Thursday, 5 April 2012

La Roche

Here's a charmingly French name for what is an uncompromisingly dry German Riesling.

Villa Bäder, Uffhofener La Roche Riesling trocken 2008, Rheinhessen, Germany
I had to look hard to locate Uffhofen on any map. As far as I can see, it's a little addendum to the village of Flonheim situated out in the hinterland of Rheinhessen - although it's not even mentioned on the map. "La Roche" is the name of the vineyard. I'm just speculating, but this may have something to do with it rocky soils. In any event, you certainly get a taste of the earth with this wine.

Immediately focused and expressive on the nose, despite having only just been opened. Almost bubble-gummy at first, then with red berries (redcurrants) and some banana and grapefruit. Elegant. On the palate, a lovely film of chalky viscosity covers the teeth. It's hard to describe, but it's less a taste and more a tactile experience. There is barely any fruit as such, but ample minerality. (I know the word "minerality" often gets bandied about willy-nilly, but in this instance it describes what is essentially a physical sensation in the mouth.) Somehow, this generates a certain sweetness which is balanced by some refreshing acidity and maybe some bitter hints on the finish.

The end result is a complex, bone-dry wine that still manages to taste satisfyingly succulent. Great stuff.

[NB: Villa Bäder has been known as Weingut Bäder since 2009.]

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