2010 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese (AP 1) Mosel

SKU #1324323 94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The relatively early-picked but decidedly botrytized Schaefer 2010 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese A.P. #1 is ethereally redolent of apple blossom, honeysuckle, heliotrope, herbal essences, pink grapefruit, apple, and Rainier cherry, all of which reconvene in an almost explosive profusion on a palate whose levity, juicy generosity, and perfumed persistence is guaranteed to reel you back again and again. “As soon as we tasted the must,” says Willi Schaefer, “we said ‘oh what acidity ... but this is going to be a classic.’” Notes of vanilla and freshly baked bread-yeastiness well up in the long finish and the empty glass, calling to mind the amazing Schaefer Domprobst performances of 1975. (Easy for me or my wife, as this is our anniversary year and none, of its wines more memorably or often enjoyed than Willi Schaefer’s, which he was still selling when I first visited the winery in 1984.) And given that the most recent bottle of 1975 Auslese I tasted – four years ago – was still lovely, I suspect that this 2010, too, will still be delightful 35 years from now. (SR)  (12/2011)

92 points Wine Spectator

 This has a lacy texture behind the intense green apple, apricot and gooseberry flavors that feature a bracing acidity. The fresh, juicy finish shows fennel and spice notes. (KM, Web-2012)

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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.