Willi Schaefer - Graacher Domprobst Spätlese -10- 2016

We drink from the Moselle a 2016 Spätlese from the Graacher Domprobst made by the Willi Schaefer winery.

Sometimes it just has to be residual sweet Riesling. And if desire strikes you, then nothing helps against it except to get a bottle from the cellar and this was the case again just now. The wine that should satisfy the need this time comes from the Mosel from the winery Willi Schaefer. The grapes for it were harvested in 2016 in the Graacher Domprobst vineyard and then vinified as a Spätlese. The winery Willi Schaefer subdivides individual predicate levels again. Therefore, there are also several variants of this Spätlese. We now have the one with the AP number 10 in the glass. The winery actually only vinifies Riesling, which grows on the steep slate slopes in sites with great names like Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Graacher Himmelreich and Graacher Domprobst. Since steep slopes on the Mosel really deserve the steep in the name, it means a lot of manual work. It is fermented spontaneously in wooden barrels and intervened as little as possible in the vinification of the grapes.

The wine starts very dense on the nose and also on the tongue. It seems quite concentrated but still fine and above all totally clear. There is a lot of yellow, ripe fruit on the nose, some peach, a lot of melon, a touch of pineapple and stone. Quite good what comes out of the glass and when you drink it, it is in no way inferior to the smell. Nice acidity, lots of structure and spice on the tongue, super long, juicy, just really good and all that right after uncorking already. With air, the wine becomes more open and even finer without losing its depth. The next day we plan to eat Asian-inspired Stir Fry. I’m curious how this will go together.

As expected, the wine holds its shape easily overnight. It has become a bit creamier in mouthfeel, now has honey, more spice and a nice butteriness. The fruit, which is now a bit less exotic and more towards stone fruit and apricots, continues to be really good. The acidity adds freshness and juiciness and provides an important counter to the residual sugar. The wine actually pairs quite well with the Stir Fry, but since we like it so much on its own we feel that it feels almost wasted as a food companion and so it finds its destiny as a dessert. A role that the Spätlese fills perfectly.

Especially with such wines, one runs the risk of indulging in the discussion about too little bottle maturity. Sure, the wine has many, many years ahead of it and is guaranteed to get better for a long time. But it’s just also a fact that you would miss out on quite a bit if you don’t open a bottle now. At least I have nothing to reproach myself for.

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