2011 Schäfer-Fröhlich Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese Goldkapsel
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Sappy nectarine and white peach are enthrallingly infused with floral and herbal essences as well as a striking black raspberry note (seemingly replete with seedy crunch) in Schafer-Frohlich’s 2011 Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spatlese gold capsule, which was rendered from must actually a little lower in Oechsle than that which informed the corresponding 'regular' Spatlese. It does harbor higher residual sugar, but thanks to imponderable factors -- acid and extract being nearly the same -- tastes less sweet. (Frohlich says he anticipated finding further lots that distinguished themselves as meriting blending into a wine of gold capsule designation, but in the final analysis there was only this one.) A custardy rich texture delightfully supports mid-palate hints of nut paste, but levity and juiciness plus piquancy of pits and seeds ward-off any sense of confection in an enthrallingly dynamic, mouthwatering finish. Look for at least a couple of decades of delight. 'It took four weeks just for this just to get started fermenting,' notes Frohlich by way of suggesting the challenge and risk involved in spontaneity, 'so you can’t let yourself become nervous. But then, if it’s perfect material' -- and in this case, botrytis-free -- 'you don’t need to be. This wine though is pretty much at the limit of richness you can achieve with healthy grapes or ferment spontaneously.'
Ripe yet elegant, with apricot and grapefruit flavors that mix easily in this spicy, easygoing version, which features some smoky overtones. The juicy finish is creamy and lush.
The holy grail of Spätlese cannot be far away! A complex arrangement of herbs and spices is just beginning to emerge and complements the great concentration of citrus and stone fruit à point. Opulence and elegance have been successfully combined into a superb expression of exotic fruit that does not lack fine nuances of spice and minerality. 17.5/20 points.