A New Emrich-Schönleber Grand Cru?
Introducing Niederberg

Posted by Joe Salamone

The simple truth is Niederberg may be a qualitative equal to the two storied Grand Crus of Emrich-Schönleber – at a significant discount.

This may seem like email hyperbole, but it really isn’t (more on the “1G” qualitative ranking below). If you are a serious German wine fan, you have to try this wine.

photo of vineyard map

The Niederberg is a stunning bottle of dry Riesling with a saturating, high-definition citrus, a linear, and mineral cut. There's a definite kinship to Schönleber's famed Halenberg.

The Niederberg site itself extends around the Halenberg, including many higher, cooler parcels at the top of the hill – and you can feel this “coolness” in the wine’s ultra-lean and tensile architecture. The wine has a dancing lightness. For those of you who know the mind-blowing auction “Auf der Ley” bottling, the Niederberg pushes up against this site too.

At $49.95 in 4-packs, this represents a significant discount from the GG bottlings. 

The Niederberg is a very old site, another one of the casualties of the 1971 German wine law, at which point it was swallowed up by the Frühlingsplätzchen. The site, however, has very little to do with Frühlingsplätzchen, neither in exposition nor in soil composition.

To right this historical wrong, the Schönlebers had to petition the E.U. to have the site recognized, once again. Then they had to have the site recognized by the VDP, which gave it the “1G” or “Erste Lage” status – a sort of Premier Cru level right below the “GG” or Grand Cru status.

However, it stands to reason that after 50 years the VDP wanted to recognize the status of the bottling, yet couldn’t reasonably award it “GG” status without some examples of the wine.

This vintage, 2020, represents only the second bottling from Emrich-Schönleber to have its original name returned to it. If the quality of the wine remains at this level, we can’t see how this site isn’t eventually awarded GG status.

Until then, it’s a very, very serious value.

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

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

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