I bought this bottle for $23. It has gotten a lot of hype from various sources. Darting owns about 35 acres of vineyards in the Pfalz region of Germany. His largest vineyard holding is the Durkheimer Nonnengarten which is about 8 acres. This is a flat vineyard composed of sand and mulch. The Rieslaner grape accounts for only about 8% of the wines produced at this estate. Helmut Darting employs selective hand picking and sorting for his Auslese and higher wines. His winemaking style employs a reductive approach. Fining is avoided. He prefers a very slow fermentation and uses temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks to retain freshness in the wine.
This is the 3rd 2001 Darting wine I have tried. Notes on other Darting wines can be found here:
~2001 Darting Riesling Kabinett Durkheimer Nonnengarten
~2001 Darting Riesling Spatlese Ungsteiner Herrenberg
As others have mentioned, this is really a declassified Beerenauslese and I did this wine a great disservice by pairing it with an Italian meal. It was simply too heavy and sweet for the meal. However, R2D2's wife is a big fan of sweet German wines and I really wanted to try this one. 10.5% alcohol. An enormous German wine. It may have been the pairing but I did not find this as complex as others who have tried it and definitely not as interesting as most of the better Riesling Auslese from 2001. It did have a lot going for it though. It had a wonderfully aromatic nose of peaches and apple jelly. Lush with good acidity. Notes of lime, honey, apricot and raisins that explode on the palate. Rich, botrytised and an intense finish. This would be perfect for most rich sweet desserts. 92+ points and I could see increasing my score when I retry this wine under better conditions.
AC145895 but dreaming of AC000000