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The ageing of Riesling


Yes, I’m sure you’re right about RS in reds. And maybe a little in whites too. But that would be 2 (or 3 at a stretch) on the 1-9 scale, and not 4-6 like most Kabinett and Spatlese.


I think you are right about this estate - so far as I know it is no longer functioning, or if it is, it must surely be a shadow of its former self. I wonder why so many went this way?

I hadn’t thought to look on CellarTracker, but those trying this wine seem to have enjoyed it right enough. 10 years ago, though. The two Auslese notes are within a couple of days of each other and both refer to “tasting sample”. I wonder if they might have been from the same bottle?

But I am really grateful you started this thread, and also thereby jogged my memory to go and look the Schloss Eltz wine out.

I only tried the Riesling when tasting through their range at their winery. As it was alongside the Howard Park equivalents I didn’t really pay it much attention as the HP were more up my street. I do have some HP rieslings slumbering at present, but haven’t opened any yet as they are fairly recent vintage. I didn’t taste the other Madfish varieties, but had it in mind to order a Pinot Noir from the society to take a look - maybe I shan’t bother now having seen your note!


Just to show how vintages have changed, and not just in Germany, this vintage chart shows those earlier times when perhaps three years in ten were good vintages and look at tit now, not all climate change of course, the technical side of winemaking has improved beyond belief in the same period.


If you’ve got another 1975 German Rieslings laying about I’d be interested in relieving you of a bottle from my birth year!


Have to say I don’t agree 100% with your assessment, Cerberus. While I would probably still put Alsace at the top, the prices are high, and I think Austrian producers like Prager, Pichler and Knoll (and probably plenty of German trocken - I’m aware I need to explore this more) are right up there in quality for less cash talking £25-35 maybe).

I haven’t had anything from the New World that has got near this level - and yes, that’s including Polish Hill and Steingarten, but then as I said maybe I just don’t like the Aussie style - though of course there is good value in the sub £20 market.

You should look around in Alto Adige too - think you are missing some candidates there. I’d be amazed if you don’t think Falkenstein or Kuhnhof, for example, are top notch.


Again it all comes down to personal taste, none of us are ever going to like all of the same wines or styles, that is the nature of things.
There is plenty of value in Germany for under £20, I have just ordered some Vollenweider Wolfer Goldgruber Kabinett with great reviews for under £15 retail, there are plenty more !

Falkenstein I have drunk, good though it is, it is no better than many German Rieslings in the same price bracket, see above for example.


Austria is my blank spot. I have had several which I enjoyed, but must confess I have never got to grips with Austrian rieslings in general. So if anyone would like to pile in on this subject, I’m all ears.


I might have a vintage port, but that’s about all I can think of! Seriously, are you looking actively? Wine-Searcher is probably your friend if so.


Not actively but I was excited when I saw the bottle!


Don’t let me put you off, but like you I tasted back to back with Howard Park on 2 occasions now and maybe that’s the problem . Madfish fades into oblivion when tasted against something which is clearly better . I should really just go and taste it on its own merit and I may have a different opinion . But I wouldn’t want to put you off a wine just because I didn’t feel it was particularly that good . We are all different :wink:.


Just to weigh in on the Howard Park / Madfish chat and not the Riesling ageing thread (sorry :grimacing:) …

My uncle is Viticulturist at HP although trying to retire but still does consultancy.

First point, Australian wine is expensive!! Everyone in Australia earns a very decent wage and most estates “entry” level wines are around the $18-25 mark (£12-15) which most people in Oz wouldn’t think twice about paying. Can you say the same about a UK consumer? (Average price of a bottle is £5.67) Perth is now the most expensive city to live in overtaking Sydney so people are cashed up.

The Madfish wines are around the £10 mark but they certainly are at the entry level (particularly for WA wine.) I think they are good for what they are however certainly don’t present great value for money on the world wine scale (Think of the value coming out of South Africa, Chile, South of France, Spain etc etc)

But it’s a credit to TWS for stocking them at the reasonable price they are to give wine people an opportunity to try.


I’d say that at least one in ten of the wines I drink are Riesling Kabinetts, I also drink the odd Spatlese and Auslese as well. I’m grateful that unlike my other wine favourites (Red Burgundy and Barolo/Barbaresco) that the wines aren’t (with a few exceptions) fashionably expensive!


How long does a Prum spatlese need in the cellar to be properly appreciated? Not how long will it keep for, but how young wouldn’t be wasting it?

I love Prum kabinett, probably more than any other wine I’ve tried, but have never tried a spatlese or auslese. Just bought one bottle of 2017 Graacher Himmelriech spatlese and I don’t really want to wait 15 years before my first taste!


Yeah, sure. Just playing devil’s advocate, as i said. And I don’t doubt the value of traditional German riesling, far from it - just wish someone I knew liked it!


This wine is at peak maturity, not cheap but a really good example of a mature Spatlese from a very good grower:

I had some 1995 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese by Prum a couple of years ago, it was still surprisingly fresh. Prum wines tend to go on for longer than most. Its difficult to say what is the best time to drink these wines because people like wines at different levels of maturity.


Your '17 Prum Spatlese is probably perfectly good to drink now, nearly all are, the only problem with that category and Auslese is they CAN shut down after two or three years for some time, but I have only experienced that a very few times, they are fruitier and fresher young and many prefer them like that, it’s really your choice.


I know :wink: as for people who like it, plenty on here, and TWS carries a fair few, though they need to update the styles on offer, it’s at the lower level it has virtually disappeared off the shelves, but as I have said fashion in wines is no different from anything else and most goes full circle, Chardonnay took a bashing not that long ago and is still recovering as the style being made went out of fashion and I have no doubt the SB bubble and the PG one will burst to some extent.

And talking of out of favour wines, look at what has happened to sherry, the cheap end has collapsed with vineyards being grubbed up, yet there are some fantastic sherries out there at great prices, so as far as I am concerned the longer Riesling is ‘not liked’ the better for my wallet.


I could certainly not give a definitive list there either, they are simply few and far between to purchase, it’s all GV that is for sale.


I enjoyed the Madfish R. In fact I’ve a couple slumbering as we speak as I wondered how well they would age.

I thought it youthful well made aussie R - but I like aussie R so perhaps I was swayed.


by the way - this is a great thread. Thanks.