Monday, August 31, 2009

Judging Chair

It was a milestone to have a Chairman of Judges visit. His last visit was a year ago, so it called for a few wines to see if he was worthy of his title, and if he could assess if I was still capable of discriminating differences in wines. To be honest, he is more than worthy, and it was great to hear his concise and accurate descriptions, not too different from what SWMBO and I thought.

The 2007 Mosel vintage has been hailed as superb, so a trio to start with. Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett was fine, delicate and subtle, and a touch of reduction which blew off. Classical Schaefer detail. J.J. Prum's Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett was very reduced, the sulphide dominating, but underneath a sheath of steel and acid. Prums are always like this and a decade of bottle age brings balance and beauty. But it takes a few bottles of Prum and time to believe it can happen. Meanwhile, an ugly duckling. Then Loosen Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett. Weighty, spicy, textured, rich. Some sulphide that blew off to become the most satisfying of the trio.

After a Chinese meal, back to Germany with a Deinhard Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Eiswein 1983. Burnished golden in colour. Toffee, caramel and burnt barley sugar on the nose. Fruit drying on the palate and typical eiswein searing acidity. This is where old dessert wines go in flavour, but if we'd drunk it a decade earlier, it would have been sweeter. This was a treasure in its day. The Rheingau was a much more highly regarded place a quarter of a century ago.

Then in honour of our Aussie Chairman of Judges, a Lauriston Show Muscat. Multiple trophies and golds. Very dark chocolate colour and green hued edge. Massive raisins and rancio. However the spirit poked out a bit. Decadent but a component out of place and not quite integrated. But still something wonderful.

Having the Chairman of Judges marked today as one where I reckon I could make the judges chair again with a bit more training. Cheers, or should that be Chairs?

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