no stars Points | International Wine Cellar , January/February 2004
Mosel-like apple blossom, cooling mint, and suggestions of brown spice enveloped in puff-pastry yeastiness. Another Ratzenberger 2002 with great delicacy and refinement of flavor, but what a lot of flavor! Juicy, pure fruit, florality and tingling slate and spice pour forth in the finish, without relying on any overt sweetness for their full effect. (This wine is lower in acidity, higher in residual sugar, and a tad softer in palate impression than the St. Jost Kabinett Halbtrocken, yet the sweetness is less in evidence and, today at least, the balance far superior. ) 2 stars.
Favorite White Wine
I normally favor most any red over white wines, but this one could change my mind.
I don't know the words, it just delicious!!
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The ever reliable Ratzenberger Riesling
Hard mineral edge despite being a halbtrocken means great structure, which is what you expect from Ratzenberger. Does this winery ever produce less than a a great wine? I only give this 4 stars because I'm a nut for their Grosses Gewächs rieslings, and I have to score them higher than this bottle. If I could I'd give this bottle a five and the Grosses Gewächs wines a six.
German vintners and Germany's wine law have often been their own worst enemies, and consumers understandably bemoan the unintelligibility of the labels as well as the mediocre quality of so many commercial-grade wines. It is a shame if this situation acts as a barrier to appreciating some of the world's most distinctive and versatile wines.
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The Riesling grape may scare away some wine novices. In Germany, where the grape reaches its finest expression, labels hew to a rigid, abstruse set of classifications, leaving newcomers with little idea what they may be looking at. Furthermore, many wine drinkers' early experiences with sweet wines from Germany (think Blue Nun), have not been especially rewarding. We say that it's your loss if you continue to fear the...
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