All of the wines listed below came from either Rudolf Müller or Dr. Thanisch, in the Mosel region of Germany. The winemaker for both vineyards is the elegant and charming Barbara Müller, who was there to answer questions. Even though I don't drink a lot of Riesling, I liked just about every wine at the tasting. At the end, I complimented her on the wonderful wines, shook her hand, and then in my most formal Hochdeutsch, I nodded and said, "Danke Schön, Frau Müller." She actually bowed slightly and replied with a smiling "Bitte."
Hey, two years of high school German had to pay off eventually.
Note: Keep in mind that except for one notable exception, all of these wines were of the same grape and of the same vineyards. So a lot of these tasting notes are going to look similar, but there were subtle differences that are sometimes hard to put into words for the amateur blogger and general non-enthusiast of Riesling. Also, these are listed in the order of the printed note sheet, but they were actually tasted in a different order arranged by Frau Müller.
Wine 1: 2004 Rudolf Müller "Bishop of Riesling". This is their most well-known offering, from what I understand. I found it a little thin, but not sweet. Clean and tasty. $12.
Wine 2: 2004 Rudolf Müller Kabinett. Mild and smooth, with some honey flavors involved. $13.
Wine 3: 2003 Rudolf Müller Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Kabinett. Honey sweet, tart beginning and smooth finish. $15.
Wine 4: 2003 Dr. Thanisch Bernkasteler QBA "Classic". Light and lemony, dry and tart. $18.
Wine 5: 2003 Dr. Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Kabinett. Musky and sugary, sticky and just a little too sweet for my tastes. $21.
Wine 6: 2004 Rudolf Müller Spätlese. Some lemon, thin yet sweet. $14.
Wine 7: 2003 Dr. Thanisch Gracher Himmelreich Spätlese. Tickles the tongue, some medium acidity. Really enjoyed this one. $24.
Wine 8: 2003 Dr. Thanisch Bernkasteler Graben Spätlese. Similar to the previous wine, but with more fruit flavors. $28.
Wine 9: 2003 Dr. Thanisch Bernkasteler Doctor Spätlese. Very sweet but with a dark flavor, reminded me of peach nectar. Even though I don't normally seek sweet wines these days, I loved this wine. $53.
Wine 10. 2002 Dr. Thanisch Pinot Noir. Actually the first one we tasted, followed by a rinsing of the glasses. What's this? A German Pinot Noir? The next thing you know polar bears will be waddling through the Sahara. Seriously though, this was an awesome wine. Berries all over, slightly tart and ultimately delicious. Assistance provided by a winemaker from New Zealand. I would definitely recommend this wine for a blind tasting to completely screw over your friends. $23.
Wine 11. 2004 Rudolf Müller. Good and well rounded. Honey flavors, but a little too sweet for me.
Wine 12. 2004 Rudolf Müller Eiswein. Not that sweet, but with elements of petrol and minerals on the nose. Delightful dry-style Eiswein. $23.
Wine 13. 2002 Dr. Thanisch Bernkasteler Doctor Auslese. Actually the last wine tasted. Wow. Honeysuckle, firm acids, lemon tart... Utterly wonderful. I was sniffing my glass for a few minutes after I'd wrung out the last drop from the sample. $46.