Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A 2007 Spätlese Trocken From Huff

HuffEric Asimov and crew just reviewed several 2007 German spätlaesen but I want to tell you about a dry (trocken) wine I had earlier this month. Not only is it terrific in its own right, at well under $20 it's considerably cheaper than the modestly sweet examples that the NY Times panel focused on, and spectacular given the price.

Georg Gustav Huff Niersteiner Hipping Riesling Spätlese Trocken 2007
The name's a mouthful, but so is the wine. This hails from the esteemed Niersteiner Hipping vineyard, about which I unfortunately know little, except that it's a steep, ESE-facing vineyard in the heart of the Rheinhessen. You'll find a more comprehensive discussion on the terroir of the vineyards near Nierstein at The Wine Doctor.

You may know that 2007 is considered a "spätlese vintage" in Germany, as in many cases the spätlesen are extraordinarily balanced. I unfortunately have no experience with Huff's trocken prior to this one, but I can tell you that this wine has lovely aromas of green apple, ripe peach, and smoky gray sea salt. The palate more than equals the nose: it is simultaneously rich, fruity, dry, precise, delicate, and complex. Subtle — but not shy — notes of herbs, smoke, lime, and rocky minerals join the party on the finish.

The presence at midpalate is particularly impressive, and with its fruit and body this paired well with a cracked pepper-heavy quinoa pilaf. The real question is, what would I not pair this with? Thanks to its beautiful fruitiness, minerality, and complexity, the Huff Spätlese Trocken is a food lover's dream: it should pair very well with everything from spicy Thai takeout to complex, fastidiously prepared cuisine, from ultra-fresh vegetarian dishes to cured or grilled meats.

The only caveat here is that it's bottled with a plastic cork, so drink up.

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