Bottled off its lees, as its nickname implies, this now has tough competition from a second cask of the same base wine that was bottled unfiltered under the nickname 'Zwickl.' (See my accompanying review of that bottling.) But this Hefeabzug is quite distinctively delicious. Chamomile, hay, artichoke, lima bean, cucumber, cress, crunchy apple and nearly ripe Bartlett pear combine on a fetching nose and buoyant, silken-textured, infectiously juicy palate, leading to a luscious and refreshing finish tinged with saliva-inducing salinity and invigorating impingement of chalk and stone. This isn’t the first Hefeabzug installment to have (barely) cracked 12 percent alcohol, but is nonetheless delightfully buoyant as expected. Nor has the extra ripeness of this vintage in any other respect compromised the characteristic virtues associated with Nikolaihof Hefeabzug, the best installments of which can age impressively. (DS)
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