2021 marks a dive into glorious vintages of the past. Few wines proved as dazzling as this perfect Spätlese by the mythical Egon Müller Estate!
2021 was marked by rain and cooler weather … and yet delivered some absolutely stunning wines which bear more than a resemblance with great vintages from the 1990s and the 1980s.
Few wines epitomize this greatness more than the perfect 2021er Scharzhofberger Spätlese from Egon Müller.
What is there to say about the Weingut Egon Müller that has not yet been said? It has been hailed as the pinnacle of Saar Riesling for 150 years, selling its casks at prices rarely topped by others. Its wines from the Scharzhofberg and later from the Wiltinger braune Kupp are revered the world over. Some honor it as "the Romanée-Conti of Riesling," and this not without reasons. Or is Romanée-Conti the Egon Müller of Pinot Noir? Such is the reputation of this Estate.
The achievements of the Estate are plenty. The hallmark of great Estates is invariably a combination of excelling at average vintages and producing mythical wines in great vintages. And this is what happened in 2021 at Egon Müller. As Egon Müller explained, the growing conditions were “completely in line with what we did expect in old days and eventually perfect for the style of wine we aspire too.” When asked to draw parallels, he was quick to say: “1971, the acidity and purity of the fruit reminds me of this vintage.” This is high praise indeed as 1971 is undoubtedly one of the finest vintages ever at this Estate.
The pride of the Estate is invariably its prime holdings in the mythical Scharzhofberger vineyard, out of which the Estate produces its prized fruity-styled and sweet wines.
The Estate produces Spätlese exactly for what the words stands for: The result from a late harvest. Unlike many of his colleagues, Egon Müller does not shy away from a little botrytis if it is part of a vintage’s DNA. The result is therefore a wine with the creaminess of a light Auslese at other Estate, but delivered with Spätlese playfulness and Saar zest.
The 2021er Spätlese elevates the Estate’s art of Spätlese to another level. This wine has the lightness that makes great Mosel (well Saar in this case) wines, the zest and focus of great past vintages and this incredibly finely chiseled sense of bright and creamy fruits that only the finest vintages can bring. Simply put, Spätlese does not get better than this. The wine is simply amazing.
Now we cannot talk about the Egon Müller Estate without mentioned the P word: price. The wines from this Estate command some of the highest prices for Riesling anywhere in the world. However, if you are fortunate enough to be able to afford to buy some bottles, 2021 is one of those vintages to do so.
The stunning 2021 collection of Egon Müller
was reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 62 (June 2022).
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Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese
The 2021er Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese is a sweet wine with an absolutely stunning nose made of cassis, a hint of pineapple, ginger, whipped cream, minty herbs, and smoky elements. The wine proves incredibly finely balanced on the palate, where pear sorbet joins the party and adds to the zingy yet nicely focused in the finish. What makes this wine so special is the incredible purity and finesse that comes out of the glass. The finish seems endless, intense, and yet so incredibly airy and subtle despite a not shy presence of (juicy) acidity. Spätlese does not get better than this. 2036-2061
© 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.