Our esteemed German specialist Michael Schmidt reported excitedly that this wine, one of the most impressive he tasted in early June at the presentation of the new vintage from the Pfalz region, was selling for just £13.95 at the Shrewsbury wine merchant Tanners. Not the most generous marker, he gave Dr Bürklin-Wolf, Wachenheimer Riesling trocken 2013 17 points out of 20 and wrote thus:
'Cask sample. An almost tropical scent is perfectly partnered by some fine spicy nuances. The salivary glands are stimulated by a mouth-watering combination of exotic fruit and juicy acidity. The elegance and harmony of the Wachenheimer belie its mere village-level status.'
And indeed, Tanners, one of Britain's most faithful purveyors of fine Riesling, report that this wine is in fact made from young vines in the the grand cru Goldbächel vineyard. They describe it as 'a lovely spicy wine with attractive pineapple and mango fruit'. A picture is beginning to emerge…
Bürklin-Wolf is of course one of Germany's most admired producers of medium- to full-bodied dry wines, and was an early adopter of biodynamic viticulture. I have consistently been impressed by their wines in recent vintages, even if I found the basic estate Riesling trocken 2011 currently on offer chez Tanner just starting to taste a little long in the tooth. Mind you, its price of £13.70 (which I thought very good value) makes the Wachenheimer 2013 look an even better buy.
This Pfalz Riesling is widely available in Europe though has not, alas, made it over the Atlantic yet.
I actually wanted to make another Tanners Riesling, also described in our recent tasting article More Rieslings, a wine of the week. But my researches showed that Henri Ehrhart, Kaefferkopf Riesling 2012 Alsace Grand Cru is available only from Tanners, at just £11.70, and from the Ehrharts in Ammerschwir. What a shame as this is also great value, and rather nervier and more slender than a typical Pfalz Riesling.
I also gave this Alsace Riesling 17 points out of 20, for what it's worth, and suggested drinking it any time over the next four years (Michael suggested five years for his Pfalz 2013). Here's my tasting note:
'Lightly pungent nose with some perceptible ripeness on the front palate and a dry finish. Really lovely now. Quite intense but open already. Satin texture. But no death by alcohol. Lots of extract though. I think it might go a bit petrolly with bottle age so drink young if you don't like this characteristic. Serve with liver parfait? GV (meaning Good Value).'
Both Rieslings are 12.5% alcohol.
Find the dry Pfalz Riesling 2013
Find the dry Alsace Riesling 2012