With the 2005 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spatlese A.P. #8, says Willi Schaefer, we taste the results of tiny-berried old vines and of bunches that had partly shriveled from botrytis 'although I still think the wine only hints at botrytis.' Baked apple, licorice, and bitter-sweet floral and herbal notes in the nose lead into a palate featuring baked and dried apple, honey and inner-mouth florality, sacrificing some juiciness and vivacity for a honeyed, rich, compressed-fruit concentration. Bittersweet herbal essences, pungent spice, vanilla, and faintly caramelized apple inform the long, rather sedate finish. This has a lot in reserve, a 'T. R.' sort of wine that wields behind its back a big stick of sheer extract and ennobled concentration. I suspect this will be a Spatlese capable of more than two decades aging and considerable further complexity.
Lots of cool mineral quality on the nose. Quite piercing and textured -- very ‘pointed’ and confident. Good stuff for medium-term drinking. 17/20 points.
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