This is sheer heaven for lovers of really good, older-styled, racy, balanced, fruit-forward and ever-so-slightly honeyed Riesling. Plus, it has 8% alcohol.
It's a complex single-vineyard glass of sunshine that is delightful on its own, with salads, seafood, pork and Asian cuisine. While being highly versatile is always great for wines, the thing about this one is simply that it's absolutely delicious! Green apple, honey, blossom and notes of sherbet, red berries and a grapefruit finish.
There is a good deal of residual sugar in this off-dry Riesling, but this is wonderfully balanced by the rapier-like acidity that leaves your palate wanting more and more. It's a gorgeous style that may take getting used to, but in the hands of Richter, who are supreme masters in this region, the wines are always perfectly executed and at the top of the tree in quality and value for money.
Max Ferd Richter is one of the most respected names in German winemaking; situated in the historic town of Mülheim on the Mosel river, they have been in constant production since 1680. And they only make wines from Riesling. That's some level of dedication. Add to that, the extremely marginal climate and vineyards planted on slopes that skiers wouldn't dream of attempting, and you have a seriously challenging context for production of some of the world's most admired white wine. They have always been wonderful and though the commercial heyday was the mid-late 19th Century, the quality has never wavered.
Riesling ages so wonderfully well that vertical tastings (that's when you taste back through lots of older vintages of the same wine, not that you're standing up...) have shown wines in amazing condition that are up to a hundred years and more. White wines! Incredible. The secret is the soils, for sure, but would 't be achievable without Rieslings acidity, propensity for residual sugar and he skill of the winemakers.
Richter's history is part of the Mosel and vice versa - this Elisenberg vineyard in the village of Veldenz was gifted to their ancestors as a thank you for helping keep Napoleon from ransacking the village in 1813. The vineyard faces south but possesses a cooler microclimate than the other vineyards of the region because it is slightly further away from the Mosel River (the river retains heat from sunny days and releases it during the evening time to help keep vineyards warm; it also reflect sunlight like a mirror that also warms those areas close to it).
The soil is mostly grey slate with rich layers of quartz. It all adds up to a very long growing season, imbuing the wines with sensational complexity and refined elegance.
Style: Vibrant, Off Dry, Mineral, Medium-Light, Fruity, Fresh, Electric, Crisp, Complex, Bright
Best food matches: Squid, Spicy, Seafood, Scallops, Sausages, Salads, Poultry, Pork, Mature Cheeses, Hard Cheeses, Fine Dining