2016 Schlossgut Diel, Riesling Trocken, Dorsheimer Schlossberg, Erstes Lage, Nahe Germany.
Caroline Diel’s Premier Cru Schlossberg dry Riesling is brilliant and clear with liquid mineral and lime blossom leading the way before spicy stony intensity takes over on the vibrant energy filled palate, making for a vivid and pure terroir driven wine. From the slopes of Nahe the Dorsheimer Schlossberg Erstes Lage is a powerful effort, not far off the GG’s in purity and style, fermented spontaneously and in a combination of wood and cement, mostly in stuckfass and with great care and detail focus with studied attention and serve sorting, this wine has vigorous acidity and extract, but showing elegance and lingering beauty, it’s a gorgeous example of briskly cool and bone dry Riesling. Layers of green apple, a core of lime citrus, bitter melon, kumquat, kiwi, verbena, peppered shale, white peach and rosewater all appear in a vital crisp form in this well structured wine. The saline, brine and wet stone elements add complexity to this fabulous Diel Riesling, a leader in graceful dry style wines, and this wine is everything you’d ever want in a racy lean and youthful Riesling. The 2016 is a vintage that is expressive and forward, maybe not quite as exotic and concentrated as 2015, but certainly of great quality and class, it’s a year that might be best for Feinherb, Kabinett and Spatlese, making for wines of pleasure and balance, in these wines the vintage might be just as good if not better in cases than 2015, but the dry wines are also very impressive, especially here in the Nahe with Diel, Kruger-Rumpf and Donnhoff all crafting spectacular dry style wines in 2016. The Diel EL Schlossberg is a wine to look for, it’s right up with with GG’s and priced right for the quality and pedigree. Schlossgut Diel also does a fantastic Pinot Noir and rare leesy sparkler that rivals Krug! So if you get a chance to visit the Nahe, this is a winery to put near to the top of your list of wineries to go to, and if you can’t visit you’ll still want to discover Caroline’s wines, imported by Terry Theise and Skurnik Wines. I highly recommend Diel’s dry wines, but do not overlook the Kabinett, Spatlese and even the Auslese all of which are excellent and sexy wines, plus don’t miss their USA/Theise only cuvee “Von der Nahe” Feinherb it’s a killer deal and a generous lightly fruity Riesling that feels nicely dry, but with a smooth mouth feel from the sugar level. I was lucky enough to taste and do a quick tour at the winery last fall with Caroline’s husband Sylvain, so it was fun to taste these 2016’s with him at the Skurnik Wines West tasting in San Francisco, in particular this 2016 Schlossgut Diel Erstes Lage Trocken Riesling Dorsheimer Schlossberg, it’s a winner, best from 2019 to 2029.
($60 Est.) 93+ Points, grapelive

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