2016 Weingut Selbach-Oster, Riesling Spatlese, Zeltinger Schlossberg, Mosel Germany.
The latest set of wines from Johannes Selbach are as pure and classic as you can get, lovely and complex offerings that show each site’s unique sense of place a few of the most intriguing and serious of these 2016’s include the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Ur-Alte Reben (Ultra Old Vines) Feinherb, the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Spatlese Trocken (Dry), the single block Zeltinger Schlossberg “Schmitt” (Auslese) and especially this wonderfully expressive Zeltinger Schlossberg. I adore this wine, year after year I’m always drawn to this bottling, and the 2016 shines for it’s total pleasure, inner beauty and lush density, it has an open and generous nature, but still gives complex detail and terroir elements with slate driven character. Above the Mosel these vines and soils this is an area that gets good sun and Riesling excels here, and while some might be concerned with the must weight being Spatlese (sugar level) and natural sweetness here, but they need to open their minds and take in the wine as a whole, while yes there is a creamy mouth feel and lingering sweetness, there is also a bright array of flinty/shale spice, juicy acidity, gorgeous fruit and a saline infusion that provides balance. The nose is vivid with yellow and white flowers, crushed stones, light tropical essences, stone fruit and citron leading to a lush palate of white peach, apricot, apple and lime sorbet along with hints of pineapple, verbena, chamomile, wet shale and brine with lingering orchard fruit. This is sexy stuff, less exotic and thick than the 2007, 2005, 2011 and 2015, but with plenty of charm, subtle depth, power and potential. In what might be a sleeper vintage, Selbach-Oster has crafted a great lineup of classically styled Rieslings!
($28 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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