A Mosel Riesling Auslese

Wine grapes among the rocks...

Bernkastel Market

Bernkastel market in fine German wine

You may remember the days of cheap oversweet German Rieslings that turned many people away from Riesling and German whites in general. This is not such a wine. Even if you don’t like sweet white wine I think you should try this one or a similar wine, you may be pleasantly surprised. Today’s wine comes from a family-owned winery specializing in Riesling. The Baeumler-Becker winery is located in the Mosel region of the Rhineland in western central Germany not far from Alsace, France.

As explained below, the producer is going out of the wine business. Let us hope that they will still be offering tourist rooms and apartments whose prices seem very reasonable for this lovely tourist region in the heart of German wine country. Wehlen is part of the city of Bernkastel, famous for its wines and medieval market square. There are beautiful half-timbered houses and the remains of a castle. The Mosel valley is known for some of the best Riesling in Germany, which means some of the best Riesling in the world. These grapes were grown on the Wehlener Sonnenuhr, the Wehlen Sundial, steep slopes of pure blue slate and virtually no soil. This is just the sort of home that wine grapes love. Trivia time: in 1846 winemaker Judocus Pruem painted a sundial on this rock outcropping, he wanted to keep track of time when working in the vineyard.

Before reviewing this Mosel wine, here are a few suggestions of what to eat with indigenous wines when touring the beautiful Bernkastel-Wehlen region. Start with Entensuelze (Goose in Aspic). Continue with Mosel Aal (Eel served cold in a green herb sauce). For dessert indulge yourself with Schokoladen-Terrine mit Vanillesauce un Mango Sorbet (Do you need a translation?).

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed P. S. Baumler-Becker Erben Riesling Auslese 1995 7% alcohol $19

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. After 200 years in business, the tiny P. S. Baumler-Becker Erben winery is closing its doors. This is not due to the quality of the wines, which has always been exceptional, but strictly because the winemaker/owner is retiring and there are no willing heirs to take up the mantle. Our loss, then, but here’s a chance to try an earlier vintage that is just now brilliantly hitting its stride. Look for pretty peach, pear, petrol and slate aromas and flavors. It has evolved over the years into a drier style, so it comes across more like a Spatlese than an Auslese. And now for my review.

Mosel vineyards in fine German wine

At the first sips this wine was delicate tasting of lime and peach with light acidity and just a touch of sweetness. Its first pairing was with a boxed eggplant parmiagana which I slathered with grated parmesan cheese. Both the wine’s acidity and sweetness stepped up. The wine’s sweetness was very pleasant with the dish’s tomatoes and it had fine length. On the downside this Riesling lost its flavor when facing a high quality French lemon pie with a buttery crust.

The next meal consisted of home-cooked chicken nuggets in an orange-flavored, somewhat spicy Thai dipping sauce. This wine was very elegant and syrupy. It was long and offered a tiny bit of smoke. The chicken was accompanied by a salad with chickpeas, canned corn, and Lebanese cucumbers. This Auslese’s sweetness was delicious as was the lime. I celebrated with two desserts. In the presence of a brownie this wine was very long and feathery. With a slice of apple cake it showed powerful acidity and the wine’s lime complemented the apples.

My final meal was baked chicken legs in a soy-maple sauce accompanied by potato salad and bean salad. The Riesling showed honey and lemon with light acidity. It was palate cleansing and I got floral tastes. It was sweet and syrupy and seemingly unaffected by the potato salad. When facing the bean salad in vinegar, this wine toned down. But it became longer.

The first cheese was a rich cream cheese (24% butterfat) that tasted somewhat sweet even though no sugar was added. The Auslese was long and delicious, a great combination of honey and acidity. With a Swiss cheese the wine was weakened but still excellent.

Final verdict. Do you have to ask? I am partial to this kind of wine and felt this bottle was an excellent example and the price was right. I brought a bottle to my wine tasting group and it was quite popular. One final note, if you like such wine you can pair it with a wide variety of foods. I tried some with beef ribs in a sweet tomato sauce and the marriage was a success. Personally I would have hesitated if the sauce were not sweet. But it might have worked well anyway. One more thing, I don’t think you’ll miss the alcohol in this fine wine.

Access the companion wine A Victoria, Australia Chardonnay

About the Author

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    www.theworldwidewine.com    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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