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