2006 Mönchhof Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1031406

92 points Wine Spectator: "Lively and pure, with pear, violet, peach and mineral notes displayed on a creamy texture. Elegant and lively, with a mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2030." 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Monchhof 2006 Erdener Pralat Riesling Auslese is typically full of tangerine, orange, sassafras and honey, and typically creamy - except even more so this year. Caramel and nut brittle character wells up on the palate, adding to the sense of richness, and there is also a candied aspect to the citrus fruits. No question this site is inherently inclined toward going over-the-top. A delicate personality appears to want to emerge, but sheer sweetness is holding it down. Still, this is impressive in its confectionary way. It just needs to be held for 8-10 years and will probably then reward an equal additional period of cellaring." (10/08) This Auslese will need some time to unwind, but when it does, look out. The Prälat has a finer underlying structure than the Würzgarten Auslese. It is viscous, with a creamy mouthfeel, great texture, very elegant in style. Picked at 140 Öchsle, it is BA like in form. More yellow fruit characteristics in '06 than the tropical notes found in previous vintages. Cassis, red and yellow peach fruit mix with lime citrus profiles.

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Price: $26.99
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- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Prädikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- Thanks to a recent string of excellent vintages and to the reemergence of Germany onto the international wine writing scene, this is a country that's hot, hot, hot! Germany is divided into 13 wine Region and produces a very wide variety of wine styles, from incredibly high-acid, dry wines to some of the sweetest, most unctuous concoctions on the planet and even a few surprisingly hearty reds. Most of the highest-quality wines are grown on steep banks along the rivers in these Region. Small vineyards are still mostly hand tended and picked, due to the difficult nature of mechanization on these slopes. White wine production accounts for nearly 80% of the total with Riesling being the most important varietal, though Muller-Thurgau is still more widely planted. Click for a list of bestselling items from Germany.