German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 percent of the German wine production is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions (Anbaugebiete) are situated. Germany as the eighth largest wine-producing country in the world. White wine accounts for almost two thirds of the total production. Among enthusiasts, Germany's reputation is primarily based on wines made from the Riesling grape variety, which at its best is used for aromatic, fruity and elegant white wines that range from very crisp and dry to well-balanced, sweet and of enormous aromatic concentration.
- Item #: i_304542Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 92 POINTS - "I harbor fond memories of halbtrocken Merkelbach Wurzgartens long past, so perhaps you’ll think I was overly influenced simply by having once again seen those words on a bottle of their Riesling. But its contents certainly left me wishing that they would let this happen in their cellar more often. A classic Wurzgarten nose of fresh strawberry and lime adds hints of more Erden-typical tarragon and sassafras. Subtly silken in feel, this finishes buoyant and lusciously long, with animating, bright primary juiciness and transparency to shimmering impingements of stones and mineral salts. Incidentally, it weighs in at a mere 10% alcohol, a reminder that the Merkelbachs pick for Spatlese at must weights that most of today’s top Mosel growers would deem appropriate for Kabinett. A prime example of what I call “hidden sweetness” – residual sugar playing a supportive and catalytic role while not engendering any overt sense of sweetness – this will perform brilliantly at table as well as in your cellar."
MOSEL FINE WINES 89 POINTS - "This offers a nice nose of peach, cassis, wild strawberry, white flowers and fine spices. The wine is delicately zesty on the palate and leaves a clean and playful feel in the long and nicely spicy finish. This beautifully expression of off-dry Riesling will appeal to lovers of classic light-weighted Mosel wines. Now-2026"
- Item #: i_382385Bottle Size: 750mlWine Enthusiast: 93 PointsWINE ENTHUSIAST 93 POINTS - "Smoke and slate mingle into luscious peach and pineapple in this lithe yet concentrated dry Riesling. Piercing lemon-lime acidity and honed strokes of steel build a feeling of tension on the palate with each sip. Gorgeous already but likely to intensify in complexity through 2030."
- Item #: i_374421Bottle Size: 750mlMOSEL FINE WINES 93 POINTS - "The 2017er Krettnacher Altenberg Spätlese Trocken was made from fruit harvested at 89° Oechsle in the Enkers part of the vineyard which is planted with 50 year-old vines. It offers a stunning nose of flowers, white peach, a hint of passion fruit and herbs. The wine develops a beautifully elegant feel of herbs, salty elements and spices, with a little bit of power in the finish. The balance and finesse is simply superb and full of potential. 2022-2037"
WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "From Enkers Weinberg and picked around October 10, the 2017 Krettnacher Altenberg Riesling Spätlese trocken is clear, precise and flinty on the nose, offering ripe and refreshing mineral and lemon aromas. On the palate, this is a tight, very mineral, concentrated and structured Riesling with a bone-dry and salty taste and a juicy finish. This is full-bodied at 11.5% alcohol. Tasted from AP 7 18 in June 2019."
- Item #: i_304587Bottle Size: 750mlWINE SPECTATOR - 90 POINTS Lithe, featuring accents of Red Delicious apple to the lychee and citrus flavors. Presents a vivid structure, with notes of lemongrass and minerally spice on the long finish. Drink now through 2023. 46 cases imported. — AZ
MOSEL FINE WINES - 91 POINTS "Harvested at a refreshing low 79 Oechsle, this offers a gorgeous nose of pear, cassis and grape. The wine is beautifully well balanced on the palate, with ripe acidity gorgeously wrapping some mouth-watering sweetness in the long finish. The finish is elegant and as light as a feather. What a beauty! 2026-2041."
- Item #: i_360380Bottle Size: 750mlThe 2018er Spatlese Mosel Slate is a fully fruity-styled wine made from the Estate’s holdings in the Erdener Treppchen. A hint of smoky reduction gives quickly way to riper notes of quince, candied grapefruit, herbs, ripe apple and pear puree. The wine is pleasantly playful on the palate, where some nicely ripe yellow fruits mingle with fine acidity, thereby nicely balancing out the sweetness of this fully fruity Spatlese. This is already a joy to drink now but will gain in finesse in a few years’ time.
- Item #: i_360383Bottle Size: 750mlWINE SPECTATOR - 89 POINTS This shows precision and great clarity, with aromas of orchard blossom and flavors of apple and lime, plus notes of slate for added complexity. Blood orange and spice flavors linger on the crisp finish. 1,500 cases made.
MOSEL FINE WINES - 89 POINTS The 2017er Urziger Wurzgarten Kabinett Feinherb was fermented down to fully fruity-styled sugar levels. The wine opens up to some minty elements before revealing an aromatic and ripe bouquet made of spices, pear, fresh pineapple, almond, greengage and a hint of cinnamon. It has the ripe and creamy presence akin to that of a Spatlese on the palate, where pear, a hint of apricot and juicy yellow peach make for a hugely sweet feeling. The finish reveals more structure and is nicely intense despite the noticeable sweetness.
- Item #: i_310011Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - The 2016 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese is super ripe and almost caramelly on the intense and concentrated nose. Intense and lush on the palate, this is a dense and concentrated Auslese with fine but tight and piquant grip and lingering salinity. Still a bit closed, this Auslese will develop more finesse and transparency over the years in the bottle.
Johannes Selbach's 2016s include some of the finest fruity Rieslings in the Kabinett, Spatlese and Auslese category I have tasted along the Mosel this year. The Kabinett wines are chunky, piquant and stimulating. The are Spatlesen mouthfillingly generous, round, lush, elegant and salty. The Auslesen are highly refined and elegant but also piquant and precise. The "Schmitt" Auslese from the Zeltinger Schlossberg is mind-blowing in its finesse and elegance, and the one-starred Spatlese from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr also represents world class Riesling from one of the Mosel's most famous vineyards. In the Zeltinger Himmelreich, Selbach-Oster selected a light, filigreed, highly delicious Beerenauslese from Pinot Blanc (!) as well as a brilliant Riesling Eiswein that combines precision and finesse with lingering salinity and piquancy. Among the dry wines, my enthusiasm is less chiseled. However, the 2016 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Trocken "Bomer" is a great mix of intense and lush flavors and the minerality of the Bomer terroir. If you don't like your wines too sweet nor too dry, then all the medium-dry "Feinherb" Rieslings are a great alternative, especially as food wines.
In total, Selbach-Oster lost 20% of the potential harvest mainly due to peronospora in 2016, but the family is really happy with the results. The course for the next generation has also been set. Christian Vogt (previously Karthauserhof, Ruwer) is the new cellar master, starting with the 2017 harvest. In order to face the challenges of fungal diseases and other infections, Selbach (vineyard manager: Frank Prüm) is changing over to "gentle pruning" that is reducing the cutting surfaces and respecting the crowns of the vine. By a special pruning technique, a healthier and longer life of the vines can be ensured. Grape varieties such as Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir were also planted two years ago. Just recently, the new winery and tasting room opened just 1.5 kilometers away from the ancestral home in Zeltingen. Last but not least, the next generation has to decide to change into the wines business so that the story of Selbach-Oster is to be continued.
JANCIS ROBINSON - 17.5+ POINTS - A generous fragrance of exotic fruit takes centre stage on the aromatic front, but does not refuse a little bit of help from the greener side of the herb garden. With mango, papaya and lychees there’s so much fruit on the palate that the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese can afford to keep residual sugar within tasteful limits and shun the cheap thrill of sticky opulence. A hint of forest honey is all it needs to present its delicious assets in the best possible taste. (MS)
- Item #: i_324084Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE - 90 POINTS The 2018 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett is quite deep and intense on the concentrated and complex nose. Round, lush and elegant on the palate, this is a lingeringly salty, very elegant and well-articulated Kabinett with tickling acidity and a fruit-intense, stimulating and grippy crystalline finish. It's not that sweet but is perfectly balanced, with mineral intensity and body. Just 10% alcohol but lots of expression.
- Item #: i_364181Bottle Size: 750mlMOSEL FINE WINES 94 POINTS The 2017er Scharzhofberger Kabinett was fermented down to fully fruity levels. This is still massively under the impact of the spontaneous fermentation on the nose. It takes a few minutes before a most beautiful and telltale nose of white peach, white flowers, mint and plenty of chalky minerals, blended into elements of smoky slate to perfection. The wine is racy but also delivers a delicately smoothing feel of creamy grapefruit on the palate. While it does have the presence of a light Spätlese, the wine remains light-footed and completely elegant right into the apricot blossom infused finish and leaves one with a superbly airy, delicately fruity and mineral feel in the after-taste. Overall, the wine still remains rather shy and it is easy to overlook its greatness to come. Everything is there for making a stunning, playfully light yet complex Spatlese or Auslese like Eberhard von Kunow, the father of Max, used to make in the 1990s.
Importer's notes: This is a remarkable kabinett showing black tea, red peach and a smoked paprika nuance. The palate is crunchy with grilled tangerine, bitter orange and a cayenne pepper cut. It was both fermented and aged in tank for 8 months and only contains 43 grams/liter of residual sugar. It’s a juicy, straight riesling full of charm.