Back-Vintage Rarities - 2005 & 2007 Schafer-Frohlich Halenberg Spatlese

Posted by Joe Salamone

Among the finest in all of Germany
2005 & 2007 Schäfer-Fröhlich
Halenberg Spätlese
Only bottles in the country!

2005 was a breakout year for Schäfer-Fröhlich, his stable an emphatic and uncompromising declaration of mineral, clarity and precision. The stylistic breadth is one that few German wineries can equal: a paradox of power and transparency, with an almost cloudlike lightness of being. (The Burgundian cliché of ‘power without weight’ seems appropriate).

These two bottles are nothing short of reference points, for their respective vintages, for the site and for Tim himself.

In these two vintages, where nearly everything was good, the sweet spot might very well lay with the Spätlese.

In 05, the Nahe gave its vines enough of everything to pack them full of concentration and extract, without losing the purity and electricity of the vintage. Tim's 05 rendition of the Halenberg Spätlese integrates the ripeness and concentration of the vintage with a tactile depth of fruit that, eight years later, is just beginning to blossom.

2007 came with loads of concentration and a cutting, nearly tangible structure of rocks and minerals. Not as flashy, and without the opulent length of fruit of 2005, the core of the 2007ers is so stony, so dense and compact, Terry Thiese drolly noted, "the wines enter as liquid and leave as solids." For purists, this is one of the best vintages in a long time.

David Schildknecht called the 07, "luscious and light as it dances across a honeyed-slicked palate, leaving only the most subtle impression of fruit acids... to which saline savor and hints of red berry add counterpoint."

The Halenberg vineyard faces south, a sloped site of vines planted in stony blue slate and quartzite. Halenberg wines are fragrant and compelling, energetic, lean and poised. They speak more to refinement and elegance, as opposed to the complex expressions of minerality born from the Felseneck.

I really don't know of another producer whose ascent has been so swift and consistent. Tim has literally gone from strength to strength, enhancing the singularity of each vintage with his signature lift and clarity.

And while patience is always rewarded (and will be for at least another 10 years), these wines are just now entering a beautiful drinking window.

If you have the room - stock up. To order, email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits