Schloss Lieser 2011 GG: Heir to the Throne of the Middle Mosel?

Posted by Joe Salamone

The Razor's Edge in 2011
Schloss Lieser "Grand Cru" Dry Riesling
Niederberg Helden Grosses Gewächs

"The estate has been on quite a hot streak for the last several years, but these stunning 2011ers may well be the finest set of wines ever yet to set foot outside the very comfortable confines of this lovely property, as they are pure magic!"
-John Gilman, View from the Cellar

Schloss Lieser has arrived.

Even the most critical palate has to admit that the last five vintages at Lieser have been nothing short of epic. This small estate, long since in the shadows of the titans of the Middle Mosel (J.J. Prüm, Fritz Haag) has, without a doubt, emerged front and center as one of the truly elite.

As we wrote earlier this year in a piece about the staggering 2009 Niederberg Helden GG (a vintage similar to 2011), "the estate is edging its way into the blue-chip wine elite, right there with Egon Müller and Klaus-Peter Keller."

In 2011, a vintage that has produced some big wines, Schloss Lieser has shaped one of the most impressive Mosel collections, a group of wines that are razor-sharp, invigorating and sleek, flawlessly balanced.

Today, we present what is destined to be one of the masterpieces of the vintage, the 2011 Niederberg Helden GG. This is the only pricing in the country, certainly one of the only parcels in the country.

While these are not inexpensive bottles, put in the context of their peers (Trimbach's Clos Ste. Hune at ~$150, Keller's GGs at $60-$100+) they are well, well worth the indulgence.

The Niederberg Helden is the great site of the village of Lieser - Thomas Haag has made it his life's work to bring this village, this vineyard, back to the fame it had at the beginning of the 20th Century. The vineyard is an intimidating presence, a rogue wall of slate that rises on the northern side of the Mosel, just downstream from the Brauneberger Juffer. The site receives good water and therefore articulates Rieslings of uncommon depth and power, at least for the Middle Mosel.

Yet, even with the heft and muscle, the wine flaunts a ruthless display of slate. This is the magic of what Thomas Haag accomplishes; this is the magic of this collection.

Since 2009, with the release of Schloss Lieser's first "Grosses Gewächs," the demand for these wines has skyrocketed. By German wine law, the wines cannot be released until the September after their vintage - yet every year the wines sell out earlier and earlier.

Even with quantities back to normal in 2011, we were told in late April that the wines were basically sold out. So, we did what anyone with half a palate and a love of German wine would do: We bought the rest.

Still, quantities are ridiculously limited so we advise dreaming big and expecting to be cut back, at least a bit.

To order, pleaes email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits