"This monstrosity tastes monstrously good." - This is what Imperial Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had to say about a wine from the Ungeheuer vineyard. "Ungeheuer" is the German word for "monstrosity", and it is also the name of a famous vineyard in the Pfalz region. It is about time for us to review an Ungeheuer wine, and today we are looking at the premier dry (GG) Riesling from Mosbacher - one of the top Pfalz wineries.
"Premier", "top", "monstrously good" - can the wine stand up to all this praise or were the Wine Rambler and good old Bismarck (posthumously) left disappointed?
Before we answer that question, a few words about the vineyard. First of all the name. You may think that etymology may be needed to explain it, or that the quirky Germans came up with yet another "funny" name for a vineyard to confuse foreigners. And yet neither is true, a bureaucrat is to be blamed, apparently. In 1699 a local town clerk, named Johann Adam Ungeheuer, came up with the name - can you say vain? Good old Johann Adam picked a nice spot, the south-east facing vineyard is on a 30% gradient with the soil dominated by mottled sandstone and volcanic basalt. The soil retains heat very well and the site is protected against frost. Perfect for growing Riesling.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, the 2007 Forster Ungeheuer. The nose is an exciting blend of lots of mineral, citrus and some exotic fruit, kerosene, sweet beeswax and tobacco with oily notes - exciting and complex yet very focussed.
On the tongue a clearly structured, very precise, sharp wine. Lots of stone fruit and the sour elements of Zwetschgendatschi (a German pastry flan cake with damsons) blend in nicely with mineral. The finish is very long, a juicy-smooth-wax-finish ending in a focussed mineral orgy. Terrific, or rather monstrously good. An outstanding example of dry Riesling.