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Date: Tuesday, Mar. 22 , 2011


Time: 6 PM


Price: Members: $37
          Guests:   $47

Venue: Faculty Club, Univ. of Toronto,

         41 Willcocks Street
         Toronto, Ontario
         M5S 1C7  - 


Mailed Reservations
          - Fri. March 18, 2011
Online Payments
         - 5:00PM Sun. March 20, 2011


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2004 German Riesling

Tuesday, Mar. 22 , 2011


Guest Speaker: Anne Martin


Notes on the Wines

How the Wines Were Ranked



The ultimate food wine and great for sipping, Riesling is a perfect example of the stunning contrast between sugar and acid. The strong floral-like characteristics create extraordinary white wines. Riesling grapes express the terroir of their region and often mix in mineral elements from the vineyards. Originally hailing from the German Rhine valley in the fifteenth century, Riesling is the leading grape variety in Germany. Today, the grapes continue to be cultivated in the Old World wine regions of Germany and France's Alsace but have also become popular in the New World regions such as Canada, the US and Australia. The unique soil and climate of each region are reflected in the aroma and taste of vineyard's wine. This month Toronto Vintners Club has the unique opportunity to taste this crisp, refreshing and versatile German Riesling Kabinett.


Growing on hard-wood vines, the grapes are small, round and soft with tender greenish-yellow skins that tolerate cold well and bud late. Because of this, they are well suited to the cooler wine regions and grow best in slate and sandy clay soil. Riesling typically yields between three and six tons of grapes per acre and it is estimated to be the 20th most grown variety in the world, but is considered one of the top three white varieties. Riesling is one of the world's most versatile wines, responsible for dry to sweet wine, including dessert and sparkling wines and Icewine.

Rieslings are most often consumed when young and can be characterized by aromas of apples, peaches, grapefruit, honey and rose blossoms. However, due to the higher level of acidity, they are ideal for aging. Over time, the wine tends to gain a petrol note, which may be off-putting to some drinkers, but is actually a key characteristic of high quality Rieslings. Riesling wines are usually pure and are seldom oaked and require careful handling during harvesting due to their delicate nature. The wine has a lighter weight, which combined with its sugar-acid balance, leads it to pair well with a wide variety of food.


The German Riesling Kabinett is typically picked in September, early for Riesling, resulting in light wine with lower ripeness. Wines typically exhibit a high acidity, with floral aromas, and are best enjoyed young. Kabinett wines may have some residual sugar but are well balanced with acidity so they will taste dry or off-dry in some cases. The variety is a higher quality of Riesling and is typically the German version of Reserve. Since 1971 Kabinett has been officially noted in German wine law and must meet stringent requirements.

NOTE: We will not be serving appetizers with these wines. However, bread will be available to cleanse your palate.



The Wines

2004 Bacharacher Hahn Riesling Spatlese Kabinett, Toni Jost (Mittel Rhein) $21.95
"It is the quality of the fruit you look for here, and this is about as lovely as it gets; a delicate mélange of sweet apple, white peach, honeysuckle,
Because of the sheer size and richness of his fruit he reduces his use of sulfur by 1/3 over any of the producers in the area. This Spaetlese is a Grand Cru of the late harvest and a great selection for any serious German section in your wine cellar." 85pts E. Robert Parker


2004 Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus, Balthasar Ress (Rheingau) $15.95
This perennial star offers sumptuous peach fruit balanced by fresh citrus notes; a touch of residual sugar enhances the fruit, while the finish is dry. 85pts Wine Spectator


2004 Urziger Wurzgarten, Dr Loosen, (Mosel) $23.95 "Relies on contract fruit, but all of it comes from steep, slate sites. The result fits into the estate portfolio both stylistically and qualitatively, resulting in a surprisingly complex and outstanding value in nearly-dry Riesling. Lemon, green apple, wet stone, and lightly floral aromas are followed by a crisp, slate-saturated palate and a finish of juicy citrus and apple, nut oils, mineral salts, and wet stone." 88pts E. Robert Parker


2004 Winkeler Dachsberg, Prinz von Hessen (Rheingau) $16.20
"A Riesling with a pale-yellow colour and light green reflexes, which displays a smell from fresh and juicy fruits. The flavours remind of orange blossom and decently of grapefruit. This Riesling convinces with its well balanced acidity and its fine-linked mineral character." Producer's website. 86pts Wine Spectator

2004 Ockfener Bockstein, von Othegraven (Saar) $15.95
"Displays fresh apple, candied orange and grapefruit, and vanilla aromas. Infectiously luscious and juicy in the mouth although decidedly sweet, this Riesling exhibits lightness of touch yet a rich glyceral note, and a long honey and orange finish." 86pts E. Robert Parker


2004 Durkheimer Michelsberg, Kurt Darting (Pfalz) $14.95
"Peach, musk melon and wet stone aromas lead to a glossy palate saturated with a brothy, liquid mineral character rather analogous to that of a Chablis, and a forceful finish of pit fruits, melon, herb and stones." 87pts E. Robert Parker


2004 Scharzhofberger, Egon Muller (Saar) $39 "Smells of pineapple and melon, with a faint hint of botrytis spice and high toned esters. In the mouth the wine is honeyed, tropical-fruited, rich and spicy, silky in feel and – considering the vintage and region – surprisingly soft. The finish is fresh and clear, evincing melon along with subtle suggestions of wet slate, and the overall impression polished and refined." 89pts E. Robert Parker


2004 Berncasteler Doctor, Dr H Thanisch Erben Thanisch (Mosel) $39
"Rich, plush, and sweet, it exhibits a plump personality that is packed with poached pear, mineral, and tangy apple flavors."
87pts E. Robert Parker


Top of page



How The Wines Were Ranked

Please check back after the tasting for the results.


Name of Wine (in order poured) Group Ranking Guest Ranking
A -
2004 Durkheimer Michelsberg, Kurt Darting (Pfalz)
7 8
B -
2004 Winkeler Dachsberg, Prinz von Hessen (Rheingau)
8 7
C -
2004 Hattenheimer Schutzenhaus, Balthasar Ress (Rheingau)
6 5
D -
2004 Urziger Wurzgarten, Dr Loosen
5 6
E -
2004 Ockfener Bockstein, von Othegraven (Saar)
4 3
F -
2004 Scharzhofberger, Egon Muller (Saar)
1 2
G -
2004 Berncasteler Doctor, Dr H Thanisch Erben Thanisch (Mosel)
2 1
H -
2004 Bacharacher Hahn Riesling Spatlese Kabinett, Toni Jost (Mittel Rhein)
3 4