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Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

Germany's great 2019 vintage


Michael Schmidt - jancisrobinson.com

"To sum up the prospects of the 2019 vintage in a nutshell, it could become the vintage of the century. No, honestly!"

I first visited Germany's wine regions to taste the fledgling 1995 vintage which I then bought with gusto. I am still loving my purchases - they are marvellous wines and they remain incomparable in value. My favourite producers in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer on that trip remain the same today, including these 3 great estates:

Fritz Haag, Brauneberg, Mosel
Weingut Zilliken, Saarburg, Saar
Maximin Grunhaus, Mertesdorf, Ruwer

Yes, I can add JohJos Prum, Egon Muller et al to my list - but among the first out the blocks with their 2019 releases are these 3 profiled below, who make gorgeous wines that I keep recommending year after year: Qualitatswein mit Pradikat! The selection is focused on the off-dry, fruity wines at the QmP level of Kabinett, Spatlese & Auslese - you'll be delighted with any or all of these...

As I have mentioned to a few others in recent months, I have been experimenting my food & wine pairings and one highlight was this year's wonderful asparagus served with sublime Spatlese. I am looking forward to next spring's veg already, but that is the joy of seasonal food - some patience is required!

The good news is that the wine is already purchased!!

This offer is priced In Bond Seckford, pre-arrival in September, subject to final confirmation by the producer; halves & magnums (where shown) are offered subject to shipping - thank you.

Notes from MoselFineWines.com with exception of Fritz Haag (importer's notes)


The Producers:

Oliver Haag has been at the helm since 2005. New generations too at Zilliken with Dorothee taking over in 2016 from Hanno (the 10th & 11th generations); and Maximin has followed father Carl von Schubert at Grunhaus.


 

Fritz Haag, Brauneberg, Mosel

"Now and then a truly great vintage comes along, a year where all the elements combine to give wines of harmony, finesse and energy, wines that reflect their origins, that taste delicious young but also have the capacity to age. 2019 is such a vintage. Oliver’s wines have an understated subtlety that becomes increasingly apparent as the wines age."

GBP in bond Seckford pre-arrival September

Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr 2019 Spatlese

£96 per 6 bottles 

£126 per 3 magnums

Importer's Note (drink 2025-2035) Made from vines clustered around the sundial in the heart of the vineyard, where it is very rocky. The rocks absorb warmth quickly, and the resulting wines are richer than those from the surrounding Juffer vineyard. The wine is riper, finer and more elegant than the plain Juffer, with more pronounced yellow fruit and spice notes. There is a cool greenness here, too, and the acidity is ripe and fresh. It has power without being overbearing, a seamless, complex wine that is lovely now and will be for decades.

Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr 2019 Auslese

£126 per 6 bottles

£144 per 12 halves

Importer's Note (drink 2025-2041) There is only a marginal difference in ripeness between this and the Juffer Auslese, but the grapes come from vines in the oldest plots around the sundial, and the result is quite distinct: the wine is riper and smoother, the salty minerality impossibly fine, and the acidity enlivening and juicy. Power without weight, effortless elegance - this is a winemaker at the top of his game coaxing the best from his vineyard.

Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr 2019 Auslese Goldkapsel

£222 per 6 bottles

£252 per 12 halves

Importer's Note (drink 2026-2041) More power than the Juffer, but also more finesse. It is noticeably sweeter and deeper, and the density more in evidence. There is pronounced yellow fruit, lots of spice, and a lemon sherbet note to the bright acidity. The finish is very long, made lean by fine minerality.

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riesling-02.jpgRiesling:

You will have heard it said before (many times from me, or direct from Hanno Zilliken)...Zilliken makes "butterfly" wines - so light that they float! From grapes good enough to eat!


 

 

Weingut Zilliken, Saarburg, Saar

Zilliken - "The vintage reminds me a little bit of 2015, but with the lightness inherent to the 2014. But overall, the structure is closer to that of the 1990"
MFW - "The Rausch Kabinett and Spatlese are both modern-day classic in the making, and the Auslese is a classic, both gorgeously suave and full of potential. In summary, 2019 is a Zilliken vintage!"

GBP in bond Seckford pre-arrival September

Saarburger Rausch 2019 Kabinett

£96 per 6 bottles

£114 per 3 magnums

95 points (drink 2029-2049) The 2019er Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett was made from fruit picked at 91° Oechsle, and was fermented to almost sweet levels of residual sugar. This wine offers a stunning and tell-tale nose made of white peach, a hint of mint, cucumber, some white flowers, and a touch of whipped cream, all beautifully integrated into some smoky reduction. It is breathtakingly well balanced on the peachy and floral palate, and leaves a gorgeously engaging feel in the long and juicy finish. A touch of cream and apricot blossom adds persistence and some Spatlese Schmelz to this absolutely gorgeous fruity-styled wine. What a great success! (Reprint from Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 51 – May 2020)

Saarburger Rausch 2019 Spatlese

£138 per 6 bottles

£159 per 3 magnums

95 points (drink 2029-2049) The 2019er Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spatlese was made from fruit picked at 101° Oechsle, and was fermented to sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a stunning nose made of yellow peach, grapefruit, lemon, apricot blossom, whipped cream, coconut, and fine spices. The develops the creamy side of a “feine Auslese” on the palate but the stunningly ripe and pure feel of zest adds incredible juiciness to the wine. Whipped cream, grapefruit vineyard peach and apricot make for a feast of the senses in the after-taste. This sweet wine is simply remarkable. While enjoyable on its primary fruit now, it will hugely benefit from further bottle ageing as the touch of sweetness will recede. But the balance and tension are already remarkable now. (Reprint from Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 51 – May 2020)

Saarburger Rausch 2019 Auslese

£222 per 6 bottles

95+ points (drink 2029-2049) The 2019er Rausch Auslese, as it is referred to on the consumer label was made from fruit only marginally affected by botrytis and picked at 104° Oechsle, and was fermented to almost noble-sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a rather broad but superbly pure nose made of pear, melon, almond cream, apricot blossom, and herbal elements. The wine starts off on the smooth and creamy side on the palate, where rich flavours of fruits mingle with almond, honey, apricot, herbs, and minerals. The finish is hugely long and multi-layered. This classic Auslese only needs a decade of patience for its primary sweetness to blend away and lift up the underlying complex flavours. There is quite some upside here, especially if the apricot-driven elements remain in the background at maturity.
(Reprint from Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 51 – May 2020)

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vineyards-02.jpgThe Vineyards: 

You can just see the Maximin Grunhaus castle at the bottom of the Abtsberg (Abbot's) vineyard. A monastery was founded here in 966; and you get some idea of the steepness of these wine-producing slopes. Together with Herrenberg, this estate is a magnificent site & sight.


 

 

Maximin Grunhaus, Mertesdorf, Ruwer

von Schubert -  "One does notice that the grapes come from a ripe vintage but the wines also retain a superbly pure and airy side, which makes them classically styled."

MFW -  "If one keeps in mind that the intensity and structure of the Kabinett and Spatlese bottlings make them kick at one level higher than their Pradikat, every single of these wines is highly recommended as they will prove superb at maturity. This is a major vintage at Maximin Grunhaus!"

GBP in bond Seckford pre-arrival September

Abtsberg 2019 Kabinett

£84 per 6 bottles

£111 per 3 magnums

92+ points (drink 2029-2049) The 2019er Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Kabinett was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a comparatively big yet nicely engaging nose made of elderflower, white peach, cassis, cream, and chalky minerals, all wrapped into some more herbal and spicy notes of tea, cardamom, and mint. The wine develops the creaminess of a Spatlese on the palate but proves gorgeously alluring in the juicy and zesty finish. A sense of sweetness still needs to integrate in the aftertaste, something which will have happened in a decade or so. This gorgeous sweet wine offers great complexity underlined by an engaging yet creamy and delicately opulent structure. We would not be surprised if it would exceed our high rating at maturity once the early sense of sweetness has receded. (Reprint from Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 51 – May 2020)

Abtsberg 2019 Spatlese

£84 per 6 bottles

£111 per 3 magnums

93+ points (drink 2029-2049) The 2019er Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Spatlese was fermented down to fully sweet levels of residual sugar. This yellow-coloured wine offers a backward nose made of apricot, lemon, grapefruit, pear, and vineyard peach, all wrapped into some reductive notes of wet stone, slate, and smoke. It is delicately creamy and superbly finely chiselled on the palate, and leaves a multi-layered feel of ripe yellow orchard fruits in the long and suave and delicately fruity-sweet finish. This combines the intensity of a light Auslese with the juicy drinking abilities of a gorgeous Spatlese. There is quite some upside here as the sweetness will recede and the wine will develop its multi-layered nuances. (Reprint from Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 51 – May 2020)

Abtsberg 2019 Auslese

£168 per 6 bottles

£204 per 12 halves

95 points (drink 2029-2049) The 2019er Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Auslese was made from clean fruit which was fermented down to noble-sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers a rather backward but very precise nose made of almond cream, pear, elderflower, apricot puree, grapefruit, ginger, mint, and smoky slate. The sensation of precision carries over onto the palate, where the creamy flavors of apricot, almond, pear and even a hint of dried fruits are beautifully whipped up by some citrusy and grapefruit-infused acidity. The after-taste is gorgeously racy and alluring. This terrific, incredibly subtle Auslese GK-styled wine only needs some patience for its zesty structure to blend with its creamy elements. What a success! (Reprint from Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 51 – May 2020)

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