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

J. B. Becker, Eltviller Sonnenberg, Riesling Spätlese, 1988

Posted by Julian 06 Aug 2011

Contrary to the impression given by my recent confessional posting, I do not generally source my aged Rieslings by going through the neighbours' garbage. Here's one I bought absolutely regularly from a Munich wine shop. J. B. Becker is Rheingau winery known for the uncompromising traditionalism of its winemaking and the longevity of its Rieslings.

So while we are on the topic, I thought another little review may be in order:

And it will have to start promisingly with the beautiful golden colour and the distinctive nose of camomile tea, smoke and slightly burned fruit cake.
On the palate, things get a little more controversial, because here, the petrol and wax notes and a certain dustiness come in, and those are not everybody's cup of tea. I enjoyed them, such as they were, especially combined with the lively acidity and the ripe fruit of yellow plums. Others - we had an extended Wine Rambler committee working on this one - could have done with a little less of the maturity.

To sum up, a seriously aged Riesling that even I would probably have enjoyed a little more four or five years ago, but a gratifying experience nonetheless.

"a seriously aged Riesling"

Your description now brings back the memory of drinking this wine at your kitchen table. I agree it was "a seriously aged Riesling" and I seem to remember I was leaning a little more towards thinking it would have been better a few years earlier with a little more fruit. Even so it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience and I envy you the range of matured wines you can get in Germany.

The kitchen table of the wise

I'm sure that one day, when we will both be seriously aged ourselves, we will drink our wines neither too young nor too old, we'll drink them just when their time has come. Then we'll just nod and say "ah, I remember the time when this was a wee young wine...".

Using the word "wee" you will

Using the word "wee" you will have made my Scottish friend Laura very happy. And me with this nice image. Cheers to that!