Auslese of Vintage: AJ Adam 2008 Dhroner Hofberg

Posted by CrushWine

Auslese of the Vintage?
2008 AJ Adam Dhroner Hofberg Auslese

"If there were any doubts about young Andreas Adam's exceptional abilities or his stylistically striking success in channeling the great Hofberg vineyard in Dhron and the wine making spirit of an earlier age, they have been thoroughly dispelled..." David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate

Today we offer one of the greatest Auslese from the class of 2008 - it's as simple as that.

Adam's Auslese shatters the limitations and assumptions of the vintage with ease and grace.  This is one of the most startlingly beautiful Rieslings of 2008 and while most growers in the Mosel couldn't coax enough botrytis to flesh out their Gold Capsule Auslesen, boy-wonder AJ Adam somehow managed to select about 80% botrytis for his 2008 Auslese - and a shimmering, golden and incredibly pure botrytis at that.

This is Mosel Auslese at 40,000 volts (give or take) - German nectar that crackles across the palate with a tense energy and shocking clarity.

For you statisticians, here are some numbers that are likely to make your head spin or your jaw drop - or both. Adam's Auslese was harvested at 110 Öchsle with a full 130 grams of residual sugar, countered by a rippin' 9.5 grams of acidity! That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call Mosel tension, or my favorite term: "Nervosité."

Stats aside, all you really need to know is that Adam's 2008 Auslese is stunningly ripe with an absolutely maniacal energy. It is electric, tearing across the palate with intense lime oils, citrus fruit, mandarin orange and studded with rock candy and spice. The character of the vintage comes through too, with the Auslese having a magnificent transparency and for all of its glossy, sexy fruit, tones of soil and slate are beautifully present.

My tasting note ends very simply: "Best Auslese of the trip so far." Now, months later, after having tasted many more wines in Germany and then revisiting them again at the industry tastings in New York, this "Best Auslese" title still holds, strongly. This is a 2008 Riesling I would NOT miss - special 6-pack pricing is below because this bottle is very cellar-worthy.

If AJ Adam is a name that you don't recognize, don't be alarmed. Fact is that AJ and his Dhroner Hofberg have come out of nowhere, and very quickly I might add, though David Schildknecht of the Wine Advocate has let the cat out of the bag in a BIG way with his 2007 reviews, giving Adam lavish praise, not to mention big scores.

AJ Adam re-started his family domaine with 1 lonely hectare in 2000 - now he's farming a whole 2 hectares in the Dhroner Hofberg. For some context into just how small this estate is, if Adam can manage to double his holdings, he'll be as big as the famously small Willi Schaefer estate in Graach! While wine geeks have been whispering his name since about 2005 and happily snatching up the limited number of bottles that come into the U.S. (2 hectares, especially at his low yields, does not produce that much wine) I really believe Adam is poised to make the move onto the big stage. Schildknecht's stamp of recognition is just one part of the equation. The other, for me, is the the Adam's natural instincts which thus far, through many different vintages, have proven unquestionable. In many ways, sitting and talking with AJ, he reminds me of two other young German geniuses: Tim Fröhlich and Klaus-Peter Keller.

While the entire 2008 AJ Adam collection is extraordinary, I believe Adam's Auslese is the most unique and thrilling given the context of the vintage.  When AJ told me Terry Theise was not importing his Auslese I just about fell backward out of my chair. Obviously I'm not privy to the decision-making processes of the importer, nor the complexities of putting together a well-balanced portfolio - frankly, it's not really my concern at all. All I care about is the fact that I got some of this wine! AJ himself was kind enough to allocate me a few cases and Theise was good enough to help me bring it in. So thanks to them both for that.

You will be hearing more from AJ Adam, I have no doubt. If you would like to read more about Adam, the Dhroner Hofberg and the 2008 collection, please click here. For the moment, however, Crush will be the only U.S. retailer to carry Adam's 2008 Auslese. Quantities, as is probably wildly clear by now, are extremely limited so please call the store at (212) 980-9463 or click below to order.