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Late is Great

Grapes left on the vine to ripen longer are called Late Harvest, obviously. They will have greater richness, complexity, more intense flavours and more pronounced colour. The German term for these wines is Spaetlese, pronounced Sh-payt-lay-zuh. It’s a specialty of Germany with a long history. The Dr. Max. Ferd. Richter Estate on the Mosel River is one of Germany’s classic, icons producing top drops from Riesling grapes grown on steep, southern-facing slate slopes. Hailing from their Elisenberger vineyard site, it was given to the family as gratitude for preventing their village from being sacked by the troops of Napolean 1 in Oct.,1813. The nose is attractive and all about fresh limes and crisp fruit aromas. A laser sharp acidity balances the sweet notes with a flavour that’s tightly structured and persistent. It may be laid down for several years to gain more complexity and nuances – pure hedonism. For right now enjoy it chilled – swirl, smell, sip, savour, and repeat. It’s a delicious pairing with soft cheeses such as brie or camembert. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate gave it 94 points commenting that it could be laid down for up to twenty years – a real “sleeping beauty.”  

2019 Elisenberger Riesling Spaetlese  #25712, $29.95