2007 Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese (Previously $37)

SKU #1043396

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Yellow plum, sweet corn, and lemon zest mingle with brine and both a Nierstein-like note of smoked meat and a Chablis-like suggestion of shellfish stock in the nose, as well as on a palate of brightness, honeyed slickness of texture, and sappy cling. This might even be vibratory and invigorating enough to shake you out of the trance into which the Berg Roseneck put you! The gripping experience from this bottle should not disappoint over the next couple of decades." (10/09) 91 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Jan/Feb 09: "($40) Pale golden yellow. Wild floral aromas combine with cinnamon and nut oils on the nose. The succulent tropical fruit flavors are lively rather than sweet thanks to a bacony tang. A delicate spice element animates the finish." 90 points Wine Spectator. According to importer Terry Theise: "This is the botrytis-lady, though with exceptionally fine slatiness; indeed this is in every way exceptional; electric and neon and phosphorescent, yet refined and detailed, yet fruity and with notes of sweet corn and peekytoe crab; fruit strapped to a joy-buzzer here! A great citizen of a great vintage."

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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.