TheWineRambler "A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for" - Kingsley Amis



Florian Weingart, Schloß Fürstenberg, Riesling Kabinett halbtrocken, 2010

Posted by Julian 16 Apr 2012

Here's a fun fact of German wine geography: From the one region that most people would intuitively associate, as a landscape, with German Riesling, you will most likely never have tried one. The Mittelrhein region, the slopes of the Rhine valley from just south of Bonn, past Koblenz, to the mouth of the river Nahe in Bingen, is an iconic landscape of germanophile romanticism. It is strange to hear, then, that quality winemaking is actually having a hard time there, with potentially superb vineyards unworked and given over to scrubland, terraces in some disrepair, and only a handful of creditable producers holding on. Among those, some say foremost among them, the Weingart family. I have long wanted to place an order there, but only last summer got around to do it for the 2010 vintage.

In the shipment, this off-dry Kabinett. The utter classicism of the category within German Wine is nicely underscored here, I think, by the sylishly subdued label, and the old-school brown bottle. But this alone will not get the Wine Rambler to approve, so let's get to the more significant qualities:

Nice, fairly dark straw colour. A fruit-and-fibre kind of Riesling nose: Peach and stones, but also a little honey, multi-vitamin and carrot juice. Very nice, but with an unusual little eat-that-that's-good-for-you component. Ripe and open fruit on the palate, with a hint of something rougher and more phenolic than your usual Mosel Kabinett.

Unpretentious and substantial. No less than enjoyable, but I wasn't blown away either. No doubt there is still room at the top for the dry and sweet Spätlesen still waiting their turn in the cellar.

Weingart 2010

Dear ramblers,

I share your sentiment regarding Weingart, who I have held in high esteem ever since I first tried one of his Riesling ca 7 years ago. I have been to his place a couple of times and appreciate his unconventional approach to wine and winemaking in general. After I was absolutey blown away by one of his 2009s - 3 bottles left in the cellar - I had ordered 12 different of his wines from 2010 without having tried them.I have rummaged through my notes of hte ones I have already had (6-7 bottles) and I feel it's safe to say that atleast for my palate his 2010 have underwhelmed me. Especially the Spätlesen have somewhat lacked the necessary acidity to balance the immense fruitiness which at times even bordered on sugarsweet grape juice. And the Kabinetts appear a little lackluster and one-domensional. I have therefore decided to leave the remaining bottles untouched for a few years and see if that does any good to them. But then again maybe that was the problem of 2010 in Mittelrhein. I have yet to open my 2010 bottles from the Mosel, Molitor and yours truly Haart.

On a totally different note, what's the gossip regarding the 2011 vintage in Germany?

Best regards, namri


better than what I could do

Many thanks, Namri, for your comment. It embarassed me slightly to say that it's probably more knowledgeable and informative than my original review. But I can help with assessing the 2011: It will be spectacular, sensational, beyond belief, and I have this on the best authority. Seriously though, the only thing clear at this point is that it has been another small crop, due to the freak frosts in May 2010, so we will see prices rise noticeably.