Maximin Grünhaus New Releases
Standing on the foothill of Maximin Grünhaus' majestic vineyards on a cool autumn afternoon, mystic fog covering the tips of the surrounding hills, the silence of nature vibrating in your ears and the imposing silhouette of the old manor house arising in the back - this is when you feel the roots and history of this place. A history that dates back to 966 and that has been linked to wine ever since.
View of the Abtsberg Grand Cru, across the street from the winery
Carl von Schubert and his son Maximin are leading the estate in the fifth and sixth generation, overlooking approx. 34 ha of three of the most highly regarded Grand Cru vineyards in the Ruwer Valley, Mosel: Abtsberg, Bruderberg and Herrenberg. Wines from Abtsberg, with vines planted on blue Devonian slate, were originally destined for the Abbot of the Abbey of St. Maximin in Trier. They show finely structured subtle minerality, racy acidity, generous fruit and great delicacy. Abtsberg wines are amongst the longest lived Rieslings of the region.The neighbouring Herrenberg vineyard, on red Devonian slate, was historically dedicated to the Abbey’s choir master. The wines show fruit and body in their early years, yet retain extraordinary ageing potential with maturity. Bruderberg is the smallest of all three vineyards and covers an area of only about 1 ha on red Devonian slate. It used to provide the wines for the monks of the local monastery. The wines are very spicy, sometimes with a rustic slaty mineral quality. They are classified entirely as Qualitätswein, and have great ageing potential.
Even though one of the oldest estates, Maximin Grünhaus is doing things a little differently to its neighbours. While other Mosel estates yield on average 80 Hl/ha, the iconic Grünhaus winery is restricting its yields to around 45-55 Hl/ha. The winegrowing philosophy of the estate, VDP member since 2016, is to create deep, complex and highly cellarable wines by carefully selecting the right fruit and gentle processing techniques in the cellar - no compromises, and all in harmony with nature. The ferments start and finish naturally in large oak casks, called 'Mosel Fuder' (1,000L barrels typical for the Mosel region). In the past few years the wood for these 'Fuders' has come from the estate’s own forests, and the barrels are crafted by a local cooper. Neither must nor finished wine are fined.
Mosel wine region. Image: Wine Folly
The Mosel is one of thirteen winegrowing regions in Germany and takes its name from the Mosel river, which originates in the Vosges mountains in France and moves all the way up to Koblenz in Germany. It prides itself being the oldest winegrowing region Germany, dating back to Roman times more than 1,800 years ago. The Mosel region is the third largest in regards to wine production, yet plays probably the most important role in international markets. The Mosel valley can be segmented into three different parts, namely 'Upper Mosel', the southern-most section located closest to Luxembourg border centered around Trier; 'Middle Mosel', which is the main wine growing region and includes the villages of Bernkastel and Piesport; and 'Lower Mosel', which marks the region just south of Koblenz.
The region is famous for steep slopes huddled along the riverline, some of them as steep as 70° degrees incline - the steepest recorded vineyards in the world! Considering the cool continental climate, the steepness of the vineyards and the proximity to the water play a crucial role in the success of these wines. The most common soil type across all three parts is (broken) slate, benefiting the ripening and maturation process with its great drainage effects as well as the absorption of heat from the river throughout the day and reflection at night. A special vine training system plays an equally important part in this equation: canes are tied in the shape of a heart (heart-binding) to 8-foot wooden stakes. This method is also known as the Hill Post/Mosel trellis (or Mosel Arch) (sometimes used in parts of the Rhone), which requires calves made of steel and putting your fear of heights aside - once and for all.
This Riesling has a charming lightness which makes it hard to resist. Balanced and refreshing with fine crispness. Aromas of fresh apples, mirabelle and pear.
Rich aromas of yellow fruits paired with the typical Grünhäuser cassis and herbal flavours. On the palate the crispy acidity is perfectly balanced by the fitting amount of residual sugar. Juicy with a vibrant texture and fascinating freshness. The high minerality of the Devonian slate soil creates the impression of fine saltiness.
Cool and fresh bouquet which promises great juicyness on the palate. Aromas of peaches, ripe apples, red cassis and lime fruits dominate the nose, joined by fine herbal hints. On the palate the wine is concentrated, precise and juicy. The perfect balance between sugar and acidity makes your mouth water. The long finish leaves impressions of salty minerality.
The bouquet is dominated by aromas of freshly cut herbs and classic slate spice. Fine nuances of red cassis and lime zest create the impression of fascinating freshness. The palate is precise and mineral with the impression of salted lemon.
The bouquet is dominated by flavours of ripe apples, red cassis and fresh citrus fruits with hints of fresh herbs and slate spice. The palate is precise with great juice and vibrating texture. The intense minerality in combination with the classic Ruwer acidity makes every mouthful literally watering.
Very complex bouquet with a lot of red cassis and a tiny bit of exotic flavours. Aromas of freshly cut herbs and lemon zest give the wine a fresh and exciting character. The palate is juicy and elegant with perfect balance and rich fruit. The finish is long and vibrating and creates salty impressions.
Complex bouquet with the typical smell of the fermentation by natural yeast. Flavours of European fruit dominate and promise juicyness and freshness. The palate, as expected, very juicy and complex. The high residual sugar is perfectly balanced by the classic acidity level. Therefore the wine tastes very light and elegant and is able to age for at least 30-40 years.
The bouquet seems already refreshing. Cool with complex flavours of herbs, yellow fruits, spices and red cassis. The palate is enormously juicy with vibrant texture and salty minerality. Perfect balance between acidity and residual sugar. It seems that the impression of salted lime fruit doesn’t want to end.