If you see it, buy it. The name of the winemaker is written quite small on this bottle (perhaps he's humble) but you can't miss the vineyard—Ürziger Würtzgarten, the 'spice garden' of the Mosel, known for its old vines on steep hills of slate and bright red sandstone. Wines from this vineyard tend to be spicy, and this one really captures that; it's roiling with flavor.
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This is such a pretty, glimmery wine. The flavor reminded us of baked apples stuffed with golden raisins and cinnamon sticks, balanced with a lemony tartness, a hint of Thai basil and juniper, and a very fine, silvery minerality. Young winemaker Matthias Meierer (son of Klaus Meierer) is a rising star of the Mosel. He's fresh out of school (he graduated from Geisenheim Viticulture and Enology University in 2005) and works a few days a week at Fritz Haag in addition to the time he spends at his family's 12.5 acre estate.
I'm not one to go for cute labels, but if you are, you may want to collect all three of these kitties (more images will be added each year.) The wine's the same in each bottle, though, and it's a solid QbA offering from the Middle Mosel in Germany, a slightly creamy, delicately mineral wine with a sweet-sour candy tang (like Runts or Sour Nerds.)
It takes awhile for the minerality and spearminty, resiny-pine notes to come out in this gently sweet wine; it's a bit less effusive and dynamic than yesterday's spätlese. Which isn't to say it's not pretty; this elegant wine has luscious Golden Delicious apple flavors and a mellow, honeyed core. Serve this wine with any creamy seafood preparation (try scallops with a saffron-infused sauce, or delicate lobster ravioli.)
This is wonderful wine. It's light and lithe for a Spätlese, with a creamy minerality. Sweet pear and applesauce notes (with flecks of vanilla bean) are balanced with tart, prickly acidity and hints of spearmint. If you're leery of sweet wines, this Mosel riesling may convince you that you've been missing out—it's deep in flavor but not overrich, detailed and complex and most importantly, balanced.
I was in my neighborhood wine shop yesterday, calculating how many bottles I could possibly shove in my too-packed fridge, when this wine caught my eye. I couldn't avoid it, really; there were stacks of Züm everywhere I turned. Was it a tremendously good deal (on sale for under $10) or did they just buy too much? My verdict: this Mosel riesling is a solid budget pick.
A needles-and-pins sort of wine, full of buzzy acidity and lots of spicy ginger-chew-candy flavor. This vibrant Mosel wine is intensely fruity and concentrated, like apples two ways (the first tart bite of a Granny Smith, and the clove-and-cinnamon spiked applesauce you eat with pork chops.) It's tasty stuff, packed full of personality. Veins of minerality rise through each glass, and at the finish you're left with wet stones dissolving slowly in your mouth.
At around $15 for the liter, this dry riesling isn't going to blow you away with complexity, but it's tart and refreshing, with a bright lime and green apple tang. It's made with hand-picked grapes from steep-slope Mosel vineyards. If you taste closely, there's a core of sweet-tart peach ring candy and a hint of minerality, but this is a guzzler, not a sipper.
This approachable Mosel wine goes for about $15, which isn't a bad deal. It works just fine with weeknight sushi or Thai food, adding a nice zip of lemon-rind acidity and a hint of classic flinty minerality.
Make some butternut squash-filled ravioli, drizzle them with brown butter and a grating of fresh nutmeg, and serve this wine alongside. You can thank me later. This Mosel wine is lush and rich but not at all cloying, balancing notes of crystallized ginger, cinnamon sticks, and cloves with veins of slate, yellow plums, peaches, and powdered sugar. It's kept lively and bright with delicate limelike acids.
This wine is confounding. It begins with tart fruit, spice, and stone: apple peels, apple cider, and a mountain on ground cinnamon rest on a skeleton of minerality. I was reminded of lemons with cloves stuck in the peel, fragrant, spicy, but this lightly sweet, vibrant wine has a lot of savory in it; the baking spices are balanced with something earthy—miso, a bit of sweat, and, as importer Terry Theise notes, a hint of caraway. What is sourdough rye doing in this wine?
Organic and biodynamic, feral fermentation in very old oak barrels. This Mosel wine is clean as a whistle, with lots of lemon tea and crisp golden apple slices, hints of chive and little white blossoms, but this is not a super-floral wine, more green, with mint and basil flavors and limelike tartness ringing through.
Everything about this wine is delicate: feathery fruit, hints of radishes, apple skins, a delicate spritz of acidity, and as it fades in your mouth, gravel, river rocks, clover. It's not a show-off, not one for those looking for teeth-bleaching acids and wild mouthfuls of slate.
A month (or a summer) of riesling is a beautiful thing—there are wines made from this grape to satisfy almost any craving. But as much as I love the diversity of bottles we've been trying, this Mosel wine is one I could stock up on. This is a wine I could stick with and be truly happy.
Importer Dan Melia showed up at SEHQ with an open bottle of this lovely wine. But this is a bottle that says drink me now even if the cork isn't yet popped. Blauschiefer means blue slate, and this is one of those wines that's equal parts gossamer oyster-shell minerality and zingy tart fruit—it's all about the acidity, but the wine is still somehow soft and calm.
This is where it gets decadent. You know you're in for it with the scent: musty honey, sunbaked apricots. If you must, serve with roasted parsnips and chicken, but you might wish you'd skipped dinner when the cheese comes out.
From the steep slopes of the Mosel. At first sip, this wine smacks you on the lips a bit: "Do you like acid? Then I'll give you acid..." It's a frenetic wine, with an electric buzz of lime, fresh hot ginger, zingy like a super-tart margarita (or a 9-volt battery.)