2001 Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Pittermannchen Riesling Spatlese

SKU #1000499

92 points Wine Spectator When in Germany this year I had the distinct pleasure of meeting the fantastically insane Armin Diel of Schlossgut Diel in the Nahe Valley. This is a man greatly respected and feared in the German Wine world - an almost Robert Parker like personality in his effect on the public's opinion of new wines. He along with Joel Payne review all the German wines for the Gault Millau, an extremely influential publication which can greatly affect the sales of any given estate. The Schlossgut Diel is without exception one of the top estates in all of Germany, known for their dry Burgundian varietals as well as classic Rieslings from three very distinct top sites - the Goldloch, Pittermännchen, and Burgberg. What I found in Armin and his wines is a lusty vitality and purity that is refreshing and invigorating almost contagious. He has that glow of someone who loves what they do and are proud of what they have accomplished. The Pittermännchen or "little silver coin" is a steep south-west facing vineyard composed of slate with traces of quartz and silica throughout. A truly haunting nose of sweet herbs, lemon essence, smoke and slate which leaves you enchanted. The palate is gobsmacked with racy fruit and mineral, which refuse to relent. There is so much depth here it seems infinite.

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Price: $59.99
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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.