2006 Weingut Schloss Schönborn, Riesling Auslese, Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg, Rheingau Germany.
One of the old school and historic producers in the Rheingau, Schloss Schönborn based in Eltville/Hattenheim area, has been around since 1349 and still run by the noble for which it is named, with Paul Graf von Schönborn leading this classic estate that tends to get overlooked a bit these days, but once fully aged their Rieslings really shine and are outstanding values, like this golden and mature Auslese from the Grand Cru Schlossberg. Schloss Schönborn now encompasses 50 hectares of vineyards, throughout the Rheingau, of which 91% is planted with Riesling, plus 9% Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) with parcels in some of best vineyards, including blocks of vines at Erbach, Hattenheim, Hochheim, Johannisberg, Rauenthal and the Rüdesheimer Berg, as in this one. Even though Schloss Schönborn has joined the VDP and do GG’s, they are very much committed to their sweeter style wines and are more well known for the Spatlese and Auslese that really age well with their residual sugars, and it should be noted though densely packed with those sugars these wines are less cloying when aged and get lovely balanced and complex, adding secondary flavors, earthy tones and holding on to their natural acidity.

The 2006 Schloss Schönborn Riesling Auslese Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg starts with backed apricot, apple butter and dried ginger notes adding candied orange peel, dried roses and quince with air as well as touches of flint, wet stones and a whiff of petrol, all very traditional stuff and makes for an exciting and pleasing experience with the sugars giving a creamy texture rather than heavy sweetness. The Rudesheimer Berg Schlossberg is one of my favorite vineyards on earth and I have grown even more fond of it in recent years, especially with the great dry GG’s of Johannes Leitz, Breuer and Gunter Kuntzler, they are some of the most majestic and powerful white wines you can get, showing intense terroir character with those steep slate slopes always shinning through. This Schloss Schönborn Auslese is ultra traditional with careful cluster selections and fuder aging in the cellar, as expected and desired, it is wines like this that make you appreciate these old school styles. Not always easy to find, Schloss Schönborn, in America, they are well deserved treats when you find them, in particular when they have 10 to 15 years of age on them! These mature Auslese Rieslings are not really dessert wines, except some gold capsule version, usually in 375ml bottles, they really go with savory dishes or cheese plates best, so try them with smoked meats, classic German beef or pork.
($45 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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