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2003 Valckenberg Madonna Eiswein Review

ice-wine-grapesWe’re still on our Ice Wine kick, this week we’re dipping into a 2003 Valckenberg Madonna Eiswein from the Rheinhessen region of Germany. This is the middle of the road Eiswein coming in at USD $34.00 to USD $40.00 and has familiar Ice Wine style traits with scents of peaches, appricots and potent grape.

While the Covey Run Ice Wine had hints of pineapples and vanilla and the 2004 Höpler was a more expensive (USD $50.00) bottle with cedars, vanilla and cream pie this Valckenberg is more weighted in the peach and apple fruity category. There is very little oak or wood aroma and relies more on the fruits to entice your nose.

The color is a slightly pale gold and proves to be just as thick as other desert ice wines. The eiswein tastes much like it smells with sweet peach, sour grapes and an apple finish. The 2003 Valckenberg Madonna Eiswein is as sweet as you’d expect, maybe more, but does contain a bit of acidity to balance it out and coat your pallet with flavors. The Covey Run Ice Wine from Washington State is a good value and a great first experience, this wine steps it up slightly but might not be enough to justify the USD $34+ price.

I was hoping this wine would taste more like the costly Höpler Austrian variant considering this is a quality German Eiswein. The acidity was a bit weaker, the lack of any ceder or smokey oak was slightly disappointing and it lacks a bit of the crispness I’d have expected from a Riesling grape. If this is your only option, it should be a must try, but if you can find many brands you may want to experiment first.

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