A screwcap on a Bocksbeutal? The prophylactic properties of the screwcap take on a whole new meaning in this case as the wine is never impregnated by a uncovered cork. It may in a funny bottle with a funny top (complete with double entendre), but the 2005 Randersackerer Marsberg, Riesling Spatlese Trocken, Spielberg Gutsabfullung Franken, Wiengut Schmitt’s Kinder is a wonderful wine. Besides being a current contestant for long wine name of the year, its linear focus, punchy minerality and long laser-like finish reminded me why riesling is my favorite white variety. The emergence of excellent dry (trocken) wines like this from regions of Germany that were (rightfully) ignored years ago offers a delightful replacement for the now sweet and overly alcoholic wines of Alsace. While those Alsatian wines are wonderful with cheeses, dry German rieslings like this are much better with dinner.
Another stand out dry riesling comes from Austria, the 2006 Offenberg Spitz Riesling Smaragd, Wachau Wiengut Johann Donabaum, which sharpens your palate like a honing steel. Gloriously fragrant and spiced with a hard edge of acidity that focuses everything into a long, lingering whole. It’s hard to imagine two more pleasurable wines to have with dinner.
Getting back to the Bocksbeutal, it’s great to see more and more producers practicing safe bottling.