1976 Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Riesling Spätlese

SKU #1428921 94 points John Gilman

 The 1976 Scharzhofberger Spätlese continues to drink beautifully well, and amazingly still has many years of beautiful life ahead of it. Both the nose and the palate have begun to dry a bit at age thirty, and now offer about Kabinett level sweetness, but with all of the haunting complexity and breed that thirty years in the bottle can bring in a wine built to age. The bouquet is a beautiful mélange of lemon curd, baked peaches, new leather, sweet corn, stony minerality and a nice topnote of lavender. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied, poised and focused, with its mature flavor profile tied to excellent freshness, lovely mid-palate depth, and good, solid acidity to continue carrying the wine along for quite some time. Not surprisingly for a Spätlese at age thirty, this wine does not have a lot of acidity in reserve, but it does possess the balance to continue to drink beautifully for many years to come. A superb Spätlese. (Drink between 2006-2020)  (4/2007)

K&L Notes

From the importer: "The Egon Müller estate has been in the hands of the Müller family since 1797. In the Mosel’s steep, slate vineyards, the winemaking master Egon Müller makes breathtaking Rieslings. The estate owns 8.3 of the 28 hectares of the famous Scharzhofberg vineyard in Germany’s Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region. The family exploits their single-vineyard holding to the fullest, and consequently is ranked among the region’s top wine producers. These wines are taut and racy, with dazzling fruit; they’re severely mineral and have an endless finish."


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Price: $499.99

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Varietal:

Riesling

- 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.
Country:

Germany

- 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.
Sub-Region:

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer