Ah, German wine labels; uniquely intimidating. The key to this one, though, is “trocken,” or dry. For a region associated in the Australian mind with sweet Rieslings, the Mosel churns out a fair few dry versions of its signature variety and I’m especially keen, while working here, to taste as many as I can.
My vintage hosts in the Mosel are the kind folks at Weingut Kerpen (a disclaimer in addition to a hopefully-interesting factoid). Martin Kerpen, the proprietor, excitedly called me over after a tasting this evening and shared this particular wine with me. A bottle from his private cellar, this shows the benefit of its glass stopper and cool conditions; it’s in exceptional condition. And what a lovely wine too.
I keep coming back to the word “pretty” when tasting this. It has a delicate charisma running right through its refined body, and this plays out through its flavours, which are bright and delicate, and its structure, which is firm and fine. Only the first signs of toasty development are evident on the aroma, which is composed primarily of citrus blossom, talc and a hint of cumquat juice. Absolutely no kerosene here.
The palate is intensely flavoured within the confines of a fundamentally delicate wine. The acid is spectacular in its finesse and balance. A hint of sweetness fills out the juicy mid-palate, but the wine finishes dry and its flavours don’t read as overtly sweet. I suspect this will develop for several years yet, and I envy those with a few bottles in their cellar.