Wet auctions and Two Hands

I Mosel-ed, I Saar-ed, I Ruwer-ed: One American�s Quest to Conquer Germany�s Finest Wines at the Wet Auctions

The next morning, Stefan Pauly, always the consummate host, was kind enough to treat me to the traditional Mosel pretasting breakfast of bread and local red peaches which were quite tart, almost rhubarby. We thoughtfully packed the sweet St. Martins pretzels in the car for later, but alas the dog, obviously in possession of some secret knowledge, ate them. We began with the Bernkasteler ring auction in the little town of Wehelen with its famous sundial.  It was the first and smallest of the four auctions, with the other three all run by the VDP, the big grower group with a name too long to spell out.  One could look possibly at it as a warm-up as secondary to the VDP auctions, but the truth is in the bottle as I felt the quality of the wines was on par and often exceeded those of the Grosser ring (big auction) that was to follow the next day. As it took time to retaste each wine, the auctioneer told anecdotes and complemented the producer of the wine while we retasted.  He hoisted an auction hammer of immensity I had never seen the likes of in London and New York auctions, that would have serviced proudly any Germanic war hero of bygone era.  From the extensive list of auction wines on offer, a 2007 Wiltinger Braunfels from Peter Neu had coppery minerality and a perception of dryness with its high acidity and long finish that sold for only 10 Euros.  Retasting the 2008 Kaseler Nies’chen Riesling Auslese, Alte Reben(old vines), made me jump and tap the commissioner to raise my bid to 30 Euros, which was double the opening bid; as its lovely sweetness was balanced by acid sharpened minerality giving it verve and swerve as it cut across the palate.

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  • I absolutely adore the appropriation of the word Mosel as a verb. To "mosel" is wonderfully evocative, especially w/r/t all the bends in the river.

    Jan 18, 2010 at 11:04 AM

  • Snooth User: bonest
    263919 1

    I lived for 8yrs near the Mosel river, and recommend the wines highly, and also the region. If you ever get the chance, spend a few days driving from Trier to Koblenz along the Mosel. The scenery is breathtaking, and explore the Hunsruck or Eiffel on either side by driving up and down the treacherous switchbacks.

    Jan 18, 2010 at 1:25 PM

  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 6,922

    Thanks, Justin, for the info on the wet auctions and the wittily told anecdotes. Certainly the best post on rieslings I've seen in the past year on Snooth (or anywhere else, for that matter). Definitely had me salivating, if not also wishing I had a good Porsche to follow you in your drive....

    Was wondering, Snooth editors, if the transition from the third to the fourth page was missing something?

    Jan 18, 2010 at 2:03 PM

  • Snooth User: Chris Carpita
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    33093 5,528

    Thank you Justin, I enjoyed reading that. Makes me want to Mosel on down to our wine collection. Also I had little idea about wet auctions, and I want to learn more now!

    Jan 18, 2010 at 3:49 PM

  • Snooth User: Mark Angelillo
    Founding Member Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    2 6,199

    Great article. I've shared a few bottles of riesling from Mosel, but haven't even begun to scratch the surface.

    Jan 18, 2010 at 5:53 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 198,792

    That really was fun reading, both for the winegeek in me and the vicarious thrill seeker!

    Jan 21, 2010 at 5:00 PM

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