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Willi Schaefer, Graacher Domprobst, Riesling Kabinett, 2009

Seeing how good their reputation is, it was high time for us to review a wine made at the Willi Schaefer winery. The Schaefer estate is run by Willi and Christoph Schaefer, father and son, who on a few hectares of steep Mosel land exclusively grow Riesling. They feature a label design that just screams traditional Germanic Mosel style, bordering on cute cliché. I like it, of course. The family also seem to be traditional in other ways as they still don't have a website. Or they hide it. There is nothing that needs hiding about this wine though. Not only highly enjoyable on its own it also paired very well with Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow on a cold autumn night.

It was a cold and windy night. Suffering from a somewhat congested nose, I still desired a glass of wine to keep me company while I watched Christopher Walken decapitate fat blokes in the woods. Just a little light-hearted fun, what could be better than a Mosel Kabinett?

The Schaefer Kabinett has a lighter brown-straw colour with a hint of green. My first reaction to bouquet and taste was positive, but the Riesling also did not rock my boat. A pleasant movie entertainer, but hardly special. Because of my congested nose I was only too aware though that I was probably missing something, so I put the wine away for the next day. Eventually, I enjoyed it over four days, watching it develop as my sense of smell returned.

The wine opened up a lot over time, after two days I felt it and I were really there. The Riesling has a fruit intense nose with the right base of mineral and a contrasting sharpness from herbs. Think ripe, tropical fruit, green apple, citrus and peach. On days two and three flowery aromas came through. On the tongue it is impressive acidity tingle meets tropical fruit basket: mango, banana and stone fruit, all very juicy. The long finish is juicy, tingly and minerally crisp.

Even after four days in the open bottle the Schaefer Riesling was good. How impressive the acidity was on the fourth day only shows that I definitely had a cold when I tried it first and thought it was lighter on acidity. This is certainly a wine I'd be happy to recommend.

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