4 Ratings
Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese

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    rp 90 The Selbachs’ 2007 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spatlese is redolent of pineapple, musk melon, and apple, with a tart apple- and plum-skin edge offering invigoration on the palate. A smoky and citrus zest aura to the finish almost suggest a faint nip of botrytis, if one did not recognize them as site specific. This is likely to remain lively for 18-20 years. The Selbach crew did some pre-selection at the end of September, leading directly into a main harvest that lasted until November 10. Johannes Selbach says he often had to find things to keep his crew occupied while waiting for what he judged the optimum moments to pick. After having been through 2006, he was determined to have everything and everybody ready should circumstances suddenly dictate haste, which of course they never did. Selbach was delighted – as a self-proclaimed defender of “true Kabinett” – to have some genuinely light-weight yet intensely-flavored wines this year, and he was the first to acknowledge that not only the prevailing weather but also the abundant crop (even allowing for thinning) helped make ripe-tasting yet relatively low must-weight Riesling possible. He notes that there was relatively little botrytis, and then late. In view of that assessment, I was surprised at the extent to which this year’s Spatlesen evinced evidence of it. As for the dry and nearly-dry wines in this year’s collection, “it’s like a homecoming,” remarks Selbach, “to get back to wines with stuffing but that are sleek, anything but heavy, and inviting of the next sip.” There are a few regional importers of certain Selbach wines, but the majority (and those whose prices are noted above) are Terry Theise Estate Selections, imported by Michael Skurnik Wines, Inc., Syosset, NY; tel (516) 677-9300.

    about 8 years