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Average critic rating : 93.0 points
Decadent lily, lilac and narcissus perfume; white peach syrup and honey inform the nose and the ravishingly rich palate of Weils 2009 Kiedricher Grafenberg Auslese, which at the same time is shot through with a remarkable sense of refreshing citrus and sheer energy that lead to a blazing, almost unruly finish. There is nearly more sheer concentration here than the wine is yet able to organize, and its virtually indelible finish is almost severe. For now, to be sure, this Auslese is far from harmonious or serene, and lacks the elegance or refinement of the corresponding Spatlese. One has the sense here of enhanced presence of desiccated yet healthy berries such as lend both levity and brightness. I would put this away for at least the next half dozen years and thereafter anticipate three further decades of stimulation. ||As Wilhelm Weil points out, by the time he began harvesting in early October, 2009 – sooner than has been usual under his regime – the grapes had already been hanging for 115 days, and the fact that the weather cooled thereafter and Kiedrichs hillside sites continued to enjoy regular breezes were positive factors in adding further concentration – including of acidity – to the finished wines. In consequence, he insists that “while 2007 and 2008 were very good vintages; 2009 is for our estate on a different level … among my 22 vintages, near the forefront.” Weil is now offering a range of three single-vineyard dry Rieslings in addition to his Erstes Gewachs but says his vision is of a tier of “premier crus” and one of “grand crus,” with only a single dry wine eventually being labeled “Grafenberg.” The issue is not merely academic, I would argue, but has stylistic implications. As my notes indicate, I found the style of Weils allegedly “second” dry Grafenberg from 2009 both more attractive and more recognizably of its site than the corresponding Erstes Gewachs. (For specific differences in approach consult those detailed notes.) Weil further intends to streamline his offerings by eventually reaching some sort of stylistic compromise between his generic Kabinett halbtrocken and his unabashedly sweet Kabinett (both of which characteristically come from the Wasseros), although he admits to some uncertainty about closing what is analytically-speaking a roughly 30 gram gap in residual sugar between these two. As both president of the local VDP chapter and arguably his regions most prominent grower and quality standard bearer, how Wilhelm Weil perceives and elects to act on classificatory, stylistic, and marketing issues can have considerable influence on the future evolution of Rheingau Riesling. Even the least among this years residually sweet Weil offerings is extremely high acid on paper. In most cases, this is positively enervating, although at times strident. Weil indicates that only beyond the level of Spatlese was any significant botrytis present, even then requiring extreme diligence and patience to collect even small volumes. And as in many instances this vintage, the present collections apex of quality does not coincide with its apex in must weights. Imported by Loosen Brothers, Portland, OR tel. (510) 864-7255 eRobertParker.com.January, 2011
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