Riesling is arguably the noblest wine grape of all, and can express its origin, its terroir, with the greatest of clarity. Indeed, it could be said that the Mosel in particular demonstrates best the idea that individual site can be transmitted through the grape to the bottle. At the level of spätlese and auslese (generally without the influence of botrytis) I think this is true, though, certainly white Burgundy can come close. ;-) And while fine German Riesling has much in common with Burgundy (growers bottling multiple vineyards, and vineyards having multiple owners to interpret each one), Riesling offers the additional complexity of expression of the praedikat system. I described that system in a ‘weekly trio’ in 2015, and I’ll repeat it below.
Kabinett. Breeze in your ears as you pull up your coat collar. The apple you picked, crunched, mingles its scent with the stone wall lifting spring rain to the sun as you walk.
Why? Welcome your friend. Clear you mind. Revitalise the fading evening’s end. Lucid, awake wine.
Spätlese. All the orchard in symphony. A quick inelegant slurp to catch the juice from the peach, your mouth loses 1-0 to your chin. The rock climber’s very fingertips, chalked, full-bearing and tensile.
Why? Without it the dish from the wok is in shock.
Auslese. That sofa you love, yielding yet supporting, clean-lined but upholstered. A thousand Chinese tangerine peels drying in the park, not yet collected. Fresh figs flash-glazed in the pan. Memories of souks and childhood Christmases.
Why? Bacchus ties up Paleo and demands the menu be turned up to 11.
From here we will get into the fine-spliced differentials of “Goldcap” “Auction” and above.
Finally, like all fine wines, German Riesling has the capacity to transform through cellaring. This evening then we shall enjoy Rieslings demonstrating all these dimensions – vintages in common, vineyards in common, a wide spectrum of ripeness and richness levels, and the transformative power of time. To that we add one important detail! Riesling is for drinking!
Chef Patrick Verhoeven from one of our favourite Hong Kong restaurants – 238 The Grill – will be guest-spotting in The Fine Wine Experience’s own kitchen. Their specialty is fresh fish and seafood which they fly in daily from Holland. To learn more about Chef Patrick and 238 The Grill click here. That’s right, tonight’s dinner is in-house, with Patrick indahouse. This is going to be a real treat!
The menu and wine pairings:
Seafood platter: Raw Oyster, Tuna Sashimi, and Langoustine Pan Fried in Butter
2014 Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm - Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett, from magnum
White Dutch Asparagus with Poached Egg and Black Truffle
2012 Weingut Fritz Haag - Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Spätlese, from magnum
2009 Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm - Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese
2009 Weingut Willi Schaefer - Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese
Grilled Dover Sole Fillet with Couscous and Tarragon Thyme Butter Sauce
2001 Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm - Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese
2012 Weingut Dr. Loosen - Ürziger Würzgarten Spätlese Goldkapsel Auktion
Grilled Pork Fillet with Apple Sauce and Mashed Potatoes, Carrot and Onion
2009 Weingut Willi Schaefer - Graacher Himmelreich Auslese
2009 Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm - Graacher Himmelreich Auslese Goldkapsel
1983 Weingut Zilliken - Saarburger Rausch Auslese Goldkapsel
Goat Cheese with Fresh Dutch Strawberries
2001 Weingut Dönnhoff - Oberhäuser Brücke Auslese Goldkapsel Auktion
1993 Weingut Fritz Haag - Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Auslese Lange Goldkapsel Auktion
Aged Dutch Gouda
1976 Georg Müller - Hattenheimer Wisselbrunnen Beerenauslese
2006 Weingut Dönnhoff - Oberhäuser Brücke Beerenauslese