I am a big Riesling guy, sometimes. I thought I’d continue last week’s theme by choosing a bottle of a sweet offering from Germany’s great Riesling region. This is a Spaetlese; its grapes are slightly less ripe (or overripe) than last week’s Auslese. The Bergweiler family has been involved in wine since the Sixteenth Century. Some might call them upstarts; the Moselle River Valley has been known for wine since Roman times. They own 15 vineyards, the Bernkasteler Badstube at almost 6 hectares (15 acres) is the largest one. It is known for blue slate. You might want to visit the town’s medieval marketplace and Renaissance town hall. And don’t even think of missing the wine festival on the first weekend in September. Today’s companion wine is classic, in a sense, German sweet Riesling offered on the Internet for about $6.
OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.
Dr Pauly Bergweiler 2006 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spaetlese 10 % alcohol about $25
Let’s start with the marketing materials (for the 2008 vintage). “Tasting Note : Rich and juicy, with lively acidity to focus its apricot, nectarine, apple and salty lime essence. Terrific balance and harmony, followed by a long finish, makes for a winning combination. Drink now through 2032. Score - 92. (Bruce Sanderson, at the Wine Spectator website, Dec. 15, 2009” And now for my review.
At the first sips I noted a great combination of acidity and sweetness. This wine was slightly metallic. When paired with Japanese rice crackers it was round. My initial meal centered on a boxed Eggplant Parmigiana that I liberally doused with grated Parmesan cheese. This Riesling offered honeyed sweetness but its acidity was somewhat raw. I noted caramel. When it encountered macaroons (coconut cookies) this nectar provided mostly acidity with light caramel.
My next meal’s piece de resistance was a baked tilapia filet marinated in Agave and soya sauce. The libation was sweet, presenting honey and lime with good acidity. It was long. Quinoa strengthened its acidity and caramel. With a medley of zucchini, onion, and Portabello mushrooms it remained the same. I found no reason to complain.
My concluding meal focused on an omelet spiced with oregano, thyme, tarragon, and basil. This libation responded with caramel and oak, but not excessive. It offered round acidity. Perhaps surprisingly steamed broccoli rendered it more forceful. Fresh strawberries brought out caramel and oak. And upon meeting homemade sesame seed, carob, and sunflower seed cookies everything repeated, but to be frank, the wine was weaker.
Final verdict. When done right I really like this kind of wine. And this bottle was done right. I wouldn’t mind buying half a case and trying one a year. Alas, no vintages of this ambrosia are available in my neck of the woods.Access the companion wine A German Fun Riesling (Under $10)
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine French or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
with a new weekly review of $10 wines and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
devoted to the issues of wine, weight loss, and health.
Visit his website devoted to Italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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