Maximin Grunhauser Riesling Abstberg Grosses Gewachs 2018
Grosses Gewachs from the fabled Abstberg Vineyard is one of the greatest dry rieslings in all of Germany. Alpine fresh aromas of ripe limes, Anjou pear, guava and sweet green herbs. Laser focused on the palate, with intense acid-driven minerality that supports the discreet white peach, green apple and green tea flavors.
At its best with elite seafood like fresh oysters, cracked crab, steamed lobster, Eastern scallops.
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Some profoundly mineral notes are coming through on the nose, ranging from white pepper to slate to yuzu and lemon pith. Medium-bodied with delightful juiciness to the acidity and integrated stone fruit and marginal, filigree sweetness. Drink now or hold.
Abtsberg is Maximin Grünhaus’s warmest site, and its steep blue-slate slopes produced an exceptional dry riesling in the warmth of 2018. It’s powerful but not mean (the way some Grosses Gewächs can be); instead, it wraps its searing acidity in apricot tones and a brothy, savory richness. Round and full, it has a driving energy that will preserve it as it ages; if you open it now, have food at the ready—like a roast chicken NoMad-style, with foie gras under the skin.
The 2018 Maximin Grünhaus Abtsberg Riesling GG is incredibly fine, pure and flinty on the nose, which even offers some yeasty notes. Crystalline, pure, dry, mineral, dense and complex on the palate, this is an enormously long and tensioned Abtsberg with great aging potential.
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.