Germany > Saar > Wine > White > Riesling
"The 2018 Scharzhofberger Kabinett (AP #2) is brilliant, clear and coolish on the nose, with cold, wet and clayey yet also crunchy slate aromas and bright fruit. Lush and precise, with lingering salinity and mineral expression, this is a complex and structured Scharzhofberger Kabinett with great aging potential." Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate
Jean-Jacques Koch, Egon Müller's great great-grandfather acquired the Scharzhof estate from the "République Française" in 1797 after the French Revolution and the occupation of the West Bank of the Rhine River by the revolutionary government. The Scharzhofberg vineyard was likely planted by the Romans and belonged to the Monastery "St Marien ad Martyres" in Trier from its founding around 700 A. D. through the Middle Ages.
Egon Müller's vineyards are exposed to a northerly climate. Consequently, much depends on the vintage and on late harvesting. Regarding the winemaking process, however, Egon Müller's family's philosophy is based on the belief that the best wines are the ones that "make themselves". The Egon Müller-Scharzhof family lives in its own vineyards and oversees the day-to-day operation at the estate.
All of the family's wines are Rieslings. "Scharzhof" is their most basic wine. Qualitätswein by German legal standard, it is made of the grapes from their vineyards in Saarburg, Kanzem and Wawern and from the Wiltinger Braunfels and Wiltinger Kupp vineyards. The Kabinett wines, made from ripe grapes with low alcoholic content constitute the backbone of the production.
At the Scharzhof they favour a traditionally minimalist approach to winemaking. Their work continues to be based on the quality-driven philosophy of the late Egon Müller III.: "One hundred per cent of the quality of a wine is generated in the vineyard. It is impossible to reach even 101 per cent in the cellars but it is a great achievement to pack the full potential of the vines into a bottle".
They believe that it is the quality of their vineyards that allows them to produce the best grapes and they go to great lengths to fully exhaust this potential.
Their Northern climate is characterised by great annual fluctuations, which means that every year is full of new challenges. However, the foundations remain the same:
- Old vines of which some have ancient roots that originate from the 19th century.
- Low yields that never exceed 60 hl/ha and frequently are as small as 30 hl/ha.
- Intensive ploughing up to six times a year.
- Very restrained use of chemicals: no chemical fertilisers, no herbicides, no insecticides and as few fungicides as possible.
Content courtesy of http://www.pfv.org
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