2017 Schäfer-Fröhlich Estate Riesling Trocken Nahe

SKU #1412485 92 points James Suckling

 A seriously racy and minerally dry riesling that has serious depth at the long, sleek finish, where it achieves lift off! Drink now.  (9/2018)

91 points John Gilman

 The 2017 Estate Riesling Trocken here was really showing beautifully, having been bottled six weeks before my visit and having bounced back completely. This is really stunning in 2017, as the relatively low yields have given this extraordinary depth for its level, with the bouquet offering up a precisely ripe blend of grapefruit, tart orange, salty minerality, white flowers and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is crisp, fullish and racy, with an excellent core of fruit, fine cut and grip and outstanding backend minerality on the long, complex and utterly refined finish. This is made from the younger vines in all the top grand crus and with the reduced yields of 2017, this is approaching Grosses Gewächs quality! The wine is twelve percent octane and carries five grams per liter of residual sugar in 2017 and is an absolute steal! (Drink between 2018-2040)  (6/2018)

91 points Vinous

 Here is one of those Nahe Rieslings from a vintage that leads with unusually Chablis-like animal and mineral elements. Saffron and sea breeze mingle with lemon rind, struck flint and chicken stock on the nose as well as on a polished, infectiously juicy palate, where an influx of ripe white peach serves for succulence and the piquancy of peach kernel and lemon pip for further counterpoint. The buoyant finish – by no means for the first time in a Schäfer-Fröhlich Gutsriesling – gets a remarkable purchase on the salivary glands while both enthralling and refreshing the lucky consumer. In its own way, arguably, this wine testifies as vividly to the value of Bockenau terroir as do Schäfer-Fröhlich’s two Grosse Gewächse from his home village, because nowadays this entry-level offering labors under the handicap of being sourced almost entirely from very young vines. Yes, the “Vulkangestein” and “Schiefergestein” bottlings that serve as the estate’s middle-tier dry Rieslings are more overtly concentrated. But in vintage 2017, they aren’t more complex than this ostensibly lesser sibling, and lack its sheer charm, buoyancy and infectious drinkability.(DS)  (4/2019)

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Price: $19.99

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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.