While in New York for a couple of days last week, I lucked upon the chance to taste a whole slew of Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Rieslings, mostly from 2009 but with a few back vintage wines thrown into the mix as well. The real standouts, though, were saved for last — a stunning lineup of 2009s from the C. von Schubert estate, aka Maximin Grünhaus. From their basic QbA right up through the Eisweine, they offer tremendous focus, clarity and consistency.
Here are a few choice words about each. Call 'em tasting notes if you must but, really, they're just my immediate, gut reactions.
- Maximin Grünhauser Herrenberg QbA "Superior," C. von Schubert 2009
Simple, but in a good way. Very stony and quite pleasing, redolent of grapefruit oil. Not sure of the going price, but if it's still under $20 it's a solid value.
- Maximin Grünhauser Herrenberg Kabinett, C. von Schubert 2009
The same dark minerality as displayted in the QbA — blue slate came to mind, although Herrenberg's terroir is based more on red slate — but with greater filigree and defined grace.
- Maximin Grünhauser Abtsberg Kabinett, C. von Schubert 2009
Lighter yet simultaneously funkier and deeper than the Herrenberg Kabinett.
- Maximin Grünhauser Herrenberg Spätlese, C. von Schubert 2009
Highly focused and excruciatingly young. In other words, very promising.
- Maximin Grünhauser Abtsberg Spätlese, C. von Schubert 2009
Open and more outwardly delicious than the MGHS. Very good already.
- Maximin Grünhauser Herrenberg Auslese, C. von Schubert 2009
It was becoming clear at this point that the steps between Pradikat levels at this estate are really well defined. Not at all drastic but well expressed and measurable, one could even say classic in '09. Darkly mineral again, with a mouthful of apricot flesh and great acid structure.
- Maximin Grünhauser Abtsberg Auslese, C. von Schubert 2009
Rounder and softer than its counterpart from Herrenberg. Very pretty.
- Maximin Grünhauser Abtsberg Auslese "149," C. von Schubert 2009
Beautifully high-toned aromatics at play here; richer in RS than the "normal" Abtsberg Auslese but totally balanced. Big, pure acid profile.
- Maximin Grünhauser Brudergerg "Jungfernwein" Auslese, C. von Schubert 2009
This started off with a super dense, mineral-laden nose, leading to a broadly muscular palate. Excellent length. If this is what's coming from the first vintage produced from new vines in Brudergerb ("Jungfernwein" translates literally to "virgin wine," or the first vintage produced from newly planted vines) then watch out in the years to come.
- Maximin Grünhauser Herrenberg Eiswein, C. von Schubert 2009
Oh my.... Spice attack. Orange confit. Mint. Racy. Stellar eiswein, really finely balanced at 7%. A wine for the ages.
- Maximin Grünhauser Herrenberg Eiswein "82," C. von Schubert 2009
For those who like it opulent. Much more intense, even syrupy, relative to the previous Eiswein. Darker color and lower alcohol (6%) to match. Marmalade, menthol, honey-lemon drops.
For serious fans of German Riesling — and you really all should be — these are very much worth seeking out and socking away.