Selbach-Oster underlined the greatness of the 2019 vintage with, among others, this stunning off-dry Riesling.
We already wrote this in our sneak preview to our readers in the January Issue. Our tastings published in Part I of our detailed vintage report amply confirmed it: 2019 is an epic vintage at the top, and this thanks to not excessive Oechsle degrees, bright and ripe flavors, and impeccable sweetness-acidity balance.
Few wines underline the greatness of the 2019 vintage as much as Weingut Selbach-Oster with its 2019er Graacher Domprobst Riesling Feinherb Alte Reben.
Weingut Selbach-Oster is one of these traditional Household names with family roots in the Mosel going back centuries. Besides being at the helm of one of the finest Estate of the Mosel, Johannes Selbach is also one of the region’s great ambassadors, being regularly overseas, in the markets, spreading the good word of Mosel Riesling.
The Estate has grown steadily from a few hectares in the 1960s to 25 ha today. The holdings are spread over the finest central part of the Middle Mosel, from Bernkastel down to Zeltingen.
It is therefore no surprise that the Estate was getting at its limits regarding space. Also, Hannah and Sebastian (Barbara and Johannes’ two children) have recently joined the Estate after their studies. There were many good reasons for the Selbachs to invest into new facilities which were inaugurated in 2018.
Johannes Selbach was all smile when we first mentioned 2019 earlier this year: “2019 is a great vintage at our Estate, you’ll see! Yes, yields are down but we were able to bring in perfect grapes in all stylistic directions.” In August, when tasting his collection, he added: “Many wines took a lot of time to finish their fermentations. In fact, several wines, including many of our flagship bottlings, had still not finished theirs.”
We can only agree with Johannes Selbach: His 2019 collection is superb as it combines presence and precision. When writing this article, we reflected back on Weingut Selbach-Oster and its undeniable increasing quality over recent years. The wines were always great but we feel that they have reached new heights over the last few years!
Weingut Selbach-Oster is rooted in Zeltingen, where it holds most of its vineyards. However, right from the 1970s, it started to snatch up some fine parcels in neighboring villages. This included a prime parcel in the central sector in the Graacher Domprobst, which it acquired in 1983: “This parcel was planted with very old vines still trained on single pole. Thankfully, we didn't have to uproot it in the Flurbereinigung in the late 1980s and this pays off now!”
This parcel has been the basis of the Estate’s Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese Feinherb (whereby the Spätlese bit has been relegated to the back label in recent vintages).
In 2019, this wine underwent a long fermentation with ambient yeasts in traditional Fuder casks. The result is simply staggering. The wine combines the bracing brightness of the vintage with the depth coming from old vines.
The stunning 2019 collection by Selbach-Oster
was reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 53 (Aug 2020)
and further wines will be reviewed in the Issue No 54 to be released in October.
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Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese Feinherb Alte Reben
The 2019er Graacher Domprobst Riesling Feinherb Alte Reben, as it is referred to on the consumer label, was made from fruit harvested in a parcel planted with 90-year-old un-grafted and high-density vines trained on single pole and was fermented down to off-dry levels of residual sugar (27 g/l). It offers a superbly refined and perfumed nose of fine almond cream, vineyard peach, pear, candied grapefruit, and smoke. The wine is superbly well balanced on the palate, where some juicy yellow fruits are wrapped into a blanket of ripe and zesty acidity. It leaves one with a great sensation of lightness and complexity in the long and refined finish. This great success combines complexity with airiness. 2023-2039
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling ... and beyond!"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.