Tschida Angerhof Samling 88 Trockenbeerenauslese 2012 (375ml)

£49.95

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“Hans Tschida is another word-class sweet wine producer in Illmitz who handcrafts the stunning amount of 300,000 to 400,000 bottles of wine per year from a total of 40 hectares of vines, of which 80% are used to produce sweet Prädikatsweine from Spätlese to Trockenbeerenauslese and also Eiswein, if possible, and Schilfwein (straw wine). When we met in early July, Hans had just arrived from London where he was awarded “Best Sweet Winemaker of the Year” for the ninth time. The lineup I tasted demonstrates impressively why he is definitely not the wrong guy collecting this award for so many years now. Tschida is a most painstaking producer, and I don’t know anybody who brings out the grape varieties so precisely, so finessed and so digestible. Saying this, I also have to admit I am not a passionate sweet wine drinker at all, though my cellar hosts hundreds of noble sweet wines from Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Alsace and Loire for one reason: some of the greatest wines on planet wine are called sweet wine because there is no better word known to brand them. I don’t love them because they are sweet, though, but because they are utterly complex, refined and concentrated, with a noblesse and finesse that its unique. Sweetness and fruit are just two of the characteristics, but it goes back over years and decades on the bottle when the wine gains in complexity and terroir expression. Whereas most of the sweet wines need to be cellared for years, the wines from Hans Tschida, which are entirely sourced in Illmitz vineyards, are digestible straightaway from the release.

Based on Gelber Muskateller (Muscat), Muskat Ottonel, Sämling 88 (Scheurebe), Welschriesling, Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and even Zweigelt and 100% vinified sur lie in stainless steel, they have a mind-blowing precision and clarity and transcendental fruit expression that one can’t resist drinking even the sweetest examples, which are always balanced not only by acidity but also extract and body. In their clear and focused, fruit-driven style, many wines are close to perfection. However, I didn’t score any wine higher than 96, which might be a bit irritating to some. I strongly believe, though, that the deepest complexity and “a sense of wonder” is caused by more than just fruit precision. The final five or four percent are driven by energy, grip and complexity also in texture that I don’t miss in Tschida’s wines but nevertheless notice they are not there, at least for my palate and experience. There is this extra dimension and tension in the world’s greatest sweet wines to which I count Egon Müller-Scharzhof, Markus Molitor, Rolly-Gassmann (Alsace) and Huet (Vouvray, Loire) to name just four.

Readers, hopefully you will accept this as a very personal opinion and no degradation of the beautiful sweet wines from Hans Tschida, where I didn’t taste anything else but outstanding Prädkiatsweine. The ex cellar prices, however, are sensationally moderate. You easily pay at least 10 times as much for a Mosel TBA from a top producer.”

Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (09/22)