I couldn't think of a better way to start the cataloging of 2009's final BuS-nOtes with what I described above as "my little dose of vintegrity for 2010". For those who've read my first two Body und Soil posts, you'll know where I stand when it comes to wine and vinous integrity, and the following is a wine that left me downright vexed. 2007 Clemens Busch Riesling Spaetlese. Copper, wintergreen, flint, some elusive spice note, and scotch. Yes, scotch. This wine just has me torn. While it doesn't taste flawed, I dare say it doesn't taste quite like Riesling either. Mrs. (Hot) Body und Soil said, "Oh yeah, that's definitely Riesling," when she first sniffed it after my quizzical looks. But I'm convinced I'd peg this as extremely good Alto Adige--or regardless, Italian--Pinot Grigio. The wine was an emphatically Italian paradigm, nasally speaking.
Flavor-wise, this thankfully does not taste like scotch, and even more thankfully, tastes more like Riesling than the nose alludes. Right off the bat there are echoes of the dominating minerality, an almost overwhelming salinity that smacks of high-quality German mineral water gone flat. There is definitely some lime intensity in this, but darned if it doesn't start to morph into something positively Pfalz-ish, tasting more like the blazing basalt notes of Odinstal or Forst's Pechstein. My 'A-ha' moment: Aloe! An aloe note seems to permeate this wine when slightly more chilled. Warmer, this subsides more towards, well, alcohol. Scotch or vodka. Take your pick.
Day 2, this was just a strange beast. No real elegance here, just a rock of a wine, dripping with ore and saline, bitter and dogged like a stale Triscuit. An oddity--to me at least--of the Mosel. The sweeter wines of this estate, as well as their Feinherb creations (with just a bit too much sugar, but a blast to drink nevertheless), are substantially more refined and transparent than this monster. I'd put this stranger in a line-up of Mittelhaardt Rieslings and watch in wonder as a group tried to call the ringer. Quirky body, lots of soil, but not in harmony, and NOT Mosel. One more bottle left, so we'll see if this was merely anomalous.
To a Happy New Year, and even Happier, Harmonious Body und Soil Experiences!
Jeff and Mandy