2017 Weingut Leitz, Riesling Spatlese, Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz, Rheingau Germany.
One of the classics from Leitz, the Magdalenenkreuz Spatlese is wonderfully expressive and full of flavor, the name of this vineyard, translates to “the cross of Mary Magdalene,” named after a red sandstone cross that can be found amongst the vines. Johannes Leitz nicknamed this wine Maggie and it has always been a traditional favorite of his and mine, especially when having hot spicy dishes and or Thai curries. Here east of the village of Rüdesheim the soils are comprised of sandy loam, loess and with much less slate than down Rhein, and the climate here makes the wines fatter, I mean richer in feel and fruity, and it is ideal for a riper expression of Riesling. The Maggie is always textural, opulent and forward, but very refined and light on its feet, more like a Kabinett in feel, while still having complex layering and structural extract. This wine matched up perfectly with orange chicken, hot Asian mustard dipped BBQ pork and Singapore style curry noodles with spicy prawns!
The very pleasing, generous, pineapple laced and peachy 2017 Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Spatlese, from a warm vintage, has lots of concentration highlighted by its residual sugar creaminess, rather than outright sweetness. Leitz’s traditional Spatlese, only 8% alcohol, shows a nice medium bodied palate of tangerine, apricot, juicy apple, quince, lemon peel and tropical/exotic fruits along with a touch of gingery spice, mineral notes, stoniness and rosewater. This pale and youthful Riesling is filling, but also refreshing with plenty lively acidity to balance it out, it is in fact very elegant and is very respectful of many food choices from briny dishes to BBQ pork, as well as hot and spicy Chinese dishes, where the sugar and low alcohol really is appreciated, and cleanses the attack of heat. This is excellent stuff, precision made with 100% stainless steel and it is a pure terroir influenced wine of ultra transparency that should drink fantastical well for a decade or longer.
($29 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive