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Alfred Merkelbach, Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese #11 2016

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92 points Wine Spectator

91 points Vinous
“Harvested botrytis-free at 90 Oechsle, this was stopped with a bit higher residual sugar and lower alcohol than its Spätlese counterparts, a decision based on the Merkelbachs’ assessment that it exhibited Auslese tendencies. The nose is effusively and decadently floral, suggesting heliotrope and fading lily. Along with that come scents of overripe kiwi and honeydew melon, all of which presage a luscious, expansive but buoyant palate with impressively persistent layering of inner-mouth floral perfume. A pinch of salinity and a kiss of wet stone add saliva-inducement and interest to a finish that only wants a bit for animation, clarity and juiciness when compared with the most successful wines of the present collection.”

91 Points Mosel Fine Wines
"The 2016er Ürziger Würzgarten Auslese AP11 was harvested at 90° Oechsle in the prime Class I Pichter (locally called Langpichter) sector of the Ürziger Würzgarten. The wine develops a beautiful nose of melon, pear, grapefruit and fine spices. It proves quite smooth but multi-layered on the palate and leaves a great playful and airy feel in the long finish. This is plain beautiful and has great upside potential if the fresher zesty side comes through. 2026-2046"

Vinous Reverie Notes
Many people remark that visiting with Alfred and Rolf Merkelbach at their home in Urzig is like traveling into the past; not much has changed here in 50 years, including the brother’s approach to winemaking. Well into their seventies, Alfred and Rolf still tend the vines and make the wines with little help: heading into the steep Wurzgarten and Treppchen to tie the posts, harvest, and then even racking off the large fuders they use for fermentation and blending. The vineyard holdings of this tiny, 1 hectare estate are divided between the Urziger Würzgarten, Erdener Treppchen, and Kinheimer Rosenberg. Wine cultivation is ancient on these sites, lying just off the Mosel between Urzig and Erden is the excavation of a Roman press house. When most of the Urziger Wurzgarten vineyards were replanted during the re-alignment of the vineyards (called “Flurbereinigung”), Merkelbach’s vines remained on original rootstock, with an average vine age of 45 years. The Merkelbachs are firm believers in tradition, and while changes in climate and style preferences have pushed up must weights and produced profoundly riper wines, the brothers craft wines of a style more typical to an era long forgotten.


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