2016 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett

Year: 2016
Appellation: Saar
Country: Germany
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 93
James Suckling: 93
Wine Enthusiast: 93
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 8.5%
Price :
$29.95

"Delicate, delivering a velvety texture and a mouthwatering profile, offering Korean pear and grapefruit flavors, with a hint of nutmeg. This is balanced and picks up spice and mineral notes on the finish. Drink now through 2028. 400 cases made. -AZ" (WS)

"The 2016 Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett opens like a perfume, with flinty, spicy, intense yet fine and almost tropical fruit aromas. This is very well articulated and precise. Round and delicate on the palate, this is a lush, almost creamy, perfectly balanced and dense Kabinett whose unfermented sugar intertwines beautifully with mineral flavors. This is a Kabinett of great beauty-highly recommend. 8.5% alcohol.

The 2016 harvest was terribly small at the domaine from Dorothee and Hanno Zilliken. Peronospora destroyed almost everything in their Saarburger Rausch, where healthy grapes had to be hunted. "Our machines were in the repair shop when we had to use them for sprayings. We got them back a few days too late and couldn't protect our plants anymore," said Hanno when he served me a very few of his (excellent!) 2016s, which sold out in a very short time. Since many of his 2017s were ready to be bottled, I agreed to taste them, although my focus was on the 2016 vintage. To Hanno, 2017 is a top vintage like 2015, and he rates it above 2016 not just in terms of quantity but also quality. However, due to spring frost, the yields were reduced again, but it was not nearly as dramatic as in 2016. Hanno said that 2017 yielded four fuders per hectare compared to just two in 2016. "Although it's below our average of five fuders (or roughly 50 hectoliters per hectare), we are pretty happy with the resulting wines. They are based on fully ripe and healthy grapes with excellent acidity structures. However, we did not produce any Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese but downgraded our potential BA to a top class Auslese that will be sold at the auction in Trier in September this year." Due to smaller yields, three other wines are also missing in the 2017 portfolio: Rausch Alte Reben, Rausch "Diabas" and the generic Kabinett. During the tasting, I was deeply impressed by the lush and piquant character of the Prädikatsweine, namely the Kabinett, the two Spätlesen and the Auslesen from the Saarburger Rausch. The Grosses Gewächs ("GG") is also terrific, perhaps the finest I have ever tasted from this domaine. Unfortunately, I didn't taste any Bockstein so far but was happy to taste three historic wines from 2008, 1998 and 1988. The 1988 Eiswein is simply great and will be auctioned-in Magnums only!-in Trier as well." (WA)

"Quite exotic on the nose, but without any hint of heaviness. Sensational balance of fruit, minerals, and super-elegant acidity make this a near-perfect example of this category. Pristine finish that makes you want more now, but this has a couple of decades of aging potential!" (JS)

"Sweet-tart grapefruit and melon flavors are fragrant and pure in this spry, profoundly mineral kabinett. Zesty lime acidity and cutting shards of slate and salt accentuate its ethereal, weightless mouthfeel. It's lovely now but concentrated enough to improve through 2026, and hold further." (WE)


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