Sometimes (okay, lots of times) I can get truly stumped by the world of fine wine. And today, file me under the Truly Stumped category, because I can’t figure out some of what I’m going to tell you about.
Now, before I do that, I should state up front that I’m not really one to comment on a business model. But I do know a good wine when I taste it, so I’m hoping that will carry this post through the bits that I simply cannot explain.
And before you ask: No, I did not have wine with aliens from outer space on a UFO hovering above the city of Kelsterbach, or anything freaky like that. At least, not lately.
Aw, man, totally lost my train of thought there…
Are you still here? Sorry – I swear this will start to make sense in a paragraph or two…
Anyway, what I did do was enjoy a media sample of some fantastic German wines sent to me by the knowledgeable folks at TrulyFineWine.com, which eventually this post will be about, I promise.
What I do understand is how good these wines are, despite many of them being “only” in the second class of Germany’s quality wine category. The wines that TFW have picked are big-time over-achievers, delivering some tasty greatness that rivals the higher German quality categories, but often at lower prices.
What I don’t get is why a company that hand selects about 70 wines that it imports from 9 outstanding German producers calls itself Truly Fine Wine, or why it’s located in California instead of the east coast. Like I said, I’m not here to talk about business models.
The guys at TFW convinced me that they seriously know their stuff. The Sekt (German sparklers made in the traditional Champagne method) that they sent to me was one of the best sparkling wines I’ve ever had in that price category. Their portfolio runs the gamut from By-the-Glass pours to limited-availability Charta and “signature” selections.
To the mini-reviews:
99 Gutzler Vintage Riesling Sekt Extra Brut (Rheinhessen): Stellar trad. method bubbly with peach, apricot, & non-stop creamy yeastiness.
07 Hans Lang Sabrina’s Riesling Semi-Dry (Rheingau): German all the way. Stone, lemons, & honeydew melons. Crowd-pleasing price as well.
05 Barth Estate Charta Riesling (Rheingau): A walk thru a flower garden eating a peach, w/ honey-lemon candy for dessert
05 Hans Lang “Johann Maximilian” Riesling Trocken (Rheingau): Kabam! A world of flowers, apricot, & lime atop of a total Atlas of alcohol.
Of course, many of us here in the U.S. find the German wine landscape to be less than user-friendly. To help you out, TFW has a nice little treatise on the basics of German wine. Many of the selections available from TFW also have simplified labels, which will no doubt assist the budding German wine enthusiast in you to make your selections more easily.
TFW is also starting to get into the “wine conversation” online with a German wine blog, and are part of the Open Wine Consortium, so go friend them up!
Unless you’re a space alien. Because that might freak me out.