2001 Weingut J. & H. A. Strub Niersteiner Paterberg Riesling Spätlese

I wish I could tell you that my first real, vivid recollection of wine was a Mouton Rothschild, a Dönnhoff, a Pétrus. That I grew up ingesting Gerber along with Guigal and macerated baby food with a nightcap of Dow’s. But though I tasted small sips of whatever my family was drinking at the time, my inaugural introduction into the wonderful, wild world of wine was a casual interaction some ten years ago, a sip of fate that would make an indelible impression on my tongue and soul.

It was probably about 2002. No, I wasn’t 21. No, my parents didn’t know. But it was summer, July, and we had just finished a beautiful dinner with some family friends, capping the evening off with a cherry clafoutis. Unbeknownst to all (this, I cannot stress enough) I was alone outside briefly, long enough to grab the last of a glass and change my palate forever.At first sip, the J & H.A. Strub is unremarkable. It has all the hallmarks of a fine German Riesling– a pale, sun-kissed  straw yellow color with slight saline, a mineral touch on the tongue with a cool, rich texture, a sweet bouquet of apples and stonefruits, and a clean, sweet finish. But that’s what makes it so alluring to anyone, especially a 13 year old flirting with the noble Riesling. Throughout the course of an evening, it simply rises above itself with a defined flavor evocative of late summer– apple orchards and a solid citric aroma. It may not be special or expensive, but it is solid, a refreshing alternative to other sugar-laden Spats, and a surprising contender to most Mosels, harkening from the lesser known Rheinhessen region of Germany. At its best, it has a round, honeyed lingering finish. While it lacks the firm acidic bite of the 2001 Gunderloch Spätlese Nackenheimer Rothenberg and does little to step outside its varietal character, it is remarkably resilient to temperature changes and opens up quickly after uncorking. Delicious, a phenomenal example of its vintage and a good team player. The consistency is what counts here. And eight years later, I haven’t looked back.

2001 Weingut J. & H.A. Strub Niersteiner Paterberg Riesling Spätlese
MSRP $18.99
90/100

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About Jess
Rotten? Perhaps. Sweet? Without a doubt. Welcome to Nobly Rotten- the wine site that dares to be a little off.

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