2011 Willi Schaefer - "An astonishingly brilliant collection surpassing anything I’ve ever tasted..."

Posted by CrushWine

"A doctoral thesis in slate."
2011 Willi Schaefer
Graacher Domprobst
Kabinett #16 & Spätlese #10

"So, the winery of the vintage is clearly Willi Schaefer, for an astonishingly brilliant collection surpassing anything I’ve ever tasted from this already stellar domain." -Terry Theise

These are big words, for sure, but after having spent a week in Germany tasting through the 2011 vintage, it's impossible for me to argue with them.

Christoph and Willi Schaefer's 2011s are just stunning. That's undeniable.

In fact, Theise's words highlight this, along with reminding us of Theise's honesty. Schaefer only has 4ha and there is never enough of his wines to go around. By calling Schaefer the winery of the vintage, Theise is essentially giving himself a big headache. Simply put, people will want even more Schaefer this year, allocations will be even more brutal and more people will be upset with the amount of wines they receive. This definitely falls into the "no good deed goes unpunished" category.

Still, when wines are this good, what else can you do?

Today, we focus on Schaefer's Domprobst Kabinett #16 and his Domprobst Spätlese #10. Both show on a very deep level why this vintage is so special for Schaefer.

What makes 2011 so striking at Schaefer is how the wines take the tender fruitiness of the vintage and animate it with currents of citrus and slate. There's great concentration to the wines, but what makes them so exciting is the dynamic, multifaceted spark they possess at their core. It's all really lovely.

Theise calls the Spätlese #10 "a doctoral thesis in slate." You could say the same thing for the Kabinett #16. There's clarity and focus here, a looking glass quality, that's almost blinding in its brilliance.

The more I drink Schaefer Rieslings, the more I realize how simply profound these wines are. NOBODY does detail or fine-ness with a more ethereal, uncomplicated grace.

And when it comes to aging, the wines can be summed up in one word: bulletproof. This spans the entire range from Kabinett to Beerenauslese. I've tasted many bottles over thirty years old and they've all been very youthful, incredibly so. Twice recently, older Schaefers have stolen the show amid a cast of stellar bottles that included producers like Prum and Egon Muller.

2011 Schaefer is definitely a vintage to stock up on and bury in the cellar. As amazing as the wines seem today, I'm confident that they are a mere dress rehearsal for how they will perform with some bottle age.

While Schaefer is always limited, the 2011 vintage thankfully allowed Schaefer to produce a decent quantity of Kabinetts and Spätlesen. We hope that there's enough wine to allow the deep purchases that this vintage at Schaefer calls for. Give us your maximum order and we'll allocate accordingly.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Director
Crush Wine & Spirits