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J.J. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese 2009

Riesling from Mosel, Germany
  • RP92
  • WS92
0% ABV
  • WE90
  • WS89
  • RP89
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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

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RP 92
Robert Parker's 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.

Languedoc-Roussillon

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An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality, value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Provence. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.

Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc. International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.

Grenache

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Full-bodied but light in both color and tannin, Grenache loves the sun. It thrives in hot climates where it can easily achieve full ripeness. Grenache is best known in the Southern Rhône, where its plush texture and ample alcohol are tamed by savory Syrah and structured Mourvèdre, most notably in Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Grenache originates in Spain, where it is known as Garnacha and is important throughout the country, particularly in Rioja, where it is blended with the more austere Tempranillo, and in Priorat in tandem with savory Cariñena (Carignan). It is also responsible for dry, fruity rosés in Navarra. In Sardinia, the variety is known as Cannonau and produces bold, rustic reds. In California, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and playing a supporting role in Rhône-style blends.

In the Glass

In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with red fruit flavors ranging from strawberry to cherry to dark berry. Richer examples can also show plum, chocolate, and licorice.

Perfect Pairings

Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. With its uncomplicated, friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb loin chops or spicy Italian sausages. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not be fazed by a good chili kick.

Sommelier Secret

Sardinia’s Cannonau is often revered for its association with a long, healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, and they credit this antioxidant-rich wine—along with their healthy Mediterranean diet—for their impressive longevity.

WVWGJC181_2009 Item# 112291

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