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A.J. ADAM 10 DHRON HOF SPATLES
Item: #322278
Bottle Size: 750ml
$44.99
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A.J. ADAM 2010 DHRONHOFBERGER RIESLING SPATLESE

WINE ADVOCATE 95 POINTS - "Adam’s 2010 Dhronhofberger Riesling Spatlese was rendered from botrytis-free fruit, “because,” as he puts it, “I don’t want to have Auslese character already in a Spatlese, and in recent years the tendency has become extreme for growers to want to top one another’s Spatlesen by picking or blending in Auslese. So perhaps this wine hasn’t the extreme opulence that some have come to expect. But I think it will make people happier over the long run, simply because it has more interplay and finesse.” (Why not let the grower himself describe the wine when he’s spot on? Well, perhaps a bit understated ...!) Merely looking at this wine’s analysis – 10.5 grams of finished acidity and 102 of residual sugar – you might imagine that, Adams intentions and efforts notwithstanding, it would still exhibit a certain sense of exaggeration; but one’s palate says otherwise. Persian melon, pear, and quince dominate the nose and silken, buoyant palate, with piquantly narcissus-like, musky, subtly carnal, and saliva-coaxingly saline and browned butter accents serving for intrigue and savory allure. The mineral dimensions here seem to shimmer and tingle with crystalline intricacy. For purity, polish, and sheer persistence, not to mention sensual seduction and animal magnetism, this Spatlese would be hard to top in any vintage, and I suspect it will dazzle for another 25-30 years.

Only thanks to the additional acreage he acquired last year, says Andreas Adam, was he able to offset the reduced yields of 2010 and come close to meeting a demand for his wines that has significantly increased. (And if you don’t now why it’s increased, my guess is you have yet to discover his wines!) Next year, additional parcels will come on-line particularly in cooler portions of the Dhronhofberg where it follows the Dhron heading away from the Mosel and into the Hunsruck hills. Adam has also acquired additional steep, mechanically inaccessible plots in the Piesporter Goldtropfchen whose old vines he feared would otherwise be at risk. “But I want to put most of my emphasis on Dhronhofberg,” he clarifies, “not compete with Theo and Johannes (Haart) who are the leaders in Piesport.” Adam is especially proud of recently restoring a Dhronhofberg parcel planted in 1973 to unusual density and elated over having been able to acquire what he believes is the last remaining terraced portion of this Einzellage, an almost perpetually breezy location nearly half of which had long ago gone to scrub. With yet more incredible good luck, Adam has latched onto some perfectly-maintained casks from a neighbor that will insure a consistent degree of reliance on fermentation and maturation in neutral oak. Picking in 2010 began already on October 15, in Piesport, “otherwise,” notes Adam, “some of that fruit would have gotten too ripe, because we’re talking about terraces that already in the 1990s were routinely reaching Oechsle in the 90s,” and was not completed until November 6. “It was a stressful harvest, with very small results on any given day. We did no chemical de-acidification and no malo-lactic either,” he asserts, “but we upped the length of maceration a bit to 18 hours, and in the feinherb wines we left behind additional residual sugar. We pumped some warm air into the cellar to promote spontaneous fermentation and that functioned really well. Most of the wines were finished by New Year’s: we must have a strong yeast population in our cellar. It was very cold last winter, so once the fermentations were done, we threw open the doors and got lots of tartrate precipitation.” The wines were separated from their gross lees early but stayed on their fine lees until bottling, which took place on the estate’s usual schedule, already in late March. “I’ve found that it’s on their fine lees that my wines acquire elegance,” contends Adam, “whereas if they spend too long on the full lees they can easily become too creamy for my tast
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