Willi Schaefer’s wines from the Mosel’s Grosse Lage (Grand Cru) vineyards, ‘Himmelreich‘ and ‘Domprobst’, can be counted among the world’s most pure and expressive Rieslings.
Today the 12th century estate is run by Willi’s son Christoph and his wife Andrea – both oenology graduates of Germany’s prestigious Geisenheim University. The couple farm 4ha of century-old, ungrafted Riesling vines around the village of Graach.
Such is the Schaefers’ dedication to quality that fruit is hand-harvested berry-by-berry over a four-week period, before being gently pressed and fermented with natural yeasts in old, 1,000-litre casks.
Christoph bottles his wines across the Mosel ripeness spectrum as unique expressions of their terroir. From 2016 (an excellent vintage for Kabinett and Spätlese wines), Schaefer’s off-dry ‘Domprobst’ Riesling Kabinett is crystalline and racy, while the succulent, yet featherweight ‘Himmelreich’ Riesling Spätlese offers seductive aromatics. While starting to show the complexity that age brings with these wines, both have enormous cellaring potential.
Coveted by fans of German Riesling with as much passion as the bottles of J.J. Prüm and Egon Müller, Willi Schaefer’s wines are quintessential Mosel.
Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett 2016 (£36) Sold out
Peach, lime zest, and slate minerality. Racy acidity and a long, off-dry finish.
Drink to 2034. 92 Points, Vinous
Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese 2016 (£44) Sold out
Seductive orchard fruit and citrus lift. Luscious and tangy – virtually weightless.
Drink to 2038. 93 Points, Vinous
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