2011 Kiedricher Grafenberg Beerenauslese

Robert Weil

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Hlf (37.5cl)
0 immediate, 12 marketplace
Bt (75cl)
0 immediate, 6 marketplace

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Average Score 93.0

Scents of caramel, butterscotch, white raisin and dark honey rising seductively from the glass of Weil’s 2011 Kiedricher Grafenberg Riesling Beerenauslese signals the point in his harvest when botrytis became a significant factor. This hits the palate with a wave of viscous richness chased by a gusher of bright fresh lemon. For now, the result is somewhat sweet-sour, but partly simply on account of the sheer intensity of flavors on exhibit. The finish invigorates even as it practically puts a lock on your palate. Whether charm or nuanced complexity will emerge here is hard to predict, but I would certainly anticipate the wine being worth following through at least 2040. ||In 2012, Wilhelm Weil completed an extensive renovation and expansion of what was already an impressive cellar – now entirely gravity-fed without needing to resort to fork-lifting casks or tanks. Still, it is arguably in its labor costs that one could most easily recognize the degree to which this estate spares no expense in the pursuit of quality. While greater diversity of terroir has been introduced into the line-up here by the creation of a separate Turmberg Einzellage for which Wilhelm Weil assiduously and successfully lobbied the authorities, as well as on account of his newfound interest in developing the Klosterberg (for more on which, consult my Issue 187 report), the number of different Weil bottlings is now being steadily whittled down. In accordance with both German wine drinking fashion and VDP politics, it is alcoholically lighter or halbtrocken bottlings are being phased out, and soon there will be but a single dry vineyard-designated wine from each site; although in 2011, for one last time, there are two dry Grafenberg bottlings. The main 2011 harvest commenced at the beginning of October, very early by the standards set during Wilhelm Weil’s now quarter-century tenure. (Hanover-born principal cellarmaster Christian Engel has been here for nearly as long.) But selective picking continued into early November. Weil claims his vineyards weren’t threatened by September rot. On the contrary, “For the longest time, we had no botrytis,” he relates, “and even this year’s Beerenauslese with 170 Oechsle represented remarkably healthy berries.” Bottling stretched from April until (for the Grosses Gewachs) early September, with many lots enjoying a longer stay on their lees than normal. The top wines display levels of acidity that I had not imagined possible in this vintage, and that permit high residual sugar to perfectly integrate.||Imported by Loosen Brothers, Portland, OR tel. (510) 864-7255 eRobertParker.com.April, 2014

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