$22 and One of the Great Wines of the Mosel: Beyond Wehlener Sonnenuhr

Posted by CrushWine

Beyond Wehlener Sonnenuhr
2010 Steinmetz Geierslay "Sur Lie"
Lowest Price in the Nation

This is one of the greatest sites in the Mosel and few people (outside of the Mosel) have ever heard of it.

The fact that one of the greatest wines of 2010 comes from one of the greatest sites of the Mosel is hardly surprising.

Geierslay Vineyard

"Greatness" requires two things: a great site AND a winemaker who, for lack of a better term, understands the site and is able to coax out something truly special.

There are any number of iconic examples. Historically, you could take J.J. Prüm and the Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Egon Müller and the Scharzhofberger... more recently I think Tim Fröhlich and Bockenauer Felseneck and A.J. Adam and Dhroner Hofberg all stand as profound examples.

Stefan Steinmetz, in what he calls "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" was able to purchase a 1.2-hectare parcel of the Geierslay with old, ungrafted vines on a steep landscape literally covered with pulverized slate.

David Schildknecht, the German wine scholar calls the Geierslay "a historic and manifestly sensational but nowadays little-known site."

Let me declare it now: One of my quests will be to make this a WELL-known site. The wine deserves it.

Cellardoor at Weingut Steinmetz

We were the first to present the inaugural 2009 edition and today we offer what I think is one of the top wines that the über-talented Stefan Steinmetz has ever crafted.

The inexplicable 2010 vintage is, in this wine, contained, harmonized, integrated. I remember first tasting this wine many months ago - already it was an impressive, impressive wine.

The amazing statistics of this wine (only 10% alcohol, a low-ish 28 grams residual sugar and a blazing 11 grams of acidity) do not do the wine justice. The whole is so much bigger than the sum of the parts.

This is an extreme and epic bottle of Riesling.

It is incredibly compact, with a fine textural quality that feels both dense and airy, if that's possible. The "Sur Lie" aging - in essence extended lees contact - has surely had an important part in taming the acidity of the vintage, in giving the wine its beautiful, satiny texture. As with the 2009, the wine has gentle, raindrop washes of pear and green apple yet the star of the show is mineral, soil and freshly cut flowers.

I know this can't help but sound either cheeky or hopelessly clichéd (or both), but the wine presents the feel of the vineyard itself: Airy, cool, persistently mineral.

Stefan Steinmetz is a very serious guy - a very serious winemaker who has his ear to the soil, his hands in the soil, more than most. He knows the nooks and crannies of this area extraordinarily well, and you can tell he is more than proud of the Geierslay. There's a sense that farming this land is both an honor and a sort of duty.

I wrote this last year as well, but it will be interesting to see what sort of title is appropriate for the email of Steinmetz's 2020 Wintricher Geierslay: "Legends of the Mosel?"

In all honesty, it wouldn't surprise me.

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

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Director
Crush Wine & Spirits