2015 Carl Von Schubert, Weingut Maximin Grünhaus, Riesling Trocken, Maximin Grünhauser Abtsberg, Grosses Gewächs, Mosel Germany.
Maximin Grünhaus(er) is the gold standard of Mosel, though technically speaking it’s on the Ruwer River, dry Riesling, and it’s long history make it one of the most intriguing wineries in the region if not all of Germany. From the estate’s notes, there is records showing that the area had Roman era cultivation, It appears that the Grünhaus estate was densely settled even in those ancient Roman times, with flat bricks in the foundations of the manor house, pottery remains, and roof and wall tiles suggest that a ‘Villa Rustica’ once stood on the site of the present Schloss (Castle), along with evidence that wine was produced on the estate back in these Roman times, with the discoveries of the remains of pottery, which produced amphorae for storing of the areas wine, along with Roman grape harvester knives as well as other significant artifacts on site, plus the first documentary evidence of Grünhaus, then called ‘Villa ad Valles’, which dates back to 6 February 966, and to the Emperor Otto 1, on heir of Charlemagne, then from the 7th century the Benedictine monastery of Saint Maximin in Trier had control of the estate until the end of the 18th century. In 1882 Carl Ferdinand Freiherr von Stumm-Halberg bought the Grünhaus estate including vineyards, a farm, as well as extensive woodland/forest area. He invested heavily in the property and transformed it into one of the most modern wineries of its time, with a turbine in the Ruwer River that provided electricity to power countless machines, including the hydraulic wine presses in the cuverie. They even had a small train (rail) system that ran on the vineyard routes, as well as a cable car that transported heavy equipment up the steep slopes of the vineyards. The von Stumm’s only son died early, so their daughter Ida received the estate as her dowry on the day of her wedding to Conrad von Schubert, where the Maximin Grunhaus got it’s more well known name and proprietors, now Carl, with the change of name to Von Schubert at the end of the nineteenth century, the label changed too and up until today the unmistakeable art nouveau label gracing the bottles has been used for all Rieslings from the estate. The legend of this property and it’s wines grew and in the 20th century it gained even more fame with it’s noble sweet wines being their most prized offerings. In fact when the legendary 1921 vintage was put up for auction in Trier, the top Grünhaus wine, a Fuder cask (1000 litres) of Herrenberg Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) got the mind-blowing and staggeringly high price of 100,000 Goldmarks, setting a world record that remains unbroken even to this day, it represents what would be 2.5 million Euros in today’s money! But nowadays the Maximin Grunhaus is a place to find distinctive dry (Trocken) Riesling that are intensely mineral driven with a severe vitality and reserved elegance, but with extract and balance to last decades and decades, and this gorgeous 2015 Abtsberg is proof of that! The Maximin Grünhaus Maximin Grünhauser Abtsberg GG 2015 starts with a crystalline purity and austere focused details with subtle fruit essences, delicate earthy notes and flinty/stony charms showing layers white peaches, lemony citrus oil, wet shale, mineral steeliness and a faint floral tone. Overall this wine delivers a more subdued personality, in fact in is a very slow seduction in the glass, but after a few long minutes it’s underlying extract and depth shines through, it certainly is a wine of poised presence on the palate that feels lighter than it really is. Not your typical GG, this is a fine and dignified Riesling that impresses for it’s restrained brilliance and it’s sharp spotlight on it’s terroir, drink from 2019 to 2032.
($45 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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