2010 Karthauserhof Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Auslese (Previously $45)

SKU #1080926

For six generations the estate has been in the same family. In 1986 Christoph Tyrell and his cellarmaster Ludwig Breiling took charge. Their work has been recognized by Feinschmecker, Germany's leading food and wine publication, where Christoph Tyrell was chosen as the 1997 German Winemaker of the Year. The single vineyard estate makes wines exclusively from the Karthäuserhofberg vineyard. One important step taken by Mr. Tyrell was to remove every third row of vines, which improved exposure of the vines and their grapes clusters to the sun and air, as well as easing vineyard work. Karthäuserhof uses no pesticides, preferring pheromones, which prevent insect pests from reproducing. The 19 ha or 44.5 acres of vineyards are planted 90% to Riesling (mostly original rootstock) and 10% other varieties. Under the estate buildings are vaulted stone cellars where the wine is made using primarily stainless steel fermentation. Fermentation is arrested by cooling the tanks. The level of sweetness in the wines is achieved by blending together different tanks. This results in wines that are fresh, bright and elegant. All wines sold under the estate's name are 100% Riesling.

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Price: $34.99
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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 Pr├Ądikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Sp├Ątlese, 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.