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



Müller-Catoir, Haardter Herrenletten, Spätburgunder Weißherbst Auslese, 1994

Posted by Julian 04 Mar 2012

If you want to test the German wine savvy of your knowledgeable friends, here's a little experiment you can conduct in the safety of your own living room. Tell them you want them to taste a German rosé, and inform them that it will be off-dry, well over ten years old, and come with a label sporting a coat of arms and cryptic Germanic font. Mention in passing that this bottle will come from the Müller-Catoir winery. 95 per cent of all wine drinkers will at this point have run away screaming, the living daylights scared out of them.

The remaining 5 % will ask for a screwpull without further ado. From then on, listen to those people.

Weißherbst, that's traditional lightly coloured Rosé from Pinot Noir to you, has a long and distinguished tradition in Germany. It comes in the dry, but also in the sweet style. The aficionados are still battling each other on eBay over the last few bottle of 1976 Weißherbst Auslese or Beerenauslese from the slopes of Assmannshausen or Eltville in the Rheingau, and for good reason.

Here, though, is a comparative youngster, and from one of the legendary wineries of the Pfalz:

Beautiful colour on this thing, somewhere between copper and amber. In the nose, raisins above all, but also ripe quince, and a whiff of what makes Pinot Noir Pinot Noir: Rose hip, nougat, forest floor. On the palate, a hint of cough medicine that takes a little getting used to, no longer young and vibrant, but not old either, very spicy and herbal, if a little bitter and dusty on the finish. But all over your mouth. And long. Sweet but not terribly sweet, this is pretty much in a category of its own. If (and outside of German eBay, that's a big if) you can get hold of a bottle, have no fear and don't hesitate for a second.

This sounds absolutely

This sounds absolutely delicious! I would like to know a bit more about the taste of the forest floor though... :-)


Forest floor

The mossy, earthy smell you get in woods in autumn, or after a summer rain, from damp, rotting leaves or pine needles. That combined with mildly acidic red berry fruit is my favourite aromatic in red wine and, maybe, in anything. May I take the opportunity to announce that I have, just this week, taken delivery of a case of 2009 reds from Weingut Ziereisen, after a long wait.


Müller-Catoir, Haardter Herrenletten, Spätburgunder Weißherbst A

At first my compliments for your very very very interesting tasting floor and your fantastic (expecially the beginning) introduction to this wine !
I am one of those 5%! I was not less astonished as I discovered that somebody else has ever tried this peculiar but fantastic wine! As I read your description, I could hardly believe that it resembled very much my tasting notes of last week ! I could just add : raisin and figs in toffee and eukalypt-oil. I opened my bottle in the early afternoon(2pm) and after a reserved and not so expressive beginning, it changed in the next 6 hours totally, and as you said, with a very creamy and long finish! The next day in the morning was still perfectly shaped, in the eve the nose was loosing but still very pleasant in the mouth!
I'm happy I still got some bottles of this jewel!
best regards


figs in toffee and eukalypt-oil

Very much appreciated, Don Alfonso! Can I just say that figs in toffee sounds inordinately delicious.