You’d be forgiven for not having heard of the Ruwer wine district, however, few are unfamiliar with neighbouring region Mosel, Germany’s famous wine region which has been home to wine production since Roman times.
It is to this area of Germany that we travel for the first of four wines I will be presenting at our upcoming wine tasting.
The grape variety associated with this region is Riesling, a light-skinned, aromatic grape which is reputedly, according to some wine critics, the world’s finest white wine grape variety.
The Maximin Grünhaus estate
Located near Mosel, one of the most beautiful German wine regions, is a wine district abundant with the famous Riesling white grape: the Ruwer district.
One of the largest wine producers in Ruwer is the Maximin Grünhaus estate. The three separate, but adjoining, vineyards, Abtsberg, Herrenberg and Bruderberg, set on the left bank of the Ruwer River, just 2 kms from the Mosel, are planted almost exclusively with the Riesling grape.
Abtsberg is the estate’s most renowned vineyard, producing wines with great longevity. The shallow soil over a bedrock of Devonian slate results in a minerality in the finished wine. The location of the estate’s cellar means that the grapes’ journey from the vines to the press is as short as possible. Production is in the region of 15,000 cases annually.
Since 1981, the estate has been managed by Dr. Carl von Schubert, the 5th generation of the family to run the estate.
The specific wine I have chosen for our tasting is a 2017 Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Riesling Spatlese.
This white wine, with just 7.5% alcohol, is best served between 10°C and 12°C. It is a medium sweet, light and refreshing white wine that pairs well with most seafood dishes or even white meat.
The wine has a fruity taste, with hints of apricot, apple and pear, and a slightly sweet finish that makes it the perfect drink for a warm day.
What makes a Spatlese wine so special?
Spatlese wines are some of the most highly prized in all of Germany, and for good reason. According to German wine laws and wine classifications, these wines are made from grapes that have been harvested later than normal (Spätlese meaning late harvest), after the sun has had a chance to dry and ripen them further.
This process will produce wines that are more intense in flavour and concentration than regular quality wines or Kabinetts, and they pair excellently with richer foods or can be enjoyed on their own.
Wine Tasting Notes
We have gotten out of the habit of drinking fine German wines but these two write-ups should pique the imagination and I hope, tempt you to experiment by joining me at our April event to try this fine German wine.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate remarks:
“The 2017 Maximin Grünhaus Abtsberg Riesling Spätlese offers a generous yet clear and mineral bouquet with pastry and lemon aromas on the clear and generous yet elegant and terroir-driven nose. The attack on the palate is pretty piquant, crystalline and racy, while the mid-palate round and textured, followed by a lingering, crystalline and salty-piquant finish.”
Wine critic James Suckling says of this vintage:
“Great harmony and originality, as well as enormous concentration, making this a stunning Spätlese. The mineral freshness at the finish is literally breathtaking.”
Join our future wine tastings
We hope you will join us in our online tasting sessions that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. You can read here for more information.
Join fellow wine enthusiasts and discuss your own tasting notes for high- quality wines. We regularly provide wines from a range of different wine regions and grape varieties.
Why not join us in our other sessions featuring other specialties like sweet wines like the Vietti Moscato or dryer wines made from pinot noir? We try a big variety of wines and spirits with fellow wine drinkers alike, so there is bound to be something here for everyone.