($145) Rich gold. Seductive aromas of strawberry, glazed pineapple and nut oils embedded in honeyed botrytis.Fruit essences and mineral salts animate the creamily rich yet delicate palate. Unctuous caramelized peach and brown spice on the long, slate-driven finish.
Author: Joel B. Payne
Issue: January/February 2007
Wine Advocate | Rating: 98
Schaefer's 2005 Graacher Domprobst Riesling Beerenauslese ' the latest installment of one of the Mosel's iconic wines ' was as usual picked highly selectively, in this case over about a 10-day period commencing on the first day of harvest 'during which time,ƒ?_explains Schaefer, 'we were able to wait on grapes that had shriveled, with only a subtle suggestion of botrytis and with lovely concentration ... and acidity.ƒ?_ In fact, for the first time in the history of this estate, he toyed with the idea of a Trockenbeerenauslese. But when he contemplated the material that would have lent itself to T.B.A., Schaefer relates, 'We noticed that it was certainly more concentrated, but not more interesting. And with more freshness of acids, the character of the Riesling comes through.ƒ?_ In the nose, an eszencia-like note of apricot jam joins with quince preserve, apple jelly, and sweet flowers and nut paste. A subtly fresh bread and truffle-like aura of botrytis somewhat in the manner of 1971 hangs over this wine, along with a 1975-like hint of vanilla. The palate illustrates beautifully the 2005 proclivity to combine creaminess of texture with fresh fruit acidity, and sheer density with elegance and lift. Subtle caramelization of fruit and a malty, honeyed undertone also testify to noble botrytis. At the same time, there are underlying sources of vigor and brightness contained in the fresh fruit core of quince, apple and pineapple that can, I suspect, be tapped for another half century. The finish packs all of this in without engendering while preserving harmony, and offers a depth of richness and a late burst of energy that is scarcely imaginable, after all of the intensity that already came before.