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.