2008 Gunderloch Nackenheimer Rothenberg Riesling Auslese (Previously $58)

SKU #1051673

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The Gunderloch 2008 Nackenheimer Rothenberg Riesling Auslese represents a November harvest, after which no further nobly sweet wine was brought in until February, and then with T.B.A.-level must weights. Like this year’s Spatlese, this Auslese is strongly marked by its spontaneous fermentation, but behind that are seemingly equal proportions of quince, pear, and peach preserves, allied to green tea and sweet lily- and peony-like perfume that follow all the way through to a sensationally long, unctuous finish. In contrast with the corresponding Spatlese, though, this preserves a vivacious fresh orange brightness, and its acidity and extract manage to keep the impression of sweetness from pushing quite so far toward the limit, even though impressions of marzipan and honey are definitely part of its finish. Agnes Hasselbach maintains that it needs until early 2010 to really reveal its personality. Perhaps, but I’m convinced already, and would anticipate its being worth following for 25-30 years." 92 points Wine Spectator: "A lovely expression of apple, honey and grapefruit flavors, balanced with light sweetness and bright structure. A touch of lemon graces the finish. Best from 2014 through 2025. 300 cases made." (04/10)

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Price: $39.99
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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.