27 dollars fifty: Dr Burklin Wolf dry Riesling 2013
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Wine name and vintage: Dr Burklin Wolf Dry Riesling 2013
NEWS GRAND TOTAL: 91.5 points. EXTRA-ORDINARY. I soon realised that very few wines would ever achieve 90+ point ratings with my NEWS system of reviews. This is one of the first to have exceeded every expectation!
Producer: Dr Burklin Wolf
Region: Pfalz, Germany
Grape varieties: Riesling
Certification: Organic and biodynamic
Price per bottle: $27.5
1)Aromatic intensity, up to 5 points.
4 points. It’s got HEAPS of poke.
2) Aromatic complexity, up to 5 points.
4 points. The mineral-Riesling fruit would be good enough on its own but the botrytis element propels it into a wondrous galaxy of exotic “sweet” aromatics. Heady.
3)Aromatic attractiveness, up to 20 points.
18.5 points. A stunner.
4)Palate intensity, up to 5 points.
4 points. Good attack and length. Tight.
5)"Mouthscape" or "palate complexity", i.e. how much of an interesting experience in the mouth a wine delivers, up to 5 points.
3 points. Simple, if very effective. Medium bodied and acid driven.
6)Drinkability, i.e. how much the wine's total taste characteristics leave you thirsting for more, up to 20 points.
Dangerously drinkable. 18 points. A light carriage that glides in with a flavour bomb.
7)The morning-after test, i.e. how this wine looks on the second day after opening and beyond, up to 5 points.
5 points. Gets better over a five day period. Outstanding.
8)Cellarability, up to 10 points.
With a screwcap it’s difficult to imagine this wine ever dying within any reasonable length of time. And yep, it’s got enough in reserve to imagine it actually improving and not simply holding its own. 9 points.
9)Individuality or how distinct the personality of a particular wine is, up to 10 points.
8 points. It’s regionally distinctive and would jump out from a crowd of tight, linear, Clare Rieslings, for instance.
10) Look, packaging, label, up to 5 points.
3 points. Nothing remarkable. Good and safe. Fine.
11) Environmental credentials, story, philosophy, history, brand weight, up to 10 points.
Certified biodynamic and with a history that goes back to the end of the Sixteenth Century. Epic. 9 points.
12) SUBTOTAL: Add together the individual scores from points 1 to 11, above. Subtotal is scored out of 100 possible points.
1 Value-for-money, take SUBTOTAL and divide by price to give X, then multiply X by 2. 2X is the value for money score.
2 The grand total NEWS value for a given wine is the product of SUBTOTAL + the value-for-money score.
Below 70: May have outstanding features but also some drawbacks and I couldn’t recommend it in confidence.
76-80 highly recommended
81+ points: Remarkable wine. Theoretically a score over 100 is possible once the value-for-money factor is taken into account. Something around 105 would be the upper limit of perfection although I will be surprised if I ever see more than a couple of wines each year that get into the low 90s, let alone to 100.