2002 #12 is a libation of Scheurebe and (20%) Welscheriesling that never achieved the 5% alcohol to officially become “wine.” Indeed, “it” was time and again refused authorization to label because it seems there is nothing one can say about it that won’t fly in the face of some law or another. (The EU provided a special dispensation to Hungary for the labeling of Tokaji Esszencia as “wine,” but no such exception has been envisaged for any other member state.) Kracher’s penultimate plan of desperation was to label it – a la Magritte – “No Wine.” When that received the governmental slap-down, it became simply “#12”. Given the limbo status of this libation – and given that I am only just debuting in the pages of this celebrated journal devoted to “wine” – I could legally duck responsibility to rate “#1”. Furthermore, it practically goes without saying that this elixir is embryonic, and hiding more – for all of its intensity and virtually endless length – than it shows. And did I say it’s been in bottle one week? It smells of honey, white raisin, and above all peach and apricot essence. It is virtually gelatinous and, amazingly, not at all cloyingly sweet on the palate, on the contrary its rapier penetration of a finish is only possible thanks to a level of acidity that pushes residual sugar off the radar screen and leaves this taster totally enervated. But there’s no point hoping to get turned on by my poor prose: you just need to taste this. Talk about early days: there is still some CO2 palpable trapped on the thick palate! (P.S. About these ratings: As I have no track record in that regard, I can only seek to assure you that I shall resist grade inflation with all of my intellect, so don’t suppose you are likely to see 98-99 points from my pen very often).