2016 Wagner-Stempel Höllberg Grosses Gewächs Riesling Rheinhessen

SKU #1322655 95 points James Suckling

 What a beautiful peach and grapefruit nose. Ripe and rich at the front, then just as you think it might become opulent it slowly turns crisp and crystalline as the acidity asserts itself. Great balance and a long finish of real nobility. Best from 2018.  (9/2017)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Riesling Siefersheimer Höllberg GG indicates a citrus-golden color and a deep, pure, intense and dusty-mineral bouquet with candied citrus and orange aromas as well as ripe peach and mango scents. On the palate, this is a full-bodied, round, lush, intense and very elegant dry Riesling with fine tannins and a long, complex finish with stimulatingly salty flavors. Still far too young to appreciate all its talents today, the textured and persistent 2016 should be cellared for at least another three years. Grown on gravel and clay over porphyry soils, harvested between October 21 and 26 at 35 hectoliters per hectare. Macerated for up to 12 hours, fermented in 50% stainless steel and in 50% 1200- and 600-liter oak Stücks. Bottled in July 2017. (SR)  (10/2017)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "Sourced from the oldest and best parcels of the Höllberg Grand Cru vineyard, extremely stony gravel and clay soil, sub-soil of porphyry rock . Clear, pale gold colour. Intense complex nose, dominated by fruity aromas, apricot and red vineyard peach fruit, with vegetal, herbaceous notes in the back. Dry, fresh and invigorating acidity, pronounced mineral notes, fullbodied, very well balanced, very long finish. "

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Price: $49.99

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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 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.


- 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.