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: 750ml
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. -- David Schildknecht
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_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_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.