Thursday, 24 February 2011


Nestled at the foot of grand cru vineyard Ungsteiner Herrenberg, Pfeffingen Estate is the epitome of picture-book Pfalz.

Weingut Pfeffingen, Riesling Herrenberg "M" Riesling Grosses Gewächs trocken 2009, Pfalz
The "M" refers to "Mardelskopf", which is a sub-plot of Herrenberg that can be pinpointed on old land registers. Demarcated by sandstone walls and hedges, it offers an ideal microclimate for growing Riesling with its limestone soils covered by a top-soil of loess and loam.

An aroma quite unlike anything I've experienced springs out of the glass. Eventually, the best descriptor I can apply to it is "pickled artichoke". I'm still curious though, so I search the Internet for previous tasting notes. Finally, I stumble upon this, where the word "graphite" is used. Graphite? Spontaneously, I think of golf clubs made of graphite, but they don't smell of anything. But then the penny drops: "Oh, graphite as in pencil scrapings. I see..."

Moving swiftly on, I also detect peach - though that's far less interesting than pencil lead in the grand scheme of things.

Peach also envelopes the palate, along with apricot, lime, redcurrant and spicy, earth notes. The best thing about this wine, however, are its tactile qualities. By this, I mean the way it feels in the mouth. There is a certain viscosity and warmth there, plus the finish just goes on and on, leaving me with a satisfied glow. Very dry but very balanced, this Riesling is merely a toddler in ageing terms, but it is a very earnest infant.

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