2010 Dr. Beckermann Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling

A long a favorite I was hoping this one could follow in the footsteps of previous vintages like the 2005 and 2006. That said it used to be Spätlese now just Qualitätswein. Does it matter?

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2010 Dr. Beckermann Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Spatlesenothing on the bottle or the web. Any of my Trader Joe’s insiders out there have the scoop on this one?

What I Think:

(9%) Honeyed, pollinated, floral nose. Light spritz, effervescent. Some surprising weight (yet still light and easy) on the palate with a crisp lemon citrus edge over a green apple core. This one is off dry, just a touch sweet, with a slight mineral acidity to keep the finish fresh and pleasing. A simple, straightforward quaffer this one would work well as an aperitif.

Rating: Buy It

2006 Dr. Beckermann Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Spatlese

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by International Import-Export

What They Said:

Per snooth.com “Good acidity balances perfectly the touch of off-dry that this wine presents. Some floral notes, good minerality. Good long finish. Paired well with curry, would work with any spicy foods.”

What I Think:

To give you an idea straight off the bat, the snooth write up had a comment of someone who could only remember that they paid under $20. Promising! Coupled with my experience with the 2005 and many others from my pre-blogging days I was happy to be pulling the cork on this one as I was preparing Thai Basil Chicken for dinner.

It didn’t disappoint. On the nose I found a mostly floral bouquet with some lighter fruits lingering in the background. On the palate something tries to show early but is swept up in sweetness before it can express itself. Just when it appears doomed to be a overly sweet effort a nice crisp, acidic backbone saves the day showing mineral characteristics and leading to a pleasant finish. Therefore I gave it a “Buy It” rating but wanted to also provide a disclaimer that I will never have more than one bottle of this in my house. And I’ll be happy to have it whenever spicy Asian food is on the menu. Unless you are a Riesling purist I imagine there are few out there that wouldn’t enjoy this effort. I challenge you all to try a bottle and report back with your thoughts.

Rating: Buy It

2005 Dr. Beckermann Piesporter Michelsberg Riesling Spatlese

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s imported by International Import-Export

What They Said:

Per Wine-O-Rama “We found this cheapie for $6 at Trader Joe’s yesterday, and after two days of Easter celebrations, decided to give it a go. This is a blend of riesling and Müller-Thurgau grapes picked late in the harvest (spatlese) and are of the highest Qualitatswein mit Pradikat designation. Lots of mellow but vibrant fruit here along with a touch of acidy “spritz.” Sweet, yes (8.5% alcohol) but not “cheap riesling” sweet (a notch or two above those sickly syrupy cheap rieslings that I describe as syrup from the bottom of a store brand fruit tin can.) This would be a quite tasty sip on the patio bench or in the hot tub on a sultry summer night. Nowhere near world class riesling, but for six bucks, we’ll definitely have some on hand for appropriate situations.”

What I Think:

Per wikipedia, “Spätlese is a German wine term for a late harvest wine and is the second category of QmP wine in the German wine classification above Kabinett and below Auslese in terms of ripeness. The grapes are picked at least 7 days after normal harvest, so they are riper and have a higher must weight.

Characteristics
Greater Intensity and strength then Kabinett
High level of acidity that curbs any overt sweetness
Fleshy and intensely flavored
Often tastes of apple, pear and honeysuckle
Elegant nose with highly detectable aromas”

Man have I had a hard time trying to remember the different German riesling styles and what they mean over the years. Usually it doesn’t matter as when I pop the cork I am happy with the product. On initially opening this wine I am hit with thoughts of champagne based on the hint of bubbles on my palate. This is a full bodied wine which continues this analogy until the sweetness takes over. And boy does it take over! Some apple is present but I was having a hard time identifying much. That being said I tried to pair this with roasted chicken (mistake!) when it clearly needs some spicy Asian cuisine to use its primary characteristic to its advantage.

Rating: 12th Bottle