What was the thinking behind them? If it was to “satisfy a clientele who demanded this sort of thing,” then what on earth is the taste behind that demand?

The most judicious way to answer that question is, it is a taste either highly tolerant or actually relishing of a degree of sourness and bitterness that happens to baffle me. That’s because I don’t like those things. I’ll separate out the radicchio leaves from my salad. I’ll pass on the endive. Too much acidity feels caustic to me. I need to believe that other people might really like those kinds of things. But, I can’t quite.

 

I peeked at some reviews from tasters for a leading wine publication in Germany. We perceived many of the same details, but we were 180 degrees apart on the overall impact of the wines. This means – it has to mean – that either those tasters didn’t perceive sourness/bitterness, or that they liked those things. Really liked them, as the wines were “scored” in the low to mid 90s. Either I have an extra DNA strand making me oversensitive to ugly flavors, or those tasters are snakebitten.

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2021 Riesling Gleisweiler Trocken

A “village” wine with a tender 11.5% alc, for which any sensible person should be duly grateful.

Lots of weensy bubbles line the bottom of the glass. The wine smells great; archetypal Pfalz (and very likely muschelkalk, i.e., fossil-bearing limestone). The palate shows the stern and rather adamant dryness typical for Minges Trockens. As I’m a guy who’s repelled by sourness in general, I’m not the “target audience” for wines like this.

What I can do is acknowledge the excellent aroma and the bracing freshness, and I can appreciate the craftsmanship and purity the wine shows. That I don’t like it is maybe beside the point. Remaining objective, I have to point to the typically clipped ’21 finish and also to the interestingly rustic minerality in a second wave of aftertaste that sticks around pleasantly.

 

The wine would have been perfect with 15-18 g/l of RS, but then its regular customers would have rejected it. But I’d have been happy! As it is, and with repeated exposures to the wine, I find it simply unfriendly.

 

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2020 Riesling Unterer Faulenberg GG

This is a cadaster (“gewann”) in the Gleisweiler Hölle, trocken of course, and it’s guilty of an EVIL HEAVY BOTTLE. This is especially egregious for a CERTIFIED ORGANIC ESTATE, who of all people should know better. I apologize to Minges, who must know they’re not being singled out, but this shit HAS TO STOP!

The aroma is sensational though; reminds me of many Alsace Grand Crus. And then – alas – the palate recapitulates the stern austerity of the previous wine, though here it’s more bitter than sour. 

But let’s give the devil his due. The wine has a lot of flavor; it justifies the “GG” designation with authority, focus and generosity. It’s coniferous and rocky and almost comically solemn. It’s a lunging sort of wine, full of salt and torque, and it will satisfy partisans of this “sort of thing.” What I’m about to say is not an insult, though it could be mistaken for one: There is nothing attractive, charming, agreeable or even really pleasant to latch on to here. But that isn’t its purpose.

 

Every wine can’t trill like a blackbird; some have to squawk like a magpie or screech like a bluejay.

Of course you never know if you’re just having a grumpy-palate day, so I’m tasting it again after 24 hours, on a gorgeous early spring afternoon, so if there’s ever a day when all’s-right-with-the-world it would be this one. It’s also my first sample of the day.

 

I still find it earthy and charmless, yet neither of those are invariably bad things. Every wine’s not obliged to charm, and earthiness can be desirable at times. Yesterday I felt the wine was scolding me, and today it’s just going about its business, which happens to be humorless. I remain bemused to consider the person who actively seeks out a wine like this, but there is much about peoples’ taste that I will never understand. (This includes the reviewer for a major German commentator who gave it 93 points.)

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2020 Riesling Schäwer GG

Full name Burrweiler Schäwer Riesling Trocken. Another GG abomination heavy bottle.

The only “slate” vineyard between the Nahe and Alsace and thus a geological oddity best known for the wines of Herbert Meßmer when Gregor Meßmer was still there. (And where the best wines were seldom the trockens, but that’s another story….)

This I must say has a beautiful aroma. It also has a radically different structure on the palate, more refined, even silky, less obdurate and clunky than the above.

What that does is to mitigate the determined dryness and place such “fruit” as it has in a more accommodating setting. There’s still some sourness to contend with, but also a compelling saltiness that’s fascinating in such a creamy palate. There’s also a ferrous note that recalls one of Nigl’s Piri Rieslings, along with plenty of wild bay-leafy resinous overtones. 

I respect this and would choose to drink it, not for fun but for study. As a merchant I might have offered it, especially if there were no other dry Rieslings in the lineup. Is it the best use of the (outstanding) raw material? To me, clearly not. But lest you think “This asshole just doesn’t like dry Rieslings,” allow me to refer you to a very recent report on Von Winning, not to mention basically every report in the last six months, which will amply establish my thirst for dry Rieslings.

 

But what I don’t like, and shall never like, are bitter or sour Rieslings –  which this curiously lovely GG is not.

The finish is basically harmonious. The wine is strict, but at least it doesn’t land a kick on your shins.

 

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2021 Scheurebe Trocken, Gleisweiler                                               ++

As an apprentice to Hans Günter Schwarz (in his reign at Müller-Catoir) Theo Minges made an impression, such that the two men have become close friends. Schwarz seemed to have imparted the wizardly formulas for growing Scheurebe, and these days Minges must be counted among that grape’s foremost producers.

 

I love Scheurebe, as you must know, and it seems that ’21 was a great vintage for it (just as it seems to have been execrable for Sauvignon Blanc; make of that what you will.) because this wine is an ass-kicker.

Let it be said, this is as dry as the Rieslings, and it’s the farthest thing from “everybody’s darling,” but it’s also beautifully balanced and as expressive as it can be without yielding to gaudiness. Of the three basic veins of signature flavors (grapefruit, cassis and sage) this shows the latter two to near-perfection; it has the verve and springiness of the vintage, it dances like someone whose feet are on fire, and it is longer and more complex than the village Riesling.

I hope you get to taste it, really I do. And if you do, I draw your attention to the wines fundamental dryness, by which I mean the absence of fruit as-such or of any other simulacra of “sweetness,” and yet, while the wine is resinously herbal, it is neither bitter nor sour. In fact it could hardly be more perfect.

THE FAIRYTALE SERIES

It started with the “frog king” and has now added something called Wurzelfieber(which translates literally to “root-fever”) and brings two other varieties into the mix. The basics are these: the wines ferment on their gross lees without “handling” – without even attention paid to them – until they’re finished, whenever that is, however far it went. Then they’re tasted and when they seem to be ready, they’re bottled off the primary lees. This new series seems to have to do with cask (as opposed to steel).

In fact “root-fever” has a story behind it. Regine Minges tells me “You are of course correct in your assumption that it basically means back to the roots. A long time ago, my parents visited an artists' house at a reading that was about the search for roots and origins and the book was called Root Fever. Ever since then, my father couldn't get it out of his head.”

 

I have the impression this is also a feint in the natural wine direction. Is this accurate? “We have been toying with the idea of ​​natural wine for a long time,” Regine says, “ and considering fermenting wines on the mash, but the already extensive size of our range always prevented us from doing so... until 2020 came. A dream vintage but during the harvest it was so hot that the oechsle shot up within a few days. The best Pinot Gris suddenly came in (healthy!) with a potential alcohol of over 15.5%. It was clear to us that it made no sense to ferment cool and the idea of ​​mash fermentation came up.”

 

Because that makes for less alcohol,” I asked?

 

“Exactly.  Scheurebe, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris were spontaneously fermented with open mash fermentation (mash mashed twice a day) and then aged in 500l barrels. The wine got a lot of time and was bottled after a year - after the 2021 harvest. Both wines are very unique. While the Scheurebe is a bit more delicate and convinces with notes of vanilla and gooseberries, the Pinot Gris is much louder with its bright color and also reminds of kumquarts, rosehip and rhubarb in terms of taste. Both wines are absolute food companions!”

 

This was also my impression. Do read on. 

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2020 “Wurzelfieber” Grauburgunder Trocken                                  +

14% alc. The wine is PINK (as the skins of Pinot Gris are pink) and looks like many Jura reds. Smells like ‘em too.

The aromas are rose-hips, earth and redcurrant. Full-on idiosyncrasy, and yet no funkiness. It’s actually a pretty amazing fragrance. I could see it coming from (Vermont’s) la Garagista, in fact.

I did not expect to like this wine.

I like this wine! I’m also kind of blown away by it, as I’ve never tasted anything like it – or more accurately, I’ve never tasted anything clean like it. It’s also a rare wine where very high alcohol is included in the overall vinosity. It’s massive and muscular yet not flabby. It has a bellowing finish like a banshee yelp of strength and collagen-richness, and yet it also has the most delicate floweriness you could conjure, like if pink peppercorns had blossoms.

It’s amazing. I can’t wait to taste it again. I FERVENTLY hope the importer made it available. All that plus it gets better with air, and I’m greedily guarding the final glass to slug down with dinner.

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2020 “Wurzelfieber”  Scheurebe Trocken                                     ++

Thoroughly compelling Scheu aromas – both like and unlike the “typical” varietal note. Ultra-lees, almost cheesy, enticingly lactic, casky the way many Sauternes are casky.

Leaving the oak influence aside, what this resembles is, curiously, a Steiner Hund Riesling from Nikolaihof. I am entirely undone; this wine is magnificent. To be sure, it is largely the aromas of cellar and barrel and lees and fermentation and yet when it hits the palate it has the angular spice of Scheurebe along with quince and ghee and Reggiano – and along with an immensely helpful piddling bit of residual sugar – that creates a mélange that washes exquisitely over you. And all this with 12.5% alc.

The palate-motion is irresistibly seductive, starting off with those  floral/lactic “sweet” cheesy high notes before seeming to purr into a haunting nap of butterscotch; I wouldn’t be shocked to hear the wine releases dopamine.

It’s certainly the best wine I’ve ever tasted from Minges in the quarter century I represented them. It’s a stunning achievement for vintage ’20. It has an ethereal and evanescent length that’s as much an afterglow as any “finish” we might discuss. And I’m sorry, I’m just laid to waste here; maybe when I taste it again I can try to identify the nuances and associations. For now I am laughing my ass off in bliss.

With a second sampling, I think I may have attained whatever scrap of wisdom needed to not write a description of my awesome palate deconstructing the wine. It’s enough to say, if this wine doesn’t melt you, do consider whether you have ever actually felt love in your life.

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2018 Froschkönig Riesling                                                                   ++

Bottled in 2022, the current release of this often scintillating wine smells entirely wonderful. At times this untamed wine has spilled over its banks alcoholically, but the last few renditions have been celestial, singular and encouraging.

The palate is racy and dry-ish after that stunning Scheurebe. I use the word encouraging because it’s….what is it? Reassuring to say the least, a relief, a shot across the bow for anyone who still defends the worst excesses of the natural wine community, because this wine joins the many wines – including of course manywines in that community – that prove you don’t have to sacrifice cleanliness and competence in order to get soul and wholesomeness.

This one is salty, pleasantly cheesy, and it really reeks of the ’18 vintage, that moment when your peonies smell their best, right before they fade and start to stink. I like the vigor here, especially from such a warm vintage and especially from such a protracted fermentation, and it’s more streamlined and less leesy than the Scheu. It also has the lanolin note, such that the wines are part-way to Semillon in all that creamy figginess. 

This is less atavistic than the Wurzelfiebers; it rather behaves like a near-classic Riesling in the feinherb vein, redolent of the direct personality of 2018, napped with a fine mix of spices (ginger and lavender above all) and just full of class. And better by far from my little Spiegelau, which remains the most useful wine glass I’ve ever owned.

Though the “accent” is different, the language is the same as that which was spoken by the 2018 Bürklins I tasted and flipped out over. A very very rare fruit/flower tandem was coaxed out of the soil in this improbable vintage, and Minges hasn’t made a greater Riesling than this one – yet.

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2021 Scheurebe feinherb                                +     and glug-glug-glug

One of my very favorite wines period – our “house-white” if we had one – is let’s say unusually seductive in this great Scheu vintage. A palate that fails to respond with delight to this wine should probably summon the EMTs with their paddles to bring it back from the dead.

It seems drier than usual with those ’21 acids. More angular, less exotic, more cassis and less tropical fruit. More “correct,” to the extent Scheurebe is ever really correct. Is it far enough removed stylistically from the trocken village wine? (Does it matter?) It’s a bit lighter (just 11% alc) and even the barely visible sweetness will make it more flexible with food. Not to mention the insanely attractive salty-spicy finish.

It is, and shall ever be, one of my top-5 “wines you should slop from a bucket.”

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2020 Riesling Kabinett

Minges has always made a classic Kabinett, long before the category was “rediscovered” (and properly so) by today’s growers.

When you talk about signature aromas for Pfalz Riesling, you start with ginger and pineapple, which are in ample evidence here. An earthy note suggests a mix of sandstone and Muschelkalk, and while the sweetness arrives with a flourish, it retires discreetly, leaving the wine racy, vigorous and spicy. The tertiary finish is dry, and the wine would behave like a dryer example of the category if it were placed on a table with a group of modern Kabinetts.

The wine tended to be overlooked in the market, perhaps because it lacked the swagger of so many other Kabinetts. Though it’s richer than usual in ’20, I’m tasting it a few degrees warmer than its ideal temp. (If you pulled it from a 38º fridge you’d say “Wow, this is really dry.”) It’s best feature is that refined, complex and beautiful finish. Three cheers for the wine that is precisely what it ought to be.

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2019 Riesling Spätlese                                                                           +

Hmmm….a 2019? These bottles were assembled for me about 10 months ago, and it’d worrisome to suppose they still had it available – do so few people in Germany realize how lovely these things are?

Regardless – it has the classic vintage aromas (vetiver, hawthorn, meadow-flowers, mango, osmanthus) and is just what a Spätlese should be; rich but not honeyed, oscillating between sweetness and a dry density, and fundamentally savory.  It’s like puff-pastry filled with a bit of pear compote. A pleasing jolt of ripe acidity appears on the mid palate and animates this elegant and ample wine.

It even echoes the Semillon figgyness of the Froschkönig. I’m struck by how rarely I myself reach for Spätlese these days (except with many years of bottle age) but given the dearth of Rieslings in the zone where they’re at their best – um, that would be feinherb – if I had to select an “extreme” then a thousand times this wine over the crabby don’t-fuck-with-me dry wines one still sees, much less often then before, but any encounter feels like one too many.

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2021 Rieslaner Spätlese                                                                     ++

Uncommon to see this variety below the dessert-wine level, and too bad! And yay that anyone still does it.

So, okay…a high-acid variety in a high-acid vintage, and the result is (drum-roll) a sensational, fantastic wine. But then I do love Rieslaner.

I’m shocked that anyone doesn’t. I can sort of understand why a Riesling lover might find Rieslaner too blatant, whereas I find it offers a ludicrously galvanic complexity. It keeps, but doesn’t really “age” but if you drink it up to ten years old it will show what it showed out of the gate.

Minges’ Rieslaner has always been as tactful as the variety ever gets (which isn’t very tactful) and while others (e.g. Müller-Catoir) will pin your shoulders to the mat (in the best way!) this one gives your poor palate a fighting chance.

Think of Riesling lashed with an ultra-violet overtone of mints and weeds. (I’ve heard “banana” and while that’s plausible it’s also beside the point. Rieslaner’s not about fruit.) And while I don’t know whether Theo ever consciously decided to make a Rieslaner that people could drink, that in fact is what he accomplishes. This ’21 is decidedly more useful at table than either of the RS-Rieslings, because the entire last third of the palate tastes dry, and anchors the wine and gives it a narrative arc.

It stands among the noblest citizens of the Pfalz, is criminally overlooked, and we should be grateful; if this wine received its due demand it would sell out in 36 hours.

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2018 Scheurebe Auslese                                                                       +

500ml bottle

It has an “Auslese” aroma at least as much as a varietal one. I recall the ’18 Scheus as being demure, but botrytis can also obscure the feral gorgeousness of this bewitching variety. This does struggle to make itself heard, with some success as the wine sits in the glass.

Sweet Scheu is intensely passion-fruit-like, and can also offer elements of aged sheep’s-milk Gouda. This wine is entirely Auslese in its honeyed richness and yet, beautifully, it is none too sugary and actually acts as savory as it does “sweet.” The finish shows the intense saltiness of healthy botrytis.

Intriguingly this is clearly in the flavor chain of the everyday feinherb – a much later link, of course – and I’m thinking it is many of the ways for Auslese to be attractive, useful, and delicious. It’s like scallops sautéed in ghee with grated orange rind sprinkled over them and a shaving of parmesan. Add an orange-flavored buerre blanc and you could so drink this with them.

2023
2021
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