Egon Muller: The DRC of Riesling26/11/2020
Oeno has recently launched a very limited parcel of Egon Muller wines including the extremely rare Egon Muller Riesling Scharzhofberger Trockenbeerenauslese 2003 which achieved a perfect 100 point score from Robert Parker.
“Egon Muller is widely considered the greatest producer of Riesling in the world and is as legendary as DRC in the wine world,” explains Oeno’s Head of Trade, Olivier Gasselin. “Total production of his wines is limited and we are currently sourcing from the estate a selection of wines which will be traded in the near future.
Scharzhofberger is a single-vineyard located in the Mosel region, considered the best single-vineyard in Germany, it is the equivalent of a Burgundy Grand Cru. Trockenbeerenauslese is a type of sweet wine made in a unique way. It concerns a tiny proportion of the production as per the picture below…
If you see the labels ‘Kabinett” or “Spatlese’ on the bottle, these indicate the wine is made from healthy and ripe grapes. ‘Auslese’ refers to grapes harvested late in the season with some of grapes affected by botrytis or ‘noble rot’. This type of fungus is essential to the character of these wines since it shrivels the grapes and helps to intensify their sweetness and adds unique flavours which remind of honey, beeswax and ginger. ‘Beerenauslese’ is made entirely of botrytis-affected grapes. ‘Trockenbeerenauslese’ is the next stage when botrytis affected grapes almost fully dry out like raisins.”
Justin Knock, Oeno’s resident Master of Wine adds that “this is a style of wine that requires a huge amount of work in the vineyard, particularly when they harvest which is by individual berries not bunches. Thus it is slow and painstaking work and requires huge amounts of labour.
It’s an extremely risky wine to make as the grower must wait until well into the end of the year to wait for the botrytis to take full effect on the grapes. If the weather turns before this happens and you get a lot of rain then the Trockenbeerenauslese style is impossible to make. Because of the high sugar content these are extremely difficult grapes to press, releasing very little juice and thus further reducing the yield.
Overall production quantities are tiny. They can make as few as 40-100L of Trockenbeerenauslese wine in a given year, enough for 100-250 half bottles. This is really nothing so it’s incredibly scarce. Finally, these wines literally live forever. They can improve for up to a century in good conditions. It’s a privilege to have this wine to sell.”
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