Robert Parker/Wine Advocate – The 2011 Bernkasteler Badstube Auslese gold capsule, notes Katharina Prum, marks - like the estate's other gold capsule bottlings from this vintage - the point where botrytis begins to play a significant role. The nose offers finely fungal, musky animal and white raisin confirmation of the previous statement. Behind that lie intimations of lime meringue, spiced apple jelly and creme de cassis, all of which translate into a palate impression at once subtly honeyed and vivacious, confitured yet buoyant, and ultimately downright refreshing. Nips of lime and grapefruit rind as well as apple skin and brown spices not to mention saliva-drawing salinity add to the sustained stimulation of a magnificent finish. This multi-layered, enticingly-interactive gem is going to keep its immediate siblings on their toes over the next half century. 95 points, David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate #206
About This Wine
The aromatic complexity is something to behold; floral notes, green papaya and cactus lead seamlessly to a forceful yet shimmering and energetic palate. A powdery structure somehow keeps all generosity in check; the fruit is never too heavy, never too ripe. The wine finishes with a gripping intensity that lingers on and on.
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About German Wines
Germany is the world’s northernmost fine wine producing region and thus requires its vines to endure some of the coldest temperatures. Fortunately, the country’s star variety, Riesling, does well in cooler climates and can survive even these freezing winters.
Germany Riesling is classified by ripeness at harvest which is also used to indicate the wine’s level of residual sugar. Picking earlier means the grapes have less time to ripen and the corresponding wines will be on the drier side; while picking later gives the grapes the opportunity full ripen and produce a lusciously sweet Riesling. The classifications from driest to sweetest: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein (ice wine). While not as common to age white wines outside of Chardonnay, top tier German Rieslings can be aged for decades.
Other notable white grape varieties produced in Germany include Müller-Thurgau (a cross between Riesling and Madelaine Royale in the search for varieties that could withstand the extreme temperatures), Grauburguner (Pinot Gris) and Weissburguner (Pinot Blanc). The cooler German climate leads to earlier harvesting in general and gives German wines a distinctive character of higher acidity.
Historically red wine has always been harder to produce in the German climate. However, Pinot Noir grown in slightly warmer pockets of the country, has been highly successful in recent times. Going by the German name, Spätburgunder, German Pinot Noir can be elegant, structured and have vibrant acidity.