Excellent German Rieslings from the 2001 vintage

2001 is a phenomenal vintage for the Mosel, though indications are that 2002 will rival it. What a great time to taste these magnificent Riesling wines. Not tasted blind. Prices in pounds sterling.

Kurt Hain Piesporter Goldtröpchen Kabinett 2001 – £4.95
Pale, almost transparent green. Fine, delicate green apple nose, with a hint of sweet pear. Off-dry palate, with quite a rich texture and very fresh, clean white fruit flavours and poised acidity. A lovely, balanced wine and very good.

Kurt Hain Eitelsbacher Karthaüserhofberg Kabinett 2001 – £7.65
More mineral on the nose, with a definite slaty note and subdued, quite nutty aromas. Plenty of fruit, but more compacted on the palate than when I tasted this a year ago. Shimmering acidity, with a real zest of lime. Smooth texture and waxy undertones. This has lovely clarity and length. Very good indeed.

Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett 2001 – £7.65
Very vivid green colour. Nose is quite closed at present, with some sherbetty/mineral character, but not a lot of fruit. Waxy, rolling, full palate, with quite a luscious fruit quality. Pear and peach, with just a little hint of slaty on the finish. More intensity than previous two wines, this is also clean and elegant. Very good indeed.

Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenhur Spätlese 2000 – £9.00
Note this was a 2000 vintage wine. Very pale yellow/green. Developing a waxy, schisty quality, though just a touch of sulphur too. beautiful palate: sweet-edged and lush, with clean melon and apple fruit. Very clean and composed and quite long, there is a good fruit purity, though no great complexity at this stage. Very good/very good indeed.

Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Spätlese 2001 – £10.05
Pale green. Quite closed again, with just a hint of honey, then very good citrus fruit emerges, with a mineral element. There is a honeyed, luscious edge to the fruit on the palate, with fine sweetness of ripe pear and lush ogen melon. Long and delightful, with good structure too, this is very good indeed.

Kurt Hain Piesporter Domherr Auslese 2001 – £10.77
Very pale yellow, tinged with green. Honeyed notes on the nose, with a hint of nettles, then lemon-sherbetty qualities. This is medium-sweet, with precise citrus fruit and a definite underpinning suggestion of more lush tangerine and peach. Good acidity and fine length here. Very good indeed.

Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Auslese 2001** – £14.95
The two stars indicates that this was the second picking of the vineyard; one star bottlings also exist. Very light green colour, and an immediately complex nose of honey, nuts, straw and a hint of figgy richness. On the palate it is rich and honeyed, with a juicy nectarine fruit quality battling against razor-sharp lime acidity, all suffused by a steely grip of minerality. Crisp green apple acidity extends the finish, and this has lovely balance. Excellent/outstanding.

Kees-Kieren Graacher Himmelreich Eiswein 2001 – £32.65 (37.5cl)
Deeper colour, but still bright and light. Very honeyed and luscious with deep aromas of candied fig, toast and pecan nuts, a suggestion of lemon oil. On the palate wonderfully deep and unctuous, with rich, thick, sweet fruit of pear, mango and pineapple. There is lovely breadth on the mid-palate, with a suggestion of waxy lime and lemon, and limpid, generous, but precise acidity. Great concentration, balance and fine length. Excellent/outstanding.