2018 Max Ferd. Richter Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese Mosel

SKU #1434168 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From the two oldest plots (80-90 years old and 120 years old), the fuder-fermented 2018 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese offers great precision and aromas of tropical fruit intertwined with very fine slate on the nose. On the palate, the wine is mouth-filling and salty-piquant, with mango and slate flavors on the racy finish. This is dangerous stuff, very dangerous, yet it's also tight and tensioned. This is, for the moment, the finest and most stimulating Wehlener Sonnenuhr. Dangerous. Really dangerous. Tasted in March 2019. (SR)  (6/2019)

94 points John Gilman

 These are the oldest vines that the estate owns, planted in the nineteenth century and located directly under the sundial in the Sonnenuhr. The wine is youthful and an absolute classic in the making, offering up a nascently complex bouquet of pear, white cherries, vanilla bean, slate, wild yeasts, bee pollen and a floral topnote redolent of orange blossoms. On the palate the wine is medium-full, bright and soil-driven, with a good core, fine bounce and grip and a long, zesty and very classy finish. This has a beautiful kiss of fruit on the attack and impressive backend mineral drive. (Drink between 2024-2060)  (3/2019)

K&L Notes

93 points Mosel Fine Wines: "The 2018er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese was made from clean grapes harvested at a full 95° Oechsle, and was fermented down to fully sweet levels of residual sugar (95 g/l). It offers a beautiful nose of bitter lemon, mirabelle, laurel and whipped cream. The wine delivers nice flavors of pear, ginger, Provence herbs, cream and herbs, and leaves the beautifully racy but unctuous structure of an Auslese in the finish. It remains beautifully playful in the after-taste."

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Price: $26.99

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- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Pr├Ądikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Sp├Ątlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- Thanks to a recent string of excellent vintages and to the reemergence of Germany onto the international wine writing scene, this is a country that's hot, hot, hot! Germany is divided into 13 wine Region and produces a very wide variety of wine styles, from incredibly high-acid, dry wines to some of the sweetest, most unctuous concoctions on the planet and even a few surprisingly hearty reds. Most of the highest-quality wines are grown on steep banks along the rivers in these Region. Small vineyards are still mostly hand tended and picked, due to the difficult nature of mechanization on these slopes. White wine production accounts for nearly 80% of the total with Riesling being the most important varietal, though Muller-Thurgau is still more widely planted.