The other day I was telling myself that I needed to be a little more circumspect with my wine purchases. After all, Christmas is coming up and I’m changing jobs so money is a little tight. With that in mind I probably shouldn’t have gone on to Bid For Wine, a wine auction website that I have used a few times now, but I am extremely weak willed. One auction that was running immediately sparked my interest: three bottles of 1993 Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel from Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt (Mosel, Germany). I won’t pretend that I knew the producer, but the area I was certainly interested in. Having tried some magnificent aged Mosel sweet wines before I was confident that this wine would, if it had been kept in good conditions, be in good conditions. The “if” was very important here. The issue with using auctions, as I have spoken about before, is that you don’t really have knowledge of the providence of the wines other than what you are told on the auction listing. Moreover, if you have issues with the wine, most auctions tend to have a “no returns” policy. As such it becomes something of a gamble, but as it is a gamble you tend to pay less than you would in a normal shop.
With all of this in mind I started watching the auction waiting for the bids to come flooding in. As the auction got nearer and nearer to its designated end point I got more and more interested. The bottles really weren’t going for much and the end point was getting closer and closer. A couple of minutes before the end I succumbed to the inevitable and put an offer in, which was confirmed as the highest offer. I expected someone else to swoop in and gazump me, but no one did. In the end I won the three bottles for just under £60 (including postage). OK, I wasn’t supposed to buy wine, but I couldn’t really turn down the opportunity to try these wines. Life’s too short, right? Right??
When I received them, I looked and two out of the three seemed in excellent condition – good levels on them and closures in good nick. One bottle seems to have some seepage from the top, with some sticky discharge on the capsule. I decided to open one of the better ones for a tasting. I was very excited to try these wines and wanted to know sooner rather than later whether or not may gamble had paid off.
I coaxed the cork out rather gently, but was pleased to see that it was in good condition; it came out in one piece. The first thing I was struck by as I poured the wine into the glass was the depth of colour to this wine. It was a brilliantly-bright orange. I know white wine is supposed to gain colour with age, but this was mesmerising! On the nose it had a sticky, candied-orange smell to it with a touch of spice, cloves perhaps? As I swirled the wine tropical fruit notes started to burst out; pineapple and mango. There was also a slightly raisiny aroma that suggested that the grapes had seen a little botrytis. As I drank it was brilliant and bright at first, it had mouthwatering qualities coming from the acidity that was still present. It was like a fruit punch with tropical and citrus fruits thrown together. The finish was closing in on a minute in length. A very satisfying wine. Perhaps not as much complexity as I would have hoped for, but nevertheless a steal at the price that I paid!
As you can imagine I am rather pleased with my purchase. The best part is I have two bottles left. I’ll try the slightly suspect-looking bottle soon, just in case it is faulty. The other one I may well leave for a little longer to see what happens…