2010 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese (Previously $90)

SKU #1081122 94 points Wine Spectator

 Ethereal, with flavors of white peach, Asian pear and Honeycrisp apple all wrapped with a gauze of light cream and spice. The glistening finish is delicate, with vanilla bean and mineral notes that gently linger. Drink now through 2045. 67 cases made. –KM .  (4/2012)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A glossy, subtly oily texture to Schaefers’ 2010 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese – like the honeyed glaze to its apple and citrus fruits – points toward its significant botrytis component; yet it packs the blazingly bright, juicy citricity and corresponding nervous energy characteristic for its vintage. Tart suggestions of gooseberry or white currant in the finish engender a slightly sweet-sour tension that might well resolve with time, while piquant apple pit and slate-licking minerality help extend a vibrant finish. This will doubtless retain its vitality for a quarter century, though whether the near-severity of its acids will have been mollified or accentuated, I won’t try to predict today.  (2/2012)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale golden yellow. Seductive aromas of pear, peppermint and oyster shell. Luscious in texture, with glazed apricot and honey flavors framed and lifted by bright acidity and insistent slate. Luxuriant yet elegant auslese with excellent spicy length.  (1/2012)

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Price: $69.99
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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.