Willi Schaefer

For many tasters, these are the Ne Plus Ultra of Mosel wine, and they have attracted an almost religious following. Thus my most frustrating agency, as there is never enough wine. It is hard to put a finger on exactly what it is that makes these wines so precious. There is a candor about them that is quite disarming. They are polished too, but not brashly so. They are careful to delineate their vineyard characteristics, and they offer fruit of sublime purity. They are utterly soaring in flavor yet not without weight. What many of you seem to have warmed to is their clarity, precision and beauty of fruit, so maybe I’ll leave it at that!  ~Terry Theise

GWS Generic G.H. Riesling Label

Available Wines

Willi Schaefer 2012 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #11

This plants its flag on the summit for slate-grown wine. You know right away; the fragrance and palate-entry are all that’s needed. The second level is now more identifiably “Auslese” though still without botrytis. Another crescendo of slate. It soars like a paraglider, but the essence, the great dark center, is earthbound. The finish is nutty and murmurs forever. Close to sublime. GRAACHER DOMPROBST: I doubt there’s a better site on the “great ramp” (as Hugh Johnson terms it) between Bernkastel and Zeltingen. Domprobst is invariably starched and magnificent; its flavors are always standing at attention. It has a particularly emphatic slate statement, with nuances of pistachio or pecan, cassis and quince. Medium-bodied, high-bred and snappy, coltish and itchy to take off full-gallop.