Robert Parker 100
The golden-yellow 2017 Röttgen Trockenbeerenauslese offers an impressively clear yet intense and highly refined bouquet of small, perfectly ripe and healthy mirabelles, crushed slate and honey notes. On the palate, this is already a legend: lush yet highly refined, piquant and terribly fresh. This is a highly concentrated TBA with utmost elegance, finesse and stimulating salinity. Confit de citron is everywhere. A fabulous, legendary TBA that is incredibly weightless and precise. 50 liters made. Tasted at the domain in March 2019.
Anticipated maturity: 2020-2100
In the three decades since she and her late husband founded their winery, Beate Knebel has honed her craft and worked much magic in selection of ennobled Riesling grapes. This time, she appears to have outdone herself. And she didn’t have to wait long for the results; a Knebel TBA typically takes a year, sometimes considerably longer, to reach legal vinosity (i.e., 6% alcohol); but this one was ready to bottle in April 2018. An aromatic display of seductive allure and head-spinning intrigue offers truffly and musky aspects of botrytis as well as the high-toned, ethereally honeyed character associated with the secretions of that noble fungus. Next come green tea pungency and a Chartreuse-like note of floral and green herbal essences. Also signaled on the kaleidoscopically shifting nose are mirabelle and quince jellies, dried apricot, white raisin and marzipan, along with Meyer lemon, lime and grapefruit that then come to the creamy, viscous, glycerol-rich palate with striking and improbable juicy freshness and cut, yet without engendering any sense of disharmony. “Kaleidoscopic” scarcely does justice to the energized, shifting layers of flavor that emerge on a vibratory, mouthwateringly saline and near-endless finish. To anyone lucky enough to eventually acquire a bottle or two of this breathtaking libation (of which there are 50 liters that will likely be auctioned at some point): don’t let anyone convince you that you have to cellar it for decades. You can, to be sure. But it already delivers an entire world of flavor
Anticipated maturity: 2019-2065