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The wines of Maximin Grünhaus, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany

D-54318 Mertesdorf/Trier, Germany
Tel: 06 51 51 11 Fax: 0651 5 21 22
E-mail: info@vonschubert.com Web: www.vonschubert.com

Although my experience with them isn’t as broad as I’d like it to be, Dr Carl Ferdinand von Schubert’s wines are among my favourites from all of Germany. If there’s a single descriptor I could use to describe them it would be ‘precision’. They’re focused, precise, aromatic, minerally expressions of the best that the Riesling grape can produce.

Von Schubert (pictured right) acknowledges that the hot 2003 vintage is a little atypical, but he puts his good results this year down to the fact that they’ve invested in their vineyards. The use of organic fertilizer has meant that the soils have good structure and in hot vintages are able to retain what little rain there is much better.

He makes wines from three sites, but two are far more significant in terms of volume. The Abstberg vineyard is on blue (Devonian) slate. This is his best site. The wines often have more minerally character at the beginning, opening up later, and sometimes have cassis aromas. They always have good acidity. The Herrenberg has red slate soils, and makes wines that are softer, with more fruit and different acidity. Both are monopoles (Grünhaus owns the entire vineyard).

Maximin Grünhauser Abstberg Riesling Kabinett 2002
Fantastically expressive, this has a minerally, focused, precise nose that is very delicate and aromatic. The palate is precise and beautifully expressive with nice weight and lovely mineality and balance. Some honeyed richness, too. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£12.45 Lay & Wheeler)

Maximin Grünhauser Abstberg Riesling Spätlese 2003
Quite rich, fruity and rounded with melony fruit, but still showing some minerality. The palate is rich and full with ripe open fruit, and a spicy core underneath. Impressive: full and rich but with a focused minerally core. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£14.95 Lay & Wheeler)

Maximin Grünhauser Herrenberg Riesling Auslese 2003
Bright, forward focused nose displaying open appley, lemony and honeyed fruit. The palate is broad and rich textured with good acid, but lacks the depth of mineral character of the other wines. Still, lovely stuff in a forward style. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£17.95 Lay & Wheeler)

Maximin Grünhauser Herrenberg Riesling Beerenauslese 2003
A bit of a treat to get to try this rarity, from half bottle. Very forward ripe, peachy melony fruit. The palate is thick, rich and peachy with a marmaladey edge. This is quite delicious. Ripe and full, in a sweet, rich style. Very good/excellent 92/100

Other UK stockists of these wines include Howard Ripley, Justerini & Brooks and Adnams. For others, see www.wine-searcher.com

Wines tasted October 2004

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