Riesling Estates in Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
This is currently the best overall Riesling region in Germany, with many top-notch estates making exquisitely ethereal, fruit-driven wines. There are many styles and unique sites, but in general the wines are characterized by an intense minerality and citrus acidty from the slate soil.
Joh. Jos. Christoffel
Schanzstraße 2, 54539 Ürzig, Germany
Phone (+49) 6532-2176
Fax (+49) 6532-1471
A very tiny (2.2 hectares, 5.5 acres) but excellent estate in the great Mosel village of Ürzig. The wines are always vibrant, racy and packed with the exotic fruit and spice for which Ürziger Würzgarten is famous. A Christoffel Eiswein is a stunning treasure of uncommon Riesling glory.
Gutsverwaltung Scharzhof, 54459 Wiltingen, Germany
Phone (+49) 6501-17232
Fax (+49) 6501-150263
A 4-hectare estate leased and managed by Egon Müller. Though not as famous as Müllers legendary Scharzhof estate, the wines here are quite good. Theyre flavor-packed wines with a supremely elegant polish to them.
Wiltinger Braune Kupp (monopole)
Dusemonder Straße 44, 54472 Brauneberg, Germany
Phone (+49) 6534-410
Fax (+49) 6534-1347
Intense wines with an intense purity of fruit, an intense slate character and great intensity on the finish. Did we mention that the wines are intense? For years now one of the finest estates in Germany.
Ausoniusufer 18, 54498 Piesport, Germany
Phone (+49) 6507-2015
Fax (+49) 6507-5909
Without question the best producer in the famous village of Piesport. The wines are rich, flavorful and elegantly turned. Top drawer.
Bahnhofstraße 10, 56333 Winningen, Germany
Phone (+49) 2606-1919
Fax (+49) 2606-1909
Instead of the light, fruity style that is predominant on the Mosel, Reinhard Löwenstein prefers full-bodied, highly aromatic and intensely dry Rieslings. The estate has vineyards in the ultra-steep, terraced banks of the Lower Mosel around the town of Winningen, just a few miles from where the Mosel flows into the Rhine.
Agritiusstraße 56, 54329 Konz-Oberemmel
Phone (+49) 6501-15384
Fax (+49) 6501-18498
A less well-known estate that is a very reliable producer of delicate wines that are well-balanced and elegant.
Oberemmeler Hütte (monopole)
Karthäuserhof, 54292 Eitelsbach, Germany
Phone (+49) 651-5121
Fax (+49) 651-53557
Dazzlingly focused and brilliantly structured, the wines of Christoph Tyrell and Karthäuserhof are always among the best in Germany.
Hauptstraße 22, 54470 Graach, Germany
Phone (+49) 6531-3428
Fax (+49) 6531-1593
One of our favorite hidden treasures, Kees-Kieren is an old estate that is reaching new heights with its clean, delicious, prize-winning wines.
Uferallee 6, 54470 Bernkastel-Wehlen, Germany
Phone (+49) 6531-6868
Fax (+49) 6531-3464
Okay, so we have several favorite hidden treasures. The wines are elegant and seductively fruity.
Am Markt 1, 54470 Lieser, Germany
Phone (+49) 6531-6431
Fax (+49) 6531-1068
Now owned by Thomas Haag, son of Wilhelm (Fritz) Haag, this once-neglected estate is reaching into the stratosphere. Super-strict vineyard practices and meticulous winemaking produce truly outstanding wines that are flavorful and balanced with a mesmerizing finish.
Lieser Niederberg Helden
St. Johannishof, 54470 Bernkastel, Germany
Phone (+49) 6531-3426
Fax (+49) 6531-4248
Email dr. firstname.lastname@example.org
Meticulous winemaking and extremely low yields from great old vineyards (the vines average more than 50 years old) enable Ernst Loosen to extract the distinctive characteristics of each of his distinctive vineyard sites.
See our review of this estate in the March/April 2000 issue of Riesling Report.
Klosterberg, 54492 Zeltingen, Germany
Phone (+49) 6531-3939
Fax (+49) 6532-4225
Stunning wines from another energetic young gun. The winemaking verges on the fanatical (which we Riesling fanatica love, of course). In 1998 Markus Molitor made 13 different Eisweins!
Scharzhof, 54459 Wiltingen, Germany
Phone (+49) 6501-17232
Fax (+49) 650-150263
Held in awe by Riesling lovers everywhere, Egon Müllers Scharzhofberg vineyards produce some of the biggest, richest and most expensive Rieslings in the world.
Joh. Jos. Prüm
Uferallee 19, 54470 Bernkastel-Wehlen
Phone (+49) 6531-3091
Fax (+49) 6531-6071
Possibly the most famous German producer around the world, and justifiably so. The wines of JJ could actually be used to define the words elegant and aristocratic. Although fruity and fine when young, they are extremely long-lived and dont really show their best until after about 10 years.
Hauptstraße 130, 54470 Graach, Germany
Phone (+49) 6531-8041
Fax (+49) 6531-1414
Dazzling wines of immense concentration and sophistication from another miniscule estate (2.6 hectares/6.5 acres). Some of the most memorable and glorious Riesling drinking youll ever experience.
Im Unterdorf 12, 54492 Erden, Germany
Phone (+49) 6532-2743
Fax (+49) 6532-3934
Erden is another picturesque little village that, like many of the villages along the Middle Mosel, is blessed with superb vineyards. The family of of Andreas Schmitges has been cultivating vines around Erden and making wine for at least 250 years. Its from his predecessors that Andreas has learned the value of patient, careful winemaking.
One of the best parts of his tiny, 10-acre estate is in the great first-class Erdener Treppchen vineyard. With low yields and careful selection, he is able to make forward wines that are harmonious and balanced.
Von Schubert (Maximin Grünhaus)
54318 Grünhaus-Mertesdorf, Germany
Phone (+49) 651-5111
Fax (+49) 651-52122
The Ruwer (roo-ver) is a small tributary that joins the Mosel just a bit downstream of Trier. It is on this side stream that youll find the renowned Maximin Grünhaus estate and its most famous vineyard Abtsberg (Abbots mountain). It got the name from the time when the estate was the Benedictine monastery of St. Maximin; this was the wine reserved for the Abbot. Grapes from adjacent vineyards Herrenberg and Bruderberg also wholly owned, and just slightly lower in quality were used for the monks everyday drinking wine.
All of the estates vineyards have been around for a long time. The Benedictines were given the estate more than a millennium ago in 966. But the oldest parts of the cellar are Roman, which means the vineyards were first planted even earlier.
The family of Carl von Schubert has owned the estate since 1882 and his wines are still revered. The Abtsberg wines are supremely elegant with the crisp acidity that is so typical of Ruwer wines. They have an intensity of peachy fruit and slatey minerals that will make you want to chant like a monk!
Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg
Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg
Uferallee 23, 54492 Zeltingen, Germany
Phone (+49) 6532-2081
Fax (+49) 6532-4014
Selbach-Oster is consistently one of the finer estates in teh Middle Mosel. Johannes Selbach is among the new generation of talented young winemakers in Germany, and he's tenacious in his pursuit of new ways to improve the quality of his wines. At the same time, he steadfastly upholds the tradition of the estate, which has been in his family since 1661.
That tradition is grounded in the vineyards themselves, including the always-superb Zeltinger Sonnenuhr. Johannes strives to capture a true expression of each vineyard's terroir in pure Riesling fruit. He is a devout proponent of the idea that great wines are "grown" rather than "made." The Selbach-Oster style is for wines that are stylish and elegant with fine, delicate detail.
Bahnhofstraße 3, 54439 Saarburg, Germany
Phone (+49) 6581-2457
Fax (+49) 6581-6093
Dr. Heinz Wagner, owner of the Dr. Wagner estate on the Saar, comes from a distinguished family of sparkling wine producers. Its this heritage that gives him his hyper-critical standards for selection at harvest time. Sparkling wines require exceptionally clean fruit, so Heinz goes through his vineyards several times before harvest to remove any grapes that are even the slightest bit unhealthy.
When you apply that kind of quality control to already outstanding vineyards, including the very best parts of the well-known Ockfener Bockstein and Ayler Kupp vineyards, you end up with amazingly pure wines that are bursting with fresh, lively fruit. And since Heinzs vineyards are on the Saar River, you know his wines are going to have mouth-wateringly crisp acidity.
Heckingstraße 20, 54439 Saarburg, Germany
Phone (+49) 6581-2456
Fax (+49) 6581-6763
The style of winemaking at Zilliken is reflected in the bright, steel-blue eyes of owner/winemaker Hans-Joachim Zilliken. The wines have crystalline clarity and structure, with brilliantly pure Riesling fruit. Quite often, Zilliken is able to produce Eiswein, and they are always stunning in their intensity and focus.
Look for a review of this estate in the May/June issue of Riesling Report.