Sunday, 12 December 2010

Dr. Loosen Riesling Beerenauslese 2006

Majestic £9.99

Just when you thought the Bordelais couldn't push the breathtaking cynicism of 2009 any further Mouton Rothschild go and commission a Chinese artist to design the label of the flagship '08 wine.

Throw in the fortunate coincidence that 8 is, apparently, a lucky number for the entire Chinese nation and the fact that China is about the only market that buys Premier Cru Bordeaux to actually drink, and you can pretty much double the value of your wine in a single month. The Liv-Ex Fine Wine Exchange had the '08 Mouton Rothschild trading at £7,898 per case at the end of November, up from £4,254 at the beginning of the month.

Fucking masterstroke.

I needed something to bring things back down to earth, to shun the hype, the marketing, and the zeitgeisty nature of the current market. How could I resist 187cl of botrytised German wine for ten quid?

Quite what Majestic think they are doing trying to sell something as deeply unfashionable as a quarter bottle of super-sweet, 6.5% Riesling for a tenner is anyone's guess. But I commend it, and it tickled my sense of the absurd, so I bought a bottle to go with one of the regular '09 Dr. Ls.

The Dr L is a excellent wine: a single metaphorical teaspoon of residual sugar above bone-dry and full of well integrated lush fruit, backed by that slick, limey acidity so associated with Rieslings. But I was hoping the little Beerenauslese would be even better.

I have long ago given up bothering trying to crack the peculiar code system that the Germans insist on using on their bottles, so instead consulted the website to confirm that I was in for a classically sweet Christmassy treat.

"Chill the hell out of that mofo," was the opinion of the Russian who had bought some ok '07 Pomerol and a nicely gutsy Chateauneuf-du-Pape. However I chose to consult higher authorities who advised drinking at a cool cellar temperature.

On the nose TDN levels are just above detection level, giving a pleasing hit of petrol. Intense orange sweetness is perfectly matched by a long citrus acid finish, which completely cuts any potential oiliness. I'm not sure I would serve this with dessert as I think most would be just a bit too much for the wine's simple elegance.

The wee bottle brilliantly encourages solo drinking; enjoy on its own, on your own, with just the sticky-sweet sense of smug satisfaction for company.

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