Historic Vintage - Epic Dry Mosel: 2011 Schaefer Himmelreich GG

Posted by Joe Salamone

Historic Vintage - Epic Dry Mosel
2011 Willi Schaefer
Graacher Himmelreich GG

"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

2011 is a big vintage for Christoph and Willi Schaefer. They just nailed it.

Their 2011s are stunning, but one of the biggest successes is their Grosses Gewächs. A couple years ago we were lucky enough to debut their first Grosses Gewächs from the 2009 vintage. Their 2011 is a perfect follow-up.

In general, 2011 is shaping up to be a very good vintage for dry wines, particularly from cooler places like the Mosel. The ripeness of the vintage lends charm and more depth to the wines.

What makes 2011 so striking at Schaefer, especially for their Himmelreich Grosses Gewächs, 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.

The more I drink Schaefer's wines the more I realize how they render Riesling with a fine-ness that's almost unmatched. Their Himmelreich GG '11 highlights this with heartbreaking clarity. It's an ultra-fine study in slate with stone fruits, flowers and citrus zest.

What's immediately impressive about Schaefer GG is its refinement and persistence. The length is serious and from beginning to end the wine shows incredible detail and harmony. This is breeding and careful winemaking taken to the extreme.

The wine itself is sourced from a small, low-yielding parcel of the Himmelreich, and some of the vividness of the wine must be attributed to the low yields. Christoph says they've always found the Himmelreich to be more suitable for dry wines; the airiness of the fruit, its purity and scale being more adaptable to the rigid confines of the acidity.

Schaefer has just 4ha under vines and, as you can imagine, the quantities that they produce of their Grosses Gewächs are tiny. Please give us your ideal order and we'll try our best.

To order, reply to this email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits