2003 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spätlese (Previously $33)

SKU #1010319 89 points Wine Spectator

 Creamy and rich, with orange, vanilla and lime notes mingling in the juicy structure. Tails off a little on the finish, but the flavors are seductive. Should open up nicely over time.  (4/ 2005)

K&L Notes

According to importer Rudi Weist: "Fragrant floral, pear, white peach, raspberry and cherry aromas. Round and ripe yet cut fine with brilliant clarity. A sweet focused rock of compact fruit shines beneath impeccably detailed and focused flint minerality, elegant and bright within the setting of sparkling acidity. The balance, power and volume in this Spätlese is awesome. 100 Öchsle, 67 RS, 8.2 Acid."

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Price: $23.99

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By: Keith Wollenberg |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 9/19/2012  | Send Email
Hanno Zilliken would be on my list of the top ten winemakers in the world, and I love the wines from the Saar for their brightness. Nowhere would this be more evident than in the sometimes too-rioe 2003 vintage. even in that hot year, the coller nights along the Saar river preserved freshness and acidity. Thi sis lovely late-harvest riesling, bright and focused, with attractive citrus notes, and a thread of minerality through the sumptuous and rich palate. Delicious ten year old Riesling form one of the best in teh world, and for under $35? Don't Miss It!

Additional Information:

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 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.
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