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"German" Riesling is uncorked

23 Apr / 2019

When it comes to long-term storage of wine, cork simply has no competitor.

Riesling has an extraordinary capacity to age, and cork has an unrivalled capacity to manage this process.

But it’s not often that there’s a chance to put tis to the test - by uncorking a 207-year old bottle of ‘German’ Riesling.

The early 19th century vintage came from the cellars of the historic Pfalz estate Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann.

The 1811 Riesling from the estate’s Forster Ungeheuer vineyard was tasted on 26 August in the village of Deidesheim, to mark the producer’s 300th anniversary - a once in a lifetime experience.

Three vintages of each Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan; Reichsrat von Buhl and von Winning, covering 1988, 1979, 1967, 1953 and 1925, were also tasted before the 1811 Riesling was uncorked.

According to Decanter Premium, which covered the uncorking ceremony, “The colour was amber; the nose at first had a hint of smoke which then opened into notions of lanoline, beeswax, lifted citrus and white truffle.The palate was fresh-faced, friendly, just off-dry and, incredibly, still had almost juicy playfulness, verve and impeccable balance. That it was 207 years old left us speechless.”

Careful monitoring of the cork closure played a central role in this 207-year old journey from bottling to drinking.

Gunther Hauck, Bassermann-Jordan’s managing director, said that the 1811 wine had been regularly re-corked, subject to rigorous scrutiny but without any additions, other than top-ups from one bottle of the same wine which had been sulphured.

Two bottles were used at the tasting and the last eight bottles remain at the estate.

Anne Krebiehl MW responsible for the tasting, said that the freshness and pristine nature of the relatively dry 1811 wine were quite astonishing.

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