Schlosskellerei von Schubert, Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg, Riesling Kabinett trocken, 2008
If there was a branch of wine journalism that reviewed wines on the merits of their labels alone, then, for my money at least, the delightfully old-fashioned classics from this great Ruwer estate would be hard to beat. Now, the good news is not just that the Wine Rambler, for one, will not give up on sampling the contents of wine bottles as well.
More to the point, the good news is that the stylishness of this particular wine now before us does ample justice to the lovingly crafted quality of the packaging:
A traditional dry Riesling with only 10.5% ABV, a thing of beauty and rarity by itself, it easily won us over with its green and yellow aromatics of green apple, lime, powdered sugar (despite being dry, interestingly) and slate minerality, as well as by its distinctive combination of quicksilver acidity and hints of honey (yes, still dry) in the background. Freshness and raciness come natural to the Rieslings of the Ruwer sub-region, and a cooler vintage such as 2008 plays its part accordingly. Nonetheless, this wine is remarkable above all for its harmony.
This is worth pointing out, because I find that the English-speaking wine world sets rather too much store by the old half-truth that Riesling, on account of its strong acidity, by definition needs an equivalent amount of residual sugar to be "harmonious". No, it doesn't, and you can look for this label if you need definite proof.
Schubert and 10.5%
I have been a fan of the Schubert labels since I saw the the first one in one of your earliest blog posts. French wineries, for instance, do have some labels that scream tradition, but the abundance of Schubert is very hard to beat. Also, I am intrigued by a dry wine with only 10.5% ABV - sounds very exciting and perfect for those every day drinking days when you don't want off-dry, but still light and elegant.