The best possible array of the top sites of the Pfalz, including the oldest vines in the very best vineyard. Mouth-filling, fruity wines, direct and approachable. Astoundingly reasonable prices for wines of such pedigree. In two words: juicy and caramelly. They aren’t “modern” in their insistence on vinosity, and they seem to aim for power rather than brilliance. I often underrate them because they need six to nine months after bottling to really come forward. These are showy wines, full of flavor, and they do stand out in tastings.
They obtained a remarkable quartet of Grand Crus when Wilheim Spindler retired many years ago, and yet the wines were always values because the estate presented a fundamental modesty. The wines were solid and honest, sometimes a little rural, but this selection shows the inherent talent at this domaine. Stefan Müller has entirely settled in now, and I think he wants to make a point. The last two vintages have been remarkable, and the 2008s are this estate’s apex, the best collection they have made. The spiffy new label reflects the precise diligent nature of these modern, crushed-stone wines. But if Dad’s wines were like comfort food, Stefan’s are starting to show touches of refinement without going all molecular upside your head.
This is a winery on the move, and the next few years will tell a new tale. There’s a sensational collection of vineyards and new energy in the cellar. This is what the Germans call an Aufsteiger, i.e. one who is climbing. The wines used to be rather matte and caramelly as a whole, though the fabulous Auslesen from the Kirchenstück showed great fire and breed. The 2004s were harbingers of a change, as they are more “modern,” clear and bright. ’08 ascends to yet another level, and the dry wines to another three levels.