2008 Schloss Lieser Estate Riesling (Previously $16)

SKU #1049385

90 points Wine Spectator: "In a drier style, this offers plenty of slate, spice, white peach and white pepper aromas and flavors. Fresh and delicate, with good intensity and a lingering aftertaste. Drink now through 2014" (06/10) Weingut Schloss Lieser was established around the turn of the century. It was one of 99 holdings under the control of Baron von Schorlemer, Germany's Secretary of Agriculture. His ancestral seat was in his castle (Schloss) in the town of Lieser. At one time the Lieserer vineyards were quite highly regarded, but then followed years of neglect. In 1992, a very successful real estate broker from Cologne, Wolfgang Reichel, acquired the estate. His goal - make wines that live up to the potential of the Lieser vineyards. As manager and cellar master he hired Thomas Haag. Thomas was a recent graduate from Geisenheim and son of Wilhelm Haag, proprietor of the Fritz Haag estate. In 1997 Thomas Haag bought the estate. Thomas Haag's winemaking philosophy is quite closely aligned with that of his father. The vineyards are maintained to yield quality not quantity. Great care in selection during harvest, little handling in the cellar, reductive cellar work and no Suessreserve are standard modus operandi. Thomas wants to achieve wines that exhibit the typical Riesling character: ripe acid structure, vibrant and petillant palate, the pure expression of fruit, racy and light without sacrificing impact on the palate.

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Price: $11.99
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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.