The Old-School Wines of Merkelbach – On Sale Now

“Should we all buy more Merkelbach? Yes, of course!” –Mosel Fine Wines
 

5% off any 6-11 bottles of in-stock Merkelbach wines
10% off any 12+ bottles of in-stock Merkelbach wines
Offer Ends Friday, December 22nd @ 10 AM
 
Discount Will Not Display Online or In Your Cart
We will adjust your invoice before processing your card
Browse below and shop online or in store

 
We adore the wines of Weingut Alfred Merkelbach, irrationally and perhaps more than any other grower in the Mosel. They set the curve for the term “old-school,” having made their wines in similar style for almost 70 years. These wines capture the delicacy and etherealness of Riesling like few other wines we’ve tried. Terry Theise, when importing the wines for Skurnik, described their wines as “like VAPING Mosel Riesling.”
 
The estate is owned by two brothers, Alfred and Rolf. With no descendants to hand off the estate to, they quietly continued their work following decades of experience, practice and dedication to traditional methods of winemaking. The brothers live simply, love what they do and don’t seem to find any joy in excess, just pure satisfaction in doing what is exactly right, if the prices and Terry Theise’s stories are to be believed. They are of the dying breed in the Mosel, producing wines of a different era from vines planted decades ago.
 
The tiny estate boasts mostly ancient (and sometimes ungrafted) vines grown on steep terraces along the Mosel River in Urzig and in Kinheim. When most of the Ürziger Würzgarten vineyards were replanted during the re-alignment of the vineyards, Merkelbach’s vines remained on original rootstock. Today, the vines average around 50 years of age, spring chickens next to the brothers themselves.
 
The resulting wines are some of the most haunting expressions of the Mosel. They have a charm and an energy that’s unlike almost any other wine we’ve tasted. In fact, their closest comparison might not be in the Mosel at all, but rather with Jacky Truchot’s wines in Burgundy—another producer who managed to create unbearably delicate, ethereal wines that bottles sunshine and joy.
 
It was no secret that the brothers planned to retire. It’s one of the many reasons that we feel a painful tugging at the heart when we mention their wines to our readers. That announcement came with the 2018 vintage, the last they produced on their own.
 
As longtime lovers of these profound wines, we stocked up as much as we could in recent releases despite how bittersweet it felt to do so. We knew our readers would want to stash away some of these tremendous last vintages. For those who wish to stock up, now is the best opportunity to do so on our three-day sale. To those looking to try these wines for the first time – we doubt this will be your last and encourage you to take your first sip this very night.
 
Enjoy the wines now, enjoy them years from now; these wines could well outlast us all.
 
By-The-Vintage Guide:
 
2017 is a bit of an unusual year for the estate, as the natural levity and playfulness is tempered by the seriousness of the vintage. The result, though, is some of the most remarkable wines the brothers made since their breathtaking 2012’s. 
 
The 2018 vintage was a warm and generous year for Riesling. While some estates along the Mosel were left with out-of-control ripeness, to quote Mosel Fine Wines, “67 vintages of experience helped the mythical pair of brothers to navigate the vintage and to produce riper but still beautifully playful and engaging wines at all levels of the portfolio.” These are gorgeous wines that will age for decades as a lasting tribute to the final vintage the brothers produced on their own.
 
The 2019 vintage was to first in which Johannes Selbach of Selbach-Oster and his team assisted with vineyard maintenance, harvest, and vinification. Fans of the producer fear not, Johannes has kept the heart and soul of the brothers’ style.
 
Note: The Merkelbachs vinified each parcel separately, each fuder representing a different parcel. Because of their tiny cellar, their pradikät wines are composed of either one or two parcels. We’ve included the AP number in the wines’ descriptions. This is the second to last set of numbers in a German pradikät wine’s official code and is usually found in small print on the back label.
 
Highlights In Stock Now from Merkelbach:
 
Kinheimer Rosenberg
 
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese #1 2017 750ml Was $28, Now $24 special, that’s $22.80 at 5% off and $21.60 at 10% off, 27 bottles in stock now
David Schildknecht-Vinous 91 points
“Very ripe Bartlett pear garlanded in honeysuckle features both on the nose and in the mouth. The midpalate combines delicacy and animation – appropriate to the inner-mouth florality and fruit juiciness on display – with creaminess and glossiness of texture. A squeeze of lime adds to the liveliness of a subtly sweet, buoyant, stone-lined and satisfyingly sustained finish. Water-color-like in its alliance of transparency with slight diffusion, this lovely Spätlese offers a delicate wash of flavors.”
 
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese #2 2017 750ml Was $28, Now $24 special, that’s $22.80 at 5% off and $21.60 at 10% off, 29 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 92 points
“The 2017er Kinheimer Rosenberg Spätlese AP 2 was harvested at 88° Oechsle. It exhibits beautifully complex and refined aromatics blending floral elements with vineyard peach, grapefruit and spices. The wine is slightly reductive at first on the palate as it displays quite some racy acidity wrapped into a straight and pure structure. Notes of grapefruit, orange zest and spices emerge in the finish and lead to a slightly herbal and freshly tart feel in the after-taste. This is packed with quite some elements and only needs a couple of years to fully shine. 2025-2037.”
 
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese #2 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $31.90, that’s $30.31 at 5% off and $28.71 at 10% off, 25 bottles in stock now
John Gilman-A View from the Cellar 92 points
“The 2018 AP #2 Spätlese from the Rosenberg vineyard has a beautiful touch of exotic fruit to its aromatic constellation, wafting from the glass in a very refined blend of kiwi, strawberry, lime zest, an almost salty expression of slate, apple blossoms and bee pollen. On the palate the wine is vibrant, complex, medium-full and filigreed, with a lovely dollop of fruit at the core, superb mineral drive and grip, zesty acids and a long, complex and beautifully balanced finish. This is such a classic example of middle Mosel Spätlese, with stunning interplay of slate minerality, pure, precise fruit and floral tones. Just lovely. 2020-2050+. 92.”
 
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Auslese #1 2018 750ml Was $33, Now $29 special, that’s $27.55 at 5% off and $26.10 at 10% off, 24 bottles in stock now
John Gilman-A View from the Cellar 93 points
“The 2018 Rosenberg Auslese AP #1 from Alfred and Rolf Merkelbach is a beautiful wine in the making. The complex nose offers up a constellation of passion fruit, a hint of the yellow plum to come, incipient notes of honeycomb, salty minerality, violets, lavender and a gentle glaze of very clean botrytis. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure and nascently complex, with a lovely core of fruit, fine mineral undertow, bright acids and lovely length and grip on perfectly balanced and very promising finish. I have the impression this was made from very lightly botrytized fruit. It will want some bottle age before it really starts to blossom, but it will be a lovely bottle when it start to get rolling! 2026-2065. 93.”
 
 
Ürziger Würzgarten:
 
“Vivid, toe-curling clarity of fruit and terroir make this my most beloved Mosel agency. These are just some of the keenest, spiciest, most helplessly beautiful wines you can ever drink… Merkelbach’s wines are like the world before anyone wrote poems about it.”” –Terry Theise
 
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett #13 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $28 special, that’s $26.60 at 5% off and $25.20 at 10% off, 36+ bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points
“The 2018er Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett was harvested from old un-grafted vines at 90° Oechsle in the part of the vineyard situated above the cellar of the Merkelbachs, just behind the village, and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (50 g/l). It offers a hugely aromatic nose of white peach, apricot, floral elements and spices. The wine is beautifully balanced on the palate and leaves a long and refined feel of herbs in the finish. 2028-2048.”
 
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach ‘Urglück’ Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese 2017 750ml Displayed Price: $29 special, that’s $27.55 at 5% off and $26.10 at 10% off, 10 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points
“The 2017er Ürziger Würzgarten Spätlese “Urglück” was harvested at a whopping 96° Oechsle, i.e. well into Auslese category. It delivers a captivating and elegant nose of flowers, minty herbs and candied grapefruit. These are joined by riper scents of whipped cream and vineyard peach as the wine gains from airing in the glass. This delightful Auslese in all but name shows quite some creamy and ripe fruits on the palate yet remains at all time very delicate and refined. A touch of exotic fruits and honey make for a smooth and juicy feel in the long finish. A hint of zest comes through in the after-taste. This is a gorgeous Auslese-style wine in the making! 2027-2047.”
 
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese #7 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $33 special, that’s $31.35 at 5% off and $29.70 at 10% off, 24 bottles in stock now
John Gilman-A View from the Cellar 93+ points
“The AP #7 Würzgarten Spätlese from the Merkelbachs is also utterly classical in personality, but with more spice tones on both the nose and palate and an almost crystalline expression of the vintage that is utterly captivating. The superb bouquet wafts from the glass in a mix of lime, strawberries, kaleidoscopic slate minerality, bee pollen, a whisper of petrol, citrus zest and a topnote of fruit blossoms. On the palate the wine is vibrant, medium-full and slightly broader shouldered than the AP #5 version, with a great core of fruit, marvelous mineral drive and grip, zesty acids and a long, complex and perfectly balanced finish. This too is a marvelous interpretation of the Würzgarten, with perhaps a touch more depth than the AP #5, but not quite as filigreed in profile at the present time. Maybe- just maybe, this will ultimately nose out the AP #5 Spätlese with extended bottle age, but both wines are going to age beautifully and it is really hard to pick a favorite among them. They are differently style, quintessential expressions of Würzgarten Spätlese. 2023-2055+. 93+.”
 
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese #7 2017 750ml Displayed Price: $33 special, that’s $31.35 at 5% off and $29.70 at 10% off, 30 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 93 points
“The 2017er Ürziger Würzgarten Auslese was harvested at 97° Oechsle. It displays a superbly aromatic, ripe and fruity nose of yellow peach, pineapple, honey, anise and smoke. The wine coats the rather intense palate with juicy yellow and honeyed fruits pepped up by a nice whiff of acidity. The finish is delicately smooth and long. This gorgeous “Auslese GK” in all but name only needs a decade to blossom. 2027-2047.”
Wine Spectator 93 points “A light, zesty style, with jellied lemon, yellow apple and crème brûlée notes. Very refreshing and mouthwatering, featuring a lithe profile that makes this easy to drink now. Rose water and mineral aromas echo on the finish. Drink now through 2035.—A.Z”

Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese #10 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $39 special, that’s $37.05 at 5% off and $35.10 at 10% off, 20 bottles in stock now
John Gilman-A View from the Cellar 94 points
“The AP #10 Auslese from the Würzgarten from the Merkelbach brothers is a flat out gorgeous young wine. The bouquet is pure, refined and expressive, offering up scents of pear, strawberry chiffon, bee pollen, a nice touch of slate, spring flowers and lime blossoms. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish, bouncy and complex, with superb focus and grip, lovely filigree, just a touch of botrytis and a long, complex and utterly suave, vibrant finish. This is stunning young Auslese. 2025-2065+.”
 
“The Merkelbach brothers’ 2018ers are really lovely wines, ripe, loaded with delicately styled fruit tones and firmly anchored in their underlying slate minerality. This is a beautifully old-fashioned vintage for the Merkelbachs, as the pent up energy from the frosts of 2017 allowed for a nice big crop here, which allowed for plenty of quantity and a very transparent and delicate style that very much harkens back to the style of wines made on the middle Mosel during the first half of the 1980s (and which were the wines I cut my teeth on)… The entire range of the brothers’ 2018ers have good, sound acids and wide open personalities and most will drink beautifully right out of the blocks, though they will have no trouble aging gracefully for several decades.” –John Gilman, A View from the Cellar
 
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach ‘Urglück’ Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese 2018 750ml Displayed Price: $39 special, that’s $37.05 at 5% off and $35.10 at 10% off, 36+ bottles in stock now
John Gilman-A View from the Cellar 94 points
“The Urglück section of the Würzgarten is the Merkelbachs’ filet section, still planted with ungrafted old vines. The 2018 Urglück Auslese from Weingut Merkelbach is an utterly refined and effortless example of the vintage. The bouquet is the epitome of elegance, wafting from the glass in a blend of pear, apple, strawberry chiffon, bee pollen, lovely minerality, lime blossoms and hints of the honeycomb to come with bottle age. On the palate the wine is pure, bright and fullish, with lovely filigree and focus, a fine core, good mineral undertow and a long, nascently complex and simply superb finish. This is not flashy, but the one more pays attention to it, the further one is drawn into its bottomless sense of beauty. 2026-2065. 94.”
 
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese #8 2019 750ml Displayed Price: $36 special, that’s $34.20 at 5% off and $32.40 at 10% off, 19 bottles in stock now
Mosel Fine Wines 94 points
“The 2019er Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese AP 08 was harvested in the sector next to the Sonnenuhr. It offers a hugely attractive nose of vineyard peach, whipped almond cream, minty herbs, spices, William’s pear, and candied grapefruit. The wine is still on the sweet side on the palate, but its refined fruity and creamy side are superbly appealing. Add to this a great zest and a sense of purity side in the long and animating finish, and you have all the elements for a great playful Auslese in a decade and more. 2029-2059.”
 

5% off any 6-11 bottles of in-stock Merkelbach wines
10% off any 12+ bottles of in-stock Merkelbach wines
Offer Ends Friday, December 22nd @ 10 AM
 
Discount Will Not Display Online or In Your Cart
We will adjust your invoice before processing your card

See the complete list of in-stock & on sale wines below:


Merkelbach Rieslings                                                        DISPLAYED PRICE    AVAILABLE   REVIEW   LINK

Estate Riesling Trocken 2022 $19.00 2   Link
Kinheimer Rosenberg Auslese #1 2018 $29.00 24 93JG Link
Kinheimer Rosenberg Auslese #12 2018 $29.00 25 93+JG Link
Kinheimer Rosenberg Spatlese #1 2017 $24.00 27 91VM Link
Kinheimer Rosenberg Spatlese #2 2017 $24.00 29 92MFW Link
Kinheimer Rosenberg Spatlese #2 2018 $31.90 25 92JG Link
Kinheimer Rosenberg Spatlese #3 2018 $31.90 33 92+JG Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese #10 2018 $39.00 20 94JG Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese #7 2017 $33.00 30 93MFW Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese #8 2019 $36.00 20 94MFW Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese #9 2018 $39.00 31 93+JG Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese #2 2020 $39.00 12 94+MFW Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese Urgluck 2018 $39.00 48 94JG Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett #13 2018 $28.00 45 91MFW Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett #1 2020 $29.00 1 92MFW Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese #4 2020 $33.50 9 94MFW Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese #5 2018 $33.00 2 93+JG Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese #7 2018 $33.00 24 93+JG Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese #7 2019 $31.90 6 92MFW Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese 2021 $33.00 6 94MFW Link
Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese Urgluck 2017 $29.00 10 93MFW Link



Shop the complete collection of Merkelbach wines on our sale now (that’s 21 options!) here and browse our impressive selection of 467 different in-stock German Rieslings on our webstore, including selections from Markus Molitor, JB Becker, and Selbach-Oster!


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