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2012 Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett Riesling
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- ABV 8%
- Closure: Stelvin
On the 2012 vintage in the Mosel...
Cold and wet weather at flowering restricted the size of the crop, but the small bunches and their small berries were able to build excellent concentration and flavour in almost perfect weather in September and October, with warm days and cool nights. The absence of rain largely prevented the development of botrytis, meaning there are very few auslese goldkaps, BAs or TBAs, but some very impressive eisweins.
Leading critic John Gilman of View From The Cellar wrote: "The very small and perfectly ripe berries delivered truly stunning raw materials for many superb sweet wines, but the vast majority of these are defined by concentrated fruit of perfectly ripe, healthy grapes."
He added: "2012 is another absolutely exceptional year for dry rieslings. Only time will tell where they stand in comparison to the superb dry 2011s ... and it will be fascinating to follow the best examples of the two vintages over the coming couple of decades.
"The vintage has also produced some truly beautiful wines at the kabinett and especially the spätlese level, with these beautifully dancing and delicately sweet wines probably the heart and soul of the vintage. The handful of eiswein I tasted are going to be truly stunning, as the frosts froze berries that were already beautifully ripe, so there are great acids and purity."
Mosel Fine Wines was also enthusiastic: "The 2012 fruity-styled wines offer a fresh and aromatic side akin to that of 2004, 2002 or 1993 ... or even 1975 and 1953. Despite 2012 suiting the fruity style, more and more dry and off-dry wine is being produced. As yields were low, this means that little of the classic kabinett and spätlese gems were made. The botrytis-free vintage saw the revival of a rare and nearly extinct species: the “drinking auslese”. 2012 is a truly great vintage for clean and juicy kabinett and spätlese and we urge our readers to buy these wines and give them the time to age as many will turn out as modern-day equivalent of the spätlese and auslese classics from the 1970s!"
On Willi Schaefer...
Robert Parker: “A magnificent winemaker, one of the world’s finest. The wines are glorious, pleasurable but extraordinarily complex, savoury and compelling … wines of purity, integrity and restraint, but understated power and intensity.”
John Gilman: “Wines that legends are made of. One of the most serious ranges of wine to be found anywhere in Germany.”
Notes courtesy of Eurocentric Wine.