• John Paul Kaminga

Drinking Windows: Goldtropfchen



A "buchette del vino", or wine window. Used to protect the people within from exposure to plague as they sold wine.

Apparently there are hundreds of wine to go windows across Italy. They were incorporated into buildings in the Middle Ages, when the plague was ravaging Europe and social distancing was a way of life. These are not the drinking windows we want to talk about today...


When people talk about a wine's drinking window, they mean to indicate the period of time when it will be at its best. A fine Barolo will not enter its drinking window until it is at least 5 years old, if not 10 to 15, though one may greatly enjoy a bottle before it hits its prime. Most wines, however, are nothing like fine Barolo, and there is no compelling reason to save them, though they may drink well over the course of many years.


We recently tried a bottle that will have a long, maybe extraordinarily long, drinking window for something in its price bracket. It is a kabinett from Piesporter Goldtropfchen, one of the most famous vineyards in the Mittelmosel, a wine you should expect to be at least $25, if not $40+. We are simply delighted to present today's feature at under $20, and we can assure you that it is delicious now and will be so in 10 years if properly stored. We thought, however, that it would be interesting to provide a different perspective...


There are many sources of information about wine, but lately one of our favorites is a free publication called Mosel Fine Wines. In their own words:


Mosel Fine Wines is the brainchild of Jean Fisch and David Rayer, two wine lovers with a sweet spot for Mosel and Riesling in general (in particular mature ones) ... among a whole range of other wine interests including Burgundy, Champagne, Piedmont, etc. (the list would be too long to publish completely here!).


In October 2008, they took on the mad idea to launch a publication on Mosel Riesling, capitalizing on the regular visits both were paying to the Mosel anyway (both live near the region).


Both pursue professional careers outside of the wine business which makes their advise completely independent from any commercial considerations: Mosel Fine Wines has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association, or organization.


These guys are legitimate scholars of wine. Aside from publishing thousands of free and reliable reviews, they report on vintage conditions, discuss trends in the world of wine, and delve into history and terminology. They are obviously a bright and curious duo, and they love to share their knowledge. How lucky are we Riesling fans that they exist! We can't recommend their quarterly publication highly enough.


Jean and David reviewed the wine that we feature below, and I couldn't help but gasp at their suggested drinking window of 2029 through 2059. First off, the wine is delicious now, there is no need to wait another 8 years to drink it. Second, I can certainly see how it might be beautiful at age 40, but I should think that its best might come well before that, when its fruity flavors are still fresh. All this said, an ideal drinking window has as much to do with the person drinking as the bottle to be drunk. Some prefer their wines young and fruity, others relish the burnish of age. It is truly a pleasure (and privilege) to cellar and track the evolution of a fine wine. It does not have to be a particularly expensive endeavor, and we're here to advise you on the journey.


Anyway.... the wine: Spater-Veit Riesling Kabinett Piesporter Goldtropfchen 'Armes' 2019. It's a steal! It competes with some very serious and much more expensive Mosel wine. It will be brilliant and diversely capable at the table, but you might especially consider smoked fish, raw fish, spicy veggies, crispy fried fare, all sorts of salads.... excellent kabinett is a cellar staple if you ask us.


Spater-Veit Riesling Kabinett Piesporter Goldtropfchen 'Armes' 2019 - $18

Aromas of crushed stones, smoke, yellow apple, peach, lime, honeysuckle... juicy and sweet on the palate, classically delicate though not particularly light for Mosel kabinett. Great balance of sweetness, acidity and minerality, finishing super crisp and clean, with so much stony nuance. This will surely be worth following for another decade or more.


Thanks for reading!


Cheers,

JPK

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