2011 Schäfer-Fröhlich Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese Goldkapsel

SKU #1111311 94 points 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.'  (2/2013)

92 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (5/2013)

Jancis Robinson

 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.  (6/2012)

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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.