2018 Karthäuserhof “Bruno” Riesling Auslese, Mosel, Germany.
The sweet fruited, tropical, mineral toned and wonderfully pure Bruno Auslese from Karthauserhof is 100% Karthäuserhofberg Grand Cru fruit, but de-classified for this Bruno bottling, making for a fabulous deal on high end Auslese, especially in a vintage like this with its fine acidity and crisp detail, while opulent and generous, it can easily fit the role of Spatlese at the table, going particularly well with hot and spicy Asian cuisine. A joy on the medium/full palate with apricot, pineapple, kiwi, green apple and lemon curd fruits leading the way along with wet stones, gun flint, clove spice, crystallized ginger, peach pit bitterness, orange zest and a touch of honey. Everything flows smoothly and seamless with delicate rosewater and quince aromas coming up from the glass in this youthful and pale gold Mosel Riesling, it would go brilliantly with Vietnam style BBQ pork buns, Chinese hot pot and or chili crab, as well as Thai curries. Karthäuserhof, one of the top ten oldest wineries in the world, a founding member of the VDP, also does some monumental dry Grosses Gewachs, which are highly coveted, slate intense and age worthy collectors items. While almost entirely known for Riesling, Karthäuserhof does a few other varietals, including Pinot Blanc, a grape that is showing a lot of promise throughout the Mosel region. The off dry, fruity and nobly sweet Prädikat wines, show off the many facets of the rich history and terroir influence here and I’ve always enjoyed the Kabinett and Spalese level wines here.

Originally founded in 1335 and run by Carthusian monks, Karthäuserhof has close to 700 years of history making wine from a small estate on the Ruwer, an offshoot of the Mosel and is one of the most iconic wines of the region, with the same family running the winery since Napoleon’s time and the secularization of Europe’s vineyards. The 19 hectare vineyard of Karthäuserhofberg, long recognized for its outstanding quality, is a Grand Cru site and has different exposures that allows Karthäuserhof the flexibility to make both outstanding dry and sweet wines, all set on iron-rich grey and blue slate, very typical of the Ruwer Valley, giving the wines here their distinctive terroir character, The Ruwer Valley which is one of Germany’s smallest winemaking regions, doesn’t get much attention, but these Karthäuserhof wines are ones to search out, especially these Bruno bottlings that are fantastic and savvy values. The rumor is, these Bruno wines were lots that were originally destined to go to the Russian market, but after their horrific invasion of Ukraine and the war crimes committed by Putin’s army, there was no chance of doing business there, so these were label under the Bruno label and offered out to the rest of the world. All sustainable and traditionally made from hand picked grapes, Karthäuserhof uses a hands off approach in the cellar with a combination of stainless steel and old fuder (oak) being used for fermentation and aging with the Auslese seeing close to 9 months of lees contact and being around 8.5% natural alcohol, which explains the touch drier feeling finesse here, it is excellent stuff and one to keep an eye out for.
($49 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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