Day 3 in the Mosel - Schaefer/Selbach-Oster/Prum

Mosel Saar Ruwer - Germany

Tasted January 13, 2015 by tooch with 707 views

Introduction

Day three saw us hit some of the real heavyweights in the Middle Mosel. We awoke in Zeltinger to some bright sun, and spent our time between appointments driving around some of the vineyards. By the end of the day, rain had set in.

We ended the day with a very nice meal at Richtershof.

Flight 1 - Willi Schaefer (6 notes)

Andrea Schaefer greeted us in Graacher and was apologetic that Christophe wasn’t around to
lead the tasting. I’ve loved the wines of Willi Schaefer for a while, but I had never known just how little was made. In an average year, about 35,000 bottles are produced from 4.2 hectares of vines. Surprising numbers! Right now about 15% - 20% of their production comes to the US. We asked about the 2014 vintage and it sounded like things were going perfectly until the early October rains came. Harvest began on 10/4.

White
2013 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
87 points
Bits of mango, pineapple, and peach. Palate is lush with medium acidity. Certainly young, but I didn’t find this overly complex. Would love to chug a bottle at the beach.
White
2012 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Großes Gewächs Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
92 points
Around 8 grams of residual sugar. Slight green tint. Lots of fresh melon, slate, cool fruit. Found this more balanced than most other GGs. Very nice.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2013 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
94 points
A bit more red fruited than the Himmelreich Kabinett. The currant and strawberry tones melded nicely with some wet slate, and some nice peach. Andrea thinks of this wine as “an athletic Riesling” and I’m in agreement. Lots of bright fruits, a touch of sweetness, and zippy acids. A textbook Kabinett!
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
2013 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese #5 Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
94 points
Bits of strawberry, white florals, white peach, and florals on the nose. Palate is restrained with lots of cool fruit and tense, bright acidity. I think this is a wine destined for greatness with some time. Compared to a lot of spatlese coming out of Germany, this is a bit of a throwback to me – cooler fruit with a leaner palate.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
2004 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #8 Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
95 points
Amazing nose! Honeycomb, coconut, and lychee. Kaleidoscopic and deep! Palate was silky, smooth, and was just bursting with peach tones. Sensational.
White - Off-dry
2006 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #14 Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
94 points
Beautiful aromas of petrichor, tropical fruits, fresh strawberries, and lanolin. Palate in unctuous, rich, powerful, and balanced. Red fruits, with some pineapple and subtle mint tones. Just gorgeous!

Flight 2 - Selbach-Oster (10 notes)

We met with Johannes Selbach for a couple of hours to taste through some beautiful selections of his wine. He was such an interesting, insightful, and entertaining guy to be around. He prepared a dish of stag sausage for us that was mighty delicious.

If we hadn't had to rush to JJ Prum for our visit there, I have a feeling we'd still be sitting with Johannes sipping Riesling. A terrific visit!

White
2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Riesling Kabinett trocken Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
87 points
A very fresh and lively wine. Scents of pineapple, and some faint lychee come through. Lots of rugged minerals...definitely a bit austere. 7 grams residual sugar.
White
2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese trocken * Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
89 points
Can a wine be subtly dense? That's what my notes read about this one. There was a presence to the palate, but it retained a nice airiness and edge. Stony, peachy tones came through but it wasn't overly exotic. Trim and proper.
White
2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett halbtrocken Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
91 points
From 30-year old vines, this had a delicious touch of sweetness. Palate was crisp and racy with nice peach, nectarine and lychee tones. Nice acidic finish...good balance. 16 grams of residual sugar.
White
2013 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese feinherb Ur Alte Reben Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
From a plot of 100+ year old vines (hence the "Ur-Alte" in the wine designation). Johannes mentioned that in the perfect world, this would have been released in 2020...and it did come across as a bit young and scattered at this point. All of the individual elements of the wine tasted good, but they were not close to integrated at this point. Tropical fruits were there on the nose, but more faint on the palate, the acidity ripped on the finish, but was vacant on the mid-palate, and the fruitiness came across a bit blobby. Should be more complete with time.
White
2013 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
93 points
The tropical notes were dialed up here...close your eyes and you could be in the Caribbean. Pineapples, peaches, mangos...yum. The palate was equally as exotic and juicy. Great grip from the acidity, making those juicy fruits more focused and crystalline. 40 grams of residual sugar. Sweet spot for me.
White - Off-dry
2002 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
91 points
From half-bottle. Johannes pulled this one out as more of an experiment. I thought the nose smelled like an old school vanilla cream soda. It also had a dollop of peach puree, and spearmint. I found this lovely and charming...Johannes says that the small bottle format has put the wine in a more advanced place than the regular bottle. Either way, it was pretty darn good!
White - Off-dry
2004 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese * Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
94 points
A real treat. Beautiful "mosely" nose of lychee, petrichor, peach, and strawberries. Johannes said these grapes were picked on 11/17/2004 and came in very clean. The purity on the palate was evident with intense concentration of the peach and red fruit notes with stony edges and lots of energy. A beautiful wine.
White - Off-dry
1964 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
91 points
Johannes served this to us blind as asked us to pick the vintage. Most of us thought it was from the '80s, so when it was revealed that it was a 1964 we all chatted about how keeping the wine in one place for its life has such a dramatic impact on the bottle's freshness. Anyways, the wine was really nice. There was some lanolin, roasted nuts, and lychee tones. The flavors were super fresh but they were a bit abbreviated - the wine didn't have the longest finish. Some light honeycomb flavors on the finish. A really nice treat. Johannes has 12 bottles left.
White - Off-dry
2006 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese * Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
95 points
Johannes told us that in a normal vintage, this would have been a Beerenauslese, but 2006 provided its own BA. The power and concentration were certainly amped up for an Auslese, but boy oh boy, was the acidity appealing. Lots and lots of apricots, lychee, peaches, mangos, and passion fruit all seemingly held together by the wines laser-like acidity. A killer wine with a lot of balance.
White - Off-dry
2013 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese *** Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
95 points
Another example of an Auslese that, according to Johannes, could be a BA. Much like his 2006 Auslese *, this combines bit, concentrated, dense tropical fruit tones with razor sharp acidity. The combination make this an appealing package. All of us thought that this may, in time, eclipse the 2006. Very impressive, albeit young, wine.

Flight 3 - J.J Prum (11 notes)

Katarina Prum met us for a fantastic tasting at the Prum estate. Situated on the Mosel, their house looks out to the famous vineyards of Wehlener Sonnenuhr. Incredibly picturesque!

We spent a couple hours with Katarina, and towards the end of the visit Manfred popped in to say hello. They were both amazing hosts and we had a great time learning from them and talking about their Riesling.

Katarina was even nice enough to call a local restaurant, make us a reservation, and check about corkage costs!

White
2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
91 points
Of all the Graacher Himmelreich Kabinetts, this might be my favorite. Usually more of a simplistic wine, this GH had some really interesting salty notes thrown into the tropical fruit melange. Gave it some extra grip and exoticism. Well done.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
2012 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
93 points
Just a hair riper than the GH Kabinett, everything here seemed in the right place. More of a sweet lemon, and nectarine profile with great density and grip. Clean, pure, fresh. Textbook Spatlese.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
2013 Joh. Jos. Prüm Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Auslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
95 points
Don't get to see much of this in the states these days, so it was a thrill to get to try it. What struck me about this Auslese (especially when compared against Prum's other 2013 Auslese) was how crisp, fresh, and airy this was. I also thought this to be more red-fruited than the other Auslese. Strawberries, and currants mixed nicely with subtle apricot and peach tones. The finish felt like liquid tangerines. 7.5% alc...I want to drink this all day long!
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Off-dry
2013 Joh. Jos. Prüm Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Very young, and quite reductive in the glass. Katarina said, "this is a wine that's trying to find itself", and I thought she was spot on. Palate is incredibly dense and structured. Tons of acidity with pears, apples, and peach. This will need considerable time to open up.
White - Off-dry
2013 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
91 points
Young, of course, but showing some great promise. Orange peel, crushed rocks, peach notes, and lychee. Fresh, trim and delicious.
White - Off-dry
2013 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
94 points
Despite being young, this was already showing a fantastic second gear of white and tangy fruit. Layers of floral notes gave this brawny, powerful Riesling a charming/feminine quality. The finish was edgy and filled with nectarines...just a lovely young Riesling that should mature into a powerhouse.
White
1981 Joh. Jos. Prüm Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
89 points
Served blind. Lots of bright fruit on the nose, most notably white peach, and nectarines. It also had some secondary tones of petrhicor and some toastiness. The palate had definitely lost some of its acidity, so it felt a bit flabby, but there was still some nice charm hanging around. A lot of fun to try with Katarina!
White - Off-dry
2009 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
94 points
One of my favorites wines of the tasting. It had a lot of bright fruit aromas on the nose - mostly nectarines, lychee, tangerine, and pear. The palate held the big surprise. Instead of a fat, ripe Spatlese, this was filled with tense acidity...so incredibly taught and precise. I thought this was absolutely terrific!
White - Off-dry
2008 Joh. Jos. Prüm Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
91 points
Drank alongside the 2009 GH Spatlese, this was actually less focused. Still a great wine, this was filled with beautifully ripe and distinctive fruits, but it lacked the freshness and acidity of the 2009. May need some extra time to open up?
White - Off-dry
2003 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
93 points
Served blind. Lots of peach, stone fruits and subtle apricots. Medium acidity, and incredibly delicious. I guessed 2007...and was wrong! Another 2003 riesling that bucks the stereotype.
White - Off-dry
2001 Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
Brought from the US to the Mosel. When we first opened this, all of us thought it was more advanced than it should be. Had some very nice coconut, lemon, and lychee flavors, but tasted like a bottle from the 1980s. Manfred Prum enjoyed the wine a lot, but we all thought it was slightly oxidized.

Fast-forward to later in the night, we revisited the bottle with probably 4-5 hours of air and it had lost a lot of those advanced markers. More fresh, more precise, more balanced. It still wasn't a perfect example, but the air seemed to give the wine time for some of those funky tones to blow off/integrate.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 4 - Dinner @ Richtershof (2 notes)

It was a sleepy Tuesday night, and there was only one other party in the restaurant. No matter, we had a great meal after a fun day of tasting wines.

White - Off-dry
2004 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese * Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
93 points
Twice in one day! We bought this off the list at Richtershof having totally forgotten we had just tried this with Johannes Selbach just hours earlier. Still showing very well, it had a lot of lemony/peachy/lychee flavors. Delicious.
Red
1985 Domaine Dujac Echezeaux France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Echezeaux Grand Cru
98 points
Stunning wine that combines everything I want in a Burgundy; clean, ripe fruit, earthy undertones, aromatic floral notes and integrated tannins. Everything hit the high mark on this wine for me. Paired with a roast duck breast at dinner made for the perfect meal.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Closing

Tomorrow is our final day in the Mosel. We'll be visiting Donnhoff, Schaefer-Frohlich, and Emrich-Schoenleber.

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