Another recent CQ foray into Rieslings, this time via Germany, occurred in the wake of an American contrarian's trip to the fatherland. There he'd learned to rustle up the Black Forrest delicacy, Schwabian Maultaschen, pork and leek dumplings. When correctly pronounced Maultaschen sound like Malatov, so we suggested that armed with his arcane neo-Malatov knowledge, our comrade host a bash. Not only could he showcase the dumplings, which don't sound bad as dumplings go, but clearly the babies are intended to accompany Rieslings.
With appetizers - marinated Portuguese sardines served over toasts first layered with ripe avocado and topped with scallion strips and a chive mince - we opened the 2003 von Hovel - Schartzhofberger - Kabinett: petrol and grapefruit, well balanced and bright. Pretty and playful if remarkably low in alcohol. In fact all the evening's wines were nearly alcohol-free, which had the odd effect of rendering the CQ directorate quite able to fly itself home (our host has a helipad on his roof), yet just as surprised to wake up the next morning - not having gotten even tipsy - with a remarkably bad hangover. Sulphurs, we've been told.
The pillowy and undressed Malatov dumplings were served warm with a traditional potato salad – grain mustard and apple cider vinegar - cold. With the Malatovs we opened two Spatleses: the floral, tasty 1998 Münsterer Pittersberg, Kruger-Rumpf which reminded us a bit of autumn’s too leggy impatiens. Its low acids were a touch flabbier and not as articulate as we'd have preferred. Superior, we agreed, was the elegant 1997 Brauneburger Juffe, Max. Ferd. Richter which age had left with a poised citrus bounce, and one bereft of youthful sweetness.
With a homemade and thankfully none-too-sweet pumpkin pie, we popped the 1999 Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle - Auslese -- Dönnhoff. This we found a bit monotonous and syrupy, rather sans character or interest. But then we aren't much of Sauternists either.