GERMANY (Koblenz) - "I have been waiting for this", says Hans H. Hieronimi, manager of the Agency German Wine in Koblenz, after a Riesling Réserve 2007 from the Moselle was sold for 2,99 euro at Aldi Süd a couple of days ago. "I will have to write a letter to the discounter, since the brand name registration for the Réserve is not completed yet".
Wine-legally there is probably not much that can be done against this enticing declaration, since a Palatinate vintager fought for the registration of the brand name Réserve, Grande Réserve and Privat Réserve for his red wines in front of the administrative appeals tribunal in Rhineland-Palatinate last year. According to him, his wines were produced with the highest quality level and they were stored for about 3-5 years.
This all concerns the French writing, since it is not Europe-legally protected, how it is the case with Reserva, Riserva and Reserve in other countires. It was really weird to make the registration of the Réserve for German wine dependable on a little dash over the "e". "There is no danger of confusion or deception", ruled the judge lapidarily, however not very truthfully. Wine-legally the term is still not set for Germany. There is neither regulations for the storage time for wines, nor minimum requirements or a guideline for certain wine types.
There was a discussion about the "Reserve" before in the German Viniculture Association in the early 90s, however, it was never finished, because the German spelling for Austria is protected and Germany does not expect the neighboring country to give in. Now something should be done - just like with the fight about the term "feinherb", which is also on the label of the Mosel-Réserve and which is not specifically defined. This is why every now and then you will find sweet "feinherb" wines with more than 40 g/l residual sugar (!).
The 2007 Riesling, filled in the large cellar Peter Mertes, is probably rather in the half-dry section, however it does not have any of the attributes that are promised on the bottle ("a Riesling of special quality, received ripeness and harmony in the cool cellar"). The aroma is very slight and you can feel a very unripened acid and bitter substances on your tongue.
Those who approach the apparent bargain and know a little bit about wine, will drink the Réserve two times: the first and the last time. (r.knoll)