TN:A New Mosel Terroir Worth Watching:05 M.F. Richter Veldenzer Elisenberg Riesl Spl --cross post from eRobertParker/Squires
TN: 2005 M.F. Richter Veldenzer Elisenberg Riesling Spätlese, AP 2 593 049 19 06; 9.5 pabv; 29.99/750 ml, Arrow Wines, Centerville, OH; Langdon Shiverick, Inc., Cleveland, OH.
I've been excited of late by a few chances I've had to taste Dirk Richter's wine from a distinctive and different vineyard on the Mosel, with a unique and exotic terroir.
The occasion? Took some time out for a breather from my bourbon rebarrelling experiment (see http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/...d.php?t=114250 et al.) for some palate-cleansing 2005 German Riesling, the Kabinett incarnation of which has already been discussed here. Doug Lehrer reported on it (see http://dat.erobertparker.com/bboard/...d.php?t=114185 ), having obtained it at the same price I paid for this at the same store. One wonders if an unintended switch occurred somewhere.
One of the few loess-humus vineyards in the Mittlemosel, or anywhere else in this region, and an unduly neglected one, having already achieved classed-growth status at the time of the American Civil war on the Steurrates Clotten. Actually one gets different ideas of the soil here from different people. It may be that there is a significant amount of highly absorptive kaolin clay in this vineyard, which could have a strong positive effect in providing trace minerals to the vine roots. In any case it has minimal slate. It's wholly-owned by Richter; it was named after two Prussian princesses, one named Luisa and one Elizabeth. It travels across the commune boundary into Mülheim, and measures about 3.8 ha (9 acres). It came into the family due to some outstanding military services of an ancestor against one of the Napoleons. Dr. Dirk is proud of the great longevity he sees in wines made from this plot.
This wine is listed with a residual sugar of 80.8 and a respectable acidity of 8.1. These numbers, together with the moderately high alcohol for type of nearly 10 percent, lead us to expect a large-scale wine.
Neutral-yellow in color with a slight but unmistakable hint of pink. Cotton candy and motor oil predominate on opening; almost completely lacking in Mosel-typical fruit. There are undertones of earth and perhaps cherry; could be mistaken for a Nahe. The wine smells a bit dusty to me somehow. The lime and cherries seem to grow with air, and a little whiff of overripe tropical fruit is scented. Then comes apples and a little thyme.
A quite ripe and sweet Spätlese, but nonetheless the classic style. Full and creamy in taste and texture, almost oily in mouthfeel, with ripe and restrained and but not deficient acidity; there's lots of skin extract on the full-bore finish, almost like the mouthfeel you get when eating lots of Thompson Seedless grapes, accompanied by some lime or grapefruit peel, having a subtle and appetizing bitterness. Call it 91/100, with perhaps some upside on aging. This will develop into an excellent food wine with some careful cellaring.
At 24 hours there is a bit of deepening in the color, even that wonderful pink. The nose has come together via a nice tea note. There's a much more integrated palate, with more appetizing acidity, and a real wowie-zowie 'tea and oranges' finish. Highly recommended, even at this price. 92/100.
A votre santé,