From €12.50, 19.80 Swiss francs, $35.99, £85 for six in bond
We complete this week devoted substantially to Riesling and Pinot by drawing your attention to a dry Riesling from the latest vintage from an impeccable source. As outlined in Schönleber celebrates his 60th and much else, Werner and Frank Schönleber are some of the very finest producers in Germany's Nahe region, along with their father and son counterparts downriver at Dönnhoff, and Schäfer-Fröhlich to the north. I have seen for myself how painstakingly they manage their excellent parcels of vines on south-facing slopes above the river Nahe, and their Mineral bottling is a very obvious notch up from their regular Lenz Riesling in that it contains offcuts from their top vineyards, Halenberg and Frühlingsplätzchen, whose wines sell for so much more.
Michael Schmidt will be reporting on a fabulous tasting of some of the greatest dry Rieslings from Germany, Austria and Alsace held chez Schönleber recently. This photograph of the Schönlebers, Werner in the foreground, was taken at the tasting by blogger Markus Vahlefeld. As Michael pointed out in the introduction to his presentation of the 200 or so Grosses Gewächs he tasted at the VDP event in Wiesbaden at the end of August, there were initial fears that the 2013 vintage would, like 2010, be uncomfortably high in acidity. But my tasting, outlined in J&B's German offer 2014, suggested that in competent hands, the 2013 Rieslings present themselves very well – both dry and sweet.
The top dry wines, the Schönlebers' Grosses Gewächs which both Michael and I have been lucky enough to taste, are on offer from J&B at just over £200 for six in bond and I would recommend the Halenberg as a great buy for anyone who wants to discover the joys of really top dry Riesling from Germany. This single-vineyard bottling will have a longer life and more intensity than the Mineral bottling, but Mineral Riesling trocken 2013 Nahe is arguably better value and will provide great drinking over the next four years. It has enormous energy and transparency with a lovely pungent nose that I would be tempted to apply the m-word to were I not so wary of how liberally the word is used (see our most recent article on this topic Barcelona musings on minerality). This 12% wine has a certain muscularity of structure and a racy, appetising dry finish. Drink it with or without food.
It is widely available in many European countries, and also in the US where it is quite a bit more expensive but still far from overpriced. Those in Britain can get their hands on it only by ordering a six-pack at £85 from Justerinis, but I really don't think they would object to owning this quantity.