2010 Willi Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett

Bargain bins get me every time. I’ll let you in on a little secret- I’m kind of glad that some of my local wine stores are less than well-versed in the art of deciphering German wine labels. I found this eye-raising gem in the “last of the summer wines” bin at an unnamed establishment for a mere $12 and snagged it immediately. Not that there was a whole lot of clamor for white wine in the middle of December, but you never know who’s scouting. Yup, dropped the ’47 Lafite right where I was standing and headed for this. Who needs Bordeaux when you’ve got Brauneberger Juffer? I’m no stranger to Willi Haag. Drank a bottle of the ’06 Brauneberger Juffer Spatlese for my first birthday in college and rather enjoyed it. Continuing along our tasting of Riesling from the ’10 Mosel category, this is a great example of how little you can spend for a quality wine. When I tell people I write about wine, their first question is typically, “Oh, isn’t that expensive?” or “Isn’t it all overwhelming?” When I tell them that I can recommend them a few little favorites that could put Franzia out of business, they typically shirk- “Well, my budget is only around $10!” they lament. The way I see it is that if you can find a median- say, $14, and push your budget $2 in either direction, you can get a pretty decent wine if you offer yourself a range of prices than a fixed number. It’s worth spending a little above your median for an excellent wine like this than spending below for something unpotable. Of course, when you can spend below your budget (I try to stick under $30) and  get something wonderful, you’re in the money as well as the vine.Yes, this made me pretty damned smug. This is a colorful example of yet another bristlingly acidic Spatlese in Kabinett’s clothing. It pours lushly out of the bottle in a clear, honeysuckle color dotted with light petillance. Immediately, it was incredibly fragrant and coats the nose and mouth with a host of olfactory surprises, starting with wafting top notes of white peach, pineapple, green apple, and rock candy. It had a full, thick body and clean, almost minty-fresh texture with an effortlessly sweet, balanced flavor. The acidity was strong, but not lingering. It finished with a pleasant surprise- a persistent hint of muskiness brimmed on the tongue as the sweeter flavors faded out, a ripe, warm earthiness amidst the candy-sweet notes.I rather enjoyed this- it was a perfect example of something reduced in price from a recent, celebrated vintage that was basically flawless. Sometimes buying out of “season” is what can help you, sometimes it’s just a matter of moving stock. Either way. if you find this at $12 or $17, it’s worth picking up a bottle for dinner.

2010 Willi Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett
MSRP $17
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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