2007 Schlossgut Diel, Riesling Spatlese, Dorsheim Burgberg, Nahe Germany.
Caroline Diel took the helm of Schlossgut Diel’s winemaking in 2006, in what was already a top winery in the Nahe and a pioneer in dry wines, but since then, she has taken Schlossgut Diel to the next level with the wines showing beautiful delicacy, terroir and length, these are wines that rival the best in the world, especially her Pinot Noir and of course her majestic Rieslings. Just re-released from the Diel keller and tasted at the Skurnik Wines West San Francisco Tasting, the 2007 Schlossgut Diel Spatlese Dorsheim Burgberg, one of Caroline’s first wines at the helm, is a gorgeous and generous Riesling that shows elegance, mineral and complexity with it’s maturity just beginning to come into focus. It was great to see Sylvain Taurisson, Caroline’s French husband and Schlossgut Diel’s charming advocate, in San Francisco, and tasting the latest and up-coming 2016 Rieslings, especially after seeing the vineyards there at harvest 2016 and watching grapes coming into the winery during my visit. While 2016 was in dire shape in the first part of that summer, everything came good in August and September in an almost miracle of nature and the wines are clear, dynamic and intriguing, certainly not as exotic or concentrated as 2015, but they are beautiful, this is going to be a classic vintage and they will get deeper and more interesting in the years to come, both trockens and sweet styles, they look to be rewarding and sleeper cellar wines. In Diel’s 2016 wines be sure to look for the Dorsheim Trocken, Goldloch Grosses Gewachs and for great value snap up Caroline’s lovely Kabinett offerings! But, going back in time, this 2007 Schlossgut Diel Burgberg is drinking fantastic, it perfectly captures the vintage and Caroline’s style, it was a full bodied year and exotically ripe, but while deep and round, it still vibrant and has balanced stony/savory elements to keep the open fruitiness in check, and while a true Spatlese, there is not a rush of sugar or cloying heaviness. This is an exceptional Riesling from a unique Grand Cru site that is notable for it’s quartzite influenced soils, it has a pure crystalline character with a saline and liquid mineralite lift with opulent apricot, vigorous lime, green apple, pineapple/passion fruit and tangerine fruits along with flinty spice, honeyed golden fig, white flowers, white plum, wet river rocks, salty brine and verbena/lemongrass. There is without a doubt a class and grace in Caroline’s wines, and while Diel is most famous for their drier wines, you should never miss a chance to try her Kabinett, Spatlese and Auslese, they are amazing wines, and this 2007 is just stunning, this one will go another couple of decades!
($69 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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