If readers are getting the impression that this is the year of Schlossberg, they may well be right, but there is another block-picked but yet richer and more botrytized “three star” 2005 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese*** to consider. The scents and flavors of vanilla, nougat, butter cream, apple jelly, and honey here are themselves practically mouth-filling. Then one sips, and an incredibly dense, bright, concentrate of fruit and nut essences emerges, profoundly layered, coated with honey, vanilla cream, malt, brown spices, and honey, yet never losing a fresh-fruited core, and absolutely clear, pure, refined, and free from any blemish or roughness. It might be only once in a lifetime that a vintner can pick such a wine right off the vine, without selection, opines Johannes Selbach. The finish positively reverberates in its multiple registers against walls of slate. Three or four decades will not be an unrealistic estimate of this wine's longevity. Incidentally, this year's amazing collection of Selbach-Oster Auslesen – which, as readers can see, is replete with outstanding values – was in most instances bottled in 375 ml. as well as in 750 ml. bottles. (DS)
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