2018 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese
Schaefer is absolutely, without question, one of the greatest producers in Germany. This is a benchmark for the Mosel and the wines are coveted not just by collectors, but by other growers.
The nose is aromatic with hints of lime blossom, honeysuckle, green pear and a mineral, flinty smokiness. The palate is insanely pure and complex with some mid-palate tension and a long finish of honey and key lime pie.
This is perfect with Asian food or anything with a little spice. This is also a go-to for Thanksgiving Dinner.
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If you’re new to all this, there’s a reason these wines are so beloved. Part of it is they’re so scarce; the estate is all of 4.2 hectares with no desire to grow. Part of it is the wines themselves; they’re silly delicious. You cannot be unhappy drinking these perfect ur-Mosel Rieslings. And as crystalline as they are, as ethereally complex and limpidly clear, they have a quality of calm; they don’t fuss at you with how amazing they are. Since 2015, Christoph Schaefer and his wife Andrea run this storied family winery in Graach, the pair met while studying enology at Geisenheim. Their winemaking philosophy is not much different than that of Christoph’s father or grandfather. The focus is not on numbers or analytics, but on how the grapes taste. From harvesting each plot to the fermentations with natural yeast, all the way through bottling, everything is done by taste and feel.