2004 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Ürziger Würzgarten Auslese *

SKU #1019500 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The “one star” Christoffel 2004 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese* smells alluringly of lemon candy, strawberry jam, black tea, and some elusive musky essences. On the palate, it presents a remarkable display with which fans of Christoffel will not be unfamiliar, wherein a positively egg custard sense of richness, creaminess, and sheer substance still manages to hover lightly over the palate. Layers of fresh and jammy strawberry, citrus and wet stone accumulate weightlessly, then swing into a finish of compelling clarity and length. This comes from an especially spare, rocky soil. While it might not represent the ultimate in complexity or profundity of which this site is capable, it certainly comes close, and is certainly unfathomably delicious. In calling it “essence of Mosel” Christoffel can be accused of self-promotion but is guilty only of the truth. I am tempted, too, to point to its representing an exceptional value - but then again, perhaps not, in view of how quickly a bottle is bound to be emptied. (DS)  (2/2006)

91 points Wine Spectator

 A crisp and drier style of auslese, very focused, with an intensity that comes from its structure and finely etched peach and lime notes. It's persistent, ending with a mouthwatering finish. Best from 2008 through 2022.  (4/2006)

K&L Notes

"As always, this adds some indescribable quality of purpose, as if there is something other than fruit or mineral or acidity, something para-sensual, some un-sayable truth we‘re meant to view, consider and absorb. Yes, one can talk about fruits and kiwi and carraway and almost a quality of toasted slate, but past all that one is invited to pause and attend. Drink this with a loved one—the loved one. Or else alone. SOS: 3 (between twelve and thirty-four years) ++ " (Terry Theise, Importer)

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Price: $44.99
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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.