Maximilian v. Othegraven, Riesling, Weingut Kanzemer Berg, VDP QmP Kanzemer Altenberg Auslese (Saar), Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany, 1976
This wine: lot No. not required until the early 1990s, 1991 I believe, fuder (barrel) 8 (on front label), varietal riesling, coated natural cork closure, sealed, and protected, by dried out mould, and unextractable, simply sliding into the bottle under the threat of a corkscrew, probably ~7% abv, but not given, Gauntleys, £42, bin end (01/19)
Consumer tasting note: Saar riesling in its fifth decade, outstanding in all respects, with giveaway notes of baked lime edged with petrol, with terrific richness on the nose and in the medium-sweet mid-palate, with notes of crystallised pineapple, lime and orange marmalade, ripe mango, dried apricot and a hint of nuts. Finishes resoundingly long.
Drink now – RTD, and will keep for a decade, perhaps longer – Wait. Stand upright for a week and pour carefully, or decant off the substantial fine white powder sediment. Good luck with extracting the cork, which if provoked, may well slide into the bottle.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity amber, showing tears [a level teaspoon of fine white sediment. These are colloids, the very fine particles (2-500)µm remaining from the wine making process, eg residual grape skin, seed and stem material, which survive settling/normal filtering, and precipitate very slowly. Colloids can then be a feature of wine with substantial age. Nowadays, fining, if practised, can remove these. However, heavy handed filtration/fining can reduce the differentiating character of a wine].
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of warm preserved lime with the slightest frill of petrol, lime zest, hint of floor polish, lime marmalade, crystallised pineapple, over-ripe mango, stewed yellow peach, thick rich dark marmalade, a hint of cracked hazelnut, sun dried apricot with a hint of toffee, baked pineapple, honey [on day 2 add warm star anise].
Palate: medium-sweet, high acidity, low alcohol, full body, pronounced intensity, a silky not quite oily texture, and a very low key grip, with flavours of ripe pineapple, yellow peach jam, hint of lime juice, ripe mango, orange marmalade on the end. A long (~40s) length, with a palate clean lingering finish of ripe tropical fruit edged with sharper orange marmalade, with a low key grip.
Quality: outstanding, perfectly balanced fresh acidity with residual sugar, beautifully harmonious; strong intensity throughout with a similar concentration of rich flavour; showing a high level of fully developed complexity, with evidence of fruit development (dried fruit, marmalade), lengthy bottle age (honey, nuts, petrol), witnessed by the dark amber hue, with the slightest hint of oxidation (toffee). Finishes resoundingly long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep another 10 years, possibly longer – a sound acid structure, and balance with residual sugar, outstanding in all respects, fully developed, undoubtedly a high quality riesling, built for the long run.