Weingut Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett 2020
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
So many fresh floral notes, plenty of orange zest, sage and a whiff of smoke. Juicy stone fruit and lively acidity, with very well integrated natural grape sweetness that you feel less and less as the wine flows over your palate into the delicate, wet-stone and rock-salt finish. Drink or hold.
The 2020 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett is a Schaefer classic that opens with a brilliantly clear and still reductive bouquet of crushed slate and perfectly ripe Riesling fruit. The attack on the palate is vibrantly fresh, but there is also lush fruit and generosity as well as this hedonistic lightness and brightness that makes you quaff this Kabinett masterpiece until the bottle's end. This is a highly stimulating, cool and grippy wet Riesling with so much Jugendstil. 7.5% alcohol. Natural cork. Tasted in September 2021
Weingut Willi Schaefer is a small family winery that dates back to the year 1121. They produce exclusively Riesling, because this grape variety is qualitatively the best that thrives on their weathered Devonian slate soil. Weingut Willi Schaefer parcels are located in Graacher Dompropst and Graacher Himmelreich, as well as in Wehlener Sonnenuhr. The plots are located on steep slate slopes and consist of up to 100-year-old, ungrafted vines.
Weingut Willi Schaefer loves Riesling when it’s elegant, transparent, and full of character. They pride themselves on the longevity of their wines.
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.