2015 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese GKA #4 375 ml

Year: 2015
Appellation: Mosel
Country: Germany
Wine Advocate: 94+
Mosel Fine Wines: 95
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 7.5%
Price :
$34.95

"Made from golden-yellow, just slightly botrytized grapes, the 2015 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese (AP #4) opens intense but clear and fresh, with slate and grapefruit aromas. Rich and intense, but fine and delicate on the palate, this is a lush, intense, very precise and finessed Auslese. It has a long and aromatic, perfectly balanced finish.

"We had a beautiful and very relaxed October in 2015," says Willi Schaefer, who in general doesn't care much about analytics; instead, he prefers to taste the grapes before he decides when to pick them. He also recruits an experienced harvest team to pick the four hectares of family-owned Riesling vineyards, which are almost entirely based in Graach except for a small plot (or one 1,000-liter fuder) in the Wehlener Sonnenuhr. Most of the wines are predominantly fermented and aged in traditional fuders, but even the stainless steel parts are aged for three months in traditional oak vats that were partly made by Willi's grandfather.

In 2015, the Schaefers have produced outstanding predicate wines, namely in the Graacher Domprobst: There are pure and piquant Kabinett wines; lush and precise Sp├Ątlesen; and intense and complex, perfectly balanced Auslesen (all types are unrivaled in their price/quality relation); as well as an immortal Beerenauslese. In general, Schaefer's Rieslings are highly finessed and elegant, but also intense and complex. His 2015s are picture-book wines of this style." (WA)

"This starts off on the toffee side before fresher scents grapefruit, orange, lime, smoke, incense and tar kick in. A superb streak of acidity cuts right through the palate into the very long, fresh and focused finish, providing a gorgeous balance to a powerful and delicately creamy structure. The finish is intense and very long. While amazing now, this Auslese Eiswein styled wine should prove stunning in a decade or two. 2025-2045" (FWR)

Winery Notes:
Aroma! Complicated and turbulent for now, but a galvanic being is coiled, waiting, tiger-eyed and hungry. -Terry Theise