Christoph Schaefer farms just 10 acres, and half of them are on the steep slate slopes of Graacher Himmelreich. A sunny, protected site, it often makes his most exuberant wine. The party hasn’t started for this vintage yet, but it will. Right now, it’s still got some of the sponti funk from its ambient-yeast fermentation in large barrels; it’s also weighted down with smoky mineral notes and fruit so ripe it edges toward red berries. While it will take a little while in the cellar for the acidity to organize all those flavors into a more Schaefer-esque sense of order and clarity, the wine already has a sense of energy that feels exciting and full of promise.
The Himmelreich has produced a beautiful Spätlese as well in 2018, and this is destined to be a long-lived and superb bottle. The complex nose is vibrant and refined, offering up scents of lime, pear, a nice touch of orange zest, bee pollen, elder flowers, lovely minerality and a topnote of citrus blossoms. On the palate the wine is medium-full, pure and zesty, with lovely inner tension between its beautiful fruit tones and mineral undertow. The finish is long, focused and bouncy, with lovely lift, cut and grip. (Drink between 2022-2075)
Quite smoky with flint and chalk that work rather well with the notes of dried citrus and spices. Medium dry with a deep serving of acidity and peach and stone flavors. Finely tuned and sleek. Drink in 2022.
A luscious, velvety spätlese, featuring concentrated ripe apricot, orange marmalade and graham cracker notes, balanced by intense acidity, with hints of honey and sage cream on the finish. Very giving right now, and will only get better. Best from 2021 through 2036. (AZ)
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