A special dinner exploring the diversity and versatility of Riesling and Pinot Blanc from the award-winning Moselle winery.
Schloss Lieser, helmed by 2021 Falstaff “Winemaker of the Year” winner Thomas Haag, joined forces with Quin at The Five to host a special wine dinner featuring nothing but white wine from the steep banks of the Moselle Valley.
Six wines featured on the night, of which all but one were various styles of Riesling, the variety that the Moselle has become mostly synonymous with. Running the gamut from the drier trocken to the sweeter auslese, the pairings were a showcase of the flexibility and potential of top-quality white wines, with Riesling taking centre stage.
The menu consisted of five courses: an amuse-bouche of charred baby corn and tempura oyster, followed by salmon tartare, a lobster roll, coq au riesling and a lemon tart.
Starting things off on a dry note, the amuse-bouche was paired with the Goldstuck Trocken Riesling 2020, where notes of stone, minerals and green apples came to the fore. The dry finish worked in tandem with the delicate corn and crisp, fried oyster to open up the palate for the rest of the meal.
The lone Pinot Blanc, Schloss Lieser Weissburgunder 2020 was paired with the salmon tartare, which posed an interesting question: would it have enough acidity to stand up to the rich, fatty fish? The answer was not as conclusive as one might hope for. While pears and peaches certainly came to the fore, the acidity was found wanting and as a result, the salmon became somewhat overwhelming.
A fairly straightforward pairing, the Juffer Grosse Gewachs 2020 went together with the lobster roll like peaches and cream. Hints of stonefruit and honey with subtle acidity complemented the buttery lobster while accentuating the delicate sweetness of the flesh.
A variation of the classic coq au vin, coq au riesling was paired with wines from two different classifications of Riesling: a Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett 2018 and a Niederberg Helden Spätlese 2018.
Lara Haag, daughter of Thomas Haag, was present on the night and had spoken earlier about some of the finer details of the winemaking process, such as harvesting periods, providing a broad breakdown of the German wine classification system in relation to the Kabinett, Spätlese and Auslese categories. The later harvesting periods play a key role in developing the taste of the wines, and these were significantly sweeter than the wines that came before, with a much lighter body and with hints of lychee and honey. These amplified the already slightly sweet, albeit richer and creamier sauce of the dish and went together like peas in a pod.
To cap things off, the vibrant, tangy and refreshing citron tart was paired with the sweetest wine on the night, a Goldtröpfchen Riesling Auslese 2019. Harvested at the latest possible time, notes of apple and ripe peach dominated and made it incredibly easy to drink.
With a history dating back to the 1800s, the estate holds a connection to the nearby castle of the same name. Thomas Haag purchased the winery when it was in a state of decline during the 1990s, and since then, the winery has undergone significant growth, expanding from its original 6 hectares to a sprawling 26 hectares at present. Today, they continue to make brilliant, award-winning wines typical of the Moselle, that we feel should be on your radar.