Koehler-Ruprecht, Pflaz, Kalstadter Steinacker, Riesling Kabinett, 2004 (Feb. 7, 2009)

A couple of months ago, I brought a bottle of the Steinacker Kabinnet to a friend who had shown interest in my girlfriend of two years, the lovely Ms. German Riesling. I had been building up expectations for over a year, telling her all about the German wines I've drunk, in great detail I might add. Thus, Chaim the Proselytist was very much dismayed at her reaction a day after she had finally tasted this wine, that being a pout and the words "rat poison".

I could try to analyze her reaction but the bottom line is I screwed up. By now, I simply cannot understand how anyone could not love German Riesling and I love Koehler-Ruprecht so much, I am blind to the fact that he's really a love-it-or-hate-it proposition. I could have started my friend's education with something more palatable, though not necessarily less complex or interesting. Maybe something a bit sweeter, a bit fuller. I don't know.

Anyway, I felt I owed it to her to re-visit this wine and see what the fuss was all about. Or maybe I owed it to myself.

Aromatically, I find the nose is rather shy at first, but with some air it soon shows red apples, lime, freshly baked bread, bran and a minerality halfway between slate and chalk. The palate is off-dry and echoes the aromatics, but less fruity than I had remembered, somewhat austere, with a ripe acidity that vanishes towards the end to leave a quinine finish. Neophytes, I think, might find this finish aggressive, which was certainly my wife's reaction. I, however, continue to love this charming little wine and the way its aromas tease as they change and evolve in the course of an evening.

Giaconda, 117 NIS.