Philipps Eckstein 2011 Riesling Spätlese

Graacher Himmelreich, Mosel, Germany; 8.0% ABV
$5 at the Oakland, CA, store on 18 Dec

PhilippsEckstein_2011_RieslingSpatleseI seemed to think it had been a while since I had had a Spätlese, and I wasn’t sure what to do with one, so I asked Lim13 (who reviewed the 2010 Philipps Eckstein Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett here).  Among his suggestions were having it with a course of cheeses, fruits, and nuts, so I tried it.  I got a piece of Bleu d’Auvergne cheese, roasted almonds, and assorted raisins (golden, red, and brown).  (I prefer blue cheeses that are more aged and musty, not so much those that are fresh-milk-like and tart.)  The combination was delicious, and the wine went nicely with it.  After the sweetness of the raisins, the Spätlese did not taste especially sweet, more like a slightly off-dry Riesling.  It showed fairly simple flavors of yellow apple with some green apple, and some yellow flowers, in an elegant taste.

I tasted it again the next night by itself, and my impressions were surprisingly similar.  I had remembered Spätlesen being sweeter than this one and, while pleasant and tasty, there was little complexity to it.


6 thoughts on “Philipps Eckstein 2011 Riesling Spätlese

  1. palfrey12

    IMO Mosel Rieslings generally lack bite or depth. I rather think of them as the 7UP of Riesling, although the kinder german word to describe them is ‘lieblich’, a rather condescending “nice”.
    For heft stick to the brown bottles from Germany,which generally means the wine is from the Rhine areas. Especially great and rare in the US is Rheingau. France’s Alsace also does great Riesling, but even better Gewürztraminer.

    1. lim13

      Perhaps you’re right, Palfrey…but I haven’t found that to be the case. I’ve had numerous quite delicious Mosel Rieslings for many years. Robert Eymael, St. Urbans-Hof, Ernst Loosen and Carl Loewen immediatly come to mind. But I would agree that Rheingaus are realloy tasty and a bit harder to find here. Of late, I’ve had some from Georg Breuer and Joseph Leitz that were very flavorful and affordable…and a bit richer than the Mosels. I’ve never seen any of these in a GO and wouldn’t expect to. But I drink far more Mosel. Also…there is nothing quite like a delicious, spicy Alsatian Gewurz. On that we can fully agree.

      1. Darrell

        Lim, not only GO but even your favorite wine merchant doesn’t seem to have those prestigious Rheingau labels I use to see commonly years ago.

  2. lim13

    That’s the problem with Qba’s, kabinetts and spatlesen, BW…you can never be sure just how much r.s. will be in each producer’s wines…or what the perceived sweetness will be…regardless of German production requirements. But at least I usually find that the acidity offsets the sugars.


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