1976 Balbach Niersteiner Klostergarten Optima Trockenbeerenauslese

This wine was tasted for Open That Bottle Night 2011 on Palate Press: the online wine magazine.

Age shows through the color, which is very dark, like a tawny port. On the nose it smells a little oxidized, a bit like port there, too. But on the palate, oh on the palate!, it was a whole other story. It was sweet, with honey and maple syrup running strongly under all the other flavors. Floating above the mouth-filling sweetness was a whole collection of flavors, from white flowers to toffee, all with a very light background of lemon, tart and acidic. The finish lasts absolutely forever, with all the flavors eventually fading but one, leaving a taste, even the sensation, of a patiently-sucked Werther’s Original Caramel. Drink it with me. Foie gras would work too, but I’d rather you drink it with me. Very highly recommended.

WHO: Balbach
WHAT: Optima
WHERE: Niersteiner Klostergarten Vineyard, Rheinhessen, Germany
WHEN: 1976
HOW MUCH: $600 (Internet price)

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