A year in the Mosel that was at first celebrated for its richness and power, then reviled for its perceived lack of longevity, and now one that is experiencing a certain positive reassessment. How much we put our beloved wines through. While I understand the human impulse to categorise and build hierarchies, I’m coming to believe wine is an object quite unamenable to such endeavours. For all the effort that goes into “assessing” each vintage, not all of which is wasted by any means, what matters is how a wine tastes at various points in its life.
Clearly, this wine is connected to its vintage. At ten years of age, it remains a powerful, bold wine of strikingly rich flavour and somewhat blocky palate structure. It’s far from nearing the end of its life; I’d say it’s at a point of some flavour development but isn’t yet showing many flavours I think of as indicating full maturity. So, there’s a mixture of primary fruit on the aroma — rich mandarin, flowers — and tertiary characters like honey and toast. This is clearly the product of ripe fruit with plenty to give. As with so many Rieslings from this area, relatively high levels of sugar disappear into the fabric of the wine’s acid and minerality, making it both fresh and low in alcohol.
The palate is mouthfilling and generous, with more ripe citrus, mineral and honey notes. Granted, this is a bigger wine than many others I’ve tasted at this quality level from this vineyard, but the elements are in balance. Good length, good acid and plenty of flavour both primary and developed. As it stands, this strikes me as a wine that could lend support to several views of 2003 – praise for its fullness of flavour, criticism for its scale and relative masculinity. And to that I say: “who cares?” What matters to me is that it tasted damn good last night.
Note: I’m currently working the vintage with Weingut Kerpen.