Braida Bricco dell´Uccellone, 1988

Bricco de Uccellone, 1988 (100 von 1)Once again, I am proven that two hours of rest in a decanter can work true miracles on a matured wine. Having initially only had a rather unpleasant smell of heating oil on the nose, followed by overly ripe fruits, everything seemed derranged – indeed, a wine that had passed its peak. Yet far from it; the decanter was like a fountain of youth for this 100% Barbera which then presented an indiviual yet intact nose, which smells of young morello cherries, lemon zest, and a tart spices which are reminiscent of root celery, yet so subtle finely interlaced with the fruit that I really do find it very pleasant indeed. Generally of middle depth. The wine is not particularily firm on the palate, yet there is a reappearance of marvelously clear and youthful cherry fruit. I also note black berry fruits, all without any overt ripenes or aging elements. I am generally amazed by the youthful freshness, the acidity is fine and very refreshing, it presents elements of lemon zest in the fruit, the new Wood is only recognised due to a fine note of coffee. The tannins are completely melted off, the wine does not role charmingly, but rather prances in a cool and fruitful style of piquant and fine acidity which run over the palate and has us finishing the wine within the shortest of time. The wine is not particularily complex on the palate, however splendidly matured, balanced and hence very drink animating – a high art in itself. How come it is always said that a Barbera could not age well?

Current vintages are about 40 Euros. 88 points, drink up from now until 2015

Riesling Grand Crus 2010 – An initial status analysis after two years of bottle maturation

After a fair two years, the time had come to test a representative variety of 2010 Grand Crus and to check that year’s development. In our article about the Arrivage tasting two years ago(read on here) we spoke about a vintage ofthat, in our opinion, was of a thoroughly elevated class, by which we were in a minority. We appreciated the firm core of the Rieslings and the tense acidity, at least in those wines that did not taste too much of malic acid. Another essential aspect was a preferably clean crop of grapes, which was no simple issue due to the widely spread decomposition in the autumn of 2010. In conclusion to both of these tasting evenings, one can say that many of the wines still integrate their firm acidity excellently to this day. The Crus seemed firm and clear in their respectable fruit aromas while also aspiring to a continually positive development. Little surprise was given at this earlier stage by the formally “minor” Crus which – at this point – had reached a further point of maturation which even enabled them to – at times – steal the show of the actual stars; they were – at this point – simply more harmonious and presented more depth and game. The art of opening a wine at the right time ought not to be underestimated. Hence, the ultimate responsibility does not merely lie in the hands of the winegrower but also in the knowledge of maturation processes of grand Rieslings which the wine connoisseur ought to bring along. Today, we were much taken with Wittmann’s Aulerde and Mosbacher’s Kieselberg, without necessarily presuming much further improvement. Some wines reached such an incredible level that we can only recommend to enjoy them now, as they will hardly become even better. This, of course, is all a matter of individual tastes. The picture will probably change in the years to come. We especially appreciate the collections by Keller, Schönleber, and Bürklin-Wolf which all again produced absolutely invigorating Grand Crus in 2010 which took the lead – once again – in our blind tasting.

There is no need to break out in a frenzy with the 2010 vintage, in our opinion. Most of the GCs seem perfectly well prepared for a prolonged maturation; some will only have properly opened in about ten years. Some Crus did not even clearly express themselves even after several days of decanting; they remained infantile, closed yet equipped with lots of potential. We deliberately did not open those winegrowers’ wines that traditionally need many years for aging, such as Breuer, Rebholz or Querbach.

Generally, it does not make much sense to open 2010 wines at this point or to order them in a restaurant; one ought to alternate with a 2009. The high acidity preserves the wines and only lets them age slowly. Especially the known great wines certainly show potential, yet they are still at least two years away from offering enjoyment as they are still deeply coated in hibernation. Keep patient, the wines will handsomely thank you.

In general we are content to stick to our original evaluation; 2010 will probably become a year of higher quality than 2009 as far as dry Grand Crus are concerned and will hence be among the superior vintages of the first decade.

The wine tasting took place blindly for all participants, although KA knew some of the wines. The bottles were decanted once or twice for about 30 minutes the previous evening and for at least another half hour on the wine-tasting day itself where the wines had been previously poured into the decanter. The following variety of wines was retrospectively sorted by vineyards and growing areas, the wines were tasted in a different and random fashion beforehand.


Mosel Valey

Winery Loch (Winery Herrenberg) Ockfen Bockstein, 2010
Indifferent sweetness, citrus, a general tendency towards cleaning agent. Middle-bodied on the palate, nearly light-footed, pleasant residual sugars, a fine sweetness, some tannin, a mobile impression along with clear stone fruit, the minerality is reminiscent of slate, powerful yet agile acidity which seems mobile. As pleasant as sweetness and acidity may seem, they barely play with one-another at this point. A promising finish is offered, the wine does not seem complete at this point yet it ought to still develop.

Winery Loch (Winery Herrenberg) Wiltinger Schlangenberg Alte Reben, 2010
Very slight hints of washing-up liquid, lime stone, very closed, a mineral foundation as hard as granite. A very clear attack, a distinct apple taste, notable residual sugar, the spicy acidity is buffered by the sweetness, a still fully unfinished wine with a good length, hard to judge today, very uneasy at the back. The wine’s prepositions give us hope.


Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese trocken **, 2010
A light red berry fruit, a hint of stony minerality, herbs, creamy, cooled cola, yeast aromas, individual notes, completely closed, all predispositions are at hand. Delightfully clear-toned on the palate, a crystalline structure, inner tension, great mineral bite and firm acidity without being sour. Different impressions at the table, all however being generally inspired. In all, we are presented a still very young and closed Riesling which already is delightfully drinkable for mineral wine enthusiasts. A long salty-mineral finish.



Winery Peter-Jakob Kühn Oestricher Doosberg, 2010
Herbal tea, very spicy, tart, hints of botrytis, wax. Middle bodied, juicy, a slightly sweet initiation, reminiscent of a very young and immature apricot, the crisp acidity dominates the attack and strikes into the palate, apple core, a mineral inkling, flint stone, the (apple?-)acidity nearly discharges the wine, middle length. Barely drinkable in this state and not even a particularly good wine due to a lack of acidity.
87? KA, 84? GM

Winery Peter-Jakob Kühn Mittelheim St. Nikolaus, 2010
A harmonious nose, herbal orientation, grapefruit, citric zest, seems individualistic yet also very clear. Middle bodied, clear stone fruit, crisp acidity which currently seems much more fine and ripe though at its limits. By the way – this is intensely debated at the table, some speak of bitter notes in the finish, the fruits are coated by herbal tea aromas, very firm and long. We were not able to come to an equal judgment at this point either. KA puts his trust into vineyards and winegrowers, GM (rightfully) queries the currently lacking Grand Cru standard.
89-91+, 86-87 GM

Winery Wegeler Geisenheim Rothenberg 2010, 2010


Nahe Valley

Winery Schäfer-Fröhlich Monzinger Halenberg, 2010
Flint stone, a covered nose, hints of red berries, pure minerality without specific characteristics, covered by a sulfuric ‘sponti’(spontaneous fermentation) scent, not unpleasant though. Middle bodied, enormously tense, very firm yet focused, a great course of acidity, clear, straight, somewhat inaccessible, great structure, avoids any kind of sesquipedalian attitudes, one of the most focused wines of the evening, delightfully clear stone fruit, a generally very clear direction and an uneasy mid-length finish. We attest this wine a possibly great future.

Winery Schäfer-Fröhlich Bockenau Felseneck, 2010
Clear notes of spontaneous fermentation, a primarily mineral based nose, some hand cream, generally seems closed, fine floral tones, the shy fruit is masked, moist clay soil, hints of apricot. Middle body, very fresh and clear fruit on the attack, white peach, a racy acidity which is characteristic for the year, promisingly good predispositions, some bite, seems positively cloth-like, approaching volume, middle echo with a slight sweetness, brings along everything while still being fully closed. Inconsistent opinions are given at the table, generally somewhat below our expectations. The further development remains to be seen.


Winery Emrich-Schönleber Monzingen Frühlingsplätzchen, 2010

Winery Emrich-Schönleber Monzingen Halenberg, 2010
Flint stone, matches, notes of spontaneous fermentation, very spicy, completely free of any fruit attributes, a genuinely youthful stone fruit, glacier ice, a highly fine-laced and complex nose. A defined middle body on the palate, a delightfully pure tone, already very cool on the attack, like a mountain stream, finest preconditions, a grand Riesling of the highest elegance, the acidity is at hand and fully integrated while being at exactly the spot where it is supposed to be, barely any notable fruit at this point, a slight note of smoke, a firm mineral foundation, a monolith, the end presents a long echo of grand finesse. Once more, a grand Halenberg by Schönleber.

Winery Dönnhoff Norheim Dellchen, 2010
Elegant, a clear nose of apple, some smoke from the minerality, seems classic, well composed, followed by earthy-herbal appeals while remaining elegant and subtle. An attack of medium firmness, presents draught and noblesse, a very straight fruit, clear on the apple side combined with youthful stone fruits, a nice acidic bite, firm foundation, powerful and full of depth while always retaining an element of finesse, remarkable length.

Winery Dönnhoff Niederhausen Herrmannshöhle, 2010
A fruit-based nose of waxed red apple, associations of honeydew melon and tropical fruits, stone-based minerality, generally rather covered. A very fresh and middle-bodied mouth feel; apple peel, cut grass, a juicy attack, gives a very balanced impression, perfectly integrated acidity, generally balanced, already very nicely drinkable, the further course presents a fruit that seems somewhat covered and of a simple pattern, the question would be as to whether the currently lacking depth might develop someday or whether the wine is to remain aromatically limited. As with the Arrivage tasting, the wine remains somewhat behind our expectations.



Winery Wagner-Stempel Siefersheim Höllberg, 2010
An earthy minerality, botrytis, passion fruit, ripe peaches, a voluminous impression, malt. Firm bodied, very fabric-like elements, preconditions of a baroque Riesling with a juicy attack, highly mature fruit with tropical tendencies, a good length combined with a salty minerality, very powerful, bustling acidity, some speak of green notes at the back, in all astoundingly far opened, a wine that may also be enjoyed at a young age. However, we are somewhat troubled that the botrytis may further increase in taste which would not speak of a GC capable of prolonged maturation; the further development will show.


Winery Wagner-Stempel Siefersheimer Heerkretz, 2010
A fine and well balanced fruit on the nose, bell-clear, little developed some pome fruit along with mid-matured stone fruits, red berry fruit, smoke, basalt, a clear impression, and hints of wax. The attack is very firm and middle-bodied, citric notes clearly toned and revealingly lean in the middle; this is where the acidity uncompromisingly grips into the palate and aromatically unfolds. Guido experiences the acidity as generally shifting the entire aromatic picture of the wine itself and hence giving it an un-charmingly cool and distanced attribute; this is precisely what fascinates Rainer. Very different impressions at the table. However, we do all agree not to open before five years have passed.
93 (KA), 88 (GM) – Potential


Winery Wittmann Westhofen Aulerde, 2010
A botrytis-filled nose of orange crème and honey, linoleum, not much otherwise; an opulent and rich impression is given. Then follows an absolutely different mouth feel altogether; though the wine does have a high concentration, it almost seems to vibrate due to its truly unique game of acidity. The nearly bubbly acidity is marvelously gripping and animating without any aggression. Rather more, it is subtle, with the highest game and noblesse, a pure palate-wine which fully grips and intrigues you, remarkable length. This is a grand Riesling despite the difficult nose – today.


Winery Wittmann Westhofen Kirchspiel, 2010
Red berries, apple and marzipan, limestone, a headstrong and marvelous impression on the nose. A middle-bodied, mineral attack, lots of limestone followed by closed fruit that currently still comes very much through a red berry fruit, enormous concentration, highly elegant thanks to its mineral expression, very spicy and tart. An idea of fruit remains in the background throughout its entire course through which the wine achieves great depth and complexity, appeals of liquorices, extremely herbal, the end of the course gains ever more depth and creates hope for a great future, a tremendously prolonged finish. Once more; a terrific Kirchspiel.


Winery Wittmann Westhofen Morstein, 2010
The wine seems very mineral based with elements of basalt, chalk powder, spotlessly clean and clear tones, and white smoke. A powerful body, slightly nutty appeals on the attack, a closed and not clearly identifiable fruit, still seems very un-charming today, full-bodied, notable residual sugar, a generally mineral foundation, white smoke, highly firm acidity which is already very well integrated, independent, full of suspense and completely closed. Good length, interesting for ‘sensor freaks’, but not to be enjoyed at present.


Winery Wittman Westhofen Brunnenhäuschen, 2010
A closed yet certainly complex nose of slightly sweet oranges, a fine hint of wax aromas, earthy minerality, and moist pebble stone as well. Juicy on the attack, a creamy mouth feel, a very firm but well integrated acidity, juicy impressions, firm, even piquant, yet without any lashing out, a little bit of residual sugar, ideally integrated, well accompanied by its spiciness, very approachable and concentrated, the components already correspond with one-another; it will come around. However; today it still lacks game and finesse, which will probably fall into place as time goes by.



Winery Keller Nierstein Pettenthal, 2010
This wine offers a bouquet of ripened stone fruits, apricot, highly mature yellow flesh fruit which nearly reaches tropical attributes, brown bread also. A powerful and opulent body with repeating influences of stone fruits, playful with its residual sugars, only a little opened at this point, reminiscent of passion fruit cream, a generally coherent impression due to its sovereign firmness which points at complexity, we are also offered an excellently integrated acidity and a very long course.


Winery Keller Dalsheimer Hubacker, 2010
Chalk dust, cocoa, red berry fruit, smoke, and roasted spiciness. The palate is presented with a terrifically dry sensation and great draught, marvelously sugar-coated and adequately charming citrus fruit, very firm and clear throughout its entire course, a cheeky acidity, perfectly located while presenting a delightful game and tension, already very well drinkable at this point, great length with lemon peel at the end and a fine-salty finish that exquisitely plays with the acidity. Even though the wine is already a drinking pleasure today, it will most probably be grateful for another three years of bottle maturation.


Winery Keller Westhofen Kirchspiel, 2010
Smoke, earthy minerality, clear Riesling fruit, and citric elements. Middle body, a beamingly juicy attack which is dominated by a bell-clear stone fruit which already seems a little opened, red apple peel, crisp acidity only in the upper area while the echo still seems a little surly, generally a great wine which contains all necessary preconditions. This remains the best Kirchspiel by Keller that we have come across so far.


Winery Keller Westhofen Morstein, 2010
An extremely closed nose, hard limestone, a hint of lemon, and nothing else. Tremendously firm on the palate, one chews solid rock, a solid stony foundation, a marvelously exhilarating game of acidity, the course flows over the palate, cocoa, aristocratic noblesse, clear salty minerality. Providence deems this to be a great Riesling which will require no less than another five years of bottle maturation.




Winery Koehler-Rupprecht Saumagen Auslese trocken
Yellow stone fruit, a soupçon of red berries, cassis, hints of botrytis. The body is firm and one immediately notes the barrel influences, very closed, a slight creaminess, vintage specific acidity, enough extract and promising fruit preconditions, remarkable length. This wine has a great future.
91+ KA, 89+ GM


Winery Mosbacher Deidesheim Kieselberg, 2010
A slightly sweetly fruit drop-like nose, rather ripe apricot, dark minerality, pebble stones, the minerality caresses the mucosa, delicate coffee aromas, powerful on the palate, again a closed Riesling fruit with sweet tendencies, the acidity has a fascinating game, it sparkles over the palate in a crazy fashion, vibrating, fine elements of fennel, a minerality that prances with the acidity which lets both unite to a unique game of sweetness and acidity, finally a long finish. Already a special treat.


Winery Bassermann-Jordan Deidesheim Kalkofen, 2010
Chocolate, orange blossom, glazed lemons, equally a fine minerality which is rather stone based along with some spicy attributes. Middle bodied on the palate, fine sweetness, a hint of sugar which does the wine tremendously well, very clear on the citrus notes which creates an aromatically tighter impression, none-the-less very harmonious and brilliant with a genuinely firm impression, middle length, it falls somewhat short at this point due to its youth yet is already delightfully enjoyable.


Winery Bürklin-Wolf Forst Ungeheuer, 2010
A spicy nose of chilled cola, notes of varnish, bread crust, glazed fruits lacking sweetness, yet a very clean core, releases drinking pleasure. Rather bouffant on the palate, powerful, enormous wealth of fruit, then enters the 2010 acidity, creating radiant energy, a notable juxtaposition of impressions, everything is at hand, yet every element plays its own game, no teamwork. However, this wine presents potential throughout its entire course. A middle, uneasy length. Let it rest.


Winery Bürklin-Wolf Forst Pechstein, 2010
This wine offers a spicy mineral nose, fine notes of basalt which are interlaced with a very fine and classic Riesling fruit, especially pome fruits. A firm middle body is presented on the palate, with green apple and orange peel, a brilliance that can nearly be stated as noblesse, a hard mineral foundation which can barely set any standards at this point, a lot of draught on the palate, the acidity is stiff with a lively game and is already in the process of integrating itself, the end presents a very long and aromatically rich finish. The wine at hand will need about five more years of bottle aging, only then will it probably be able present its terroir.


Winery Von Winningen Forst Jesuitengarten, 2010
Vanilla, sweet wooden spice, sweet woodruff, fruity opulence. The palate is presented with a middle body, it seems rather unfinished at this point, a firm and certainly piquant acidity, yet ripe and invigorating, the fruit can certainly be made out, some cola, depth and complexity are presented, very long yet still completely withdrawn to its cave, the wood is already on the retreat and very well integrated and it gives the wine a remarkable length in unison with the piquant acidity and a pleasant glaze.


Winery Von Winningen Deidesheim Langenmorgen, 2010
A note of spontaneous fermentation, sweet wooden spice, matchsticks, green apple, very firm on the palate, the wood is still a bit too apparent on the attack, yet it declines throughout the further course and skillfully plays with the fruit which is reminiscent of ripe apples and citrus fruits, fine residual sugars are notable, a firm structure and depth, enormous pressure on the palate, the end sees more and more limestone and wild herbs appear which both connect astoundingly well with the wooden elements aromatically, finally a slightly salty echo. Very independent and already a pleasure to drink.



Winery Knoll Loibner Berg Vinothekfüllung, 2010
Varying scents of turnip cabbage and chocolate, a clear impact of botrytis. Pure excitement on the palate; the acidity pulls together firmly and remains most elegant from beginning to end, highly concentrated, the aroma is extremely closed, pear, white melon on the palate as well – too much acidity at present for some at the table – yet also a very mature wine, aromatically reserved, still infantile, must certainly rest for about ten years.



Domaine Zind-Humbrecht Hunawihr Clos Windsbuhl, 2010
This wine presents a marvelously mineral nose of flint stone, very clear, gripping and firm, almost cool, white berry fruit, white peach, and old-wooden coffee elements. A defined middle body on the palate, the attack already gives an impression of coolness and firmness, barely any fruit, very fine-pored, a lively acidity, a lean wine, clear like a mountain stream, zero botrytis, the further course presents shy hints of fruit, enormous draught on the palate, one can anticipate the potential and depth of this wine, the finish cuts short, a truly great Riesling which does not yet present its full potential.

Tenuta Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino, 2004

2004-TIPBdMI had this wine in my glass twice in the last few months – each time it presented itself still too youthful and closed.

A fine concentration of coffee on the nose, roasted nuts, mocha, a very fine composition, yet still fully unfinished at this point; barely any recognisable shades of fruit as these are still covered by the barrel-ageing. However, one does perceive a good development for this Brunello, as the nose has a backward-bound balance.

The attack is both silky and juicy at the same time, one does as yet only vaguely grasp the dark fruit as it sits firmly closed in the corset of the wooden spice. A mid-full body and powerful style which, however, are still balanced. Only at the end does the acidity appear and create some freshness. This is a modern make with very tasteful assets.

Those who have this wine in their cellars, may effortlessly wait another five years – or ought to decant this wine for a long, long time. I shall not open my other bottles before 2018 – this could become an ‘excellent’ wine.

In selected stores, 30 Euros, 88+ points (very good), drink from 2018+

(Tasting note by Guido Mueller)

Weingut Wittmann Riesling Westhofen Morstein Grand Cru, 2006

Wittmann Morstein GG 2006My supplies of 2006 Rieslings are gradually coming to an end – no serious reason for sentimentality, I find. Only few dry German Rieslings of this year were capable to offer me real satisfaction. Those who do not mind botrytis in dry wines may not agree, however it is seldom that I appreciate these stylistics. Today’s wine is therefore all the nicer, thankworthy not adding to the mentioned topic:
A cool nose, a deep juicy yet only hinted sweet stone fruit accompanied by an aroma of lemons and limes. Metaphors of a mountain streams are often overstressed and – even if it is almost a pain – a similar picture comes to my mind here as well.
A generally elegant and glass clear stone fruit on the mouth, flanked again by citrus elements, firm and clear at the same time, the wine caresses the palate, at one point the spicy stony aroma takes the lead, then again the refined stone fruit starts to grip and becomes increasingly apparent. The wine is wonderfully drawn in its typicality, infused with a sustained mineral course and with perfectly balanced components. The acidity comes through in pinpricks of contrast points which buffer the recognisably present residual sugar, which presents itself in the final phase as a sweet and bitter grapefruit element. Due to this, the wine at hand seems somewhat less consequent in comparison to current Morstein vintages from the same vineyard. Nonetheless, this example also offers a juicy and as well as sophisticated drinking pleasure.
Currently in a very fine phase of drinkability, with a prior decanting time of one hour.
Offered in selected stores, 29 Euros, 91 points (excellent), drink up from now until 2016

(Tasting note by Guido Mueller)

Mas Doix 1902 – A new star on the Priorat horizon?

Mas DoixCellar Mas Doix’ ‘1902’ tests the known grounds of a L’Ermita or a Clos Erasmus. The first vintage – which was from 2009 – was now to be tasted half-blind* by my cherished wine friend Norbert. The name of the wine points to the planting of the concerned Carinena vine from which this wine is produced to 100%. The wine came on the table in a triple flight with two further high-class Prioriat wines. Due to its youth, all three wines were aired in a decanter for one and a half days.

1 Trosset de Porrera, 2009
An intense bouquet of bottled cherries, slices of orange, mild bitter-chocolate, a slight inclination to over-maturation, a nice mineral foundation of graphite. Powerful on the palate with a juicy attack of jellied cherry fruits, forest berries and citrus fruit, a midway interruption by a delightfully salty minerality which brings a certain freshness to the wine, clear notes of graphite again, the tannins are slightly drying and do not seem very charming. The aroma is also somewhat supported by the alcohol without yet being warming, a very good length. A thoroughly fine wine which, however, lacks final clarity and finesse. This is also grasped differently (much more positive) by others at the table, though.

2 Mas Doix 1902, 2009
A deep nose of the highest noblesse with elements of blueberries, blackthorn, and a fleshy black cherry alongside lemon zest, tar and stony minerality. Simply great, without any severity or artificiality; it does not get much better than this. The wine is also fully convincing on the palate and – despite its entire (youthful) vehemence – continually keeps its balance and its unique finesse. Essences of cherry and blueberries come to bare on the attack along with a salty minerality that bites into the palate. I note graphite and limestone, a midway wooden touch with a tone of bitter chocolate, the acidity already delightfully plays with the other components which lets me cherish this wine as most one that is most drink animating, which can only be said of few Priorat wines. The ‘1902’ is such a wine with its constantly changing aromas, which shall only reach their full glory with an extensive bottle maturation. An almost airy wine with a long finish. Simply brilliant, and a quantum leap to its predecessor. Whether or not it is worth 200 Euros is for others to decide.

3 Celler De L´Encastell Roquers de Samso, 2010

This wine has a sweet bouquet that has a noticeably stronger influence of its barrel, which I found a bit too much. However, I did appreciate the clear wild berries and black cherries alongside the hints of caramel and chocolate, which all offered a generally cool aroma. This coolness also immediately becomes clear on the palate, the stony minerality already instantly expresses itself on the attack, the fruit is reminiscent of juicy black cherries and dark berries, clearly coated by elements of the barrel and infused with pencil and pebble stone, which gives the wine an individual note. It becomes more and more compact throughout its course, being firmly gripped by its youth, the echo sadly presents some over-maturation, the tannins are still somewhat drying at this point, a middle finish. The wine has a lot of potential, once it has laid off its dress of wood and tannin, there should be enough substance at hand. A truly excellent wine which, however, does not reach the quality of the 2009 vintage.

*half-blind – I did not know the two accompanying wines. However, I knew that one of the three had to be the ‘1902’. The sequence of my notes correlates with order of the flight.


3 x Emrich-Schönleber – 3 x Riesling per Excellence

3xSchönleber Titel (100 von 1)Recently, Werner Schönleber kindly opened some dry Spätlese wines and once again proved the capacity of development of his Rieslings. He gave me the opened bottles, which created to possibility of trying the following wines over the next five days.

Emrich-Schönleber Monzinger Frühlingsplätzchen Spätlese trocken, 1994
A mature bouquet that is infused with petrol and comes with intact fruit kernel which tastes of pear, slightly matured and lightly dried stone fruits, followed by hints of malt and smoke. Very balanced and relaxed, opens more and more in the following days. A wine of short middle density on the palate, an intact and dried stone fruit coated by the petrol on the attack, a fine sweetness throughout its entire course which gives it a certain charm, a fine acidity which is most animating, clear elements of smoke as already found on the nose, stony minerality reminiscent of basalt notes. The wine increasingly develops throughout the first two days, perhaps lacking some final concentration and depth, however its drinking pleasure smoothly roles over the palate with exceptional length, even the last mouthful on the fifth day creates undeniable pleasure. Once more, a nice Riesling from one of the best years of the 90s.
87 points (very good), drink up from now up unto 2016

 Emrich-Schönleber Monzinger Halenberg Spätlese trocken, 2002
The 2002 Halenberg presents the whole class of this vintage year. The nose is defined by both noblesse, which is due to its unique harmony and by depth. An open bouquet without any distinction of age, a spot-on composition of game and of stone and pome fruits and freshly cut herbs. During the course of the five days, the herbs intensified a little and hence brought out the Halenberg elements all the more. The earthy minerality rushes animatingly through the glass, with a grandiose, nearly exemplary nose of a character wine. I am stunned of the effect on the palate due to the harmony and depth of the wine. The attack inebriates through its multilayered fruit; initially full and juicy stone fruits, which changes throughout its course into a mature stone fruit with citrus elements. This wine’s main focus lies on its gripping and tremendously playful acidity, the key attributes of the 2002 Grand Crus can be perfectly studied here. Noblesse comes to mind; the herbal minerality is typically Halenberg and interwoven with the fruit, complexity due to iodine, chalk and even notes of slate, which peers through here and then. The grade can be recognised by the not quite so tremendous draught on the palate, which uncompromisingly bites in with the Grand Crus. This, however, does not really disturb me, as this wine offers a unique harmony and ease which see me finishing the bottle already on the third day. A dry Spätlese could not be better, only different.
93 points (excellent), now to 2022.


Emrich-Schönleber Monzinger Frühlingsplätzchen Spätlese trocken, 2003
The following 2003 Spätlese was exciting due to the distinctive features of the year. The summer heat of the harvest season had left its mark on the aroma. Concentrated stone fruit on the nose, tropical hints which are partially reminiscent of wine gum, not unpleasant yet a clear deviation from the usual fine fruit and floral typicality of the Frühlingsplätzchen. Earthy minerality, middle depth, no notes of aging. A defined middle body on the palate, a full and fruit-intensive attack, very juicy, highly ripe stone fruits, hints of chocolate, malty-smoky minerality, an astoundingly weighty wine with a surprisingly solid game of acidity. Generally balanced despite its strength. Creamy minerality which brings herbs, smoke and malt to mind. The high viscosity takes away some of the flexibility and drinking pleasure in comparison to its predecessors, and it stays on the palate for a long while. In all well matured with a bit of future left to bare. However, this year blurred the usual expression of the vineyard.
89 points (very good), now to 2018

Heymann-Löwenstein Riesling Winninger Uhlen Rothlay “R”, 2005


No wine for those seeking acidity or for friends of wine purism – this, however, is a wine that manages to unplug its taster. This is no wine for enthusiasts of sweet, fruity Mosel style wine – these should almost certainly be disappointed…

Light amber. A surprisingly fine nose of yellow fruit, a scent of pear, apple peal and yellow plum, a fruit that is deeply interwoven with a tart and fresh herbal note. Finely laced yet echoed aromas in the glass. Silky soft fruit aromas on the attack; elements of pear, apple and fresh plum offer a firm and fruity foundation and mouth feel for this wine, this is further enhanced by a deep, black block of slate. A dark and slate-like minerality – spicy evil stone, pure Uhlen. As with other wines from this vineyard, this sample has a notable sweetness which gives the wine a clear medium dry style; almost too good to be true. Pleasantly enough, the wine does not coat the mouth with a flavour of glycerin. Moderate alcohol, the 12.5 % abv are harmoniously and inconspicuously integrated. The acidity seems rather mild; this is not only due to the vintage but rather its sweetness, which slightly covers the acidity throughout its course. The finish sees the acidity reappear. A wonderful and bell clear fruit which provokes a further mouthful. No tones of maturation as yet. A long, fruity-herbal-apple peel and slate like finale. A very good course without any exaggeration.

An autumn wine – well worth an investment of time and concentration.

Three hours decantation time. Enjoyed opened.

Available at selected stores. 32 Euros, 92 points (excellent), enjoyable from to 2017+

(Note by Guido Mueller)