A select guest list of wine lovers in Bangalore enjoyed a Riesling treat recently with a tasting of nine wines from MO-RHE-NA Wine Exports from Germany, led by well-known winemaker Ulrich Langguth and his son, Patrick, writes Ruma Singh. Guests savoured every sip of a remarkable selection of wines from boutique German wineries. Pictured above, from left to right: Anna Minocher, Patrick Langguth, Ruma Singh, Ulrich Langguth and Rishad Minocher
The venue was the new eatery, “Curry with a K”, St Marks Hotel, where the chef had put together some interesting pairings of Indian food with the Riesling-dominated wine list. The snacks ranged from fish tikkas to tandoori prawns and an innovative pani puri with grape juice to balance the Indian spice.
Among the wines tasted were an unusual Spatburgunder 2005 Pinot Noir and a delightful late harvest Spatlese from Rheingau’s Hans Lang estate along with the elegant, perfectly balanced Grand Cru Kabinett Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling 2003 from Mosel, and two different icewines: a 1998 Riesling from Losen-Bockstanzor of Mosel and an unusual Kerner Eiswein 2003 from Schick in Rheinhessen. Langguth also presented three wines from his own portfolio. In addition to the Kabinett there was a dry Riesling Qualitatswein Traben Gaispfad 2008, and a Riesling Fern Qualitiatswein 2006.
Speaking as the tasting proceeded, Ulrich Langguth described how the soil and location defined the fineness of the wines and pointed out their low alcohol content. “You can see, alcohol doesn’t account for quality,” he said of the wines which had no more than 9 to 11% alcohol. Rieslings are now grown in several parts of the world, but the Rieslings from Germany (“the cream of all white wines, we believe”) are a cut above because of the long history of wine growing in regions like the Mosel, plus the remarkable soil.
It is wrong to believe all Rieslings were sweet — the variety tasted that evening ranged from dry, off-dry, to semi-sweet and sweet. The special icewines (“very different from the ones from Canada”) were exceptional, so understandably the prices would be high. “They can last over 50 years if the cork would allow it,” he said.
The tasting was courtesy Fine Wines n More and co-ordinated by Maureen Kerleau. Many of the wines are available at retail and in star hotels in Mumbai, and some will be shortly launched in Bangalore. This was a rare opportunity for wines lovers to sample some of the best Germany has to offer.