2011 Mönchhof Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese

SKU #1111251 90 points Wine Spectator

 Ripe and juicy, with concentrated savory herbal notes to the ripe peach, cherry and berry flavors. Finishes with notes of spice and cream. Drink now through 2036.  (4/2013)

K&L Notes

The Erdener Prälat is often regarded as one of the top vineyard sites in the Mosel. It sits right on top of the river with steep vertical angles and a perfect southern exposure. It is a relatively small vineyard with only a handful of producers laying claim to it. Being so small and steep, and with the red slate soils retaining the day's heat, you will rarely see anything but Spätlese or higher from here--typically Auslese or higher. It is an impressive site to see and has been one of my favorites for many years. The wines always give off explosive aromatics of bright stone fruits and soft citrus. But, what has always impressed me the most is the texture and weight of Erdener Prälat wines: a silkiness and rich acidity that can only be found in wines from this particular vineyard. World class stuff here! (Eric Story, K&L German wine buyer)

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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