Wine Talk

Snooth User: Snoother 1128676

I have a bottle of Pieroth 1979 Beerenauslese that has not been opened. Is it still good?

Posted by Snoother 1128676, Aug 14, 2012.

Will this wine still taste good after all this time?


Reply by EMark, Aug 15, 2012.

Beerenausleses are high sugar dessert wines that have tremendous aging potential.  The question becomes, how has this wine been stored for the last 30 years?  If it has been stored in a kitchen cabinet over a range, the prospects are not good.  If it has been stored in a area of consistent temperature--preferably a cool temperature--out of sunlight, then the potential is good.

There are a lot of people on this board who know a lot more about older wines than I do.  They will ask more questions.  If you could take a picture of the bottle and post it here, that may help answer many of these questions.  It would be nice to see the color of the wine, the amount of airspace at the top of the bottle and additional details in the label.

I did a quick internet search (maybe you did, also) and there is certainly not much information on Pieroth 1979 Beerenauslese.  The information that is out there, however, is not encouraging.   

First of all, there was a big stink about winemakers adding glycol to their wine.  Some of the big offenders were wines imported by Pieroth WIne Imports of Franklin, IL.  So, one question would be whether that was the importer of your wine.  Here is an article about this scandal and a list of affected wines.  The article, from 1985, says that if you have one of the wines on the list, you should return it.  Obviously, after all these years you do not have that option, but what that means to me is that you should not drink it.  On the surface yours does not appear to be on this list.  However, there may be details on the label (front or back) that may either cause or remove suspicion.  Again, there is a good chance that there is somebody on this board who has additional information on this glycol scandal and may have more advice for you.

It appears that the Pieroth winemaking company is no longer in existence.  Probably, fallout from the Glycol thing.

Searches on "Pieroth 1979 Beerenauslese" pointed me to two different wines:  one from Austria and one from Germany.  The German one was more fully described as "1979 Ferdinand Pieroth Riesling Beerenauslese."  I assume that your bottle is the Austrian one. 

Sorry that I cannot give a definitive answer.  If you can determine that the wine is not glycol-affected then I would suggest that you chill it down, open it up and try it.  My searches did not give me any encouragement that there is much value in this wine.

You have provided an interesting question.  Keep us up to date on this.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Aug 15, 2012.

Hmm, this question has been posted three times now, albeit somewhat differently each time.  Anyway, some answers are on this thread, too.

Reply by Richard Foxall, Aug 15, 2012.

Here's what appears to be the winery's website. They seem like the Avon of wine retailing.  Interesting.

Reply by MJRisenhoover, Aug 15, 2012.

Only one way to find out.

Reply by gcheadley, Oct 11, 2012.

JUst opened my 1982 Beerenauslese (Pieroth) and it was wonderful

Far better than I expected it to be after all these years.

It was truely enjoyable. Trying to determine what a bottle

would cost today

Glenn from TX

Reply by EMark, Oct 11, 2012.

Thank you for the report, Glenn.  We're pleased to hear about your joyous pleasure.

I suspect that it might be difficult to find a current price of that wine, today.  It, obviously, would require that somebody has such a bottle that they want to sell.  Having time on my hands I keyed in "Pieroth 1982 Beerenauslese" into Google and was directed to the Wine-Searcher site.  They did not have any '82s, listed, but they had seven BAs listed from vintages ranging from '67 to '86 and at prices ranging from $26 ('86) to $188 ('76).

Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 11, 2012.

All right, someone who reported back about their old wine!

BTW, Emark, did you finish the last of your drain cleaner bottles?

Reply by EMark, Oct 11, 2012.

No, Fox, I haven't.  The unlabeled mag left is still left.  We have been talking about a dinner or some kind of event at my b-i-l's (who you might recall was my benefactor).  He has just returned from a pretty successful fishing trip in Baja.  So, I'm thinking of taking over to his place to try.  (Yes, 007, red wine with fish.)  He lives in a very, very cool art deco building in Long Beach, and the chances are that his drains could use it. :-)

Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 11, 2012.

St. Joseph with fish (I grilled true cod and served in a tomato water and olive sauce).  Great combo suggested by Steve Law at Maclaren. 

Reply by duncan 906, Oct 11, 2012.

I have had [and reviewed for Snooth] a number of older wines some of which have been most enjoyable. I recall Chateau Myrat 1996 from Sauterrnes, Clos St Georges Graves Superieures 1979 another desert wine and an Ander Simon Sauterne NV from the 1970's.Only last weekend I had a Chateau du Bousquet 1979 from the Cotes de Bourg.It is posible to have a good experience with an older bottle but,as with all bottles of wine,you pay your money and take your chances

Reply by Richard Foxall, Oct 12, 2012.

Sorry, duncan, I didn't mean to overlook that.  You have done that, and it's a great service.  I think most of the wines you wrote up were purchased with some age and your own knowledge and research.  What I intended to refer to is all the threads that start with, "I inherited this old wine, is it any good?"  The community reply is always pretty much the same:  Try it and find out.  And then... silence.  Which is too bad, because one of the things that I like about this is the vicarious enjoyment and occasional disasters--hey, they're entertaining--of bottles that are unlikely to pass my way.

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