Stephen Tanzer 94
"Alluring floral aromas, with apple blossom, cinnamon and pine nuts adding complexity. The delicate texture of peach fruit is paired with an understated acidity that gradually swells with mineral salts on the palate. Well-balanced and ethereally spicy but still somewhat withdrawn, this is a stunning Spätlese and one of the best of the vintage."
" Now this is explosively expressive. If I say “apple and slate” yet again, it’s boring but true. It’s the combo of hi-def clarity and torque, firmness and brilliance yet many-layered density, and this goose-flesh tingle threaded through it all—that makes it uncanny.
Treppchen is named after the stone staircase that was built into the vineyard many years ago for the farmers to work it. It is a 36 ha vineyard most of which has been replanted, excluding parcels owned by Meulenhof and J.J. Christoffel Erben. The red slate contains a high level of iron translating into very mineral expressive wines.
Winery Information: The Christoffel family of Ürzig has been involved in wine production dating back to the 17th century. In 2001 Hans Leo Christoffel leased the management of his vineyards and winemaking to Robert Eymael of the Mönchhof estate. All of Christoffel’s 4 hectares comprise the Ürziger Würzgarten and Erdener Treppchen, including a very special parcel directly above (and contiguous with) the 2.2 hectare Erdener Prälat. Cultivation in these sites has been recorded as early as the 7th century, and has for centuries been prized because of its southern exposure, deep Devonian slate, and steep gradients. The Ürziger Würzgarten, or ‘sprice garden,’ is so named because its iron rich slate is red, and produces notably spicy wines. With its gradient of 70 degrees the Würzgarten is incredibly difficult to farm, as is the Erdener Treppchen, immediately adjacent to the Würzgarten. Because of the sheer steepness of these sites, the majority of Christoffel’s plantings are over 100 years old and on their original rootstock. The star system on Christoffel’s labels represents specific parcels, which are vinified separately.
Eymael continues the legacy of winemaking that drove the estate to prestige under Hans Leo, in a style that maximizes clarity: whole cluster pressing, slow and cool fermentation in fuder, racking immediately off the gross lees followed by a short time on fine lees and early bottling to preserve the freshest of fruit characters indicative to Mosel typicity." ~ Winery notes
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