Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Auslese (375ML half-bottle) 2018
Dessert wines at Grunhaus are rare as botrytis rarely fully develops as the vineyards are not located along a river. When the “noble rot” does develop the results are magical. This aromas of this Abstberg Auslese are focused on candied red apple, peach cobbler, spicy guava and sweet chive. Only 8% alcohol. Intense but airy and delicate flavors of golden raisins, shortbread, apricot marmalade and smoky slate.
Put this in the cellar for a decade if you can resist its charms. If served today, go with ripe cheeses, fresh fruit and Danish butter cookies.
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Picked rather late, in the middle of October, the radiant golden 2018 Maximin Grünhaus Abtsberg Riesling Auslese opens with super clear, perfectly ripe and flinty fruit aromas that intertwines ripe peach and mango with crushed blue slate and bitter orange zest notes. Exciting! On the palate, this is a lush, beautifully balanced and seamlessly textured Abtsberg Auslese with a long, salty-piquant, tightly woven and mouthwatering finish. It's still tight and firm, and the grip gives a nearly dry sensation that makes this a great dinner wine—if only you have the patience to wait a decade or more. There is great terroir expression here and nearly no botrytis.
First documented in 966 A.D. the von Schubert estate is not only one of the oldest but also one of the best. They are sole owners (Monopole) of the 3 vineyards (Abtsberg, Bruderberg and Herrenberg) that the estates wines are coming from. Since 1982, Dr. Carl von Schubert manages the estate according to the motto: "As much handling as necessary, but as little as possible", putting him and his wines worldwide in the top class.
Following the Mosel River as it slithers and weaves dramatically through the Eifel Mountains in Germany’s far west, the Mosel wine region is considered by many as the source of the world’s finest and longest-lived Rieslings.
Mosel’s unique and unsurpassed combination of geography, geology and climate all combine together to make this true. Many of the Mosel’s best vineyard sites are on the steep south or southwest facing slopes, where vines receive up to ten times more sunlight, a very desirable condition in this cold climate region. Given how many twists and turns the Mosel River makes, it is not had to find a vineyard with this exposure. In fact, the Mosel’s breathtakingly steep slopes of rocky, slate-based soils straddle the riverbanks along its entire length. These rocky slate soils, as well as the river, retain and reflect heat back to the vineyards, a phenomenon that aids in the complete ripening of its grapes.
Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically on the desirable sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type and altitude. The best Mosel Rieslings—dry or sweet—express marked acidity, low alcohol, great purity and intensity with aromas and flavors of wet slate, citrus and stone fruit. With age, the wine’s color will become more golden and pleasing aromas of honey, dried apricot and sometimes petrol develop.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.