German Wine: Saar Riesling – 2009 Egon Müller Scharzhof

2009 Egon Müller Scharzhof Riesling

Who’s the greatest winegrower on the planet? You are, you are! That’s right, baby. Oh stop, that’s actually nonsense, it’s… Egon Müller. Egon Müller of Scharzhof from Germany’s westernmost winegrowing region could already be a legend in person if he wasn’t so polite and soft-spoken. Fortunately enough for us wine-lovers, his wines speak for themselves. This wine is what Egon calls his “Gutsriesling” which means that it’s the entry level of his property wines. It comes from his own vineyards excluding the “Scharzhofberg” and the “Wiltinger Braune Kupp” but enjoys nevertheless the same attentiveness and meticulity than his great wines.

Not surprisingly this one’s not really a bargain (around 16 € in Germany e.g. at Wein&Glas in Berlin or FuB in Cologne and Düsseldorf, much more elsewhere) but you should try it nevertheless – especially from this ripe and fruity vintage where “small” wines appear to me sometimes better than “bigger” ones. The “Scharzhof Riesling” is an off-dry white wine with 10%vol. but with a mouth-lingering acidity to complement the sweetness of the fruit. It’s pale in colour, with lemon, green apple and some great minerality in the nose. On the palate, I was absolutely astonished how accessible this wine is despite his young age. You can taste lemony notes again, a very fresh and fruity appearance, lime-tree blossom and – strange but true – some coconut right after decantation. Egon’s wines are made in a highly traditional manner with spontaneous fermentation and maturation in used oak vats (no barriques, of course, but 1.000 litre ones), and they are said to keep forever. This one’s been emptied within 30 minutes, and there is a reason for it.

Matze’s conclusion: This is as elegant a crisp off-dry Riesling can get. For me it’s clearly   17 points, although it misses the subtleness and depth of his bigger brothers. If you like to get an answer to the question why you should start drinking great Rieslings NOW, try this wine.

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