89+ RP ( this review for 2003 NOT 2002 we are selling)
The 2003 Spatburgunder trocken Cuvee Max exhibits high-toned red fruits and smoky, leathery meatiness in the nose. Fresh red berries characterize the palate and there is clearly more density and structure, as well as an element of wood than in the “regular” bottlings. That said, this exhibits less charm, creaminess and fluidity. It no more betrays its 14% (natural) alcohol than the estate’s basic Spatburgunder did its 13.5%. This has room to grow if cellared. Not many years ago, August Kesseler was vinifying – in addition to the Pinot Noirs for which he has long been known – almost entirely dry Rieslings that were seldom seen outside Germany. Nowadays, he is reveling in residually sweet Rieslings and has launched an aggressive export program with the intention of becoming a major force in the U.S. market. Given the amazing price/quality rapport of some of the wines I tasted, he should succeed brilliantly in that endeavor.