Skip to main content

I went to the Cubs game Friday afternoon with R2D2, his wife and Grossie. Grossie had to leave after the game but the rest of us decided to go to a small Italian restaurant on the near West side of Chicago and stopped at the Randolph Street Cellars which was nearby to pick up some wine to take along. I called ahead to check on corkage and the manager graciously agreed to waive it.

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
Last edited {1}
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Nice photos, guys. It's always nice to put a face to the name.

As one of the people that has expressed a strongly positive opinion on the Darting Rieslaner, I'd like to suggest that people read the results of the Bay Area Wine Explorers July Tasting event held at GATC's home. Sure this wine is a freak -- a BA quality in the low $20 price range ... so, buy all you can and enjoy!

As for the 2002 Gunderloch, I have it on good authority (and I ain't saying who my source is, but I stand by its accuracy) that the 2002 Gunderloch will disappear once the ratings for the Auslesen and Spatlesen hit the stands. Buy now if you want some at release pricing.

cheers, y'all!
I have read that the warm Pfalz climate has started a movement of good growers grafting over to higher quality clones and varieties.
For the last 35 years the Darting estate has established a reputation for high-quality grafted vines, which are sold throughout all of Germany's wine growing regions.
It would appear that Darting is/has been leading the way in this region.

I offer sound advice.
That's 99% sound and 1% advice
Tyee- I think the general consensus is that Muller-Catoir is the top estate in the Pfalz. However, I have read that since the new winemaker took over last year many people have concerns if M-C can stay on top.

Stemor- I'm surprised to see this wine come out on top. I would have thought that the one of the Cristoffel's would have shown better. However, if everyone at the BAWE had a palate like GATC, I suppose I should not be so surprised. I think we all know that he loves the sweet wines and is not as big a fan of the trockens. The Darting sure falls into the sweet category. Frankly, I can think of 4 other Auslese that I had recently that were far superior in my opinion. They were:

2001 JJ Prum Riesling Auslese Wehlener Sonnenuhr Gold Cap

2001 Gunderloch Riesling Auslese Nackenheimer Rothenberg Gold Kap

2001 Gunderloch Riesling Auslese Nackenheim Rothenberg

2002 Robert Weil Riesling Auslese Kiedrich Grafenberg

Of course they all cost much more than the Darting. So bonus points to Darting for QPR and I am definitely glad I found it and bought a 6 pack. Have you or anyone else on Vinocellar given this wine a score?

Blue Oval- Thanks for keeping me in mind on the 2002 Germans. I will keep my eyes open for you and the other Chicago members as well. I already bought 375ml bottles of the regular 2002 Fritz Haag BJS Auslese and the Gold Cap as well. Perhaps we can pick a time and crack the one or both of them to try.


AC145895 but dreaming of AC000000

I gave the Darting Rieslaner "sm95", but that was on a relative scale when comparing it to the '01 JJ Prum W-S and G-H Auslesen with which I have a little more experience. I haven't cracked one of my remaining 9 '01 JJ Prum W-S GKA's yet (I sold three of my twelve to good homes Cool).

This year looks like a Gunderloch year for me -- last night I bought two cases each of the '02 Nack Roth Spatlese and Auslese from WineEx based on trusted rumor mongers. Wink


cheers, y'all!
I had the chance to try this wine again last Saturday at a Chicago Wine Mafia dinner at Timpano's in Naperville. I was much more impressed with this wine the 2nd time around. Perhaps that is due to the fact I was able to pair it with a better food match. I was able to save some and drink it with a lemon cheesecake at the restaurant. My tasting notes were similar to my originals. 93-94 points this time.

This was also one of the bottles I contibuted to the Holiday grab bag and I think Joe Wu ended up with it. I hope you enjoy it Joe. No rush to drink it though. It will last 20 years.

2001 Darting Rieslaner Auslese Dürkheimer Nonnengarten -- beautiful burnished copper colour that pours slowly, thick legs; sweet floral and applesauce nose; intense peach/apricot flavours, lime, honey, ripe and sweet but lots of acidity to balance, powerful, very silky, a wine you want to keep in your mouth as long as possible; very long, intense, fruit-laden finish. Huge wine, esp. considering only 11.5% alc. Around 93-94 pts. Can probably go a lot longer, but it's drinking great right now. (Thanks, GATC!)
2001 Kurt Darting Dürkheimer Nonnengarten Rieslaner Auslese - Germany, Pfalz (10/7/2009)

Took this to an octoberfest dinner at a friend's house in Michigan. Bratwurst and homemade spatzel were served. This wine was the darling of the WS board back in 2003 when it came out. Dozens of board members bought this wine on the recommendation of the members who tried it back then. It is a declassified beerenauslese and probably typified how the magnificent 2001 'golden october' German vintage could take a wine which had never been great in previous vintages and throw it into a whole new stratosphere in terms of quality.

This wine was not decanted. We drank it alongside a 2001 Christoffel kab and a 2001 JJ Prum WS spatlese. This wine is still showing great concentration and purity. Rieslaner is a hybrid of Riesling and Silvaner. It was a golden yellow color. Sweet and bordering on dessert wine. Loaded with pear nectar, pineapple and linseed oil notes. The botrytis was noticeable. A little bit of sour apple showed up on the finish which I do not recall from my last bottle. The acid was also lower than before. Outstanding wine still. 94 points.

We opened a bottle of this a couple of days ago which was a fine gift from GATC (see above how far back the comments on this wine go). Thanks to GATC for this winner.

I agree with Vino Me's last note for the most part except that this wine is probably on its downslope. It had great concentration and very pure flavors as VM noted - honey and a bit of pear but the overt fruit is probably long gone. 92 points easy.

It still had some acidity on the finish but if you have any I would definitely check in on them.
2001 Kurt Darting Dürkheimer Nonnengarten Rieslaner Auslese - Germany, Pfalz (1/8/2014)

Opened by R2D2 at an offline last weekend while he was in town. 4th time I have had this wine. 10 years ago this wine was the talk of the WS boards and everyone seemed to be buying them up (I still have 2 bottles). Well this wine is still showing very well and will continue to do so for a few more years in my opinion. Pretty nose of chamomile and a stroll thru an apple orchard. This is more of a dessert wine but has lost a little bit of it's sweetness and paired well with the Asian food. Notes of apples, pears and a wonderful sweet/sour component. Good acidity still in this wine. 93-94 points.


Back in 2003, this wine was the subject of a lot of praise on this board. I had 2 bottles left so I opened one over Thanksgiving. 20 years on this wine was still a stunner. Crumbly cork so I decanted and poured back into the bottle. Deep gold color with a little petrol on the nose. Rich pear and honeysuckle notes. Almost a dessert wine. This still has good acidity. A rich and luscious finish. 93 points.


Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.