Friday, September 16, 2011

Weingut Max Ferd Richter

I recently had the pleasure of tasting seven wines from Max Ferd Richter with Dr. Dirk Richter of the estate in Mulheim Germany. Informative and delicious are the two words that would best describe the experience.  It was a drop in tasting rather than one that was formally organized so there was a fair amount of one on one conversation about the wines.

Most interesting  was tasting both a Kabinett and a Spatlese from two separate vineyards.  The wines involved were the 2009 Graacher Himmelreich and 2009 Veldenzer Elisenberg.  The Elisenbergs were sharp, focused and very precise with citrus and peach flavors. There was a distinct difference between the Kabinett and the Spatlese, with the Spatlese being more full and fruity while the Kabinett was dry and racy.  The Himmelreichs were fuller wines from the start, explained by Dr. Richter by saying there was clay in the slate soil of this vineyard that lends fuller flavor  whereas the Elisenberg is slate and quartz primarily.  I was getting apple and yellow plum aromas from the Himmelreich wines.  I loved the Kabinett, but the Spatlese quickly put it to the rear.  Very, very good wine and one I could sit, smell and sip all day.

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There were two wines from the Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr vinyeard as well, a Spatlese and an Auslese from the 2008 vintage.  Here the wines got into apricots and apples, sweet golden delicious apples.  Wonderful mouth feel on both wines but the nose on the Auslese was a pleasure unto itself.  I could almost be content to just sit and smell this wine.  By the time I got to this wine they were putting out some snacks so I tried this wine with a ginger cracker spread with a light pumpkin mousse.  Nirvana.

The first wine tasted was the estate Riesling from the 2009 vintage.  Good stuff at a great price, but it suffered in the presence of its bigger siblings.

I also asked about the 2010 vintage which is reported to be great or horrid, depending on the winery.  Dr. Richter said the vintage was very difficult with very ripe fruit but acid that was almost beyond belief.  The wines he made he likes, but there is 50% or less in yield from all of his vineyards. 

All together an excellent range of wines.  I left the estate Riesling on the shelf, but a bottle or two of each of the other wines made the trip home with me, including a signed bottle of the Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Auslese.

All wines between 7.5% alcohol and all between $20 and $50.

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