It’s not often that I can find a 375ml bottle of wine, much less one that has me going nom nom over the flavor, but apparently I stumbled onto something special as I go through the process of whipping my palate into shape.
The 2011 Dr. Heidemanns-Bergweiler Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese is really something special. Of course, the name alone – man those Germans are precise! – should have been enough to clue me in, but at the time, I saw a Riesling in a 375 bottle for a good price and I snatched it up. The Riesling is from the Mosel and is estate bottled. The alcohol level is only 8.5%.
This Riesling is an incredibly clear and bright wine, with just a hint of fizz when first poured out of the bottle. On the nose, it’s everything you’d expect from an Auselese: apricots, touch of mint, lavender honey, dried sweet spice, and mineral. I hear from the smell experts that you’re not supposed to be able to smell “mineral,” but I don’t know what else to call it. The solvent/petrol nose so common on the nose of Rieslings that develops as the wines age is barely a whisper.
The palate reflects the nose, with a non-cloying sweetness and brisk acidity that you expect from a quality Riesling.
I may get another bottle to put away for a while because I have a feeling that this wine can age beautifully – the acidity, minerality, and firm structure of the wine seem to give it the legs to last. I’ve been fortunate enough to taste a Riesling that was nearly 30 years old, and it was glorious. A deep, rich gold with flavors of honey and octane. Delicious. I didn’t know enough at the time to take notes, but I knew that I’d never forget the aroma and the flavor. I think that this wine has the bones to last a while, but I’ll probably drink it before 30 years have passed. Promise.