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Schloss Saarstein Riesling Kabinett 2011

Riesling from Mosel, Germany
  • W&S93
9% ABV
  • WS88
  • WS89
  • WE91
  • WS88
  • WE88
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9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Aromas of citrus, lime and grapefruit, balanced with ripe acidity and stony mineral notes. Taste of ripe fruit combined with fresh elegance. The key words for vintage 2011 at Saarstein were "early" and "just right." Christian Ebert, of Weingut Schloss Saarstein, says, "For our estate we can say that 2011 is one of the best vintages of the last decades quality-wise."

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
Christian Ebert farms 25 vertiginously steep acres of grey slate falling away from his castle on the Saar. His old vines produced a compact 2011, a wine that needs time to unravel to show all of its complexities. Right now, it's a tight ball of yellow peach fruit held in a fine mesh of acidity and minerality. The wine’s vibrancy stays with you long after each sip.
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Schloss Saarstein

Schloss Saarstein

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Schloss Saarstein, Mosel, Germany
The Saarstein estate owns the oldest vineyards in the village of Serrig. On the steep monopoly site of "Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner" Christian and Andrea Ebert put all their enthusiasm and dedication to produce great Rieslings. Schloss Saarstein wines are noted for their elegant steeliness balanced with crisp fruit.

Production is concentrated on the one vineyard surrounding the estate with great emphasis on strict selection when hand-picking. The wines are then carefully treated in wooden thousand-liter barrels, called "fuder", to maintain each wine's individual character. Schloss Saarstein now ranks among the leading producers of the Saar Valley.

The Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region is known for the finest Riesling wines in the world. Saar wines are elegant, distinguished by a fine fruity aroma and a pleasant steely acidity.

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 stone, 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.

Other varieties planted in the Mosel include Müller-Thurgau, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), all performing quite well here.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. 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. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

YNG410921_2011 Item# 119758