17 October 2009

Grand Cru...Grocery Prix

When you can go to the local hypermarket, snag a bottle from one of the star up-and-comers in the Pfalz wine scene-a bottle, by the way, from the Pfalz's most famous Grand Cru site-and it costs you under 9 Euro...well, you have to pinch yourself. Weingut Eugen Mueller, situated just outside the renowned vino-hamlet of Forst, is a winery with as many traditional roots as progressive branches. And with some significant changes both to the infrastructure of the winery and the forward thinking of the now-in-charge Stefan Mueller, these wines are going from strength to strength. The range of wines at this estate constitutes unquestionably the greatest source of Grand Cru wines at grocery store prices. I bite my lip each time I walk into the Globus down the street and see these gems dimly lit on the shelves. One wine in particular struck a chord with me for its unbelievable refreshment, acuteness of flavor, and resounding depth: the 2008 Forster Pechstein Riesling Kabinett trocken. All this for 4 Euro and 90 cents. But this note details the contents of another equally delicious, if slightly more profound bottling from the Pfalz's most renowned Cru, the 2008 Forster Kirchenstueck Riesling Spaetlese trocken (dry, 12,5% abv).

This is an utterly impossible wine to dissect right now-and at under 9 Euro/bottle, one wonders if this really needs such clinical attention. But its pedigree will one day demand it. So much promise comes from the nose; the scents almost protrude without really exerting themselves. Forgive me if I say that, at this stage, this smells a bit like high-class Gruener Veltliner: lots of fennel, honeydew and lemongrass. There's abundant fruit here, no doubt, but there's soooo much going on, it almost just blows by you. Give this time. The palate is utter refreshment (as it is with so many of Stefan's wines): proud, vibrant, and exceedingly lush and buoyant all at once. Lots of lime, lots of granny smith apples...just pure, exalted, honest perfection. I love it for what it is right now, but this really needs a year. I think. But dare me to stop drinking Grand Cru wine at less than 9 Euro a bottle. Pleeeeez.

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