I was happy to have the opportunity to come to this year's Terry Theise Germany/Austria tasting at Fort Mason, as I missed it last year —much to my disappointment. I'm even more disappointed now that I got a glimpse of what last year's largely 2011 offering must have been like. There were a few 2011s scattered across the tables and each one had a ripe, earthy, hint-of-petrol aroma that I love in warm years.
All in all the 2012s were super-clean (spared of unwanted botrytis), possessed powerful acidity, and overall balance.
I have learned that tackling every wine —166 this time, is impossible without feeling the effects of so much acid and sugar on my teeth, so outside of a few Austrian producers I can't ignore (like Hirsch), I concentrated on the German producers on my 80 or so tastes.
If you love German and Austrian wines, you owe it to read Terry's yearly catalogs, written in his irreverent style, packed with insider insights to the present year's wines. You can find them on Wine Wise's site here. New to me were the Gysler (Rheinhessen) wines, and Darting (Pfalz), both of which I liked. Top wineries for me were von Winning (Pfalz), Donnhoff (Nahe), Selbach-Oster (Mosel), Hexamer (Nahe), and Christoffel (Mosel).
Here were my favorites:
2012 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett
2012 Schlossgut Diel Riesling Kabinett
2012 Gysler Weinheimer Riesling Kabinett
2011 Gysler Weinheimer Riesling Kabinett
2012 Darting Durkheimer Fronhof Riesling Kabinett troken
2012 Darting Durkenheimer Fronhof Scheurebe Kabinett (which had basil aromas!)
2012 von Winning Riesling
2012 Dr. Deinhard Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling troken (great)
2012 von Winning Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad Riesling troken
2012 von Winning Sauvingon Blanc "I" (incredible. I had no idea Pfalz SB could be this good)
2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett halbtroken
2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnuhr Riesling Spatlese feinherb "Uaralte Reben" (ancient vines)
2013 Selbach Saar Rielsing Kabinett (barrel sample)
2011 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett
2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett
2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Scholossberg Riesling Auslese (amazing)
2012 Hermann Donnhoff Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett
2012 Hermann Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Eiswein (lovely and heady from a monopole)
2012 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling "Quarzit"
2012 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Spatelse
2012 Joh. Jos. Chriostoffel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese
2012 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese
2012 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Urziger Wurtzgarten Riesling Auslese "Kauen"
2012 Kruger-Rumpf Scheurebe Spatlese (very unusual)