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Egon Muller Wiltinger Braune Kupp Riesling Spatlese 2016

Egon Muller Wiltinger Braune Kupp Riesling Spatlese 2016

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"The scents and flavors here deliciously resemble that of cinnamon- and lemon-zest-tinged, lightly singed purple plum pastry. And as is often the case with Riesling from this site, there is also a high-toned suggestion of plum and poire distillate. The palate displays a striking combination of succulence with textural gloss and animating acidity, while a penetrating, cheek-tugging, mouth-shakingly invigorating finish incorporates delightful and unexpected cooling notes of wintergreen as well as delivering loads of stone and mouthwatering salinity. Drinking this (yes, I swallowed some) left me feeling both renewed and a bit wrung out. Drinking window: 2017-2040. 95 points

“Let’s put it this way,” said Egon Müller’s assistant Veronika Lintner. “In August of 2016, we weren’t counting on anything like the wines we ended up with. When we started picking on October 11, we were amazed at how healthy the grapes were. There were only healthy grapes – absolutely no botrytis. On October 21,” continued Lintner, “we called a halt for 10 days in hope of botrytis developing.” But it didn’t, which explains why there is not even a single Müller Scharzhofberg Auslese from this vintage, although the Wiltinger Braune Kupp eventually came through on that score – and with dramatic results. “There was some concentration here and there through dehydration,” reported Müller in explaining why there is just a single 2016 Scharzhofberg Spätlese, and that not picked until early November, “but it wasn’t to the point where selective picking would have resulted in sufficiently distinctive differences. And as for botrytis, that requires some humidity, whereas October 2016 remained completely dry. Acid levels weren’t high like in 2015,” he added – but he’s pulling my leg a bit, because he’s talking about 2016 levels in excess of nine grams a liter! Grapes left hanging in the Scharzhofberg after the first week of November eventually froze hard on the 30th and again on December 5, resulting in a phenomenally concentrated if as yet embryonic Eiswein. The small number of bottlings here this year is deceptive as regards yields. Peronospora in Saarburg accounted for a dramatic reduction in the volume of Riesling Scharzhof, but losses in the Braune Kupp and Scharzhofberg were at most 20%."

David Schildknecht, Vinous (03/18)