Monday, August 31, 2009
I suppose you can't live exclusively on champagne. God knows I've tried. I've admittedly had my fair share of champagne since arriving in New York last week, but dining at Hearth with a friend, we decided that riesling was the way to go. After all, any restaurant that declares an annual Summer of Riesling program is a force to be reckoned with.
The plan, then, was something young, something old. Young turned out to be a splendid bottle of 1992 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Spätlese, still showing loads of fresh fruit flavors but tempered and refined by bottle age. To follow it, the 1964 Spätlese by Schloss Johannisberg in the above photo.
The image of German wine has largely been shaped by the Mosel over the past few decades, but it's always a joy to drink old Rheingau rieslings. I loved how expressive the terroir signature was in this wine, even at 45 years of age, and it was made even more evident by preceding it with a wine from the Saar. There was still plenty of fruit as well, and in fact, about half an hour after opening the bottle the fruit turned downright primary, with remarkable freshness, clarity and length.