Rob Moshein - The Austin Wine Guy

Enjoy them while you can...Kabinett may be endangered.

August 29, 2010

So, yesterday, yr mst hmbl & obdt srvt stopped in at The Austin Wine Merchant, my favorite Saturday pastime.  John had a heck of a deal for me, you have to love him.  The J.J. Prüm Riesling Bernkasteler Badstube 2007, for $16 instead of $37.99!! I whipped out a $20 bill without hesitating.

I loves me my German Rieslings, the real, great, ones, from the Mosel. JJ Prüm is right up there. I'd drink more of them if I could, but the price of admission is usually way too steep for me, up around $50 or more.

This one was no exception, except for being so young.  Dr. Prüm himself suggest 5 years age even for the Kabinett.  But, it was delightful anyway.  Typical nose of flowers, stone fruits and honeysuckle. Lovely palate of minerals, flowers, lime and a nice slighly fat tone underneath.  With the Country Captain I made for dinner, it became all clean, crisp and minerally.

In summer's heat, I prefer Kabinett to Auslese, for the lighter, cleaner more elegant style and the lower sugars of course. Chatted with the Wine Curmudgeon Paul on the phone, who happened to call while I was first tasting the wine, and who knows full well how much I enjoy Kabinetts. "Enjoy your Kabinett while you can." he growled. "Global warming will put an end to good Kabinett. There won't be any in the next few years...."

He seems to be right, as usual. There is now a "new normal" for German weather for the winemakers. One hundred years ago, the "perfect" summer of 120 days of sunshine in the Mosel would occur only once in 15-20 years and they were still harvesting in mid to late October. In 2009, they hit that before the end of September and harvested October 1.

Ernst Loosen blogs about his fine vineyard. .  Go here and you can read all about the "new normal" for the Mosel. "The 2009 harvest showed us once again that “normal” can no longer be considered typical when it comes to growing grapes here in the Mosel valley. In recent years, our winters have often been less severe than normal, spring has been getting warmer and wetter, bud break and flowering are coming earlier, and hang times are getting longer. We don’t know what these apparent climate changes portend for the future" he wrote.

Dr. Loosen even acknowledges that the Mosel Grand Cru vineyards are no longer producing much true Kabinett. "If the bottle says “Kabinett” on it, then it should taste like a traditional Mosel Riesling Kabinett — light, racy and delicate. That’s why we’re going more and more to cooler, higher-elevation parcels outside our grand cru, single-vineyard sites."

Whoa.  I need to go back first thing tomorrow and see if John has any of the Prüm Kabinett left.


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