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Willi Schaefer 2020 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese #10, Mosel, Germany

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Willi Schaefer 2020 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese, Mosel, Germany

Schaefer is without question one of the greatest producers in Germany. This is a benchmark for the Mosel and is coveted not just by collectors, but by other growers. The Schaefer family has been growing grapes in Graach since 1121, and to this day, remain a small family-run operation growing only riesling.

Farming: Sustainable with organic practices

Varieties: Riesling (Spätlese ripeness)

Terroir: Located in Graach, with a south-to-southwest exposition on Devonian Slate. The vines have great sun exposure all day as well as natural spring that runs through the hillside, guaranteeing good water supply even in warm vintages. The Romans already knew the benefits of Graach’s sites and cultivated vines here. In the Prussian classification of the Mosel vineyards from 1816 to 1832, Graach’s vineyards had the highest ratings.

Vinification: The fermentation takes place with natural yeasts from the vineyard mainly in old 1,000-liter Fuder casks. In the cellar, they try to intervene as little as possible and accompany rather what nature has provided them. In most vintages, there are two Spätleses made from the Domprobst vineyard, #5 & #10. These are not barrel distinctions but rather an indication of the style. #10 is the wine that leans in the “crunchier” direction while #5 shows more opulent fruit and richness.

Aging: They give the Rieslings the time in the cellar that they need, including a long lees contact and a late bottling to ensure balance in their wines.

Critical Acclaim: 97 PTS, James Suckling

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