Grapelive: Wine of the Day September 8, 2019

2017 Weingut Willi Schaefer, Riesling Kabinett, Graacher Himmelreich, Mosel Germany -photo grapelive

2017 Weingut Willi Schaefer, Riesling Kabinett, Graacher Himmelreich, Mosel Germany.
One of my favorites and wine world classic, the Willi Schaefer Graacher-Himmelreich Kabi is always a delectable treat, this off dry Riesling is so pure and subtly complex that you can’t help but fall head over heals in love with it on first taste. Schaefer only produces about 2, 900 cases total and with an insanely greedy worldwide fan base, these wines are rarely found on the store shelves, but when you do see either the Kabinetts, buy them as fast as you can. I love the sweeter wines here too, but the Graacher-Domprobst and this Graacher-Himmelreich Kabinett offering are absolute steals for the joy and quality in the glass. These are unquestionably terroir wines, heavily influenced by the Devonian slate soils and the steep slopes on which these vines cling to. I think Terry Theise, the Riesling guru that imports these wines into the states, says it best, These Schaefer wines are silly with deliciousness, and as crystalline as they are, as ethereally complex and limpidly clear as they are, he adds, they don’t fuss at you (about) how amazing they are. They are affectionate and they just sit in the glass and love you with their generous fruitiness and sublime drinkability.

This 2017 is a gorgeous and forward Riesling with a creamy lusciousness and a racy personality with an exotic array of fruit, spice and mineral tones. I personally would adds 3 to 4 more points to the rating here just on common sense and my affection for this wine, but since it is hard to find and desirable without me gushing too about, I restrained myself, though if I get a chance to try it again in say 5 years or more, I no doubt will give it the credit it truly deserves! Schaefer, as noted is a small family winery that has a long history in German wines dating back to 1121 and is solely focused on terroir driven Riesling, making wines that are luxurious and regardless of sugar levels are gloriously balanced, you almost never feel sweetness on its own, it is more textural in its presence, as with this one. The nose has a beautiful array of white flowers, Asian spices, crushed rock and citrus before leading to a polished palate of apricot, key lime, green apple, lychee and tangerine fruits along with a saline note, wet stone, flinty mineral and crystalized ginger. Again the off dry Graacher-Himmelreich Kabinett is more creamy and cloying, making easy to enjoy all on its own, though brilliant with spicy dishes including Thai, Chinese and Indian cuisines, plus cured meats and briny seafood.
($33 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive