Zilliken Rausch Riesling Spatlese 2019
Fruit driven finesse is marked with a delicate florality in this late-picked Riesling. Notes of vineyard peach, grapefruit, juicy lemon and ripe passion fruit come together on a creamy, concentrated palate rich with melon and candied lemon peel. Stunning exchange of racy acidity and layered sweetness together form a perfectly poised whole. The long, juicy finish and fantastic vintage hint at a beautiful future yet to come.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Streaks of white grapefruit and struck slate collide on the nose of this blindingly pure-fruited spätlese. Light on its feet yet powerfully concentrated with lime, apricot and honeydew flavors, it’s an electric sip that can’t be placed anywhere but the Mosel. Medium sweet yet without a trace of sugariness, it’s irresistible now but should evolve beautifully through 2035 and hold longer still. Editors’ Choice.
You would be well advised to cancel anything else you were planning to do today, because this is brimming with pineapple and papaya aromas that will suck you into the concentrated and graceful palate. I love the dangerously refreshing finish that's also very silky. Drink or hold.
Weingut Zilliken is one of the leading wine estates of the Saar region in Germany. Renowned for the steely precision of their Rieslings grown in the very cool climate and slate soils of the area, the Zilliken estate built its reputation with intense, yet delicate and nearly weightless Rieslings that “float like a butterfly.”
The Zilliken family seeks to carefully preserve the potential that the wine carries within itself. For them, wine is created on the vine; you cannot add anything in the cellar. So their greatest effort is in the vineyards, where meticulous attention to detail leads to healthy fruit and optimal ripeness for each style of wine. Their approach in the cellar is traditional and simple, with fermentation, clarification and maturation all happening naturally in old Fuder casks.
“Our goal is to produce Rieslings with the highest level of finesse and lightness,” says Dorothee Zilliken. The result of the family’s dedication is graceful wines of crystalline purity that express the rocky soils and cool climate with concentration, intensity and length.
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.