Schäfer-Fröhlich (literally Shepherd-Cheerful) is the name of a very well respected, family-owned winery in the Nahe region. Despite a recent increase in red wine production, the Nahe is still mostly a white wine region, with Riesling being the most popular variety. The same is true for Schäfer-Fröhlich, a Riesling-focussed winery that over the past few years got a lot of good press. For instance, they were awarded the title of 'winery of the year 2010' by wine guide Gault Millau, they won the #1 Riesling trophy from Vinum wine magazine for 2009 and food magazine Feinschmecker crowned one of their 2008 Rieslings as the best dry Riesling in all of Germany. So you can imagine I was really looking forward to trying a Schäfer-Fröhlich, even if it was only one of their basic wines. Sadly, it did not quite live up to my expectations.
The colour is a clear gold; shiny round edges. The bouquet is noticeably green/vegetable, with citrus, ripe pear and some stone fruit, a hint of mineral. Not the most expressive nose, a little reserved overall with bitterness as a theme.
The bitter/vegetable impression continued on the tongue, with fruity and juicy elements only slowly coming through. It had a certain elegance and did feel well made, but I would have preferred either more fruit or a more expressive structure to balance the bitter appearance. The finish was not bad, but also a little more coarse than I would have preferred it.
After a glass I put it back into the fridge, out of which it appeared a little softened, a little more fruity on the second day. In that stage it was clearly more likeable, but still did not blow me away. Overall, this is still a pretty decent wine and better than a lot of other wines out there, but not really what I had expected from my first Schäfer-Fröhlich.