There was a time that German wines were predominantly dry. Then developed the sweeter tastes of the world and the pradikat system to categorise the richer wines based on sugar levels at picking. And as things cycle, we are seeing a trend towards the drier styles again. As a baby boomer, I regard the sweeter-fruity-acid wines as my norm, but I admit I’m becoming increasingly enamoured by the Grosses Gewachs wines which not only espouse dryness, but also site. 13.0% alcohol is quite manageable and seems to be in balance with the greater textures seen in these wines. But in my heart, I still love to drink wines with Kabinett, Spatlese and Auslese on the labels. Maybe I’ve been seduced by sugar, but the acidity in these wines provide balance, and the fruitiness is a delight. You can drink these wines anytime.
One of SWMBO and my favourite producers is Clemens Busch in the Moselle. His dry style bottlings are fabulous expressions of site, and the grey, blue and red slate soils are demonstrated clearly in his top wines. But I’ve gone back to the future with Clemens Busch as well, as he has the old modern style wines made too. My latest favourite sipper is the 2014 Clemens Busch Pundericher Marienburg Riesling Spatlese. Like many of the 2014s, the wine has a firmness to it. It still needs time to open up. But as earlier vintages we’ve tasted, it surely will. It already has gorgeous floral and citrus fruits, with distinct slatey minerality. There’s great fruit extract, but crisp and tight acid to balance. It just needs to show a little more honied richness, and then it will be gorgeous. I’m salivating just thinking about it.