Anselmann Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) Ortega 2014 (4.4/5)
Bargain of the year! A German TBA for less than £20?? Where is the trick? Why this is so cheap when a "normal" TBA is around £160?
Well there is no trick. The wine is a delicious and genuine TBA. The reason why is much cheaper than a conventional TBA is mainly that this is NOT made using Riesling but Ortega grapes!
Nearly an unknown german cross Müller-Thurgau and Siegerrebe, created by Hans Breider and named in honour of the Spanish poet and philosopher José Ortega y Gasset. This is an early-ripening grape variety and can reach significant sugar levels without too much help from botrytis. Therefore it's much cheaper to get a TBA out of Ortega than Riesling(*). Side effect? Of course Ortega has not the fresh acidity and slatey minerality of Riesling, but you will forgive it considering the significant discont on the bill :-)
Consider also that Anselmann owns more than 10 vineyards for a total of 100 hectares, allowing him to conduct a larger scale operation than what usually seen in the Mosel area. And this, of course, helps keeping prices at a winning point.
(*) Please note that the TBA classification is determined only on the sugar level and not on the presence of Botrytis. Trockenbeerenauslese is, indeed, meaning "select dry berry harvest" or "dry berry selection" and it's made from selected overripe (shrivelled) grapes OFTEN (but not mandatorily) affected by noble rot making extremely rich sweet wines.
It appears deep gold with good viscosity. On the nose it's clean offering, with med+ intensity, notes of necatairnes, apricots, honey, citrus peel, white flowers and almonds. Very sweet, nearly luscious. Not shining for acidity and mineral complexity, yet considerable fresh and balanced and not at all cloying. Medium alcohol, medium body with med+ flavour intensity and goo persistence.
Overall Very Good quality with a friendly price tag. It is enjoyable Now but can keep and maybe gain some complexity with few years of cellaring. 100% Ortega (TBA), Pfalz, Germany.