How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

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Jim Stewart
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How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#1 Post by Jim Stewart » May 1st, 2020, 2:28 pm

Oy vey, another Riesling thread!!!

I have been introduced to the pleasures of young Riesling Kabinett recently. Only a few examples, but they are so deliciously drinkable, and not simple at all, that they provide a lot of what I want right away. Yet I have read many comments about a Kabinett not hitting its "stride" for several years and then providing wonderful drinking for years afterwards. I am very curious as to what changes may take place over time with Kabinett and why it may be rewarding waiting for them. Thanks.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#2 Post by YLee » May 1st, 2020, 2:38 pm

With age they will get a bit more drier, losing more of its sweetness. Petrol and smoke develops. You start to get a sense of the wines backbone.

I should add I am simply generalizing.
Sweet rieslings with age is still sweet for me even though lose some of its sweetness.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#3 Post by T. Williams » May 1st, 2020, 2:42 pm

They are so delicious young I can’t seem to keep any long enough to get any age!
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#4 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 1st, 2020, 2:45 pm

Depends on how long you let them go.

A top Kabinett at age 20-25 can be pretty close to dry, but gain a cornucopia of complexity aromas and flavors. What direction those take depends on the general starting point. Saar Kabinett starts as and becomes a very different thing than Pfalz Kabinett.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett chanith age?

#5 Post by John Morris » May 1st, 2020, 2:48 pm

YLee wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 2:38 pm
With age they will get a bit more drier, losing more of its sweetness. Petrol and smoke develops. You start to get a sense of the wines backbone.

I should add I am simply generalizing.
Sweet rieslings with age is still sweet for me even though lose some of its sweetness.
+1

And +1 to what David just said.

They become more delicate as they dry a bit, and layers of aromatic and flavor complexity develop in good ones. I find they can became sort of ethereal with age -- light but with so much intrigue. The sweetness seems incidental after 10-20 years, rather than being at the center of the wine's identity, as it is young.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#6 Post by Jim Stewart » May 1st, 2020, 2:58 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 2:45 pm
Depends on how long you let them go.

A top Kabinett at age 20-25 can be pretty close to dry, but gain a cornucopia of complexity aromas and flavors. What direction those take depends on the general starting point. Saar Kabinett starts as and becomes a very different thing than Pfalz Kabinett.

How so? Could you elaborate a little on the differences between the aging of Kabinett from these two regions to illustrate. Can you also say something about Mosel Kabinett aging, especially since I am finding their youthful qualities so appealing?

I am getting the message of the wine becoming drier and more complex. Appreciate it.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#7 Post by J. Rock » May 1st, 2020, 3:08 pm

I think whether or not they take several years to hit their stride is a matter of opinion, probably even more so than with other varietals. Get a few older ones from Benchmark, KL, Winebid, etc. and see what you think. So far, I tend to prefer my Kabinett and Spatlese young, when they seem to have more power and sweetness, but I'm still exploring and learning.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#8 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 1st, 2020, 4:10 pm

Jim Stewart wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 2:58 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 2:45 pm
Depends on how long you let them go.

A top Kabinett at age 20-25 can be pretty close to dry, but gain a cornucopia of complexity aromas and flavors. What direction those take depends on the general starting point. Saar Kabinett starts as and becomes a very different thing than Pfalz Kabinett.

How so? Could you elaborate a little on the differences between the aging of Kabinett from these two regions to illustrate. Can you also say something about Mosel Kabinett aging, especially since I am finding their youthful qualities so appealing?

I am getting the message of the wine becoming drier and more complex. Appreciate it.
The wines start in different places. This is a total generalization, but Saar wines tend to start with greener tones (e.g. lime), while Pfalz wines tend to start with more yellow fruit (e.g. peaches). That leads to different end points. I generally find older Saar Kabinett to be almost mouth puckering in a good way, while Pfalz Kabinett goes in a gentler direction.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#9 Post by Howard Cooper » May 1st, 2020, 4:17 pm

T. Williams wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 2:42 pm
They are so delicious young I can’t seem to keep any long enough to get any age!
You need to buy twice as many Kabinetts. Drink half now for the delicious young fruit. Save the other half for the complexity.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#10 Post by Howard Cooper » May 1st, 2020, 4:22 pm

J. Rock wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 3:08 pm
I think whether or not they take several years to hit their stride is a matter of opinion, probably even more so than with other varietals. Get a few older ones from Benchmark, KL, Winebid, etc. and see what you think. So far, I tend to prefer my Kabinett and Spatlese young, when they seem to have more power and sweetness, but I'm still exploring and learning.
I agree. I love older complex Kabinetts. But, I also love young exuberant Kabinetts. But, can you really say that you like young ones better or can you just say you like young ones a lot. How many 10-20 year old Kabinetts or Spatlesen from top producers in top vintages have you had?

Do note that not all German wines improve with age. But, the ones from great producers like Prum and Zilliken really become special with age, particularly from top sites in top vintages.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#11 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » May 1st, 2020, 4:32 pm

I’m finding more and more than I’m regretting (only a little) not having bought more kabinett from 2015 and 2016 and going for more spatlese and some auslese early in my riesling hunt. While I love the latter two, I feel like I have fewer opportunities to open these compared to kabinett. I wish I bought cases worth of these for more regular consumption during their evolution into maturity.
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2017 Goodfellow Family Cellars Durant Vineyard Chardonnay
2015 Laherte Frères Champagne Blanc des Blancs Extra Brut Les Grands Crayeres
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#12 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » May 1st, 2020, 4:49 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 4:10 pm
Jim Stewart wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 2:58 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 2:45 pm
Depends on how long you let them go.

A top Kabinett at age 20-25 can be pretty close to dry, but gain a cornucopia of complexity aromas and flavors. What direction those take depends on the general starting point. Saar Kabinett starts as and becomes a very different thing than Pfalz Kabinett.


How so? Could you elaborate a little on the differences between the aging of Kabinett from these two regions to illustrate. Can you also say something about Mosel Kabinett aging, especially since I am finding their youthful qualities so appealing?

I am getting the message of the wine becoming drier and more complex. Appreciate it.
The wines start in different places. This is a total generalization, but Saar wines tend to start with greener tones (e.g. lime), while Pfalz wines tend to start with more yellow fruit (e.g. peaches). That leads to different end points. I generally find older Saar Kabinett to be almost mouth puckering in a good way, while Pfalz Kabinett goes in a gentler direction.
Thanks David. I've always enjoyed Spätlesen and Auslesen, to say nothing of the even richer grades, but my Kabinett epiphany only happened around 2012/2013, with an 8 year old Willi Schäfer Kabi. Can't remember which vineyard it was (I'm thinking Domprobst but not certain), but 8 years after the vintage is imprinted in my mind. Wow, it was nice. Its pretty close now to having a few ready to test my 8 year and beyond NEW RULE.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#13 Post by John Morris » May 1st, 2020, 6:37 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 4:10 pm
Jim Stewart wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 2:58 pm
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 2:45 pm
Depends on how long you let them go.

A top Kabinett at age 20-25 can be pretty close to dry, but gain a cornucopia of complexity aromas and flavors. What direction those take depends on the general starting point. Saar Kabinett starts as and becomes a very different thing than Pfalz Kabinett.

How so? Could you elaborate a little on the differences between the aging of Kabinett from these two regions to illustrate. Can you also say something about Mosel Kabinett aging, especially since I am finding their youthful qualities so appealing?

I am getting the message of the wine becoming drier and more complex. Appreciate it.
The wines start in different places. This is a total generalization, but Saar wines tend to start with greener tones (e.g. lime), while Pfalz wines tend to start with more yellow fruit (e.g. peaches). That leads to different end points. I generally find older Saar Kabinett to be almost mouth puckering in a good way, while Pfalz Kabinett goes in a gentler direction.
+1

The Saar is a quite cool region (cooler than the nearby Mosel Valley), so the grapes don’t ripen as much, so sugar levels are lower and acid levels are higher. The Pfalz, by contrast, is the sunniest part of Germany, so the natural sugar levels are higher and acids lower.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#14 Post by A G Aguirre » May 1st, 2020, 8:13 pm

I asked a similar question a couple weeks ago (thanks, David). Inspired, I ordered a couple random ‘98 Kabinett to try for myself. Tonight we opened the Mathern Niederhauser Felsensteyer... outstanding. Not familiar with the house, but it’s a Skurnik import. First smell and taste were dull, kind of typical old dry riesling notes. But as it opened up it became clear that while the wine had started to develop some richness and complexity it was still boasting a lot of fresh, ripping acid. The fruit was a tad muted, but even then there was a vein of mango tropicality that ran through it. Blind I would have guessed a Spatlese with some age. 10% abv. ‘98 was not a heralded vintage from what I’ve gathered and yet this sung. I might even rank this a bit higher than some 01 Auslese from a heralded producer we had recently. Maybe just a lucky bottle, but I’m now a believer.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#15 Post by dcornutt » May 2nd, 2020, 11:23 am

They are spectacular but do lose the sugar.
I had some 2002 Egon Mueller Sharzhoffberger Kabinett that I purchased many years ago for a song. I think $18 US. I had the last bottle about a year ago.
It was so complex. Delicious. Just a hint of sweetness. Now totally mineral with some petrol. Not overpowering. Integrated. It was mindblowing.
They age.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#16 Post by Kris Patten » May 2nd, 2020, 1:19 pm

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 4:32 pm
I’m finding more and more than I’m regretting (only a little) not having bought more kabinett from 2015 and 2016 and going for more spatlese and some auslese early in my riesling hunt. While I love the latter two, I feel like I have fewer opportunities to open these compared to kabinett. I wish I bought cases worth of these for more regular consumption during their evolution into maturity.
It's not like the prices have increased by much on Kabinett's from 15 and 16.

I sound like a broken record, but so much depends on must weight as there is only a minimum for Kabinett and many have Spatlese or higher must weights nowadays. Overall I think Kabinett is just as immortal as other Pradikat wines, they just get more linear than rounder for the higher Pradikats (for classic Kabinett must weights).
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#17 Post by YLee » May 2nd, 2020, 1:21 pm

What is "must weight"?
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#18 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » May 2nd, 2020, 1:25 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 1:19 pm
Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 4:32 pm
I’m finding more and more than I’m regretting (only a little) not having bought more kabinett from 2015 and 2016 and going for more spatlese and some auslese early in my riesling hunt. While I love the latter two, I feel like I have fewer opportunities to open these compared to kabinett. I wish I bought cases worth of these for more regular consumption during their evolution into maturity.
It's not like the prices have increased by much on Kabinett's from 15 and 16.

I sound like a broken record, but so much depends on must weight as there is only a minimum for Kabinett and many have Spatlese or higher must weights nowadays. Overall I think Kabinett is just as immortal as other Pradikat wines, they just get more linear than rounder for the higher Pradikats (for classic Kabinett must weights).
It’s not the pricing that I’m lamenting. Besides being great vintages, 2015 and 2016 were sentimental to us (married in 2015, tasted the 2016s when we visited the Mosel). If there are retailers that still carry 2015 and 2016 kabi and haven’t been sitting on shelves at room temp (or worse) since release I’d scoop them right up.
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2020 contenders for WOTY:
2017 Goodfellow Family Cellars Durant Vineyard Chardonnay
2015 Laherte Frères Champagne Blanc des Blancs Extra Brut Les Grands Crayeres
2001 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
2015 Josef Walter Hundsruck Spätburgunder "J"

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#19 Post by Henry Kiichli » May 2nd, 2020, 1:29 pm

dcornutt wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 11:23 am
They are spectacular but do lose the sugar.
I had some 2002 Egon Mueller Sharzhoffberger Kabinett that I purchased many years ago for a song. I think $18 US. I had the last bottle about a year ago.
It was so complex. Delicious. Just a hint of sweetness. Now totally mineral with some petrol. Not overpowering. Integrated. It was mindblowing.
They age.

Nice price on that.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#20 Post by Kris Patten » May 2nd, 2020, 1:55 pm

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 1:25 pm
Kris Patten wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 1:19 pm
Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 1st, 2020, 4:32 pm
I’m finding more and more than I’m regretting (only a little) not having bought more kabinett from 2015 and 2016 and going for more spatlese and some auslese early in my riesling hunt. While I love the latter two, I feel like I have fewer opportunities to open these compared to kabinett. I wish I bought cases worth of these for more regular consumption during their evolution into maturity.
It's not like the prices have increased by much on Kabinett's from 15 and 16.

I sound like a broken record, but so much depends on must weight as there is only a minimum for Kabinett and many have Spatlese or higher must weights nowadays. Overall I think Kabinett is just as immortal as other Pradikat wines, they just get more linear than rounder for the higher Pradikats (for classic Kabinett must weights).
It’s not the pricing that I’m lamenting. Besides being great vintages, 2015 and 2016 were sentimental to us (married in 2015, tasted the 2016s when we visited the Mosel). If there are retailers that still carry 2015 and 2016 kabi and haven’t been sitting on shelves at room temp (or worse) since release I’d scoop them right up.
I'd trust Vinopolis, even have some JJ Prum mags.

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#21 Post by Mattstolz » May 2nd, 2020, 1:56 pm

dcornutt wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 11:23 am
They are spectacular but do lose the sugar.
I had some 2002 Egon Mueller Sharzhoffberger Kabinett that I purchased many years ago for a song. I think $18 US. I had the last bottle about a year ago.
It was so complex. Delicious. Just a hint of sweetness. Now totally mineral with some petrol. Not overpowering. Integrated. It was mindblowing.
They age.
ya should have told me you had some! I would have DOUBLED your initial investment and taken a couple of them. ha!

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#22 Post by Otto Forsberg » May 2nd, 2020, 2:12 pm

YLee wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 1:21 pm
What is "must weight"?
The level of ripeness. Must weight increases with sugar content, which, in turn, increases with ripeness.

German wines are classified by must weight. In the Prädikat system Kabinett requires the lowest must weight, followed by Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese in increasing order.

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#23 Post by YLee » May 2nd, 2020, 2:38 pm

Otto Forsberg wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 2:12 pm
YLee wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 1:21 pm
What is "must weight"?
The level of ripeness. Must weight increases with sugar content, which, in turn, increases with ripeness.

German wines are classified by must weight. In the Prädikat system Kabinett requires the lowest must weight, followed by Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese in increasing order.
Thanks! Learned something today.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#24 Post by Kris Patten » May 2nd, 2020, 3:55 pm

YLee wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 2:38 pm
Otto Forsberg wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 2:12 pm
YLee wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 1:21 pm
What is "must weight"?
The level of ripeness. Must weight increases with sugar content, which, in turn, increases with ripeness.

German wines are classified by must weight. In the Prädikat system Kabinett requires the lowest must weight, followed by Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese in increasing order.
Thanks! Learned something today.
The catch is it's a minimum must weight, so Kabinett must weight can't be Spatlese, but Spatlese must weight can be Kabinett as it exceeds the Kabinett must weight minimum.

Hence warmer years many Kabinett wines can taste like Spatlese, Spatlese can taste like Auslese because those were the original must weights.

Hope that helps,

KP
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#25 Post by YLee » May 2nd, 2020, 4:18 pm

Kris Patten wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 3:55 pm
YLee wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 2:38 pm
Otto Forsberg wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 2:12 pm


The level of ripeness. Must weight increases with sugar content, which, in turn, increases with ripeness.

German wines are classified by must weight. In the Prädikat system Kabinett requires the lowest must weight, followed by Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese in increasing order.
Thanks! Learned something today.
The catch is it's a minimum must weight, so Kabinett must weight can't be Spatlese, but Spatlese must weight can be Kabinett as it exceeds the Kabinett must weight minimum.

Hence warmer years many Kabinett wines can taste like Spatlese, Spatlese can taste like Auslese because those were the original must weights.

Hope that helps,

KP
So the must weight changes every year?
It's not a set perimeter?
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#26 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 2nd, 2020, 4:20 pm

The must weight requirements are set.

The grape harvest changes every year. In warmer years the grapes race past the Kabinett range, and give what can legally be Spatlese or Auslese. Producers like/need Kabinett to sell, as it is more popular, so you end up with supercharged Kabinett.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#27 Post by YLee » May 2nd, 2020, 4:30 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 4:20 pm
The must weight requirements are set.

The grape harvest changes every year. In warmer years the grapes race past the Kabinett range, and give what can legally be Spatlese or Auslese. Producers like/need Kabinett to sell, as it is more popular, so you end up with supercharged Kabinett.
Thx David 👍
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#28 Post by Dan Kravitz » May 2nd, 2020, 4:42 pm

David touches on a major point. Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Riesling Kabinetts used to be my go-to everyday whites, but the wines I drank in the '60s - '80s simply no longer exist.

I was drinking wines with 7 - 9% alcohol, ~1% residual sugar, ~1% titratable acidity and ~3.0pH. For me, these were the wines of the Gods. From basics such as the Cooperative in Ayl to Maximin Grunhaus Abtsberg, they were simply the most refreshing wines I've ever had, or could imagine. Due to a combination of changes in viticulture and global warming, these wines are no longer made. If I had the time for another career, I would plant Riesling on the coast of Norway.

As David said, the must weights are set, but it is now rare for anybody to pick Riesling below the weight for Spatlese. I no longer bother to investigate, but it wouldn't surprise me if half of the wines labeled 'Kabinett' were picked at Auslese levels.

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#29 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 2nd, 2020, 4:49 pm

Dan,

Releasing Kabinett that is legally Auslese happens, but not so often. 2006 was an exception, as high ripeness, and rampant noble rot led to crazy wines. Spatlese level ripeness is of course common, but it’s worth noting that the historical minimum must weights for Kabinett were set at ridiculously low levels, in order to placate industrial producers. The minimums are a joke.

As for Kabinetts in the ‘60s, they did not exist. The modern concept of Kabinett was created via the 1971 wine law. And your sugar level info implies you were normally drinking halbtrocken, as 1% residual sugar is 1 g/l over the maximum for trocken. Additionally, there is still plenty of Kabinett in the 8-9% alcohol range. 7% is quite rare these days.

Perhaps it’s time to update your knowledge.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#30 Post by Jim Stewart » May 2nd, 2020, 5:16 pm

I am getting an education from many of these posts. Good stuff and thanks. Piggy-backing some of the points about must weight (aka oechsle), I found these descriptions of the 2014 and 2015 AJ Adam Dhron Hofberg Riesling Kabinett, a wine that I have enjoyed in both vintages. FWIW

2014 A.J. Adam Dhron Hofberger Riesling Kabinett
from Skurnik website:
"Picked at a mere 79 oechsle (19.2 Brix), this the archetype of the old Kabinett style. Tightrope walking Riesling; versatile, crunchy and elegant. “Light and spicy, old-school Kab and quite linear, really salty, high-pitched and trebly and exotically malic. There’s even an agreeable tartness—and super length.”

2015 A.J. Adam Dhron Hofberger Riesling Kabinett
from the winemaker:
“It was not a bad vintage,” said Andreas Adam with obvious understatement. “But one had to be careful,” he added earnestly, “or the must weights could get ahead of you and then honest Kabinett would not have been possible.”
from Wine Advocate:
Picked at 91° Oechsle, the 2015 Dhroner Hofberg Riesling Kabinett comes from a cooler, later ripening spot in the deeper part of the side valley; it is predominantly fermented in stainless steel tanks. The wine has a clear, fresh and cool bouquet with bright fruit aromas and cool, earthy flavors. Sweet, light, fresh and piquant, this is a round and aromatic, pretty rich and juicy Kabinett. It finishes with nice freshness and piquancy. This is a Spätlese from a cooler spot and it can age for 15 to maybe 20 years.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#31 Post by G. Bienstock » May 2nd, 2020, 5:24 pm

With the warming trend is the Kabinett we crave of the cooler days no longer possible? Likely so with ever rising temps.

So what is the last great Kabinett vintage? I have not tasted many young wines post 08, but I find 08 Kabinett to be excellent. Lean and full of acid. Is 08 the caboose on the train?
Last edited by G. Bienstock on May 2nd, 2020, 8:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#32 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 2nd, 2020, 6:55 pm

There are some wonderful kabinetts in 2012.

Vineyard sources are changing for Kabinett. Sites that were once only used for QbA wines (remember those?) become good sites for more classic Kabinett.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#33 Post by Karl K » May 2nd, 2020, 7:33 pm

Fabulous info from David, Howard, John, Don, Kris, as usual.

This is really potentially an extremely broad topic because as David points out it depends on where you start.

But lots of good info here already.

One point to note is there is must weight and then also residual sugar and net alcohol.

So you can start with pressed juice of the same must weight, divide into two (or more) batches, and ferment to different alcohol levels - say one to 9% with a higher RS and the other to 12% with a lower RS.

The first one will taste sweeter.

I know this post is about Kabinett, but in the example of the two batches above, if we are talking about Spatlese level must, the finished wine could be described as Spatlese trocken.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#34 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 3rd, 2020, 5:43 am

As long as it meets the criteria for RS in the wine. Plenty of 12% Spatlese out there these days that hasn’t gotten to 9 g/l of RS. See Feinherb!
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#35 Post by Dan Kravitz » May 3rd, 2020, 9:35 am

David,

Thanks for the elucidation. I remember that it was the 1971 law that established current Kabinett levels. I did not realize that it was still rare to see Kabinetts harvested at Auslese levels.

Of current vintages on the market, which should I look for to find the lower-alcohol, lower RS, higher acidity that I prefer? 2012s are probably getting thin on the ground, especially where I live and probably even down in Boston (where I don't expect to go for quite a while still).

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#36 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 3rd, 2020, 10:33 am

Dan,

2017 shows a lot of brightness. You might enjoy a wine such as the Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Kabinett Halbtrocken.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#37 Post by J. Rock » May 3rd, 2020, 10:47 am

Dan Kravitz wrote:
May 3rd, 2020, 9:35 am
David,

Thanks for the elucidation. I remember that it was the 1971 law that established current Kabinett levels. I did not realize that it was still rare to see Kabinetts harvested at Auslese levels.

Of current vintages on the market, which should I look for to find the lower-alcohol, lower RS, higher acidity that I prefer? 2012s are probably getting thin on the ground, especially where I live and probably even down in Boston (where I don't expect to go for quite a while still).

Dan Kravitz
I think '15, '16, and '17 are all really great and have great acidity (so the perceived sweetness should be lower for a given amount of RS). 2015 is my favorite of the three (and one of my favorites in general), then 2017, then 2016, but if you're getting the wine from a high quality producer, I think it's pretty hard to go wrong. I like 2018 a lot too, but I definitely find them to be more round and plush and generally without the electric acidity of some other vintages, although I still think they are quite balanced.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#38 Post by Claus Jeppesen » May 3rd, 2020, 12:24 pm

Dan Kravitz wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 4:42 pm
David touches on a major point. Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Riesling Kabinetts used to be my go-to everyday whites, but the wines I drank in the '60s - '80s simply no longer exist.

I was drinking wines with 7 - 9% alcohol, ~1% residual sugar, ~1% titratable acidity and ~3.0pH. For me, these were the wines of the Gods. From basics such as the Cooperative in Ayl to Maximin Grunhaus Abtsberg, they were simply the most refreshing wines I've ever had, or could imagine. Due to a combination of changes in viticulture and global warming, these wines are no longer made. If I had the time for another career, I would plant Riesling on the coast of Norway.

As David said, the must weights are set, but it is now rare for anybody to pick Riesling below the weight for Spatlese. I no longer bother to investigate, but it wouldn't surprise me if half of the wines labeled 'Kabinett' were picked at Auslese levels.

Dan Kravitz
Dan your should try a Hofgut Falkenstein Krettnacher Euchariusberg Riesling Kabinett Alte Reben. It leaves many other Mosel Kabinetts with a kind of too fruity or clumsy expression.
Kabinetts that tasted on their own are stellar examples.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#39 Post by Mike Francisco » May 4th, 2020, 7:46 am

Paul, I with you on 8-10 years being the sweet spot for me and most Kabinett, I think that gives them a chance to unwind but not lose their lively energy. I also think it's not just the top line, and therefore more expensive, producers wines that gain from this time, even wines from more humble producers like Dr Heyden & Bollig-Lehnert give allot of pleasure with a little patients, this make these wines stunning values.

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#40 Post by Chris Seiber » May 4th, 2020, 9:51 am

For me, Kabinett at 12-25 years from vintage is usually terrific. I think it's many times over better as a wine experience than young Kabinett, though I know opinions vary on that.

Young Kabinett to me is more of a tasty fruit beverage experience, while mature Kabinett is much more of a wine experience. Complexity, terroir, cerebral.

If you haven't experienced how good mature Kabinett is, you really need to find a way. Though it's not easy to find them, and the best plan for the longer term is to age your own.

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#41 Post by John Morris » May 4th, 2020, 10:39 am

Chris Seiber wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 9:51 am
For me, Kabinett at 12-25 years from vintage is usually terrific. I think it's many times over better as a wine experience than young Kabinett, though I know opinions vary on that.

Young Kabinett to me is more of a tasty fruit beverage experience, while mature Kabinett is much more of a wine experience. Complexity, terroir, cerebral.

If you haven't experienced how good mature Kabinett is, you really need to find a way. Though it's not easy to find them, and the best plan for the longer term is to age your own.
My view exactly.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#42 Post by Claus Jeppesen » May 4th, 2020, 10:54 am

Agreed
This producer always delivers in aged Kabinett
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#43 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » May 4th, 2020, 11:04 am

Claus Jeppesen wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 10:54 am
Agreed
This producer always delivers in aged Kabinett
Such a great vintage for Prüm.
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#44 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » May 4th, 2020, 11:21 am

Claus Jeppesen wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 10:54 am
Agreed
This producer always delivers in aged Kabinett
I look forward to opening one of my mags of 2015 JJ Prum WS Kabinett for my 50th birthday.
CT: InZinity

2020 contenders for WOTY:
2017 Goodfellow Family Cellars Durant Vineyard Chardonnay
2015 Laherte Frères Champagne Blanc des Blancs Extra Brut Les Grands Crayeres
2001 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
2015 Josef Walter Hundsruck Spätburgunder "J"

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#45 Post by Claus Jeppesen » May 4th, 2020, 11:26 am

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 11:21 am
Claus Jeppesen wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 10:54 am
Agreed
This producer always delivers in aged Kabinett
I look forward to opening one of my mags of 2015 JJ Prum WS Kabinett for my 50th birthday.
And when is that Brian? champagne.gif
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#46 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » May 4th, 2020, 11:26 am

Claus Jeppesen wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 11:26 am
Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 11:21 am
Claus Jeppesen wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 10:54 am
Agreed
This producer always delivers in aged Kabinett
I look forward to opening one of my mags of 2015 JJ Prum WS Kabinett for my 50th birthday.
And when is that Brian? champagne.gif
January 2037
CT: InZinity

2020 contenders for WOTY:
2017 Goodfellow Family Cellars Durant Vineyard Chardonnay
2015 Laherte Frères Champagne Blanc des Blancs Extra Brut Les Grands Crayeres
2001 Joh. Jos. Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
2015 Josef Walter Hundsruck Spätburgunder "J"

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#47 Post by Claus Jeppesen » May 4th, 2020, 11:43 am

Perfect
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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#48 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s » May 4th, 2020, 11:57 am

John Morris wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 10:39 am
Chris Seiber wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 9:51 am
For me, Kabinett at 12-25 years from vintage is usually terrific. I think it's many times over better as a wine experience than young Kabinett, though I know opinions vary on that.

Young Kabinett to me is more of a tasty fruit beverage experience, while mature Kabinett is much more of a wine experience. Complexity, terroir, cerebral.

If you haven't experienced how good mature Kabinett is, you really need to find a way. Though it's not easy to find them, and the best plan for the longer term is to age your own.
My view exactly.
I'm working on it!
Cheers,
Paul

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#49 Post by Jayson Cohen » May 4th, 2020, 5:46 pm

Claus Jeppesen wrote:
May 3rd, 2020, 12:24 pm
Dan Kravitz wrote:
May 2nd, 2020, 4:42 pm
David touches on a major point. Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Riesling Kabinetts used to be my go-to everyday whites, but the wines I drank in the '60s - '80s simply no longer exist.

I was drinking wines with 7 - 9% alcohol, ~1% residual sugar, ~1% titratable acidity and ~3.0pH. For me, these were the wines of the Gods. From basics such as the Cooperative in Ayl to Maximin Grunhaus Abtsberg, they were simply the most refreshing wines I've ever had, or could imagine. Due to a combination of changes in viticulture and global warming, these wines are no longer made. If I had the time for another career, I would plant Riesling on the coast of Norway.

As David said, the must weights are set, but it is now rare for anybody to pick Riesling below the weight for Spatlese. I no longer bother to investigate, but it wouldn't surprise me if half of the wines labeled 'Kabinett' were picked at Auslese levels.

Dan Kravitz
Dan your should try a Hofgut Falkenstein Krettnacher Euchariusberg Riesling Kabinett Alte Reben. It leaves many other Mosel Kabinetts with a kind of too fruity or clumsy expression.
Kabinetts that tasted on their own are stellar examples.
I had the ‘18 two weeks ago, and it was pretty remarkable. My favorite of the ~6 Falkensteins I’ve tried from 2018. Finding it is another story. Supply is very tight in the U.S.

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Re: How does Riesling Kabinett change with age?

#50 Post by R. Frankel » May 4th, 2020, 7:54 pm

Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 11:26 am
Claus Jeppesen wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 11:26 am
Brian S t o t t e r wrote:
May 4th, 2020, 11:21 am


I look forward to opening one of my mags of 2015 JJ Prum WS Kabinett for my 50th birthday.
And when is that Brian? champagne.gif
January 2037
I’ve had both the 2015 and the 2001 in the last few weeks. I hope the 2015 will be as good as that 2001 in 17 years, and have no reason to think it won’t.

I’m less sure about my preferences. The young wines are steelier, shaper-edged, and a bit more intense. 19 years of age softens those edges, mellows out the fruit and amps up the texture. Some of the fruit is replaced by smoky herbal notes. Both are delicious!
Rich Frankel

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