2005 Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg Auslese

Dr von Schubert

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Average Score 95.0

The 2005 Maximin Grunhauser Abstberg Riesling Auslese Fuder #21 represents for the most part a single picking – not more botrytized than its predecessors – that evolved in too singular a way not to bottle it separately. It also represents – for a single fuder Grunhaus Auslese – a remarkable value. (And, incidentally, all of this year’s single fuder Auslesen were bottled in half- as well as full bottles.) With a lovely aroma of white peach, high-toned lemon oil, and herbal distillates, this presents an imposingly creamy, polished palate that nonetheless sacrifices nothing in clarity or purity of fruit, nor in refinement or refreshment to the exotic and honeyed accents of botrytis or to its richness of texture. There is also an ample sense of wet stone slate character such as one associates with the most memorable single-fuder Abtsberg bottlings of yore. Malty rich and nut oil dark tones topped by peach preserves, vivid citrus, and ethereally esterous treble notes make for a finish of striking complexity. Here is hands down the finest Grunhaus Riesling since the two single-fuder bottlings (one each from Herrenberg and Abstberg) that represented the apex of vintage 1997. ||Stefan Kraml met me well before eight o’clock on a mid-August morning with an air of quiet confidence and near nonchalance that tipped me off to what would follow: a display of Grunhaus quality such as practically went without saying a decade or more ago. He and owner Carl von Schubert have regained their footing, despite a year in which what von Schubert described as nature’s eventual “turbo-autumn” was preceded by severe hail and an unprecedented tornado that felled 200-year-old trees and a portion of the vineyard walls – to say nothing of the toll it took on vines! The harvest began October 10 and – like many a successful one this year – was finished in a mere two action-packed weeks. Up to the level of B.A., incidentally, all of the wines fermented spontaneously.||Also recommended: 2005 Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg Riesling Spatlese feinherb (unknown; 84+?). Wine Advocate.February, 2007

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