The little wooden guy is a bit unsure. This was the first time any of us tried anything made from the Kerner grape. It was very interesting. It was even good, but the overpowering diesel kept it from reaching very good.
The nose is overpoweringly diesel. At first it surprises, with none of the sweet fruit you would expect from the "Spatlese" on the label.
The feel is slightly thick, that taste fairly complex. It stirs around a bit, never as sweet as you expect, starting with a tiny hint of very sweet limee- think key lime pie, not gimlet, but ultimately settling on over-ripe apple. The diesel from the nose makes a split-secod appearance on the mid-palate and then disappears for good.
Night Two, well actually, Night Three, corked and in the fridge.
Diesel on the nose is still very strong. Behind that is some green apple skin. There is also a fairly strong smell of gooseberry. I wonder if that is from two nights in the fridge.
It is still very thick on the palate, but the diesel is now asserting itself more strongly up front and lingering. Again, the primary flavor is very ripe apples, even stronger than on Night One. The finish gets a bit more tart, ending with green apple skins. It is very long.
This is a very interesting wine. It is as strong a diesel nose as I have ever smelled. The fruit is good, and for a Spatlese it comes across a surprisingly dry.
I was given this bottle as a gift. I have never even seen the grape before, so have no idea how much this costs. That said, for its curiosity and complexity, for its balance with the relatively high sugar content, and for overall drinkability, this is a good wine. Is it great? No. But if you want to add a whole new grape to your list this is a very pleasant way to do it.
Have you ever noticed how a really mediocre bottle can be much better the second night? Sometimes a wine that is "closed" opens up from exposure to air. This is a great hint that the wine is really not as bad as you thought. It just needs more time in the cellar. Alternatively, something great falls completely flat in just a day - drink all you've got, because there's not much time left. Wine starts changing rapidly the moment you open it. So here, at "Two Days per Bottle Wine Tasting," I am going to follow wine from the moment I open it through a second night. Call it an experiment. Join me to see if it really tells us anything useful at all.
My wine review policy
There has been much ado in the blogosphere lately about "the ethics of wine blogging," particularly in the area of wine reviews. Should bloggers review every wine they are sent? Should they do so under a time limit? Some suggest we hew perfectly to the code of journalistic ethics, which forbid both promises. In my personal opinion, that is putting form before substance. Putting the form of the rule- don't promise reviews, ahead of the substance- do what is ethically best, creates a real perversion of the problem. First, and I am being completely honest here, I get a little thrill whenever somebody sends me wine. Why not? Heck, I love the stuff. So what if I (a) like getting free wine, and (b) don't promise reviews. That is easy. I only review the ones I like, out of fear of scaring people off. "Hey," I might say, "this sucks, but if I write that, nobody will send me wine any more." In other words, sticking to the journalists' "code of ethics" actually creates a LARGER ethical dilemma than reviewing everything. On the other hand, promising to review at a time certain takes editorial content away, so that is a promise I refuse to make.
Do you want me to review your wine? I would love to do so. But first, know what you are asking. Take a trip around the blog. See what The Little Wooden Guy, The Big Wooden Guy, and I have to say. We are not always generous or kind. And we WILL review your wine. Honestly. Every time.
If you are still interested, send it here:
David Honig 1 American Square, Suite 2000 Indianapolis, IN 46282