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.
Core List Wine.
I tolerate the use of the inherently useless and often misleading Grosslage (general-site) name because Müller’s private customers recognize it as a “brand.” It is actually Pechstein, and is always super-aromatic, lot fermented, with a less vigorous yeast culture that guarantees an incomplete result , that is, residual sugar. Think about it, yeast-nerds: this is far less intrusive
than to abruptly stop fermentation by sudden chilling or sulfuring, and the yeast itself is entirely neutral. The aroma is extravagant in ’14! Every Pechstein flower; polished, piquant, glossy, salty. ~Terry Theise
First offering, for what is plain-and-simple a steal. Each time Müller makes this wine it’s a quintessence of this great Cru without overt sweetness, but endlessly and firmly rich, porcini-rich, milk chocolate rich, old Beaufort rich, Amontillado rich. Where are the buyers for such a self-evidently useful and compelling wine?? (10-30 years)
100% Pechstein, a super-aromatic lot fermented with a less vigorous yeast that guarantees an incomplete result (i.e., residual sugar) which he prefers to “abruptly” stopping fermentation by sudden chilling or sulfuring. So, please think about it: he chooses a particular yeast strain because it is less invasive or manipulative than to diddle with fermenting wine by technical intervention. The wine is into raspberry and raw bacon now, and with each sip it seems to get drier and more steely, with fraicheur and mint. Mariengarten is a grosslage that encompasses Forst and Deidesheim. It is normally 100% Pechstein but Eugen Müller prefers to keep Mariengarten on the label for his private customers that respect it as a brand. The site was named after the basalt created by Pechsteinkopf an inactive volcano near by. The Pechstein has a slope of 10 – 15% and is situated at 120 – 160m above sea level.
CORE-LIST WINE. The wine is floral and angular and has an almost peppery polleny finish. Big character, small price. ~Terry Theise
The prime section of the best site in the Pfalz; this was so embryonic that you should basically disregard this note as anything more than a blurry impression. That said, I’m confident there’s more primordial minerality here, and the wine is powerful to the point of throbbing. It’s long and incipiently complex, and justifies the stature of the land. ~Terry Theise