We are delighted to present to you wines from Carl von Schubert at the Maximin Grünhaus estate in the Mosel (Ruwer), Germany. This estate is right at the front rank of fine German Riesling – one of the leading estates for the last century, and the vineyards here well known back to the Middle Ages.
The Mosel is the best region for Riesling that offers intensity combined with delicacy and elegance. I’ve tasted the Maximin Grünhaus estate wines extensively back to the 1940s and it is the real deal – delicious wines to drink young, but rewarding of cellaring too. They have a distinct expression too, distinguishable from those of the Middle Mosel (like Prüm, Haag, etc). They are a little more on the citrus side, mineral, sometimes stone fruit, and sometimes a refreshing green herbal note.
For the quality, prices are exceptionally reasonable. Even if they were properly expensive I would covet them, and find a way to drink them. Fortunately for those of us – to borrow from Oscar Wilde – easily satisfied by the best, Maximin Grünhaus counts. This was known in 1923 when a 1000 litre cask of their trockenbeerenauslese Riesling from the 1921 vintage sold for 100,000 gold marks (about 2.5 million Euros). These wines were as fashionable then as Burgundy is today, and now it is not the market’s darling.
A quick glossary/guide –
- Carl von Schubert – the man, the owner of the estate
- Maximin Grünhaus – the estate, and the whole vineyard slope
- Abstberg – the abbot’s vineyard. Blue Davonian slate, very steep. More mineral, and more long lived wines.
- Herrenberg – the choirmaster’s vineyard. Red Davonian slate. Deeper soil giving more fruitness, roundness, and earlier pleasure.
- The dry style wines are the ‘alte reben’ (old vines) and the ‘Superior’.
- The fruity style wines are represented by an ascending rank in richness, as follows –
- Kabinett = the lightest, most delicate. Great aperitif.
- Spätlese = great Asian food wine, more fruit intensity but still the sense of fresh fruit rather than dried or candied.
- Auslese = not yet a ‘dessert’ wine level of sweetness, but more lusciously fruity. Instead of having a ‘goldkap’, this estate has ‘single fuder’ (cask) wines at the same rich intensity level.
- Eiswein = sweet nectar of a wine made from the juice extracted from grapes frozen in the winter frost at the end of harvest. Tiny quantities not made every year. Carl von Schubert is famous for this style.
- Spätburgunder = Pinot Noir