Gimmeldinger Schlossel Rieslaner Spatlese, Muller-Catoir
Great Rieslaner can leave you lost for words, as this one did. And you need a lot of words to even start describing a wine as intricate and profound as this. Let’s say power, mentholated brilliance, elegance, seems drier than its brothers among the Rieslings, and super-salty on the back palate.
Rieslaner is a crossing bred in Franken, presumably to create a grape which would give Silvaner expression in Franken soils and bring Riesling acidity and frost-resistance along. It does seem to make the best Franken wines and good to stunning wine anyplace else it’s grown. Which isn’t often, unfortunately. Other growers report its acidity is obstreperous in unripe years, but Hans-Günter Schwarz loved it for just that reason. I find it an innately fine variety, which gives more acid than Riesling of similar ripeness. Its inherent varietal flavor is lime-grass and berry rather than apple or peach. It can produce the most singular great wine on earth, the only great wine of its type. But make no mistake, this is “supernally” great wine; nothing else even comes close. Rieslaner is more widely planted than one might suspect, though little of it is bottled as is. Many growers have it planted as a kind of secret-weapon to be blended with Riesling! Even five percent Rieslaner will galvanize a decently good Riesling, or
so I am told, by someone who would never himself do such a thing… — Terry Theise
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