Mosel Fine Wines
"The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling"

by Jean Fisch and David Rayer
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Go to more recent wines of the month (September 2014)

August 2014

In August, we want to highlight another gorgeous Spätlese which emerged from the high acidity 2013 vintage, namely the Kröver Steffensberg by the Vollenweider Estate.

Daniel Vollenweider is probably best known for his wines out of the Wolfer Goldgrube, a forgotten vineyard he sole-handedly put back on the map. However, he also acquired some prime parcels in the neighboring Kröver Steffensberg, a vineyard which was as forgotten and as highly regarded as the Goldgrube. The 2013 Spätlese is simply dead gorgeous and a great tribute to this under-rated vineyard. Read more about this wine and the overall outstanding collection by this Estate in 2013 in the Issue No 25.

2013er Vollenweider Kröver Steffensberg Riesling Spätlese
05 14


This gorgeous effort, of which there is only a meager 500 liters, was made from very clean fruit harvested early with Oechsle degrees in the mid-90s. Well, what can one say, except that it delivers the goods and follows in the gorgeous 2012er version’s footsteps! The wine is quite subtle (certainly compared to the deeper and more intense bottlings made out of the Goldgrube) yet delivers a great multi-layered feel of cassis, white flowers and minerals. The balance on the palate is impeccable and, despite a whopping 90 g/l of residual sugar, leaves a ravishing mouth-watering feel in the finish. This is plain delicious now, and we would forgive anyone succumbing to the temptation of opening this right away, but make no mistake: This a superb drinking Auslese in the making, with quite some upside potential with time! 2023-2038

July 2014

We have just released the Issue 25 with Part I of our comprehensive review of the 2013 vintage. This high acid vintage delivered some truly amazing wines, which combine high acidity with refreshing "intense lightness". However, quite some wines are much less exciting, so being selective will be essential in 2013.

In July, we feature an amazing Spätlese from 2013 which underlines nicely the potential of the vintage, the Julian Haart Wintricher Ohligsberg Spätlese made from a refreshingly light 83° Oechsle (a level usually not deemed sufficient for Kabinett at many Estates!). This brings forward everything which is great about Mosel: zest, aromatic intensity and ethereal lightness. Read more about this wine and the overall outstanding collection by this Estate in the Issue 25.

2013er Julian Haart Wintricher Ohligsberg Riesling Spätlese
08 14


Harvested at a cool 83° Oechsle, this comes over as multi-layered, complex, fresh and pure thanks to great scents of flowers and vineyard peach, paired with almond and some bakery elements from the spontaneous fermentation. The airy and zesty nose gives way to a deeper and slightly earthier side on the mid-palate. The finish is very intense and shows great length with superb smoky flavors. This is a great Spätlese! 2021-2033

June 2014

Mosel Fine Wines is not only about Mosel Riesling, as we regularly taste wines from the whole of Germany, including from the Rheingau, Nahe, Franken or Pfalz for instance. This is especially the case for our "10-Years-After" annuel retrospective.

Our Wine of The Month is a mythical bottling from the Koehler-Ruprecht Estate in the Pfalz, the Auslese Trocken R, which hit the bull's eye in 2004. The estate has produced dry R and even RR bottlings as either Spätlese or Auslese and did also produce off-dry R bottlings, such as the magnificent 2002er Auslese R (see Issue No 18 for more details).

The 2004er Auslese Trocken R is quite a mythical dry Riesling by now, and we wish everyone who has not yet tasted this wine to get a sip of it in order to experience how great and fascinating great dry Riesling can be.

2004er Koehler-Ruprecht Kallstadter Saumagen Riesling Auslese Trocken R
36 05


From the first smell, the absolutely awesome nose of this wine takes one into a completely different world. The aromatics are almost fruitless, with impressive and almost saturating flavors of smoke and herbs, including flint, thyme, oregano, mint and many more. There is actually no noticeable trace of grape variety, just stone and herbs. The wine impresses on the palate with an intense smoky profile mixed with citrusy fruits. The wine has incredible presence and even weight but at the same time it glides on the palate in a seamlessly airy way. The length is breathtaking and this simply sets new standards for dry Riesling in and outside Germany. Now-2034

May 2014

Selbach-Oster is one of the household and best-known names in the Mosel, turning out great fruity-styled wines year-in year-out for decades now. Yet we feel that the Estate made a quantum leap in terms of quality in its dry and off-dry wines in 2012. We want to highlight in particular the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese Feinherb "Ur" Alte Reben, which proved a superb success and one of the great off-dry wines in the vintage! Read more about this wine and the overall very successful collection by Selbach-Oster in Issue No 23 published in October 2013.

2012er Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese Feinherb "Ur" Alte Reben
19 13


This wine was made from very old vines ("ur-alte" means extremely old) situated in Kackert, one of the best parcels in the Sonnenuhr which had been the pride of the historic Freiherr von Schorlemer Estate for nearly a century. The wine immediately impresses one with a silky and refined nose of orchard fruits, grapefruit and fine spices. The feel on the palate is intense, yet superbly multi-layered and the finish is just so elegant and fresh. This is a real little stunner in the making and one which could gain from some bottle age. 2014-2022+

April 2014

We highlight two mature wines from our Issue No 24 released in April 2014, in which we present the probably most comprehensive and in-depth look-back at the 2004 vintage (10 years after) and the 1994 vintage (20 years after) based on over 150 wines being retasted. As usual, this nicely underlines how important it is for top German Rieslings to mature.

2004 delivers superbly zesty and fresh wines, especially in the Spätlese and Auslese categories. These are drinking superbly well, and have reached their plateau and should stay there for many more years. The Geltz-Zilliken auction Spätlese was one of the highlight of our tastings, and a great ambassador of both the vintage and the Saar region.

1994 produced some of the most beautiful high end wines ever. The vintage was marked by botrytis as well as good to high acidity levels. It yielded many high-end Auslese, BA and TBA which continue to shine today. The great Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Estate hit a home run in this vintage, and the incredible Würzgarten Auslese ** underlines this quite nicely.

Find out many about great wines from 2004 and 1994 in Issue No 24!

2004er Geltz-Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spätlese
02 05

This stupendous wine delivers a stunningly pure and elegant expression of Rausch Riesling with quite some cucumber, spices, pink grapefruit and fresh mint. A touch of more exotic fruits adds a stunning sense of complexity on the palate. The finish is just pure and refined. This is still quite closed but can already put on an incredible show if opened up well in advance. This is a huge success! 2019-2029

1994er Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese **
05 95


This bright-colored wine ticks all the right boxes with its glorious nose of fresh pineapple, grapefruit puree and yellow orchard fruits, and its stunning juicy acidity on the palate. The wine is superbly racy and yet the finish, far from being austere, remains juicy and stunningly creamy thanks to a generous touch of beeswax coming through. This is just incredibly delicious. Now-2024

March 2014

For many years now, we have praised the Weiser-Künstler tandem as one of the great (and still under-rated Estates) of the Mosel. Usually, we fall in love with their fruity-styled wines and also in 2012, the Estate excelled at this style, making one of the greatest Spätlese of the vintage.

However, this month, we want to highlight another side of this Estate: their high quality range of dry wines, and in particular their "GE" bottling. GE stands for Grosse Eule (Great Owl) and indeed, the big eyes of a stylized owl keeps a watchful eye on you as you pick up the bottle, but the name is a hardly disguised punt at the GG (short for Grosses Gewächs) which is all the rage in Germany at the moment.

Unlike some GGs, this superbly refined dry wine remains a worthy ambassador of what the Mosel does best: light, crisp and intense wines. You will find the review of this wine and many others in the October Issue as well as a full review of the other wines by the Weiser-Künstler Estate in the June issue.

2012er Weiser-Künstler Enkircher Ellergrub Riesling Trocken GE (Grosse Eule)
08 13


This delivers a superb nose of fresh herbs, spices and white minerals. The wine is packed with juicy and smoky flavors on the palate and yet, far from being over-powering, the finish is just airy and spicy, leaving one with a mouth-watering salty and fruit-driven feel. This still needs a little bit of bottle age to develop aromatically. It could then easily exceed our already high expectations. It is very impressive! 2014-2019

February 2014

We highlight this month a delicious off-dry Kabinett from a fascinating new project, the Edition Bee.

The Edition Bee (referring to the bees seen in the vineyard) is a joint project between Timo Dienhart, owner at the biodynamic Zur Römerkelter Estate in Maring-Noviand, and Andreas Thran, a wine lover from Trier, to produce quality wines made with ambient yeasts in a traditional way from vineyards situated essentially in Maring, a small village tucked away in the side valley behind Lieser, just off the Mosel River.

2012er Dienhart & Thran - Edition Bee Maringer Honigberg Riesling Kabinett Feinherb Blauschiefer
17 13


This offers a delicious nose driven by some fresh herby flavors of cardamom, white peach, pear, poached apple, citrus as well as a hint of tangerine, orange, almond and honey. This excels on the palate, which proves irresistibly light, intense and juicy. The mouth-watering finish makes one go for more. This gorgeous effort will benefit from some bottle age. 2018-2027

January 2014

2012 is a truly great vintage for clean and juicy Kabinett and Spätlese, yet some superb Auslese and upwards wines were also produced. The fact that great Auslese were possible is nicely underlined by the sensational Brauneberger Juffer Auslese from the Willi Haag Estate. This under-rated Estate has established itself as a reliable producer of crisp and clean wines from the Brauneberger hill and hit a bull's eye with this Auslese!

This Auslese was part of our long list of "noteworthy wines" to be found in our latest Issue No 23. Subscribers will find further gems in this section of our latest issue.

2012er Willi Haag Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Auslese
08 13


Made from parcels in Bürgerslay where the Estate still holds very old vines, this stunner of a wine delivers a superbly complex nose of spices and refined peach and grapefruit. A hint of exotic fruits comes through in the finish but this is all wrapped in a most playful acidity. The wine just flows on the palate and leaves a feather-light feel in the after-taste. This is a gorgeous success! 2017-2032

December 2013

This month, we want to highlight two wines, both from the Erdener Prälat. Overall, the 2012 vintage suited the Prälat aromatics and structure. This allowed two upcoming stars in the Mosel, Stefan Erbes and Christian Hermann to produce some stunning expression of Prälat refined opulence (see the current Issue No 23 for a complete review of both portfolios).

Many times over the last years, we have heralded the greatness of the Erdener Prälat, a tiny vineyard producing splendidly rich yet highly elegant wines. A comprehensive review of the vineyard (situation, history, terroir, producers as well as a complete set of tasting notes) can be found in Issue No 10.

2012er Karl Erbes Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese *
13 13


Well, it is hard not to fall under the spell of these aromatics: there is so much going on, with rich scents of mango, laurel, honey and pineapple but also some fresh yellow peach and red-berry fruits. But what is most remarkable about this wine is the lightness and elegance it displays on the palate. There is a pack of intense flavors wooing for one's attention but at the same time, everything seems to be feather-light. The finish is long and delicately rich. This stunner of a wine has only one drawback, its availability, as we understand that most of the production will go to Canada. Lucky Canadians! 2027-2052

2012er Dr. Hermann Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese GK
12 13


This includes 30% of botrytis and was harvested at 115° Oechsle. It delivers a highly complex and multi-layered nose with great freshness and purity despite the ripe fruits, mango, pineapple, whipped cream and floral touch. The wine coats the palate with creamy and intense flavors. Yet, at the same time, it reveals a most airy, pure and zesty side in the super long finish. This combines great complexity with the fascinating airiness of great Prälat bottlings. This is a splendid Auslese GK! 2022-2052

November 2013

We continue to be thrilled by the quality of the fruity-styled Kabinett and Spätlese from the 2012 vintage. The wines show fruit intensity, freshness and raciness which make them truly unique in the world of fine wines.

The Max Ferd. Richter Estate has been producing elegant and classic Mosel Riesling for decades. Its quality standards are incredibly high using methods that stand the test of time, the wines age beautifully well and yet somehow, for reasons, it does not get the glamorous treatment reserved to others by the wine press. The wine of the month of November is another great success by this Estate, the 2012er Graached Himmelreich Kabinett. This is pure heaven and among the best produced in this vintage.

2012er Max Ferd. Richter Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett
36 13


Made out of the coveted Goldwingert in the Himmelreich, this wine oozes quality, refinement and finesse. The aromatics are superbly light yet complex, with fine and pure flowers, elegant spices, white peach and a residual touch of wild yeasts. The wine is light, airy and juicy on the palate and offers fresh sappy vineyard peach and some dried spices. The finish is incredibly long, fresh and pure. What a great Kabinett! 2017-2032

October 2013

The prices at this year's Auction were very high, in particular for the highly sought-after wines from the most celebrated Estates. However, as usual, some (comparative) bargains were possible and we want to highlight two as "Wine of the Month". The Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Spätlese Fass 23 and the Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Bernkasteler alte Badstube am Doctoberg Riesling Spätlese Alte Reben.

Both are more Auslese than Spätlese but remain very clean and pure expressions of Riesling. For Florian Lauer at the Peter Lauer Estate, this was the first show at the Auction of the Grosser Ring / VDP (which he only joined this year) and he started with a nice success! The Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Estate has been a member of the Bernkasteler Ring since decades and has always produced outstanding wines, which need time and may not always shine and get the recognition they deserve when young. The 2012 version of the Alte Reben Spätlese is a huge success.

2012er Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler Bernkasteler alte Badstube am Doctorberg Riesling Spätlese Alte Reben
21 13

This stunning effort offers glorious scents of fresh apple, yellow peach, star fruit and dried herbs on the nose (in a style very close to that of Doctor wines in this vintage) and delivers a great a great juicy yet intense feel on the palate. This superb "drinking Auslese" will be a pleasure to enjoy in a decade or two. 2022-2037

2012er Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Riesling Spätlese Fass 23

This is the result of a painstaking selection of clean golden-yellow berries from the prime part of the Ayler Kupp (around the original Kupp, i.e. the front part of the hill) harvested at the end of October after the frost. The wine offers a great floral nose in which scents of yellow and white fruits and a hint of coconut bring a great juicy side. The wine is gorgeously racy on the palate and the finish is precise, complex and multi-layered. This is a gorgeous effort which is at the same time lively, floral and intense. 2027-2042

September 2013

Andreas Adam did produce a superb line-up of wines in the 2012 vintage. The dry and off-dry wines are really impressive, but the strength lies, as for many Estates, in the fruity-styled wines. The Hofberg Kabinett is a remarkable example, and therefore our wine of the month.

2012er A.J. Adam Dhroner Hofberg Riesling Kabinett
04 13


This gorgeous wine comes from cooler parcels situated in the backside of the Dhroner Hofberg. It is all about balance between some fresh scents (including apple, peach, white flowers and minerals) and a most playful zesty tension on the palate. All these great appealing flavors culminate into a gorgeously focused, still sweetish but so engaging finish. This is a gorgeous wine made with the great attributes of a gorgeously light Spätlese of the old days. This is highly recommended! 2021-2037

August 2013

The 2012 vintage is a must-buy vintage for lovers of classic juicy Kabinett and Spätlese. And yet, this month, we do decided to highlight a dry wine. 2012 has produced some good dry wines but, overall 2011 is the superior vintage for these wines. Yet, there is one Estate which outdid itself in this style of wine: the Carl Loewen Estate. The jewel in the crown of this Estate's protfolio has been without doubt its remarkable Riesling "1896" (not to be confused with the Longuicher Maximiner Herrenherb 1896). As you can read here below, this wine has been made from vines planted at the end of the 19th century and methods from the same period. This is Mosel wine as it used to be a century ago! But, besides the nostalgia, this is above all a terrific wine.

The Carl Loewen Estate produced a superb collection of wines in the 2012 vintage, be it for the dry, off-dry or fruity-styled wines. Find out more in our Issue No22 - July 2013.

2012er Carl Loewen Riesling "1896"
12 13


This wine is a project done by Christopher Loewen, the son of Karl-Josef, who is still completing his studies in Geisenheim. The grapes for this wine were harvested from very old vines planted in the Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg vineyard (planted back in 1896 and hence the denomination). The wine has the particularity of being made in the ancient way, i.e. by threading grapes by foot in the vineyard, some maceration, pressing using an old basket press and fermentation in cask. Well, this seems to have paid off because this looks like a massive success in the making! The wine offers a great and opulent nose of fresh yellow and white peach, flowers and some minerals. It is nice and spicy on the palate, and the finish is long and fresh. The aromatic presence makes it a great wine to enjoy now but this has quite some development potential in the coming years. It is that impressive! Now-2017

July 2013

2012 is a true classic vintage in the making for Kabinett and Spätlese wines and lovers of these crisp, fresh and comparatively light-weighted wines will have to plunge onto these offers. More information on some of the most successful wines can be found in our July Issue, which covers Part I of our vintage review.

There are many great wines made in 2012 but one which has stood out with a true "Kabinett character" is a stunningly classic Ruwer wine: the 2012er Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Kabinett from the Karthäuserhof Estate, which we want to highlight as wine of the month.

2012er Karthäuserhof Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Kabinett
05 13


This has a show-stopping nose of pure spices, mint, gooseberry, tar and white peach. A lovely intense fruity and floral side comes through on the palate yet the wine retains a fresh mouth-watering feeling of lightness. The firm acidity and the modest levels of residual sugar (which are by the way far lower than those seen at most Kabinett in the Mosel) make this an irresistible and perfectly balanced experience. This is a truly superb Kabinett with plenty of life ahead! 2017-2032

June 2013

The Mosel of the month for June is a superb Estate Riesling from the Reinhold Haart Estate in Piesport. This wine has proven a reliable source for its attractive price and this even in the so-called more difficult 2003 vintage.

Overall, the 2003 vintage was a great vintage at this Estate. As the Estate was one of the few to not acidify, the wines may have appeared rich and soft in their early stage, but they have evolved very positively. Find out more in our latest Issue No21 with in total 9 wines from Reinhold Haart and many others from the Mosel... but also from the Nahe and the Rheingau for instance.

2003er Reinhold Haart Piesporter Riesling Heart to Haart
01 04


This very enjoyable bottle of wine offers nice reduced flavors of yellow plums, melon, minerals and smoke. The wine is nicely balanced on the palate, with just a touch more weight than usual. The finish is classy and satisfying as the sweetness has now completely integrated. This is a great success for a "mere" Estate wine. Now-2018

May 2013

The Peter Lauer Estate is one of the leading Estates in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region for the production of dry and off-dry wines today. However, in our 2003 retrospective, it was clear that already back then, this Estate was already producing superb wines. This wine also shows the wonders that aging can do: This Kabinett started life as off-dry and yet, 10 years on, it now tastes dry without any undue austerity. What a beautiful wine!

2003er Peter Lauer Ayler Kupp Riesling Kabinett Fass 11


This beauty offers a great nose of spices, citrus, smoke, quince and some beeswax which gives way to a great feeling of focused intensity on the palate. The wine is slightly round on the mid-palate but fully dry in the finish (it only has 13 g/l of residual sugar) and leaves a long smooth yet racy feel. This is really impressive! Now-2018

April 2013

This wine of the month is one of the best 2003 which we had the chance to taste in our extensive 10-Years-After tastings, and it does not come from the Mosel but from the Nahe!

Year-in year-out, the Dr. Crusius Estate crafts some of the most exciting wines made in Germany and price levels have remained very reasonable here. The wines from this Estate may not have this slick early upfront fruitiness to impress in their youth. But boy do these wines age well! We are glad to be able to feature a wine from one of the most underrated addresses in Germany today.

2003er Dr. Crusius Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Beerenauslese
31 04


A whiff of volatile acidity quickly gives way to an incredibly nose of pineapple, fiery spices and almond paste. The wine is gorgeously well balanced on the palate, with great zesty aromatics. The alcohol lifts the aromatics up and intensifies the impact of their flavors. This all leaves a zesty Sauternes feel in the after-taste. This is a great success. Now-2023

March 2013

The first issue of the year is, as usual, dedicated to maturing Mosel wines. The "10 Years-After" retrospective focuses on the 2003 vintage, a warm vintage which shares many characteristics with the great 1959 in the Mosel. As it happened, we also had a look back at the 1960s and older vintages, in which we have retasted many wines from 1959.

We therefore decided to highlight two wines coming respectively from 2003 and 1959 to underline how good Mosel wines can be in warm vintages!

2003er Deutschherren-Hof Trierer Jesuitenwingert Riesling Auslese ***
06 04


Bright in color this wine offers great juicy flavors of pineapple, mint, cinnamon, melon and mango. There is great grip on the palate with juicy notes of pear, some salty beeswax sweetness and a slight earthy touch in the finish. A scent of honey comes through after a while, but never gets obtrusive. This is a remarkable wine which has perfectly integrated its botrytis and is simply irresistible now. This is a gorgeous mouth-watering Auslese GK! Now-2028

1959er Friedrich-Wilhelm-Gymnasium Scharzberger Auslese


This perfectly stored bottle offers a subdued nose which opens up only slowly to some candied grapefruit and smoke. Almond and flowers come through on the palate, which lead to a grandiose and subtle off-dry finish. More smoke and some apricot tree flowers bring a stunning airy side to the whole experience. The feel on the palate is just incredibly smooth and yet precise and the finish is to die for. This is a stunning effort and a great wine to enjoy on a long cold evening. Now

February 2013

Over the last few years, we have the definitive feeling that Roman Niewodniczanski from the Van Volxem Estate has focused on crisper and sharper expression of Saar Riesling. It is therefore not surprising that he took full advantage of the 2011 vintage conditions to produce a stunning range of dry-tasting wines (see our notes in the "Other Noteworthy wines" section).

Among this range, the Altenberg proved simply magical and one of the best young dry Riesling wines we have ever tasted, certainly from the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. It is that impressive!

2011er Van Volxem Kanzemer Altenberg Riesling Alte Reben
30 12


This show-stopper of a wine starts off by offering the most beautiful, pure and complex notes of undercooled sea breeze, salt, lime, grapefruit and candied orange peel. The wine is all about silk on the palate with layer upon layer of complexity, freshness and purity packed into zesty and salty smoke. Despite all the complex and multilayered action going on in the glass, the wine remains so hauntingly pure, so simple and so at ease with itself. The long and ethereal finish is intense and yet so weightless. Simply put, this is one of the greatest dry wines ever made in the Mosel and a modern day legend in the making. Bravo! 2014-2026

January 2013

Riesling reigns supreme in the Mosel so it is not surprising that all our wines of the month have been based on this grape ... so far. However, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) has been making quite an inroad into the region since its planting was allowed again in 1987. As avid lovers of red Burgundy, we also try to taste Mosel Spätburgunder. In all honesty, most efforts still fail to impress us.

That the region has potential is clearly underlined by the debut Spätburgunder crafted by the talented Gernot Kollmann at the Immich-Batterieberg Estate. This outstanding Pinot Noir is balanced, ticks all the right boxes and well worthy of putting forward as wine of the month. Read more about this wine, a great sparkling wine and the delicious set of 2011 Riesling wines crafted by the Immich-Batterieberg Estate in our Issue No 20.

2010er Immich-Batterieberg Enkircher Monteneubel Spätburgunder
08 12


The grapes for this red wine were not de-stemmed and the maceration time was extended to 32 days. The wine was then matured in 225 liters oak casks. At only 11% of alcohol, this light colored wine offers a beautiful and refined nose of spices, violet, peony, raspberry and fresh cherry. The wine is very pure on the palate with perfectly well-integrated and silky tannins, so that the sensation is one of a soft and smooth wine pepped up by a touch of CO2 still in need of integration. The kirsch and other red fruits in the clean, light-weighted and long finish are admirable as they respect the structure and overall balance of the wine without forcing on either flavors or intensity. This first attempt at the tricky art of Pinot Noir winemaking is a little masterpiece in its own way! 2013-2020

December 2012

Egon Müller managed to produce a stunning collection of wines in the 2011 vintage, as we reported in our Issue No 20 (October 2012): "All wines are benchmark wines in their category and offer a sense of finesse and complexity paired with an inner intensity which can only be achieved by the greatest winemakers in truly great years."

The Scharzhofberger Auslese is simply a sensational wine which ticks all the right boxes. Its price tag is of course sensational and we understand that not all our readers will be ready to shed such sums of money for a bottle of wine. However, should you be tempted (as we are) to buy now and then some of these gems, this is the vintage to go for. It is THAT good.

2011er Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese
06 12


Made from "only" 40% botrytized fruit (this figure is actually on the low side for an Auslese by Egon Müller standards), this immediately signals that one is facing a masterpiece in the making. The aromatics are ripe, rich, with great flavors of pineapple, apricot, herbs and spices. The length and utter balance of this wine are simply difficult to put in words. The wine is soft and elegant on the palate and offers a long Auslese GK feel in the finish. There is however no point in opening this potentially perfect Saar wine at an early stage. It really needs 20 or 30 years of bottle aging and could then become a different but no less fascinating alternative to the legendary 1959 or 1953 wines. It is that impressive and great! 2031-2061

November 2012

Dr. Manfred Prüm and his daughter Katharina from the Joh. Jos. Prüm Estate are well-known for crafting some of the most beautifully well-balanced Spätlese each year. Surprise, surprise, the Estate did it again in 2011! The Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese is a magnificent wine which combines the rich complexity of fully ripe grapes with the precision and drinking fun so typical of the Estate. However, patience will be needed for this wine to deliver its full potential and we urge our readers tempted to drink these kind of wines in their youth to open their bottles well (possibly days!) in advance and/or decant the wine.

The Estate produced a stunning collection of wines in 2011 which underlines, if need be, why this Estate is considered by many as the "champion of intense lightness". The complete Estate Review as well as the tasting notes are available in Issue No 20 (October 2012).

2011er Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese


This wine is all about white peach, white flowers and delicate smoky slate delivered in one of these great juicy Auslese packages of the 1990s or 1980s. The feel on the palate is clean and fresh and a delicate touch of creaminess just adds to the feeling of length in the after-taste without however adding anything weighty. This gorgeous effort is still on the reduced side at this stage and in need of some bottle age in order to find its primary balance. But what a beautiful wine in the making! It may indeed even warrant a higher rating than initially expected at maturity. 2023-2041

October 2012

Once again the two Auctions held by the Bernkasteler Ring and the Grosser Ring / VDP at the end of September were absolutely amazing events with some stunning wines on sale, as we reported in our Special Issue - Auction Guide released before the Auctions, at beginning of September.

Prices were high also in this vintage (but so was quality) but smart readers of our Auction Guide could make some smashing deals. In particular, the Merkelbach Estate, a pillar for Mosel classicism since decades, produced yet again a superb auction Auslese which did not break the bank (but then these wines do never break the bank, on the contrary, as those who can buy directly can find out on the Estate's website).
In a different style, the Fritz Haag Estate produced a stunning wine which we had the chance to taste three times over the last few months with consistent notes: the Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Spätlese. It was sold at a hammer price of E55 (US$70), which may not sound cheap for a Spätlese (especially because this price does not yet include commissions, duties, transport and sales tax) but becomes quite an attractive proposition to lay one's hands on a near perfect "feine Auslese", which this wine is in practice.

2011er Alfred Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese
18 12

Made from parcels in the original Würzgarten and fermented with 9.5% of alcohol, this has gradually opened up over the year to deliver an incredible aromatic (almost Scheurebe in style) touch of cassis, smoke and herbs. The wine is playful and juicy on the palate and leaves a clean smoky feel in the finish. It is a great easy-drinking Auslese! 2016-2026

2011er Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese
14 12

Well, what it there to say: from the moment one gets one nose in the glass, it is clear that Oliver Haag has crafted something very special here. Not because it is dramatic, ostentatious, out of whack or crazy. No, just because this wine epitomizes all the greatness of top Haag wines. The nose is just incredibly pure, with the juiciest of white peach and pear cream paired with the telltale touch of freshly whipped cream. Some delicate notes of pear and citrusy fruits add a sensation of depth without ever compromising the utter feeling of precision and balance. One needs to forget about the word Spätlese on the label as this wine is smooth, intense and rich on the palate yet it remains perfectly balanced, offering the typical clean flavors of a great feine Auslese. The finish is just to die for, being incredibly long, juicy, floral and herby. This is a very special wine! 2021-2051

September 2012

We already reported about young Julian Haart last year (see issue No 16 for further details) for his stunning first vintage. Since then, he has got hold of new parcels, including some in the Piesporter Schubertslay still planted with over 100 years old un-grafted vines.

Julian's aim is to produce great Mosel dry-tasting wines, and his Wintricher Ohligsberg featured this month just underlines how great this style of wine can be in the hands of a gifted winemaker. Byond this Ohligsberg, his whole collection is extremly high standards and highly recommended. This includes by the way also his fruity-styled wines, which are worth looking for.

2011er Julian Haart Wintricher Ohligsberg Riesling
05 12

Referred internally as Grand Cru by the Estate, this wine offers wonderful aromatics including zesty notes of grapefruit, lime, white orchard fruits and very fine smoky slate. It comes over as light yet complex and multi-layered on the palate. This is a style of wine you cannot find outside the Mosel, with its refined floral and smoky elements. The finish is hauntingly long, spicy and smoky. This is indeed a great Mosel dry wine! 2014-2026

August 2012

A warm and dry month of September 2011 allowed the grapes to reach comparatively high levels of ripeness, which is usually very beneficial for basic wines. This month we feature such a juicy Estate wine from the Dr. Fischer Estate, which seems on the rebound lately. We were also quite impressed by the Estate's 2011 collection, which delivered plenty of juicy wines full of complexity and freshness. Find out more in our latest issue No 19 - July 2012.

2011er Dr. Fischer Riesling
03 12

Made with pressure tanks (a technique largely abandoned but which has made the success of such Estates as von Schubert and Joh. Jos. Prüm in the past), this "mere" Estate bottling is pure fun. White peach, smoke and flowers on the nose give way to juicy and fruity flavors on the palate. Despite all the immediate rewards of drinkability, this is surprisingly refined and elegant. This is textbook Estate wine: fresh, light and delicious. Now-2016

July 2012

2011 turns out to be a lovely vintage with loads of highly aromatic wines with mild acidity. This type of vintage is ideal for dry Riesling and it is therefore not a surprise that this style of wine proved particularly success this year! You can read more about it in the current issue (No 19 - July 2012) of Mosel Fine Wines, which covers extensively this vintage.

In a matter of less than 2 years, Max von Kunow has brought new life to the historic von Hövel Estate, adding purity and finesse to the wines without however compromising the legendary "drinkability" that has been the cornerstone of the Estate's success over the past decades. Few wines epitomize all the good side of dry Mosel Riesling combined with the lovely side of 2011 as much as the Estate's Spätlese Trocken R. You can read a complete review of the Estate's wines in the current issue No 19.

2011er von Hövel Oberemmeler Riesling Spätlese Trocken "R"
06 12

The Spätlese Trocken "R" is made from clean fruit harvested in the Rosenkamm, a former Class I single vineyard which forms part of the otherwise quite humble Oberemmeler Rosenberg. This is a gorgeous dry wine which is all about delicacy, finesse and subtlety. It opens up to subdued flavors of lime, passion fruit, apple and white flowers. This gives way to a delicately racy feel on the palate, which is balanced out by a great touch of smoothness in the finish. The feeling in the after-taste is flowery and airy and yet incredibly long. This is a far cry from the baroque style of many GG wines today, but it is no less good! Now-2017

June 2012

The April issue is dedicated to maturing Mosel wines. At this occasion, we dive each year into a different decade. In our latest Issue (No 18 - April 2012), we focused on the great 1970s decade, which produced some stunning wines.

We want to highlight this great decade by selecting a stunning 1975er Beerenauslese as wine of the month. This particular example was made by one of the legendary Estates in the region, which was unfortunately given up in the 1980s: the Weingut Sanitätsrat Dr. Ronde in Neumagen. We can only urge readers to try to find some wines from this magical decade (and, if at all possible, from this great producer) and to experience fine mature Riesling for themselves!

1975er Sanitätsrat Dr. Ronde Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Beerenauslese
14 76

This offers a stunning nose of raisin, candied lemon, fresh orange and spices as well as some camphor which adds depth to the experience. The wine is racy, intense and beautifully balanced on the palate, with great notes of fruits as well as zesty acidity. The finish is deliciously sweet and racy. This is a great wine and a superb tribute to this former grand Estate. Now

May 2012

Here is another stunning 2002 Mosel wine from our comprehensive "10 Years After" review of the vintage published last month. The historic Wegeler Estate regularly produces some outstanding wines which shine through their aromatic precision. This showstopping Auslese is a major success, even the Estate's high standards.

Read more about this wine and more than 80 other 2002er wines tasted from leading Estates such as Joh. Jos. Prüm, Fritz Haag, Schloss Lieser, Egon Müller and Dönnhoff in our Issue No 18!

2002er Wegeler Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Auslese GK
17 03

This offers a superb nose of saffron, pineapple, laurel, passion fruit and star anise. This glorious wine literally explodes on the palate, with an incredibly focused feel of fruit cream and raisin liqueur. The finish is long and fruity, with just a hint of honey to remind one that this is a BA styled wine. The aromatics are great but what is really remarkable about this wine is this silky feel on the palate. This is a showy wine, but one that delivers the goods. This is a stunning effort. Now-2042

April 2012

The 2002 vintage was maybe not as famous as 2001 nor as off-the-chart as the freakish 2003. But it is one which has delivered tons of very attractive wines, as we found out after our comprehensive review of the 2002 vintage available in the current Issue No 18 (Apr 2012) of Mosel Fine Wines.

As of this year, we decided to also include wines from other parts of Germany in our "10 Years after" 2002 retrospective, and our readers will find tasting notes from leading producers in the Pfalz, Rheingau, Nahe and Franken in addition to those from the best producers in the Mosel. We want to highlight two wines from this vintage, the perfect Oberhäuser Brücke Eiswein AP18 from Helmut Dönnhoff and a magical Auslese GK-styled expression of Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr crafted by the Thomas Haag. Many more great examples can be found in this month's Issue.

2002er Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Eiswein
18 03


This AP 18 was one of three Eiswein produced by Helmut Dönnhoff in 2002 and the better of the two non-auction ones (it was also referred internally at the Estate as "Dienstag", as it was harvested on a Tuesday morning). Golden in color, this is just so sublime and a model of finesse and elegance. Tons of juicy flavors burst out of the glass, ranging from fresh garden fruits to exotic fruit sorbet. A serious touch of acidity hits one on the palate and yet this comes over as completely in harmony and the right counterweight to great intense concentrated flavors of fruits. The finish is sweet and, at the same time, remarkably zesty. The overall sense of freshness and inner balance is simply breathtaking. This is textbook stuff. Now-2017

2002er Schloss Lieser Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese GK
11 03


This is the first vintage in which Thomas Haag from Schloss Lieser got hold of a parcel in the coveted Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr and he produced only two wines out of it: a regular Auslese and an Auslese Goldkapsel. And what a smashing success the latter has turned out to be! Despite still being quite closed, this offers a stunning nose of white peach, flowers, ground spices and herbs. The wine is still firm and structured on the palate, but the depth of flavors and aromatic precision are simply to die for. A more botrytized side comes through in the finish, which adds to the feel of energy and complexity. This is still closed and there is not much point to open a bottle now. But in 5-10 years' time, this will be a smasher of a racy and complex Auslese. It is that impressive. Bravo! 2017-2034

March 2012

The von Kesselstatt Estate, based in the village of Morscheid in the Ruwer valley, is endowed with one of the most impressive collections of vineyards in the region. This ranges from holdings in the Ockfener Bockstein in the upper Saar right down to the single ownership of the Josephshöfer in the Middle Mosel. It owns in particular multiple parcels in the mythical Scharzhofberg, out of which it produces, if possible, a rich Auslese every year. We particularly enjoyed the 2010 version of this Auslese, which shines through its great BA style framed by racy acidity.

2010er von Kesselstatt Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese lange GK Nr. 10


This offers a pure nose of smoke and grapefruit, which then goes over to more dramatic BA-styled aromatics of honeyed pineapple, passion fruit and mango. These lead to a great feel of intense smooth raciness on the palate, where more zesty notes of rich and honeyed yellow fruits vow for attention. The finish is rich, smooth and yet superbly racy and fresh. This is quite impressive but will require some patience for the richness on the palate to integrate. 2020-2035

February 2012

When 2010 was getting bottled, we were concerned that the high level of acidity would be detrimental for dry wines but actually anticipated that some great food-friendly off-dry wines could be made.

Well we were not disappointed and lovers of this style will find several great examples on the market. One (if not the) best one is the Serriger Würtzberg Kabinett Feinherb from Dr. Siemens. The Dr. Siemens Estate in Serrig may not (yet) have the aura of somr of his illustrious colleagues, despite producing delicious and food-friendly wines year-in year-out. Despite the high quality, we feel it outdid itself in this wine, which allies lightness, intensity and balance.

2010er Dr. Siemens Serriger Würtzberg Riesling Kabinett Feinherb
07 11


This offers a stunningly fresh and pure nose of white flowers with delicate notes of peach, lime, grapefruit and pineapple. The wine is a true Kabinett in style, but is fruitier than most Feinherb bottlings, making it a great companion for food. The finish is mouth-watering and well balanced. This is delicious and highly recommended! Now-2016

January 2012

The Joh. Jos. Prüm Estate was able to produce some stunning wines in 2010 and it is clear that it was able to put its vast experience with high acid vintages to good use. While we were impressed by the whole collection, it is the regular Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese which stands out here in our eyes. This wine epitomizes everything there is to love about 2010: zest, drama, intensity and great aromatic complexity. Is there a drawback? Yes: this wine (and the whole collection for that matter) is as backward as it has ever been in recent years and patience will be required. But then, those lucky enough to have found and held on to some bottles of this Auslese in particular will be in for quite a great treat in a decade or two.

2010er Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese


This does not offer much on the nose at this stage beyond super-youthful notes of fermentation, spices and diffused notes of fruits. Behind this primary wall, some subtle notes of pear, pineapple, citrus and honey wait in patience for their future show. What really makes this a head-turner at this early stage is the feel on the palate. Understated zest, gentle creaminess and a hint of almond paste convey a stunning feel of silk and juiciness in the long finish. This is stunning but more than in recent years, there is little point in enjoying this young: this NEEDS time! But will reward those who have the patience to wait. 2020-2030+

December 2011

The unique profile of the 2010 vintage (high acidity, high sugar levels from widespread botrytis) allowed winemakers to produce incredibly racy expressions of BA and TBA. Many of these bottlings flirt with perfection (see Issues No 16 and 17 as well as the Auction Guide 2011 for more detailed recommendations). Markus Molitor produced a splendid collection of BA and TBA bottlings, among which a superbly elegant Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Beerenauslese *. No great BA and TBA is cheap, but this bottling has the additional advantage of being comparatively fairly priced for the quality level.

2010er Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Beerenauslese *


Fermentation notes still mark the flavors on the nose but make no mistake, because this is a stunner in the making. The wine hints at complex and focused notes of pineapple, yellow and dried fruits, raisin, delicate spices and a touch of honey. The feel on the palate is nearly painfully intense and yet superbly complex and focused, where ripe scents of juicy fruits are underlined by acidity and minerals. The never-ending finish is sharp and just captivating. This is a brilliant wine made in a light TBA style. 2020-2050

November 2011

The von Hövel Estate produced a very attractive collection in 2010 with plenty of juicy and mouth-watering fruity-styled wines. However, what most impressed us was the very high standards of its off-dry (Feinherb) bottlings. We feel that the arrival of young Maximilian von Kunow at the Estate's helm is now unlocking the Estate's potential also in this stylistic direction. Amongh these, we were particularly impressed with the Hütte Feinherb, which offers great drinking pleasure!

2010er von Hövel Oberemmeler Hütte Riesling Spätlese Feinherb
07 11


This is a true beauty in the making. The wine is still reduced and needs considerable airing. However, it then rewards the patient ones with a most beautifully balanced and sappy nose of passion fruit, grapefruit and herbs. A hint of exotic flavors then comes through, which rounds off the feel on the palate and balances the well-integrated acidity. The finish is firm, assertive yet retains great presence with a beautiful tartness. This is a great success in the vintage and highly recommended. 2013-2018

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