2007 Hans Lang Riesling Auslese Hattenheimer Hassel

Hello friends. This is turning into the month of the price drop on the imports side of things. For last week’s Brunello, I said I didn’t know why the price drop happened. No such mystery today.

The answer: because it’s Riesling that began its life with a $65 tag:

Wine Spectator (Bruce Sanderson): “($65); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

After coming up a little short on the Brunello, I didn’t take any chances here. I just went ahead and bought every last bottle of this available in Seattle (which represents a solid fraction of the 28 cases imported). If we don’t sell every single bottle, I won’t be troubled much. A good Auslese Riesling is practically immortal, and I’d be happy if we end up with some leftovers for my personal stash.

Although Riesling is squarely in the ascendancy among the sommelier set, I still think it’s safe to call it fairly unfashionable. I’ve seen menus from the early 1900s where Riesling was the top-dollar attraction, outstripping first-growth Bordeaux by three times. It was high-quality then; it’s high-quality now. But because it has been out of fashion for so long, the prices have been severely dampened.

Lucky for those of us who love these wines.

Weingut Hans Lang is located in the town of Hattenheim, in the Rheingau (location here), and he’s sourcing the grapes for this bottling from the Hassel vineyard on the slopes above the town. It clocks in at 9% alcohol, and despite the Auslese label, drinks more like a Spatlese to me in terms of perception of sugar. Aromatics combine plenty of primary fruit (orange marmalade, tangerine, lime) with a savory, earthy, fresh-corn element that really ratchets up the complexity. There is plenty of spritzy, citrusy acid to balance the sweet peaches and mangos. It’s a live-wire palate, still drinking very primary, all fruit and rocks, with years and years ahead of it. I’m totally smitten with a bottle like this. You could pair it with something spicy (panang curry comes to mind), or use it to cut through something rich and fatty (having this with a pate would likely offer an out-of-body experience).

Please limit order requests to 9 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the spring shipping window.

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