Willi Schaefer Riesling Graacher Himmelreich Spatlese 2018
For many tasters, these are the Ne Plus Ultra of Mosel wine, and they have attracted an almost religious following. Thus my most frustrating agency, as there is never enough wine. It is hard to put a finger on exactly what it is that makes these wines so precious. There is a candor about them that is quite disarming. They are polished too, but not brashly so. They are careful to delineate their vineyard characteristics, and they offer fruit of sublime purity. They are utterly soaring in flavor yet not without weight. What many of you seem to have warmed to is their clarity, precision and beauty of fruit, so maybe I’ll leave it at that! 2000 was the fine vintage of a humble vintner. Willi knew if he harvested as selectively as looked necessary, he wouldn’t get much wine and he might not get glamor-wine, but he’d get quintessential SCHAEFER wine.
If you’re new to all this, there’s a reason these wines are so beloved. Part of it is they’re so scarce; the estate is all of 4 hectares with no desire to grow. Part of is the wines themselves; they’re silly with deliciousness. And as crystalline as they are, as ethereally complex and limpidly clear, they have a quality of calm; they don’t fuss at you how amazing they are. They are, dare I say, affectionate; they just sit in the glass and love you. And so we love them back. We banish all the unruly beasts of our ragged natures, and slip into the warm pool, and let ourselves, for once, be happy.