VDP Luncheon at Le Bernardin

Posted by CrushWine

Welcome to the first ever Crush Riesling Media Spectacular.

To experience the full intensity of this Media Spectacular, click "play" on the classic 1990 romantic ballad performed by Nuno Bettencourt and Gary Cherone of the funk metal band Extreme. Once this song is in play, once the intense emotional experience has begun, scroll gently through the pictures of classic Rieslings from 1921 to 1953.

This is our tribute to the exceptional luncheon commemorating the 100th anniversary of the VDP held June 10th, 2010 at Le Bernardin in New York City.

An emotional lineup of legendary German Rieslings stand proudly in the reception area of Le Bernardin's private dining room; most of the bottles were lovingly flown in directly from the estate's cellars.

Old German wine labels are the absolute best; detailed, majestic, intricate with bizarre pastel flavors and fine Germanic hair-lines that demarcate and delineate foreground and hinterground spaces perfectly. There's a fineness to the landscape images that hearkens to the technical prowess of an adolescent Albrecht DĂĽrer.

The 1945, with Bruce Sanderson hinterground left, and Tim Fröhlich hinterground right. Imagine them both, if you will, singing the following lines to this bottle of wine: "...Hold me close don't ever let me go / More than words is all I ever needed you to show..."

The 1953 Staats WeingĂĽter Rudesheimer Hinterhaus TBA was, by far, the wine of the lunch. Absolutely profound. As Rudi Wiest said, 1953 is the most overlooked Rheingau vintage of the 1950s. Interesting factoid: Although we had a slew of German winemaking minds in attendance, no one knew where exactly the Rudesheimer Hinterhaus vineyard was... or is.

Basserman-Jordan's 1935 Forster Ziegler Auslese was sort of a creamy mess, but still fun to experience. I have no idea where the Forster Ziegler vineyard is. This beautiful melody, "More than Words" by Extreme, is not really applicable to this bottle of wine as I didn't think it was that good, though I do like the label.

The 1921 Staats WeingĂĽter Rudesheimer Hinterhaus... by far the oldest Riesling I have ever experienced. Smokey, expansive and still fascinating and alive. A bottle to sip while reading Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation, for the third time.

This is the bottle I was probably most excited to drink, though it was in the end disappointing. Just not a perfect bottle; at 51 years old, who can blame it? This beautiful melody, "More than Words" by Extreme, is perfectly applicable to this bottle of wine nonetheless. Especially the following verse: "Saying I love you / Is not the words I want to hear from you / It's not that I want you / Not to say, but if you only knew / How easy it would be to show me how you feel / More than words is all you have to do to make it real"