Today was a warm, cloudy summer day in the Nahe region. I am in Germany to visit my ailing father, but I was able to squeeze in a quick tasting with Frank Schönleber of Emrich-Schönleber (left in picture above). He couldn`t have been nicer and more helpful, and it´s always fun to see an enthusiastic, dynamic winemaker of my own age excel and really succeed. All the wines I tasted were outrageously good, the prices were more than fair, and Frank was having fun showing me the fruits of his hard wine making labor. On to the wines:
The trocken wines were right down my alley. Lean, mean, and buit with sturdy acid structure, I enjoyed these wines immensely. When I asked Frank Schönleber what he thought of vintage differences between 2007 and 2008, he said that 2007 was a fatter and riper year while 2008 was leaner and more classic in a good sense.
- 2008 Emrich-Schönleber Nahe Trocken – Germany, Nahe
A blend of Riesling, Kerner, and Bacchus. Light, grapefruit, lychee, cut grass. Good wine. Sold by the liter at €4.90. Great QPR.
- 2008 Emrich-Schönleber Riesling trocken – Germany, Nahe
Apple, herbs, citrus, minerals, fresh, cut grass. More weight than the “Nahe Trocken”. €6.90 ex-Weingut. Fantastic wine for the money.
- 2008 Emrich-Schönleber Riesling “Lenz” – Germany, Nahe
My favorite of the less expensive line-up. Pronounced orchard peach, apple, ripe grapefruit, minerals, and with great zing, cut, freshness. Lovely wine and the best QPR in the entire line-up.
- 2008 Emrich-Schönleber Riesling “Mineral” trocken – Germany, Nahe
Liquid minerals in a bottle. Grown on blue slate. Fruit backward with tons of lean granny smith apple. Extremely lean and stoney. Almost reminds me of a lean Muscadet from the Loire. Not my cup of tea.
- 2008 Emrich-Schönleber Monzinger Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling trocken – Germany, Nahe
I really liked this. More of everything here. Fuller body, cut chives, peach, apple, and lemon curd. A winner all the way.
- 2008 Emrich-Schönleber Monzinger Halenberg Riesling trocken – Germany, Nahe
The best of the dry Rieslings that are not Große Gewächse. Marvelous apricot, peach grapefruit, and little spice and herbal qualities. More fruit and ripeness than any of the prior wines. Just beautiful.
- 2008 Emrich-Schönleber Monzinger Halenberg Riesling Trocken Großes Gewächs – Germany, Nahe
Amazing stuff. Ripe grapefruit, peach, touch of mango. More power, more ripeness, yet a very fine wine with lots of finesse, definition, and minerality. Rounder than any of the other wines and even more balanced. My favorite of Frank Schönleber`s wines. At €29, it is reaching it`s upper price limit for my tastes, but it is truly great wine.
I only tried two off-dry wines, and I liked them both. Interestingly, while I preferred the Halenberg across the board on the dry wines, I preferred the less fruit forward Frühlingsplätzchen among the off-dry wines, as it showed less lush and more restrained.
- 2008 Emrich-Schönleber Monzinger Frühlingsplätzchen Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Nahe
Pineapple and passionfruit. Tropical fruit profile, but it is balanced with incredible purity and acidity. Should be even better in 5+ years.
- 2007 Emrich-Schönleber Monzinger Halenberg Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Nahe
I didn`t like this as much as the Frühlingsplätzchen, but it was still very very nice. Again, Halenberg just gives more of everything, but with the off-dry wines, this one gave me more than I could handle. I would love to re-evaluate this wine in 5-10 years.
Thanks to Frank Schönleber who couldn`t have been nicer and more helpful, and now I am really looking forward to tasting with Dönnhoff on Tuesday.