Full-throttle fruit and serious stature characterize these ripe Mosel wines. Prices have remained moderate for impeccable quality. They are comparatively straightforward and “easy” to understand because the fruit is overt and in-your-face. Even a cursory glance into that fruit, though, will reveal the proverbial Coat of Many Colors: interplays of flavor and texture that can be absorbing and rewarding. And the wines both keep and age.
As unassuming as this estate can seem to be, when you drink a mature vintage (by which I mean something 25 years old or older) you see what perfect Mosel wines they are. And you have to ask, why would anyone want to re-invent this? It’s already sublime.
There were two, from different sections of the vineyard. Treppchen has parcels scattered steeply among red cliffs, and these are old and ungrafted. There’s also an expanse of younger vines on an even hillside by the bridge; it’s all Treppchen but the cliff vineyards give lavish tangerine-y peachy wine, and the bridge vineyards give cooler, walnut and granny smith apple wine. I took the one from the ungrafted parcel, though it was richer and more Spätlese-like. Classically Justen, in fact, very fine and smooth and orange-tangelo. Treppchen is named after the stone staircase that was built many years ago for the farmers to use while working the vineyard. It is a 36 ha vineyard, most of which has been replanted, excluding parcels owned by Meulenhof and J.J. Christoffel Erben. The red slate contains a high level of iron translating into very mineral expressive wines.
CORE-LIST WINE. I reserved every drop left of this. Last year it was fresh from the filter and I couldn’t assess it, and the only chance I had to retaste it was at one of the big tastings, which is a challenge in itself. But now it can be seen; this is a cool lovely slatey classic Wehlener, a real beauty! ~Terry Theise
CORE-LIST WINE, though likely to be in short supply as I found only one lot (#108) that I enjoyed. It was a good Kabinett, maybe the tiniest bit stunted, but it showed fruit and slate and nothing dubious. ~Terry Theise
This was the best among the range of Späts, and the first wine I actively liked. It has class and, almost, elegance—not the elegance of an ’07 but it sports a new suede jacket and wears it well. ~Terry Theise
CORE-LIST WINE, with the caveat; only one lot was good, so the supply will be short. In this case we all agreed, Stefan also, that “lot #75” was the pick, more stylish and smooth than its mate, though botrytis is there and it has the sometimes pointed finish of ’14. ~Terry Theise