Item Number: 29005
Wine Advocate 97
"The 2016 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Auslese "Schmitt" (AP 24 17) is a very clear, fresh and precise on the nose, with very fine mineral aromas of crunchy slate. This reminds me a bit of the Wehlener Sonnenuhr in its finesse, perfectly ripe fruit and the finest possible expression of minerals in wine. This is the finest Schmitt I have ever had and surely one of the greatest 2016s from the Mosel. Its finesse and elegance are mind-blowing."
Wine Spectator 94
"Lush and almost creamy in texture, with baked pineapple and custard flavors that are joined by orange blossom honey and glazed apricot notes. Ample acidity gives this freshness, resonating with floral and slate elements on the inviting finish. Drink now through 2038. 42 cases imported. –AZ"
Yes. A gorgeous, pure, lavishly generous but diligently focused masterpiece; molten silver, possibly even deeper than “terroir;” it seems to encompass the gray March hills, the vines on their posts, the limpid green-gray river, the candid northern light; is it even wine any more? It is for all I know some kind of tear of the world, sliding slowly down its face…the open-hearted, shy, inscrutable world. Our home. — Terry Theise
Today, Johannes Selbach and his wife Barbara, with the increasing help of son Sebastian, manage their vineyards and winery with passion and respect for the estate’s long held traditions. 50% of their 21 hectares of vines are on their original rootstocks, in Zeltinger Himmelreich, Schlossberg, and Sonnenuhr; Wehlener Sonnenuhr; and, Graacher Himmelreich and Domprobst. These vineyards of weathered Devonian slate are on a steep, contiguous slope facing south-south west and represent some of the most prestigious sites in all of the Middle Mosel. The Selbach family’s heritage in the wine business dates to 1660: Selbach’s ancestors shipped wines down the Mosel in their own ships, the wine carried in oak barrels made by cooper Matthias Oster, the great-grandfather on the paternal side of the family. Thus, the winery developed as both a top estate producing some of the region’s best wine, and also as a négociant and brokerage firm, consolidating the production of smaller growers.
Johannes, like his late father Hans, has continued the use of traditional oak fuder in his cellar, bringing in new large casks every few years. Vinification is carried out in a combination of fuder and stainless steel, in an hands-off manner with no fining, and predominantly with wild yeasts. The focus is on meticulous work in the vineyard with the aim to produce and bring home perfect fruit. “Selbach aims for a typical modern Mosel style, which reflects the minerality of the rocky Devonian slate soils, as well as the elegance and finesse of the Riesling fruit in clear, crisp, elegant, low-alcohol, yet full-flavored handcrafted wines,” says Stephan Reinhardt, in The Finest Wines of Germany.
The hallmark of the estate are 3 old parcels that Selbach-Oster harvests en-bloc; or, as single pickings, with no selections pulled from the vineyard prior to harvesting. The Rotlay (in the Zeltingen Sonnenuhr, rich in iron ore), the Schmitt (in the Zeltingen Schlossberg), and the Anrecht (in the Zeltingen Himmelreich) are all old parcels high on their respective slopes and post trained on their original rootstock. Typically, Auslese is selected by successive passes through the vineyard—picking fruit for Kabinett and Spätlese first and leaving the healthiest berries on the vine to concentrate. For the en-bloc wines selection of this type is avoided, in order to maintain a holistic flavor profile that contains that of ultra-ripe grapes, optimally ripe, and of lesser-ripe ones which has the ability to reflect a complete terroir of both place and moment. Because his approach in winemaking is minimal, Johannes Selbach will allow his wines to ferment naturally, as slow or as complete as manifest, resulting in dry wines in some vintages and fruity in others.