2011 Emrich-Schönleber Halenberg Riesling Trocken (Dry)

SKU #1140139 91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Juicy mirabelle and apple lend considerable thematic similarity in Schonlebers’ 2011 Monzinger Halenberg Riesling trocken to the corresponding Fruhlingsplatzchen trocken. Here, though, while there isn’t the flattering floral perfume of that wine, there is greater prominence of smoke, stone, and salt, which when combined with the cyanic piquancy of apple pip and plum pit make for a slightly austere aura, which is slightly surprising in view of the vintage’s typically fruit-forward and texturally pliable personality. Still, there is primary juiciness aplenty in the finish here, as well as the sense of relative levity that represents one of the consistent virtues of these dry non-Grosses Gewachs bottlings from Schonlebers’ two top sites (bottlings whose ilk the VDP program in principal calls for eradicating, to the greater glory of an unchallenged Grosses Gewachs). This ought to drink well for the better part of a decade, though I confess that while I have had frequent occasions to taste older Grosses Gewachs bottlings from this estate, I have not had an opportunity to follow-up on these (ostensibly) 'lesser siblings.' (The family might not even cellar them; I must remember to ask. I did taste the 2010 alongside, and it was still very much as described in my Issue 198 report).  (2/2013)

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Price: $36.99
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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.