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White - Off-dry

2015 Jos. Christoffel Jr. (Christoffel-Prüm) Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese

Riesling

  • Germany
  • Mosel Saar Ruwer

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Community Tasting Note

  • Seth Rosenberg Likes this wine: 92 points

    August 27, 2017 - I'd been hearing some news that this producer had improved, so I decided to try a bottle. So it's either that 2015 is just so good that even mediocre producers can make good wine, or they have improved a lot, or both. The nose is fresh with lots of citrus: sweet lime and tangerine -with time a little pineapple and red apple. There's a bit of herbs and some stones/rocks. The palate shows a lot of smoke up front, and then comes the lime and tangerine, followed by the stones and rocks. There is excellent acid/sugar balance here and the mouthfeel is lovely - light and fresh and lip-smackingly delicious. The finish is quite good and lively. This isn't the most complex Spatlese I've had, but it is excellent. Nose - 5/6, Palate - 5/6, Finish - 4.5/6, Je ne Sais Quoi - 1.5/2 = 16/20.

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2 Comments

  • micsauer commented:

    8/31/17, 4:35 AM - Why do you think this is a mediocre producer? That producer is consistently ranked as one of the best producers in Germany (e.g. by Gault Millau). Their wines usually sell out very quickly and are much sought after.

  • Seth Rosenberg commented:

    8/31/17, 4:31 PM - I based my statement on a combination of my own experience along with what I would consider a general consensus of serious German Riesling drinkers here in the US. I definitely can't speak for the German or European outlook. When I began drinking and collecting German wines, with the 96 vintage, I found the wines of JJ Christoffel to be outstanding, while the wines of J Christoffel Jr were clearly not in the same league. Of course, Hans Leo Christoffel retired after 2001 (I believe), and so I pretty much stopped drinking the JJ Christoffel wines as well.

    To me, for most of my Riesling drinking history, there's no question that J Christoffel Jr doesn't make the cut for the top producers: JJ Prum, Egon Muller, JJ Christoffel (01 and before), Muller Catoir (01 and before), Willi Schaefer, Von Schubert, or even the next level: Schloss Lieser, Merkelbach, Selbach Oster, and more recently Weiser-Kunstler, Julian Haart, Peter Lauer.

    It is really interesting - the wines just don't show up when US Riesling-obsessed drinkers get together. That includes the Rieslingfeier grand dinners. Now, that in itself isn't proof of lower quality - since it could be that US drinkers just don't know about the wines, but I'm extrapolating - since I knew of the wines and tried some early and then just mostly avoided them (as I started doing with Loosen later). My guess is that most US Riesling-savy folks feel the same way I do about the wines.

    Now, there seem to be discrepancy is the US vs Euro outlooks - for example, Willi Schaefer is huge in the US and, from what I can tell, not that big a deal in Germany or the EU in general (I could be wrong on that). I don't put much stock in ranking like those of Gault-Millau when it comes to producers, either US-based organizations (like Parker) or European: they are trying to cover way to much territory and paint with a very broad brush.

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