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J.J. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese 2009

Riesling from Mosel, Germany
  • RP92
  • WS92
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Winemaker Notes

This is a thicker and more sassafrassy version of the Kab; it increases not in sense-of-sweetness but instead in tangible depth; pungent aromas, round, many-layered silky palate, crammed with Würzgarten garrigue.

Critical Acclaim

RP 92
The Wine Advocate

Christoffel’s 2009 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese leads with kiwi, white raspberry, sassafras, and pineapple; comes to the palate alluringly creamy – almost vanilla custard-like – yet lusciously refreshing and fresh fruit-filled; and finishes with delectable length and the proverbial kiss of wet stone. I would plan on enjoying it anytime over the next quarter century. Interestingly, the total acidity here is the same as in the corresponding Treppchen, despite this wine’s unmistakable extra measure of vivacity and refreshment; and the residual sugar is marginally higher than in the Treppchen, even though the latter’s sweetness sticks out.

WS 92
Wine Spectator

A very honeyed style, delivering flavors of freshly squeezed blood orange and red peach, with notes of tropical fruits mixed in. The airy finish is elegant and rich, showing dollops of butter and spice. Drink now through 2020. 15 cases imported.

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J.J. Christoffel

J.J. Christoffel

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J.J. Christoffel, , Germany
J.J. Christoffel
The Christoffel family of Ürzig has been involved in wine production dating back to the 17th century. In 2001 Hans Leo Christoffel leased the management of his vineyards and winemaking to Robert Eymael of the Mönchhof estate. All of Christoffel’s 4 hectares comprise the Ürziger Würzgarten and Erdener Treppchen, including a very special parcel directly above (and contiguous with) the 2.2 hectare Erdener Prälat. Cultivation in these sites has been recorded as early as the 7th century, and has for centuries been prized because of its southern exposure, deep Devonian slate, and steep gradients. The Ürziger Würzgarten, or ‘sprice garden,’ is so named because its iron rich slate is red, and produces notably spicy wines. With its gradient of 70 degrees the Würzgarten is incredibly difficult to farm, as is the Erdener Treppchen, immediately adjacent to the Würzgarten. Because of the sheer steepness of these sites, the majority of Christoffel’s plantings are over 100 years old and on their original rootstock. The star system on Christoffel’s labels represents specific parcels, which are vinified separately.

Eymael continues the legacy of winemaking that drove the estate to prestige under Hans Leo, in a style that maximizes clarity: whole cluster pressing, slow and cool fermentation in fuder, racking immediately off the gross lees followed by a short time on fine lees and early bottling to preserve the freshest of fruit characters indicative to Mosel typicity.

Chalk Hill

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Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington, and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and/or Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde river, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux can be bold and fruit-forward or restrained and earthy, while New World facsimiles tend to emulate the former style. In general, Bordeaux red blends can have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful, and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb, or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include Syrah, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or virtually any other grape deemed worthy by the winemaker. In Australia, Shiraz is a common component.

WVWGJC181_2009 Item# 112291

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