The clue is in the title.
Peter Lauer, ‘Alt Scheidt’ Riesling feinherb 2015, Saar
Very pale straw in appearance; slate, red apple and – as the temperature rises – slightly savoury, nutty hints and a suggestion of peach. Light and pure in the mouth. Red apple again, with deliciously succulent yet dry finish making the contents of the bottle almost evaporate before my eyes.
Friedrich Becker, ‘Vom Kleinen Fritz’ Wildwein rot 2013, Pfalz
Very dark ruby in colour with peppery hints on the nose. I don’t know what the exact constituents of this blend are, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Syrah played a small part. On the one hand, smelling quite smooth (dark cherry, plum), and on the other fairly fresh and stemmy. Is this wine a mix of well-known globetrotters such as Syrah and more down-to-earth local varietals (St. Laurent, for example)? Anyway, quite an ample, firm medium body on the palate, but smooth with the aforementioned dark fruit and barely noticeable tannins. Some minty greenness keeps things interesting. In short: a substantial but easy-to-understand wine.
‘Vom kleinen Fritz’ refers to Friedrich Becker Jr. As he explains in a poignant documentary that was aired last year on German television, this wine was intended for the Japanese market. They love their ‘Wildschwein’ (wild boar) over there, hence the name ‘Wildwein’. To anyone who understands German, I can warmly recommend the documentary. The wine is good too, albeit quite a bit less complicated than the father-son relationship between the two Fritzes in the film.
Kesselring, Riesling trocken 2015, Pfalz
Going purely on memory now, as I made zero notes. Lovely red apple and white peach on the nose. Great balance on the palate, with ripe acidity and just the right combination of succulence and steel. What I love most is this (organic) wine’s surprisingly silky texture as it washes over my tongue. Significantly, my acidity-sensitive wife failed to wince, which is always a good sign when it comes to Riesling – that might sound like I’m damning it with faint praise, but nothing could be further from the truth. At around EUR 6.50, this is a candidate to become our official house wine forthwith.
As you can see, all three labels stand out in their own way.