The 2017er vintage delivered some stunning fruity-styled Riesling. Young Stefan Müller seized the occasion to underline his immense talent.
After a brilliantly vibrant 2015 and a gorgeously sensual 2016, the Mosel hit the bull’s eye three times in a row despite (or thanks to) the fact that 2017 was hit by some devastating yield-reducing frost.
The finest of the 2017 wines are simply amazing, combining intensity, purity, and balance ... and there is perfection at the top!
Young Stefan Müller seized the opportunity offered by the vintage and produced an amazing collection highlighted by a gorgeous Niedermenniger Sonnenberg Kabinett Alte Reben.
Weingut Stefan Müller is still a young Estate. Stefan Müller took over his family Estate, Weingut Walter Müller, in 2013. Weingut Walter Müller was a fine but rather run-of-the-mill Estate tucked away in the Konzer Tälchen, this side valley to the Mosel and Saar where also Hofgut Falkenstein and Weingut von Hövel hold vineyards.
So far, the story is that of hundreds of winemaking Estates in the Mosel every year. But this story is different. Stefan Müller had a master plan: “Our Konzer Tälchen has huge potential. As my friend Johannes Weber from Hofgut Falkenstein regularly underlines, this side valley composed of Niedermennig, Obermennig, Krettnach and Oberemmel was considered one of the finest areas for winemaking in the whole region and included a whole series of dark red vineyards.”
Much to the dismay of his parents, Stefan immediately started to swap vineyards on flatter ground for some on steeper hills and focused on Riesling. He also returned to fermentation with wild yeasts and improved the vineyard and cellar work: He abandoned herbicides, increased selections at the harvest and gave up on additives and de-acidification.
The changes have been a resounding success. In less than five years, he has transformed this solid family Estate in one of the finest addresses for Riesling in the region. Following a tip-off from growers, we went to meet and taste Stefan’s 2015er collection and were already quite impressed (see Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 32 – October 2016).
The 2017 collection completely wipes out anything he produced so far. Simply put, it produced one of the finest collections of the vintage. The remarkable thing is that, much as at the neighboring and befriended Hofgut Falkenstein, the Estate excels in all stylistic directions.
The Estate’s style is driven by the same precision and purity as those of Hofgut Falkenstein, but the wines have more body and presence. On several occasions, we could not help thinking of Stefan Müller as the “Weingut A.J. Adam of the Saar.”
Stefan Müller holds vineyards in the villages of Niedermennig and Krettnach. One of his pride is a parcel of 50 year-old vines situated in the western, south-west-facing part of the Niedermenniger Sonnenberg. This parcel is situated on iron-rich slate with quite some deep soil.
In 2017, Stefan Müller decided to start his harvest early: “The ripeness was already there and I wanted my Kabinett and Spätlese to remain true to their style. More than in previous vintages, we discarded all non-clean berries to increase even further the purity of the wines. The Kabinett was then pressed whole bunch up to one bar only. This gives the wine cut and precision.”
The result is a resounding success. The wine has the presence of a Spätlese (as have most Kabinett in 2017) but it proves incredibly focused, pure and intense.
We can only encourage readers (professionals and wine lovers alike) to sample some of the wines from this superb Estate. Believe us: You will not regret it!
The stunning 2017er collection by Stefan Müller were reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 42 (Aug 2018). You are a subscriber and miss this Issue? Simply send us a request by email and we will be happy to send you a copy. You are not yet a subscriber and wish to get this Issue? Subscribe free of charge by registering yourself here below and ask us for a copy by email.
Niedermenniger Sonnenberg Kabinett Alte Reben
The 2017er Niedermenniger Sonnenberg Kabinett Alte Reben was harvested at 84° Oechsle from 50-year-old vines and was fermented down to fully fruity-styled levels. This offers a rather reduced nose made of citrusy elements and some reductive notes of herbs, spices and smoke. The beauty of this Kabinett comes through on the palate, which proves superbly zesty as white peach and lemon sorbet are whipped up by lime and chalky minerals. The finish proves vibrant, hugely focused and very sharp. 2027-2047
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.