2010 Monchhof Urzig Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese

Year: 2010
Appellation: Mosel
Country: Germany
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 89
White Wine
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"There's fine balance and delicacy to the sumptuous white fruit and spice flavors in this Riesling, which is quite creamy as well, with a silky texture and a long finish redolent of slate and apple pastry. Drink now through 2032. 1,500 cases imported." (WS)

"Picked at 115 Oechsle and packing 100 grams of sugar, you might well claim that the Monchhof 2010 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese was mislabeled, but it's impressive in an opulent way. Sumptuous in feel, honeyed, glycerin-rich, this effusively if not downright gaudily ripe, sweet, and ennobled so-called -Spatlese- is dominated by strawberry preserves, banana, and pink grapefruit, overlain with honey and brown spices. There is a fine sense of buoyancy even with given this wine's almost thick sense of richness. Impressively persistent, I am not so sure it will have the stamina or sense of energy to age for a long time, though those who favor Loosen's hamster metaphor for Mosel Riesling age-ability might insist that this has fat to burn. But I am confident it will be worth following for at least a dozen years.

Robert Eymael seemed highly satisfied with his 2010 collection; though I perceived the quality as in a holding pattern vis-a-vis what had seemed to be steadily enhanced quality at this address the last several years. De-acidification was largely in must and via double-salt treatment." (WA)

"Spontaneously fermented in cask, the Monchhof 2009 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese throws a lightly cheesy, yeasty shroud over its otherwise admirable aromatic amalgam of strawberry jam, nectarine, pineapple, Persian melon, and black tea. All is forgiven when these come flooding across the palate, and in any case, as this took-on air the nose cleared. Hints of white raisin and wet stone add allure. Subtly oily in texture, this possesses lovely delicacy and lift, although at the price of a rather dominant finishing sweetness. But even though this has higher residual sugar than the corresponding -Mosel Slate- (Treppchen) Spatlese, and the acidities are identical, the latter is subjectively sweeter not to mention more opulent and less refreshing, a phenomenon that is in fact site-related and one you can observe again and again. Wurzgarten simply has an amazing tendency other things being equal to hide residual sugar, and I expect that the present instance will keep well for at least 15 years, with its sense of sweetness diminishing significantly (and gratifyingly) after a decade.

Robert Eymael professes to be as taken with the 2009 vintage as are most of his Mosel colleagues. Ironically, his move in the direction of more spontaneous fermentations has slightly handicapped the present collection in its youth, but abstracting from what is a temporary phenomenon, these 2009s can be seen to extend the recent streak of enhanced quality at the Monchhof." (WA)

Winery Notes:
The history of Mönchhof (the "Monks House or Monks Court") goes back to 1177. Still in the Eymael family's possession is a document signed by Pope Alexander III, which shows the Cloister Himmerod (a Cistercian abbey) as having holdings at Ürzig as early as 1177.

The monks from Himmerod were active as winegrowers in the area and they completed the present estate building and underground cellars before 1509. They continued their work at the Mönchhof until 1804, when the estate was purchased by the Eymael family. For over 200 years they have carried on the winemaking tradition of the monks.

The estate's prime holdings are in the vineyards of the Ürziger Würzgarten, Erdener Treppchen, and Erdener Prälat.

The Eymael family has much history. His great-grandmother Franziska Astor's family included Joh. Jacob Astor, whose grandson started the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York City.

A founding member of Der Grosse Ring, the estate has won numerous awards, including the prestigious State Honor Prize, awarded in 1971. Even as early as 1893, this estate won medals at the Chicago World's Fair. The estate also provides the location for the German television series "Moselbrück." In the tasting room of the 500 year old manor house Robert Eymael Jr. offers the great selections from the great single vineyards of the area, as well as his very popular basic Riesling.