2016 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Kabinett Riesling Saar

SKU #1322658 93 points James Suckling

 Quite exotic on the nose, but without any hint of heaviness. Sensational balance of fruit, minerals, and super-elegant acidity make this a near-perfect example of this category. Pristine finish that makes you want more now, but this has a couple of decades of aging potential!

92 points Vinous

 Moss, wet stone, alkali and woodsmoke make for a highly distinctive as well as pungent aromatic alliance, though there are also scents of lime, grapefruit, mango and apple, which anticipate the juicy profusion featured on a subtly creamy, palpably dense yet buoyant palate. A hint of almond supplements the appeal of a bell-clear, lingering finish delightfully poised between lusciously fruity and intriguingly mineral elements. As usual chez Zilliken, high residual sugar -- in this case, 58 grams -- is almost magically canceled out in a delicious equation. (This year, due to paucity of grapes and to the fact that their best yields were in the oldest vines that tend to be showcased in single-vineyard bottlings, the Zillikens rendered no village-level Saarburger Kabinett.) (DS)  (3/2018)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "Occasionally we are presented with a wine of such splendid kabinett beauty that objective and impartial are hard to maintain. This is one such wines. Smoky apricots, floral purity in the form of lilacs and rainwater, racy acidity and a crisp stony enduring minerality. Fanciful, fantastical; nuanced flavors on the palate linger into a final candied-lemon kiss on the finish. And downright delicious too. Leave this one to mature in the cellar, as all these markers are just the beginning. Good things come to those who wait. Estate grown on Devonian slate, hand-picked, fermented in neutral Fuder."

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Price: $34.99
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Varietal:

Riesling

- 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.
Country:

Germany

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer

Alcohol Content (%): 8.5