2018 Max Ferd. Richter Veldenzer Elisenberger Riesling Spätlese Mosel

SKU #1438198 94-96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Sourced from old vines, the 2018 Elisenberger Riesling Spätlese was harvested in the third week of October as the very last "regular" wine (so 3.5 weeks after the Kabinett). It is based on completely healthy fruit and was vinified entirely in traditional fuders. Offering a deep and flinty bouquet, this is a lush, elegant, highly refined and stimulating Spätlese with a salty-piquant finish. Tasted from the cask in March 2019. (SR)  (6/2019)

92 points John Gilman

 The grapes for the Elisenberger Spätlese were some of the last brought in to the winery in 2018, as this parcel was picked on October 23rd, which just underscores how some of these back vineyards benefited from their relatively cooler expositions in the summer of 2018. The wine is lovely, offering up a bright bouquet of strawberries, apple, lime blossoms, a fine base of salty minerality, wild yeasts and an esthery topnote of bee pollen. On the palate the wine is pure, zesty and fullish in profile, with a pretty core, lovely mineral undertow, bright acids and fine focus and grip on the long and complex finish. (Drink between 2019-2055)  (3/2019)

K&L Notes

92 points Mosel Fine Wines: "AP: 12 19. The 2018er Veldenzer Elisenberg Riesling Spätlese was harvested at 92° Oechsle, and was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar (90 g/l). It offers a rather backward nose still marked by sulfur and only gradually reveals scents of pear, tannin, ginger, Provence herbs and smoke. The wine develops a gorgeous feel of fresh fruits on the comparatively juicy palate and leaves a slightly round feel of ripe orchard fruits in the finish." (6/2019)

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- While the rest of the world has often misappropriated the name--Welchriesling, Riesling Italico, Gray Riesling and Emerald Riesling are all names applied to varieties that are NOT Riesling--this exceptional German varietal has managed to maintain its identity. Perhaps its biggest claims to fame are its intoxicating perfume, often described as having honeyed stone fruit, herb, apple and citrus notes, and its incredible longevity - the wines lasting for decades. Aged Rieslings often take on a distinctive and alluring Petrol-like aroma. Within Germany, the grape seems to do best in the warming slate soils of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Other German regions that turn out great Rieslings include Pfalz, Rheingau and Nahe. German Rieslings are made in a range of ripeness levels. The top wines are assigned Pr├Ądikat levels to describe their ripeness at harvest. These are: Kabinett, Sp├Ątlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. Riesling has also achieved acclaim in France's Alsace, the only region in that country where the grape is officially permitted. Alsatian Rieslings are typically dry and wonderfully aromatic. Austrian Riesling is also steadily gaining praise and fine Riesling is also produced in Italy's Alto-Adige and Friuli, in Slovenia and much of Central and Eastern Europe. In the New World its stronghold is Australia, where it does best in the Eden and Clare Valleys. It is also planted in smaller amounts in New Zealand. In the US, winemakers are eschewing the syrupy sweet versions of the 1970s and 1980s, instead making elegant and balanced wines in both California and Washington State.


- Thanks to a recent string of excellent vintages and to the reemergence of Germany onto the international wine writing scene, this is a country that's hot, hot, hot! Germany is divided into 13 wine Region and produces a very wide variety of wine styles, from incredibly high-acid, dry wines to some of the sweetest, most unctuous concoctions on the planet and even a few surprisingly hearty reds. Most of the highest-quality wines are grown on steep banks along the rivers in these Region. Small vineyards are still mostly hand tended and picked, due to the difficult nature of mechanization on these slopes. White wine production accounts for nearly 80% of the total with Riesling being the most important varietal, though Muller-Thurgau is still more widely planted.