A Drink A Day: 2008 Ratzenberger St. Jost
I had picked this wine up a while back and had been holding on to it for just the right time. It’s not that this wine is a traffic stopping, end all be all Riesling. However when I first tried it, I also knew it was not the run of the mill variety. I did know that when I decided to open it, it was going to be on one of those occassions that was meant to be shared and celebrated. This last Sunday was that day. It was father’s day, it was my father-in-law to-be’s birthday. We told our daughter that her Aunt was getting married. We had family in from out of town. It was one of those perfect summer days that needed the perfect wine. This wine was it.
To set the stage, these grapes grew up on vines in the village of Steeg on a small hillside that the Romans referred to as “Altar of Bacchus” when they first planted vines there in the first century. So flash forward two thousand years and, well, you get this wine. It was clean and lightest of pale gold showing just the smallest of traits of maturity to it. We let it sit for a handful of minutes and that is all this wine needed to open up and say how do you do. It gave us that great hint of petrol that Rieslings are well known for with lime, honey, and green apple. I think I just sat there smelling it and swirling it and smelling it for about three to five minutes. It just was so full, complex, and giving from the start.
I finally gave in and took that first taste. It was crisp, with all the flavors that were on the nose plus some apricot / stone fruit notes that let them selves be known. It was acidic and there was no mistaking just how full of minerals this wine was. This is a perfect wine to pair with seafood or chicken, but damn I’m glad we enjoyed it with some homemade chocolate cake. I know it is cliché to say buy on sight, but I could care less: Buy this wine on sight. Hell, order it if you can. This wine is perfect the way it is now, but you can even let this beauty age for another 5 to 10 years and it will still be just fine.