Reichsrat von Buhl Dry Riesling 2008

Dry German Rieslings interest me for at least two reasons. Firstly, I rarely see them for sale locally. Secondly, they inevitably invite comparison to local Rieslings, which to my mind are amongst the best, indeed are perhaps the very best, dry styles in the world. Ironically, just as dry Germans seem to be coming into vogue, Australian makers are chasing off-dry styles that model Old World wines. One wonders sometimes whether adventurous winemakers are motivated by the pursuit of beauty or simply by boredom.

Anyway, there’s no mistaking this wine for an Australian Riesling, which in theory is a good starting point. There’s a bit of spritz evident on pouring. The nose is broad and shows slightly dull tropical fruit notes (think jackfruit) alongside a touch of sulfur and some minerality. The aroma profile lacks the immediacy and piercing clarity of many Australian dry Rieslings, substituting a certain rich fullness. Being critical, this lacks oomph in the upper registers, and I would have preferred greater definition. It all smells a bit lazy to me.

The palate shows more life, thanks in part to that bit of spritz, which contributes impact and a sizzled mouthfeel. Flavoursome on entry, with a mixture of citrus and tropical fruit flavours, plus a streak of more angular minerality that carries right through the middle and after palates. Good intensity and generosity for sure, though the flavour profile for me is again rather broad, suggestive of some oxidative handling, and lacking the precision and focus I admire in good Riesling. A nice, dry, minerally finish is most pleasing.

Not a bad wine, but too hazy to truly press my buttons. Still, a flavoursome drink by any measure.

Reichsrat von Buhl
Price: $A27.90
Closure: Stelvin
Source: Retail

Ökonomierat Rebholz Riesling Vom Buntsandstein Spätlese 2007

I was a bit underwhelmed by this wine initially; it’s quite rich and I found it a little cloying. But extended tasting reveals a complex, delicate flavour profile. There’s a lot to enjoy here. Besides which, the label looks totally home made, which is fun in a low-tech way.

On the nose, slightly sulfurous with powerful fruit aromas and some floral delicacy. It has gained better balance with some air, so do let it breathe a bit or give it a good swirl, even if (like me) you’re feeling thirsty. Your reward will be good complexity and increased coherence. 
In the mouth, some air has again worked to its advantage, lightening the wine’s feel and allowing a wide range of flavours to express themselves. Entry is quite full and immediate, with fragrant mandarin and preserved citrus peel the dominant flavours. Sweetness peaks on the middle palate, before maximum complexity asserts itself through the quite wonderful after palate, with bitter orange flavours sitting alongside sweet, small stonefruit and a streak of savoury minerality.  A gentle, sweet finish of impressive length. There’s no doubt this is a richly flavoured wine, full of expressive, sweet fruit and, arguably, acidity that is too restrained. I’d still prefer a more nimble middle palate and slightly cleaner finish, but I can appreciate this wine’s silky, sophisticated mouthfeel — with just a hint of soft spritz — and overall generosity.
Not my ideal style, but a quality wine nonetheless.

Ökonomierat Rebholz
Price: $A70
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail