2015 Mönchhof Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese Mosel

SKU #1263631

The Mönchhof estate dates at least as far back as the 12th century, as evidenced by a document still in the Eymael family's possession, signed by Pope Alexander III, showing the Cloister Himmerod--a Cistercian Abbey--having vineyard holdings in Urzig as early as 1177. And the wines have been popular for a long time, too. At the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, Mönchhof won medals for their wines. These days the wines, like this one from Ürziger Würzgarten, reflect the personality of the estate's proprietor Robert Eymael: easy to like, with a sense of style and simple sophistication.

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Price: $30.99
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Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/1/2016 | Send Email
The richness and density of a great Spätlese is a special thing indeed. Coming from one of the most famous vineyards in the Mosel, this wine from Mönchhof is no exception. The nose offers golden and bruised apples, floral honeysuckle, and a touch of petrol or rubber that is so often a hallmark of great Riesling. The bouquet continues to unfold and begins to offer an apple pie like set of baking spices as well. Cinnamon and nutmeg showcase a small portion of how the famous “Spice Garden” vineyard got its name. The palate is dense and weighty with glycerol, but the high acid keeps it far from cloyingly sweet. If you’re new to the world of sweet yet serious Riesling, this is the place to start. It’s from a great producer, a world famous vineyard, an excellent vintage, and the price is remarkably low.

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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.


Alcohol Content (%): 7.5