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Emrich-Schönleber
collection 2019

{ Widely recognized as nothing short of a canonical producer, with the estate’s patriarch Werner Schönleber one of the most respected masters of Riesling in Germany, Emrich-Schönleber nonetheless most often seems to fly under the radar, at least for U.S. consumers. }
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Why this is we can’t exactly say. Part of it, surely, is the relatively steadfast focus with which they’ve run the estate. There have been no new showy label changes, no splashy new bottlings, no expansion into new vineyards. What the estate was doing ten years ago is largely what they are doing today. With all the new “new” that’s constantly trying to grab our attention, the more staid producers can often be overlooked.

For the U.S., the relatively scattered availability of the wines has also likely played a part. The wines are simply not widely available. This is the part we can try and change. We are proud to be representing this grand estate and thrilled to begin with one of the most heralded vintages of the last 20 years.

For any serious German buyer, whether collector or Riesling dork, these wines belong in the cellar directly next to Keller or Schäfer-Fröhlich. In terms of style they are different perhaps, but in terms of quality they are equal. 

Emrich-Schönleber: style and context

For me, within the holy trilogy of the Nahe (Dönnhoff, Emrich-Schönleber and Schäfer-Fröhlich), Emrich-Schönleber rests somewhere in the center. They are neither as baroque and lavish as Dönnhoff, nor as fiercely angular as Schäfer-Fröhlich. There is a balance, a center to the best of their wines that is about as perfect and meditative as Riesling ever gets: texture and glycerin matched to a chiseled, yet glossy and ultra-fine architecture.

In fact, for me, stylistically, you would have to leave the Nahe altogether to find the wines that remind me the most of Emrich-Schönleber: and that would be Keller in the Rheinhessen.

Now, this may seem like a hyperbolic sales pitch but it’s genuinely not meant that way. While I do think that the “other” greatest wines in Germany are going to start trending upward with serious momentum (they’ve already started), the Keller comparison isn’t meant to be a simplistic sales pitch equivalent to “get a $500 bottle for only $100!” That’s an inane comparison, equally insulting to Keller and Emrich-Schönleber, both of whom are pursuing their own passions, their unique visions. The comparison is more meant to place the two stylistically, in this very rarified center, where both seem to be able to make wines that are saturating and deep, yet that also have lift and a nearly inexplicable energy. Wines that showcase fruit of clarity and purity, yet balance this with an equally forceful presentation of soil and mineral.

With Emrich-Schönleber however, we are not in the limestone Rheinhessen. The upper part of the Nahe, where the two grand vineyards of Emrich-Schönleber are, is a world of slate, both blue-gray and red slate. The Halenberg is largely the former, with blue-gray slate that shapes a wine of rigor, density and power. This is perhaps the more mineral, more ageworthy of the two Grand Crus. The Frühlingsplätzchen has veins of red slate and always seems more expansive, diffuse, lighter and finessed. It is a wine with a stunning florality and vivid aromatics; it is more expressive in youth.

The “Mineral” is a blend of younger vines from both of the Grand Cru sites; this is Emrich-Schönleber’s version of Keller’s “von der Fels,” and as with the “von der Fels,” this represents maybe the greatest value at the estate: 80% of the Grand Cru wine for 50% the price. It is a profound value that drinks well over its price point.

The dry wines are the benchmarks, the Prädikat wines are the serious rarities. As a dry wine specialist the estate only makes the Prädikat wines when the vintage offers them something special. 2019 did that in spades.

Emrich-Schönleber 2019ers - the collection

Riesling Mineral Dry 2019 750ml - limited, inquire

Riesling Frühlingsplätzchen GG 2019 750ml - limited, inquire

Riesling Frühlingsplätzchen GG 2019 1.5L - limited, inquire

Riesling Halenberg GG 2019 750ml - limited, inquire

Riesling Halenberg GG 2019 1.5L - sold out

Riesling Halenberg GG 2019 3L - limited, inquire

Riesling Monziger Kabinett 2019 750ml - sold out

Riesling Frühlingsplätzchen Spätlese 2019 750ml - limited, inquire

Riesling Halenberg Spätlese 2019 750ml - sold out

Riesling Frühlingsplätzchen Auslese 2019 750ml - limited, inquire

Riesling Halenberg Auslese 2019 750ml - limited, inquire

Riesling Halenberg Auslese 2019 375ml - limited, inquire

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