(A WineWise Selection) Steffi Weegmüller has taken this ancient family property to the very pinnacle of Pfalz estates, as has been recognised at home in Germany but also now in the U.S.A., where David Schildknecht has paid tribute to the quality of her wines. Quite literally next door to the famed house of Müller-Catoir, and sharing many of the same fabled vineyards, she offers a series of pristine, almost chiselled wines that unite Pfalz spice and generosity with manic purity and length.
It is hard to imagine a more sheerly pretty expression of this very great vineyard than Steffi routinely conjures up. A paradigm of great Pfalz Kabinett. The 2011 is especially juicy and gulpable, while the 2009 shows all the class of a great year.
When Rieslaner hits just the right threshold of ripeness, it can produce some of the most singular and compelling dessert wine on earth. Perhaps no vineyard suits this grape as brilliantly as the Haardter Mandelring, where the miraculous balancing act of huge sweetness and powerful, almost fierce acidity evokes in this unique variety its signature infra-red glow and hauntingly long flavour. All this with just 7% alcohol. A really amazing wine.
Weegmüller have decided on a “fantasy name” approach to labelling their top wines. This one, “From the Yellow Cliff”, is a brilliant cuvée of their three great sites : Bürgergarten, Herrenletten and Mandelring. As such, it offers a panoply of peachy Pfalz fruit flavours that dance miraculously on the tongue. Such poise and clarity are possible only from top vineyards and masterly wine-making hands.
What a pleasure to have back this classiest of German liter bottlings, with its fresh nose and lilting Riesling expression. Largely derived from younger vines in Weegmüller’s Grand Cru holdings with a judicous blend of grapes from another grower in Deidesheim, this is a poster-child for quintessential Pfalz Riesling.
Simply one of the most unforgettable wines tasted last year, it is a masterpiece, and we snapped up every available bottle. Grandiose in its conciliation of botrytis and apricot fruit, the palate is glossy and spicy and unspittably delicious. Don’t miss it!
In this vintage, we were especially struck by the wine Steffi coaxed from the Haardter Mandelring vineyard, that she terms “the elegant one”. Uncommonly pungent in its amalgam of ripe fruit and Pfalz punch, it nonetheless presents so silky and fine on the palate that one easily comprehends the choice of moniker.
Steffi has always had a way with the kinky Scheurebe and she excelled in this vintage. Derived primarily from vines in the Herrenletten and Mandelring, the grapefruit aroma is one you can take to the bank. Truly dry, and sporting just 12.5% alcohol, the wine has an electric impact on the palate, simultaneously light-footed and substantial, with an expansive salty finish. Truly masterful.