Max Ferd. Richter, Mülheimer Sonnenlay Riesling "Zeppelin"


A spectacular single vineyard Riesling that is incredible value for money an offers a very balanced gateway to approach this most elegant and vibrant of grape varieties and styles. Fresh, slightly off-dry, it is full of bright golden fruit flavours, apple blossom and racy acidity that prevents the wine from becoming sickly or in any way overtly sweet. It is delicious now, with its crystal clear mineral texture, just as it was when they served it on the Zeppelin pleasure cruisers in the 1920s.

The first German wine that I fell for. And it is only 10.5% alcohol.

The vineyard is in the town of Mülheim, where Richter are situated, and the Sonnenlay (or "place where sunshine falls on slate") is the largest single vineyard site in the town. It faces south-west in, order to get the most from the meagre sunshine, and is planted on slate, giving wonderful mineral structure to the wines. The label has a nice story too; proud of the quality and commercial success of their wines, the villagers who share ownership of various sections of the site, together commissioned the label from Bauhaus designer Hans Schlößer in the 1930s and it is of course still in use today.

There is a good deal of residual sugar in this off-dry-ish 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 hey-day 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 the skill of the winemakers.

Region: Mosel

Country: Germany

Grape(s): Riesling

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

Alcohol: 10.5%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.99.

We charge €7.99 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

Great choice and excellent service. Received my delivery the next day.
Paul H.
Amazing service from the get go!
I emailed Chris looking for wine recommendations for a birthday gift. Got a really speedy, helpful reply and not only that but he hand delivered it on time to the birthday girl wishing her a happy birthday. Absolutely bowled over by the service. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Michelle McM.
Could not recommend The Allotment enough. The selection is fantastic and each wine that I've drank from them has been utterly phenomenal. Delivery was no hassle and I had the wine at my door in 2 days. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Luke B.
Good range of interesting wines. Good personal attention to their orders. Very customer focused. I would be happy to recommend this company to any prospective customer.
Jim D.
A great experience ordering from The Allotment Wine Company. A wide variety of wines to try something new and at good prices with super quick delivery! Really convenient too as opposed to trying to find parking!
N. Dowling
Delicious and interesting range of wines delivered promptly to my door. Not far off that lovely feeling of coming back laden from a good wine store but without any of the traffic or the worry of breaking the wine en route (very impressive travel wrap).
M. Dorman
Chris fields a fine range of excellent, keenly-priced wines. Orders are safely packaged and dispatched efficiently and promptly. Strongly recommended.
David M.
Great selection of wines, hassle free ordering, payment and delivery. Highly recommended.
Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.