A.J. Adam is one of the few Estates that defied the ripe nature of the 2018 vintage and produced fresh and racy wines. Its Hofberg Kabinett stands exemplary for its brilliant collection..
2018 is a ripe and consumer-friendly vintage characterized by fruit and mild acidity. For lovers of racy Mosel, is there therefore little to cheer? Not really, as we explain in the just-published Part I of our 2018 vintage report: A few growers completely defied the ripe DNA of the vintage and produced some truly stunningly fresh and racy wines.
One of these is Weingut A.J. Adam, which crafted, among others, a simply gorgeous 2018er Dhroner Hofberg Kabinett.
Andreas Adam (in the meantime joined by his sister Barbara) relaunched the family Estate in 2000 after his grandparents had stopped it in 1983.
He immediately captured the attention of the international press and wine lovers through stunningly deep wines from the then somewhat forgotten Dhroner Hofberg vineyard. This vineyard was one of the premier hills in the Mosel at the turn to the 20th century.
2018 vintage is a ripe and slightly blousy vintage but it is not so at Weingut A.J. Adam. The Estate produced an amazing collection which shines through zest, playful finesse and elegance. You would be forgiven for thinking that the 2018 is a remake of 2002, one of the more balanced vintages in the Mosel recently, rather than the warm vintage it is.
How come? When we met up to taste his collection, Andreas Adam explained how this very unusual vintage required him to rethink much about how to handle the vineyards and the harvest: “One needed to be careful, especially regarding the impact of the sun. This meant not defoliating too much but still controlling yields to make sure the grapes became ripe. But also the timing of the harvest was key. We started our harvest on September 8 with Burgundy Rosé. We also did some trials with Riesling and these proved remarkable: The grapes had already 75° Oechsle and 8.0-9.5 g/l of acidity. So we actually immediately continued with Riesling. We were able to do this because we rely on friends and family for the harvest. They are more flexible than formal harvest teams which usually come from abroad and where there is invariably some administrative lead time for work permits.”
It has now been almost 20 years since Weingut A.J. Adam was relaunched and the Dhroner Hofberg is still its "home" hill: 80% of its 5.5 ha holdings are on the classic part of this hill. The parcels in the front part of the vineyard are destined for Spätlese and top dry and off-dry wines at the Estate. Andreas relies on vineyards in the cooler backside of the hill for its Kabinett.
In 2018, the strategy to start the harvest very early allowed the Estate to harvest large quantities (no less than 7,000 liters!) of its Dhroner Kabinett, “and this from ripe fruit at a moderate 82° Oechsle,” as Andreas is quick to add. The wine was fermented in stainless steel and bottled classically, in April after the vintage.
The result is simply amazing. The purity of the 2018 vintage paired with the raciness from good acidity and fresh flavors make for an irresistible cocktail.
The amazing 2018 collection by Weingut A.J. Adam
was reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 46 (June 2019).
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Dhroner Hofberg Riesling
The 2018er Hofberg Kabinett, as it is referred to on the consumer label, was harvested at 82° Oechsle in the backside of the hill, and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar. It offers a stunning nose of cassis, white peach, grapefruit, white minerals, a hint of laurel and some smoke. The wine displays a stunning feel on the palate, where freshness and finesse are paired with a superb touch of creaminess. The finish of this stunningly balanced wine is all about fruit, minerals, zest and herbs. What a huge success! 2028-2048
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling ... and beyond!"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.