Friday, November 21, 2008

Single Vineyard Rieslings of Germany and Alsace, by S.A. Prum and Dopff et Irion

My visit to Montreal's Salon des Vins in March was a whirlwind of tasting activity, but two whites stood out at that event - tonight's Alsatian "Grand Cru" Riesling and a Mosel Riesling from the famed "Wehlener Sonnenuhr" vineyard. Now I love Alsace whites, and I love German Riesling, but I never thought to taste them head to head - tonight we paired these two gems with a spiral ham...

The 2004 Dopff et Irion Grand Cru Schoenenbourg Riesling (Alsace) was quite earthy on the nose, with lemons, peaches and sweet honeysuckle over a hard, flinty core, noticeably greener than the Prum below. A juicy, flavourful palate, delicately held together by steely acid and sturdy minerality. Drier, sharper and crisper, this very polished white would have paired better with whitefish than tonight's sweet ham.
cork. 13% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: ~C$30

The 2005 S.A. Prum Wehlener Sonnenhur Riesling Kabinett (Mosel) showed honeyed petrol notes and was a bit spicier, earthy and flinty as well. Effervescent and slightly less dry than the Schoenenbourg with a lingering minerality, it was indescribably fuller and lighter at the same time. A touch simpler in my notes, yet this was the wine that everyone kept reaching for - and a much better pairing for this meal.
cork. 9.0% alcohol
Score: 17/20
Price: ~C$24 (SAQ)

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