Silver Anniversary Wines

You know what they say: with old wines, there are no great wines - only great bottles.

Dr. Loosen, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Riesling Auslese, 2005

The last of a half case I bought ten years ago didn't not fare well. The deep golden color was a bad sign, validated by almost non-existent acidity. Sad. (Aug. 9, 2020)

Moving on to the backup.

Dönnhoff, Nahe, Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle, Riesling Auslese, 2005

To be quite honest, even though it's in markedly better shape than the Loosen, I'm not sure it hasn't slipped a bit. I certainly expected more vibrancy and freshness. But there's still plenty of fine acidity and nuances on all fronts: a savoriness on the finish counterbalancing the sweetness and complex backdrop of herbal and mineral aromas. (Aug. 9, 2020)

Marqués de Murrieta, Castillo Ygay, Rioja Gran Reserva Especial, 1995

This was a survivor, indeed, showing the sauteed mellowness of an mature, yet still robust, Gran Reserva. The tannins are still in place, but integrated. The nose smells of old wood furniture and tertiary, balsamic, nutty notes. It's the old school Rioja style where it was perfectly acceptable for old Riojas and sherries to have common traits such as these aromas, because the clientele expected it. The reason I'm wary of it these days is that I don't know how much of the style comes from the fruit and the land how much from the barrels. I accept it in Jerez because I look for the oak aging and flor, but less so ith red grapes. Still, on its own terms, before it starts flirting with disintegration and the savory and sweet flavors start clashing for dominance, it's pretty damn good, although not as great as I'd expected an Ygay to be. (Aug. 10, 2020)