Word is spreading that what 2008 offers in such abundance is the deeply rooted sense of place that the best Mosel Rieslings typically show so beautifully. Wine Spectator reported, “The 2008 harvest in Germany looks like a trimmer, leaner version of 2007, or perhaps more along the lines of 2004, a vintage with plenty of sleek, vibrant wines, but not as many lush, opulent ones. The grapes ripened nicely this year, but only reached spätlese level or slightly above. Winemakers made very few dessert wines, a consequence of the low incidence of botrytis or dehydration late in the season needed to concentrate the sugar levels in the grapes. Thus, there should be good quantities of estate Rieslings, kabinette and spätlesen.”
The report continued, “‘2008 is the year for great kabinett and spätlese wines made from fully ripe [not overripe] grapes with expressive aromatics and ripe yet crisp acidity,’ said Johannes Selbach, whose family owns the Selbach-Oster estate in the Mosel. ‘The '08s are wholesome, with beautifully delineated flavors, and they are compact, not over the top. For me personally it is a classic Mosel vintage.’”
I recently tasted two excellent 2008 Mosel Riesling Kabinette, the Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesporter Goldtropfchen and the C. von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Herrenberg. Both of them were inseparably tied to their region of origin, but expressed it in very different ways. Take a look at the tasting video below for my notes.