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Wednesday, April 11, 2007



A wine evaluation quandry: Utterly profound kabinett
Wow what a vintage 2005 was for the Mosel.

2005 St. Urbans-Hof Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett.

Wines like this make me challenge a lot of preconceived notions about rating or analyzing various groups of wines. To cite some examples:

  1. Can a sauvignon blanc, cab franc or petit verdot receive a 100 point score?
  2. Is it heresy to declare a wine flawless if it comes from South Africa, Greece, India, or Turkey?
  3. Can I pop this Viognier that is 10 years old and be as objective as possible about it?


You get the idea...The pre-conception I currently am dealing w/ is that of the German pradikat. There seems to be a pre-defined range of where Kabinett, Spatlese, Auslese, BA, TBA and Eiswein fit snugly into. Top flight dessert style wines garnering over 95 points is by no means a stretch...spatlese usually apexes around 95, so on and so forth.

Well the dilemma I have in front of me is that this wine is as utterly perfect as German kabinett can be. The aromatics are a gorgeous mixture of decadent quince, cantaloupe, smoky slate, earth and cream. Each element of the nose seems to balance the other side of the spectrum w/ such powerful precision. The palate is loaded w/ peach cobbler, key lime, baked apple, stony minerality and floral flavors that beam through the mouth w/ laser-like authority and echo endlessly. This is big time wine, ultimate riesling. I don't care where it falls in the ripeness scale, whether or not it is off-dry or dry (even my fiancee adores it and she loathes residual sugar) or how young it is...SMOKING EXAMPLE OF RIESLING! So primal but with such finesse. 8 and change alcohol is as modest as the price (15 bucks or so).

Notions out the window this is at least a classic quality example of German riesling that I find as compelling as any other prime example w/ more ripeness. So that leaves me at the low end...a 95 pointer. Heresy already...I know it will age, at least 2 decades perhaps more. It's as perfect as it can get, I just feel guilty plugging it any higher than that. Know what I mean?!

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