2003 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Auslese #12 Mosel

SKU #1012974 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Produced from fruit harvested after the region’s first late-October freeze, the 2003 Riesling Auslese Graacher Himmelreich A.P. #1204 displays a sweet, botrytis-laced nose and a personality that reveals a mini-Eiswein’s focus and delineation. Powerful, deep, and with cutting precision, it releases sweet and sour flavors of minerals as well as hints of passion fruit. Projected maturity: 2009-2030. Bravo to Willi Schaefer for having crafted such beauties! (PR)  (12/2004)

92 points Wine Spectator

 An almond aroma segues into honey and apricot flavors in this compact Riesling. It's concentrated, with a firm structure, so give it a little time to unwind. (BS, Web-2005)

K&L Notes

93pts. from Mosel Fine Wines in their 10-year retrospective of the 2003 vintage: "AP: 12 04. The grapes for this bottling were harvested after the night of frost in late October and this clearly comes through in the complex but still airy scents of pear, apricot tree and honey. The wine is smooth but also well-balanced on the palate and it leaves a clean, long and subtly rich feel in the finish. This is a gorgeous wine which drinks already very nicely now but will gain in complexity with further bottle age. Now-2033" (Jean Fisch and David Rayer, 03/2013)

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Price: $74.99

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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 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.