Weekend Vinopolpick- March 8

March 8, 2014
Germany 2011
“Sensational vintage” Egon Müller“Stroke of genius by nature” KP Keller

“2011 is just what the doctor ordered. If we could’ve scripted the perfect vintage for its moment, we’d have asked for 2011. ” Terry Theise

Hand picking grapes in Germany

In the last decade, Germany has experienced a string of successful vintages that may be unprecedented in its long wine-growing history.  The 2011 harvest in Germany, like much of Europe,  was a curious year of weather extremes that brought great anxiety and fantastic harvest results.

The growing season got off to a precocious start with a Spring that was one of the hottest and driest on record. As March yielded to a very warm April, the temperatures only continued to rise in May. Consequently, bud break and flowering occurred very early, between two and three weeks earlier than the typical season, and vegetation was at least two weeks ahead by the time they reached June. The warm, respectively hot weather created a drought problem, until June saw the arrival of rain and some respite from the heat of the previous two months. Throughout July and August, grapes were developing nicely and the crop was likely to be good, until Friday, August 26th. A huge thunderstorm moved through the Middle Mosel, dumping golf-ball sized hail on villages. The vineyards were hard hit, though the impact varied greatly even within a hundred meters, depending on how the slopes twist and turn. Where hail is, rot is often not far. Winemakers feared the worst but most were relieved to find only around 15% of their crop on the ground.

Though the hail that fell in late August was quite intense and received a good amount of publicity, it was restricted to a fairly narrow storm path. While healthy fruit remained intact and unaffected, rainfall  followed the hailstorm, benefitting the grapes as it washed away the juice/sugar of the damaged berries, minimizing the risk of rot in the bunches. Again, the weather turned, this time for the better. Frustrations for winegrowers came to an end with a dry and sunny August, a saving grace for the remaining crop.

September offered perfect conditions for what could have been one of the earliest harvests in history (earlier even than the record-setting 2003 vintage). It remained dry and cool until the end of October, allowing growers to start with a “negative” selection, taking out imperfect grapes and damaged leaves. Selectively and unhurriedly picking their grapes well into October, this extended harvest allowed Riesling grapes to ripen further while retaining acidity thanks to cool night times. The cool, dry weather in September, which prevented the onset of rot following the hail and extended ripening time, created ideal conditions for quantity and quality, as most growers were able to pick more grapes than either the 2010 or 2009 vintage.

Harvesting the steep hillside vineyards in Middle Mosel

The gorgeous late summer and fall weather in Germany put an initially shaky vintage onto a firm pedestal of perfectly ripened and healthy grapes. Acidities are lower than usual, but are still evident in the wine and the overall character is elegant and balanced. The nature of the vintage has resulted in larger volumes of drier Kabinetts and Spätleses, and smaller amounts of fully sweet Rieslings . The hot and dry weather did not favor the spreading of botrytis but for what sweeter styles there are, the dry conditions made the berries shrivel into perfectly “clean”, honeyed raisins. The wines of 2011 are not only powerful and compact, but pleasant and fruit-forward with generous ripeness and moderate acidity. Ideal harvest conditions delivered fruit-forward, open-knit and balanced wines with opulent flavors and textures that in many cases are simply delicious right away.

The 2011 German vintage meets and beats all expectations. From bone dry trocken right on to the sweeter Spätleses and Ausleses, these wines are a pleasure to drink. The weather in 2011 brought wine-growers many a surprise. After overcoming great challenges, they were rewarded with strong positive results. Uncompromising selection during the harvest blessed us with a tremendous vintage that will surely join the ranks of its predecessors. For German wine lovers, we are happy to offer these, magic sweet Rieslings.

Stock List – 2011 German Wines – All Here Now

Johann Schild Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett 2011 ($17.95) $8.80 special 18 bottles available

Hexamer Schlossbockelheimer Felsen Feinherb Riesling 2011 ($23.95) $18 special 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 89 points “Hexamer’s 2011 Schlossbockelheimer in den Felsen Riesling feinherb Porphyr issued from young vines in the rather uninspiringly flat lower section of In den Felsen. But it’s lovely: buoyant at a mere 11% alcohol, and at 19 grams/liter residual sugar infectiously succulent in its amalgam of apple, peach, mirabelle and liquid floral perfume, yet still able to pass as dry-tasting. There is less mineral complexity but more charm here than in this wine’s trocken siblings, and it should prove delightfully versatile over at least the next 3-5 years.”

Vols Kabinett Ayler Kupp Riesling 2011 ($29.95) $24 special 24 bottles available
Terry Theise
 ” SAAR, baby! Barely sweet, fervidly slatey, sleek and crisp but long and suavely mineral. Delicious, interesting, refreshing, blue slate and green apple, honest and perfect, modest and tactful, but not humble! Too vivid to be humble. *”

AJ Adam Dhron Hofberg Kabinett Riesling 2011 ($27.95) $21.90 special 32 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “Talcum and orange blossom fetchingly scent Adam’s 2011 Dhronhofberger Riesling Kabinett, then join white peach on a luscious, delicate, subtly creamy palate, with a sense of wafting inner-mouth perfume as well as nut cream and wet stone undertones lasting into a refreshing finish, where the effects of a small lot of wine with unusually high acidity are noticeable and engender a certain largely productive tension. As this opened to the air, a sense of interactive dynamic between its fruit and flowers on the one hand and emerging stony, alkaline, and saline notes on the other served to heighten an already high level of stimulation. This should be a delight to follow for the next 15 years or so and will probably gain in nuanced complexity.”

Clemens Busch Marienburg Rothenpfad Riesling Grosses Gewaches 2011 ($59.95) $49 special 12 bottles available
Clemens likes to define his wine by the soil type, so the capsule on the bottle will indicate the type of slate (blue, gray or red). The dry wines are rich, complex and immediately impressive. They also age very beautifully, gaining in complexity and texture. Rothenpfad is a parcel of rare red slate and has both old  and recently planted vines.

Clemens Busch Marienburg Fahrley Riesling Grosses Gewaches 2011 ($69.95) $59 special 11 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points 
“Rich aromas of white peach, quince, and nutmeg. Succulent apricot fruit is complicated by tantalizing slate and lifted by invigorating acidity. Full-bodied, deep, and very long.”

Clemens Busch Marienburg Falkenlay Riesling Grosses Gewaches 2011 ($59.95) $49 special 11 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Mellow aromas of apricot, nut oil, and mint. A bright peach flavor is animated by understated acidity on the palate. Rich but crisp Riesling with a long, clean finish.”

Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Beerenauslese 2011 375ml ($199.95) $149 special 18 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “Intriguingly musky and subtly fungal as well as piercing in its evocation of distilled pit fruits and botanicals, the nose of Donnhoff’s 2011 Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Beerenauslese – which was picked alongside its Auslese counterpart – promises an intense palate experience that the wine very much delivers. Distilled extracts of wormwood, woodruff and anisette; maraschino and serviceberry seem to lace the amalgam of quince jelly with pear and white peach nectars in a lusciously multi-layered yet animated palate performance. A spicy and tropical suggestion of mango chutney compounds the vibrantly penetrating effect of pungent herbal and pit fruit essences in a tonsil-gripping, mouth-shaking finish.”

Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese 2011 ($64.95) $49 special 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points 
“A riveting, high-toned aromatic diversity announces the Donnhoff 2011 Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese with themes that inform an at once creamy yet subtly tannic and vibrant palate: quince, pear, lychee, nut oils, fusel oils, distilled herbal essences, brown spices, and smoky black tea. This behaves as if a bit of Traminer had been blended-in. The rich nuttiness and glaze of honey as well as sheer succulence of fruit make for a more opulent performance than that of Brucke, but to say that this is less energetic or dynamic would be misleading. Its incessant interplay of elements is utterly kaleidoscopic-just more calmly harmonious than the Spatlese from next door. Like that sibling, this deserves to be followed for a good quarter-century.”

Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese GK 2011 375ml ($49.95) $37 special 11 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 points
 “One of three products of botrytis selection in this site that extended into January, the Donnhoff 2011 Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Auslese gold capsule strikingly combines custardy richness of texture and honeyed ennoblement with bright acidity; a wellspring of primary juiciness; and salinity that will milk you salivary glands for all that they are worth. Fresh orange with its candied rind; white peach jelly with piquancy of pit fruits; buddleia and lilac; passion fruit, nut pastes and vanilla cream add to the luscious allure of this remarkable libation. A faint aura of truffle and musk emerges with airing – no doubt pointing toward the extremely late picking of by then relatively mature yet still fine botrytis. Dynamically multidimensional, yet sharing with its Brucke counterpart a soothing sense of harmony, this almost endlessly fascinating as well as endlessly lingering wine deserves to be followed for three decades.”

Donnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese 2011 ($41.95) $29 special 4 bottles available
Wine Advocate  94 points
 “Freesia and cherry blossom scent Donnhoff’s characteristically floral and endearing 2011 Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spatlese, whose palate alliance of creaminess, levity, infections juiciness, and persistently wafting perfume is downright irresistible. The fruit here lusciously favors Persian melon, pear, quince and dark plum with an enlivening squirt of fresh lime. Black tea smokiness adds intrigue, pear skin a touch of incisive counterpoint, while a subtle sense of stony underpinnings sets off yet more strikingly this gem’s purity, transparency and succulence of fruit as well as headiness of perfume. Look for at least 15 years of glory.”

Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Eiswein 2011 375ml ($239.95) $169 special 18 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points 
“Musk and leather; prickly radish and lemon rind; caramel apple and honey; passion fruit and mango inform an intense aromatic as well as ultra-concentrated palate performance. Unlike with so many other 2011s rendered from frozen grapes in early 2012, one can’t complain here about a lack of Eiswein-like acidity – but it takes-on a somewhat detached, slightly metallic and strident edge. Perhaps this extreme wine’s caramelized and animal aspects will reconcile themselves in time with its sharp citricity and radish-like sizzle, but the ways of Eiswein in the bottle are capricious.”

Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Auslese GK 2011 375ml ($47.95) $37 special 9 bottles available
John Gilman 95 points
 “While the 2011 Brücke Spätlese is a bit exotic aromatically from its very gentle glaze of botrytis, the Auslese is completely classic. The very clean and pure botrytis here has produced a brilliant Auslese, which soars from the glass in a blaze of apple, white cherries, gentle notes of honeycomb, a touch of tangerine, spring flowers and a glorious base of slate. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish, pure and quite reserved today, with a great core of fruit, racy acids, again, outstanding filigree and magical length and grip on the laser-like finish. This is a brilliant young bottle of Auslese that perfectly showcases the great purity and utterly pristine botrytis of the best sweet wines of the vintage. 2020-2060+.”

Donhoff Roxheimer Hollenpfad Riesling Troken 2011 ($41.95) $29 special 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points
 “Helmut and Cornelius Donnhoffs’ 2011 Roxheimer Hollenpfad Riesling trocken represents their first bottling of this grape from recently acquired vineyards long associated with the adjacent Gutleuthof. Originally a 13th century leper’s hospital, it enjoyed prestige as a wine estate during the late 19th to mid-20th century under the Andres family, into which Donnhoff’s sister married. A fascinating nose of black tea; rather Pinot Gris-like meatiness; and marine breeze carries over onto a juicy, piquant palate suggestive of kumquat, apple, and persimmon. This finishes with considerable complexity and saliva-inducement of also an element of bitterness. It should prove highly fascinating to follow for a half-dozen or more years. Helmut Donnhoff opines that the relative levity and focus of this wine reflects the gravelly, sandy, wide-open, breezy, high-elevation slope of its site, which promotes tiny, thick-skinned berries, characteristics that could only be reinforced by the 2011 growing season”

Donnhoff Tonschiefer Riesling 2011 ($27.95) $22 special 23 bottles available
Wine Advocate 88 points
 “Significantly clearer and more persistent than this year’s corresponding-basic-dry estate Riesling, the Donnhoff 2011 Riesling trocken Tonschiefer–originating as usual in the Oberhauser Leistenberg–delivers nut, lime peel, juniper and huckleberry piquancy against a background of wet stone, its firm feel and uncompromising dryness lending a certain austerity to a formidably tenacious finish. I would anticipate this being best employed over the next 2-3 years.”

Donnhoff Troken Estate Riesling 2011 ($22.95) $15.50 special 32 bottles available
Terry Theise
 “Quiet wine, not reticent but also not chatty; quiet evening, cool, leaves burning not far away, roast is in the oven, and the book is absorbing. Slate-smoke rises in wispy curls. Few words, but all to the point.”

Egon Muller Scharzhof Riesling 2011 ($24.95) $17.70 special 3+ cases available
The Müller family owns 7 hectares in the famous Scharzhofberg vineyard in Wiltingen, which lies on the River Saar, not far from where it drains into the Mosel, just downstream from Saarburg. The family exploits their single vineyard holding to the full, and consequently are ranked among the region’s top wine producers.

Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese 2011 ($399.95) $299 special 11 bottles available
Wine Advocate 96 points
 “Mullers 2011 Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese delivers a penetrating and multifarious nose of heliotrope, lily, candied lime rind, quince preserves, white peach preserves, distilled herbal essences, marzipan and brown spices. Almost weightlessly delicate yet simultaneously expansive and creamy, this both caresses and stimulates the palate with a kaleidoscopically interactive array of those diverse and exotic elements that on the nose signaled its ripeness and botrytis ennoblement. An almost syrupy sense of white peach along with hints of white raisin that emerge in that prodigious finish fails to tip the scales in too-confectionary a direction thanks to a vibratory sense of energy and refreshing rivulet of juicy fresh peach and lime that is threaded throughout.”

JJ Christoffel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese 2011 ($29.95) $24 special 12 bottles available
Terry Theise
 “This was the best Erdener I’d tasted in the hail-vintage 2011, and in any vintage it’s an exceptional wine; beautifully poised and all there, a core of dense old-vines fruit, clarity; spicy slate, heirloom apples, amazingly deft for 112º Oechsle (!), with an ethereal power and a magnetic storm of slate. **”

JJ Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese*** 2011 ($69.95) $59 special 10 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 points 
“Golden yellow.  Scents of apple blossom, white raisin and quince are given depth by honeyed botrytis on the nose.  Rich, candied papaya fruit shows a velvety texture, but minty acidity keeps the palate fresh.  At once dense and light on its feet, with mineral salts providing spice on the long, elegant finish.  This will need time to reveal its full potential.”

JJ Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese 2011 ($29.95) $21.90 special 23 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Subtle bouquet of peach pit, cinnamon and lemon zest.  The elegant apricot fruit is decidedly light on the palate and highlighted by refreshing acidity.  Mineral salts accent the succulent, spicy finish.”

JJ Prum Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese 2011 ($44.95) $34.90 special 1 bottle
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “Given the outstanding performances of its Kabinett and Spatlese counterparts, I approached the Prum 2011 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese with keen anticipation and was not disappointed. Here are cherries poached in musk and Persian melon juices, steeped with brown spices and headily wreathed in gardenia perfume. The combination of succulence and delicacy is attention-grabbing and a hint of salinity and crustacean-like savor grabs the salivary glands for a long finishing engagement. This striking beauty should be worth cellaring for decades.”

JJ Prum Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spatlese 2011 ($39.95) $26 special 23 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points 
“The Prum 2011 Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Spatlese is scented and flavored with spearmint- and crushed stone-infused; musk-, lily- and peony-wreathed apple, honeydew melon, and blueberry, with an invigoratingly tart chew of berry skin lending counterpoint to the wine’s luscious, silky texture and its consequently succulently soothing aspects, including a seductive sense of liquid floral perfume. While this hasn’t the transparency or interactivity that characterized the corresponding Kabinett, it largely makes up for this with its own distinct virtues. Look for three decades of delight.”

JJ Prum Bernkasteler Riesling Kabinett 2011 ($21.95) $17 special 4+ cases available

JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Auslese GK 2011 375ml ($49.95) $41.90 special 12 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “Candied, spiced apple and overripe Persian melon dominate the Prum 2011 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese gold capsule, with honeyed impingement both aromatically and on the palate reinforcing the sense of relative opacity and rounded richness that the other Graachers in this year’s collection displayed. Here the sense of delicacy is nearly weightless; intriguing and enticing notes of liquid peony and lily enter the picture mid-palate after the wine takes on air; and for all of the botrytization in effect, there is a welcome retention of primary juiciness, spurring a lusciously long finish. Look for four decades or more of luxuriant satisfaction.”

JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese 2011 ($47.95) $33 special 1 bottle available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Pale golden yellow.  Lively aromas of peach pit, honeysuckle and candied lemon.  Bright and spicy, but with a velvety, creamy texture to its plush papaya fruit.  Herbal essences heighten the pleasingly ripe, supple finish.  Not a showy wine but a lovely auslese.”

JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett 2011 ($29.95) $19 special 17 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points 
“The Prum 2011 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett leads with scents of mint-tinged cassis and Golden Delicious apple, but the softness that these intimate on the palate doesn’t really materialize thanks to tart apple skin and piquant apple pip and grapefruit rind impingements, all the way through a bitter-sweet interchange of flavors leading into a satisfyingly sustained albeit rounded-off, delicate and soothing finish. Greater complexity and a sense of transparency may well emerge with time – and one can count on two decades’ high performance.”

JJ Prum Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese 2011 ($41.95) $29 special 11 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points
 “Site-typical scents and bursting juiciness of mint-tinged grapefruit, pineapple, and apple inform the Prum 2011 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese A.P. #12, albeit with a bit of a yeasty, cheesy veil that needs to blow off. A delightful inner-mouth floral perfume–akin to honeysuckle–along with a slick of honey add decadent richness to the palate. Hints of apple pip piquancy and chew of tart apple skin along with crushed stone accents lend counterpoint to the succulently-sustained finish. It seems that for whatever reason–the Prums confess to having no clue–their Graachers are behind their other wines in evolution. Look for-the usual- quarter-century or more of admirable service.”

JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese GK 2011 375ml ($59.95) $46 special 10 bottles available
Wine Advocate 95 points
 “A delightful hint of salted caramel creeps into the nose and onto the palate of Prum’s 2011 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese gold capsule, which when combined with apple jelly, honey and nougat not to mention a creamy and almost taffy-like texture, makes for a decidedly confectionary aura. Sweet liquid essences of lily, musky peony and gardenia as well as a faint oiliness and high glycerol enhance the luxuriantly seductive effect of this long-lingering performance, yet there remains a critical modicum of fresh apple and melon juiciness (if less efficacious than that of the corresponding Bernkasteler) to complement the sense of levity in this elixir’s finish and to render the next sip virtually irresistible.”

JJ Prum Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling  Kabinett 2011 ($34.95) $21.90 special 3 cases available
Wine Advocate 93 points
 “Prum’s 2011 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett is a tad higher in residual sugar and correspondingly lower in alcohol than its immediate stable mates, but as one would expect from this great site, if anything the taste impression is drier. A ravishing nose of heliotrope and honeysuckle, Normandy cider and wet stone establishes the common themes for a palate performance that unites delicacy, juiciness and creaminess to an uncanny degree that only a few of the best Mosel vineyards and their prime caretakers can capture. Mouthwateringly lingering and compelling of the next sip, this rarified illustration of Mosel Kabinett virtue will reward you over the next quarter century.”

Leitz Rudesheimer Kaisersteinfel Riesling Trocken 2011 ($59.95) $39 special 8 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 93 points 
“Wild aromas of white peach, cinnamon and lemon oil.  Delicately sweet passion fruit flavor nicely supported by bracing saline minerality.  A note of bacony spice animates the tangy finish.  One of the finest off-dry rieslings of the vintage.”

Leitz Rudesheim Klosterlay Riesling Kabinett 2011 ($18.95) $14 special 24 bottles available
Terry Theise
 “This at times is so high toned it sizzles into celeriac and spearmint – “the Altoid effect,” as I’ve called it. This just-bottled wine was in an herbal phase, which always yields to slate and fennel and mint – so wait on it.”

Leitz Rudesheim Schlossberg Riesling Trocken 2011 ($59.95) $49 special 5 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Vibrant aromas of peach pit, almond and clove.  The ripe, crisp apricot fruit is well integrated into the wine’s salty, mineral frame.  The savory finish brings nut oils and a sophisticated finesse into play.  Still needs time.”

Meulenhof Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese #11 2011 ($24.95) $21.90 special 33 bottles available
Terry Theise 
“Perhaps even better; certainly brighter and crisper, more chipper and euphoric, as Stefan’s wines are; there’s an edge of woodruff and “green” but the wine is about clarity and charm.”

Muelenhof Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spatlese #22 2011 ($24.95) $21.90 special 3 cases available
Terry Theise 
“This is a full-bore classic Justen wine, a rich fruit blanket over a discreet skeleton of slate. Has some redsoil Prälat maple juju and a pêche-de-vigne finish.”

Meulenhof Riesling 2011 ($17.95) $14 special 34 bottles available
Terry Theise
 “This pure, healthy beauty is the perfect fresh easy Mosel wine, tasty and appealing. Much of the fruit came from the Busslay, on the other side of the river, which saw no hail.”

Muller Forster Pechstein Riesling  Spatlese 2011 ($33.95) $25 special 13 bottles available
Terry Theise 
“A few measly grams of sugar – still could be Brut were it fizzy – give the wines a serene euphoria, and simply more melody, more flower, more salt – altogether more fetching. And the salt creates an angular counterpoint to even the slightest RS; you smack your lips to eke out each little terroir morsel; you can almost lick it off your teeth. +”

Reichart Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese 2011 ($21.95) $14 special 23 bottles available
Wine & Spirits 92 points 
“*Best Buy* Bright and tight, this is textbook Mosel, the fruit plump, the delicate acidity so finely honed and precise it feels like a wire pulled taught. It lasts with a glow, like the sun glinting off metal, smooth and full. ”

Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett #16 2011 ($29.95) $21.90 special 7 bottles available
Wine Advocate 91 points 
“Given its mingling of juicy, ripe, fresh apple, pear, mango and musk melon with smoky, piquant, yet also secretly sweet walnut and pistachio oil, the Schaefer 2011 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett A.P. #16 offers alluring counterpoint and an extremely ripe yet harmonious exhibition of its site’s potential. Lush yet buoyant, it finishes with lip smacking persistence, and over the next couple of decades more of a mineral dimension such as characterizes the corresponding Himmelreich Kabinett may well emerge.”

Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Beerenauslese 2011 375ml ($209.95) $169 special 5 bottles available
Wine Advocate 97 points
 “The Schaefer 2011 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Beerenauslese restores the brightness, vivacity, penetrating and interplay of flavors that characterized the two magnificent Domprobst Spatlesen in the present collection but had receded as one made one’s way through the Spatlesen. Never has Willi Schaefer’s repeated mantra that green-golden ripe berries must be well-represented in a B.A. been more deliciously illustrated. Juicy and candied lemon, apple jelly and fresh apple concentrate, quince paste, white raisin, vanilla cream, and salted caramel all inform a rich yet exuberant palate performance that enervates even as it envelops. This should have half a century of adventure in store.”

Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett 2011 ($29.95) $19 special 18 bottles available
Wine Advocate 92 points
 “The Schaefer 2011 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett is strikingly delicate and flowery, with lemon, grapefruit and apple wreathed in honeysuckle and mingled with nut oils. Polished both texturally and in terms of its impeccable balance–at 9% alcohol and therefore only modest residual sugar–this is also a little masterpiece of understatement, its sense of mineral and floral finishing impingements quite intricate but asking that you take time to commune with it. That you could do anytime over the next 20 or so years.”

Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spatlese 2011 ($39.95) $32 special 8 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“Yellow plum, licorice and nut oils on the nose.   Creamy and deep on the palate, with a concentrated peach flavor enlivened by a hint of nutmeg.  Vibrant mineral salts keep the palate fresh.  Crisp, clean and eminently drinkable.”

Schaefer Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 2011 ($39.95) $24 special 9 bottles available
Wine Advocate 89 points 
 “Schaefer’s 2011 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese displays juicy fresh apple, mirabelle and Persian melon allied to a subtly creamy texture, brown spices, apple skin and citrus zest serving for welcome invigoration in a sustained if relatively rounded-off finish. It ought to remain lovely for at least 12-15 years.”

Selbach- Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett 2011 ($24.95) $16 special 15 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer
 “Fresh bouquet of pear and apple blossom. Delicately sweet on the palate, offering a nice interplay of apricot flavor and luscious citricity.  A lovely kabinett to drink now.”

Selbach- Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett 2011 ($24.95) $19 special 3 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points 
“Yeasty fermentative residues segue into site-typical smokiness in the nose of Selbach’s 2011 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett, along with an adumbration of the lemon pip piquancy that accompanies its cidery apple on the juicy, buoyant palate. Impeccable sweetness and saline saliva-inducement help render the succulent finish here next sip-compelling. This promises at least ten or a dozen years of satisfaction.”

Selbach- Oster Zeltingen Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese 2011 ($34.95) $24 special 6 bottles available
Wine Advocate 90 points 
“The Selbach 2011 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese mingles caramel, honey, marzipan, quince preserves and vanilla cream with lightly-poached apple for an exceedingly ripe, nearly confectionary, and texturally soothing and buoyant performance. Its actual sense of sweetness, though, is quite modest. Incursions of lime and fresh apple lend welcome refreshment in the finish but are, for now at least, not entirely in harmony or synergistic counterpoint with the wine’s creamy, confitured, and near-confectionary aspects. It will be fascinating to see how this impressively persistent Spatlese evolves over the coming decade or two.”

Muller- Catoir Haardt Scheurebe 2011 ($37.95) $27 special 11 bottles available
Scheurebe is one of the most successful German grape crossings that emerged in the 20th Century, named after its creator, Dr. Georg Scheu, who made the initial crossing between 1915 and 1916. Dr. Scheu’s goal was to create a Riesling and Silvaner cross that displayed the better aspects of both, however, Silvaner has been disproven as its parent. In the vineyard Scheurebe is high-yielding with slightly less acidity than Riesling and can sit anywhere on the sweetness level. Muller Catoir has done this varietal in the traditional dry style.