2015 Strub Riesling Niersteiner Oelberg Trocken Rheinhessen


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Importer's Note:
“Taubennest” is the cadaster name for the best parcel in Oelberg. And this wine taught me a valuable lesson. What follows is my “tasting note,” in which I do what tasters do, deconstruct and analyze the flavors of a wine, and also the progression of those flavors and the way the pieces fit and flow. In so doing I felt that the finale of this wine was a little mordant, and this disturbed me in the context of tasting the wine. But the same evening we took a bottle with us to dinner, and at the table the wine was wonderful, because all it needed to show was the mass of fruit and mineral as it entered the palate. I didn’t hyper-focus on the finish because I didn’t notice the finish; I was either stuffing food in my gob or talking with my friends. So the question seems to be: which is more true? The way a wine tastes as you “taste” it or the way it drinks as you drink it? That wine was seriously enjoyable at the table and my inner voice admonished me to not be such a damn pill about the “finish.” I think this clash of purposes is maybe here to stay. My job here is to “taste” and to share the results, but we need to understand and agree that this stuff is only true in a partial universe, the Judgments Of The Tasting Room. In the whole universe, where we simply use wine for any of its numerous purposes, the “judgments” may not pertain. In that spirit, I suggest that this wine is very dry but that it is also the opposite of thin or meager. Its terroir aromas are massive (sandstone over slate) and it has some of the capacious earthiness of (dry!) Alsace Riesling. The palate is juicy and rich. That’s all: juicy and rich, imparted by the old vines in this parcel. Then it seems to slink away a little, and the last flavors are unyieldingly firm. Yet even then the tertiary finish is solid and deep. The wine is strong and significant, but in the tasting room it felt entirely not hedonistic yet at the table it felt delightful. Make of this what you will. I’ll recall this wine for its fine moments and hale companionship, and the little nit-picks I discerned matter much less—though they do matter. – Terry Theise