2018 Weingut Selbach-Oster, Riesling Spatlese, Zeltinger Schlossberg, Mosel Germany.
A beautiful and classic Mosel, the Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Spatlese is one of my favorite terroir driven wines, there’s just something special about this wine that sings a sirens song to me and I find that this 2018 a vintage of pure pleasure and a soulful expression of place with loads of character that can only come from the Blue Devonian slate and light loamy soil and the steep slopes of the Mosel. Johannes Selbach has created so many exciting wines in the recent vintages it’s hard to keep up, but this Schlossberg Spatlese should not be missed by Riesling fans, it is full of mineral tones and thrilling apple, apricot, passionfruit, quince and lime fruits along with smoky flint, wet stones, spearmint and sweet green melon. The residual sugar gives this Riesling a medium to full bodied mouth feel, a sense of creaminess, but with vivid detailing and precise control, its sweetness makes it gorgeous with spicy foods and is never cloying or dulling in anyway, the balance is impeccable. Selbach’s Zeltingen parcels in Himmelreich, Schlossberg and Sonnenuhr are all Grand Cru class with perfect exposure, old ungrafted vines and all hand tended, these are the prized plots in the portfolio, and adds to the complexity and concentration in the wines.
A man, ruled by love of family and traditions, Johannes Selbach has tremendous respect for his region and a deep passion to deliver wines of exceptional purity and wine that offer hedonistic joy in the glass, and his high must weight wines are some of the best in Germany and they never fail to seduce, especially the the Spatlese and Auslese offerings that have a profound sense of history and can be enjoyed with a wide range of cuisines, though they are sublime with Thai curries and chili crab dishes. Selbach uses a combination of stainless and German Fuder (oak) casks for fermentation and aging with the Zeltinger Schlossberg Spatlese getting the Mosel Fuder and a sponti (natural indigenous yeast) ferment before being raised on the lees for between 6 to 9 months. This 2018 vintage is lush and clean with refined form and a core of polished acidity that cuts the sweet impact, with air the Schlossberg reveals a saline element, light floral notes and the finish is lingering, but will only get better with time. This is a great early drinking vintage, best with food and while there’s a lot of buzz about the 2019s that are starting to show up, these should not be overlooked, in particular this vineyard, with this Spatlese and the Kabinett offering huge delights and value!
($29 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive