2009 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese

Year: 2009
Appellation: Mosel
Country: Germany
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 89
White Wine
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"The Jos. Christoffel 2009 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese mingles fresh strawberry and mint, offering a delightful interplay with stone and salt on a delicate, refreshing, seemingly transparent palate. The finish here positively quivers with delight – and so will you!

Karl-Josef (commonly and affectionately known as “Kajo”) Christoffel – whose wines are sometimes confused by tasters from outside of their region with those of Hans-Leo Christoffel (whose vocal cadence and inflection could also easily be confused with that of his neighbor and namesake) – is very much a fixture of the Mosel scene, and I have been remiss in not previously visiting him and reporting on his wines. Few Mosel growers today render Riesling of greater delicacy so that it will come to some as a shock to experience how light – some might say “slight” – a Kajo Kabinett or Spatlese is when compared with the style that prevails among most of the Mosel’s top growers today. The wines typically stay on their fine lees until spring, getting bottled in May or June. Furthermore, not only are this Christoffel’s methods ultra traditional, so is the fact that he sells wines from a deep range of vintages – a practice that has all but died out at any other top addresses – not to mention at bargain prices. In recent years, many of his family’s huge holdings have been leased, enabling Christoffel to focus on rendering wines from only around five acres representing his best sites and oldest, ungrafted, densely-planted vines, particularly in the Urgluck and Kranklay sections of today’s Wurzgarten. I shall confine myself on this occasion to focusing on the 2009s and 2008s that I most recently tasted, offering only just a few tangential references to some outstanding older wines. And since prices here have manifestly changed hardly at all in recent years, I have taken the liberty of estimating eventual U.S. retail prices for certain wines that have not yet been offered." (WA)

"Yellow plum, licorice and nut oil on the nose. The creamy depth and concentration of peach flavor is a tribute to the old vines. Vibrant mineral salts keep the palate fresh. Crisp, clean and eminently drinkable, but also offers excellent potential." (IWC)