For many tasters, these are the Ne Plus Ultra of Mosel wine, and they have attracted an almost religious following. This small 4 hectare Mosel wine estate commands a well deserved reputation for producing consistently excellent, fine wines. The philosophy of Willi Schaefer and his son, Christoph, is simple – they aim to make their wines as gently as possible, treating the fruit, must and resultant wines with respect. As such, all their wines are treated in exactly the same way in the vineyard and the winery, from QbA to QmP. In the vineyard there is a meticulous attention to detail and all practices are carried out by hand. The emphasis is placed on healthy, balanced vines producing healthy, balanced fruit. The personality of the vineyards comes through the final wine with clarity and precision. In Himmelreich the fruit it to the forefront and the minerality is less overt, so the wines usually convey a sense of accessibility and immediate pleasure. That said they are no slouches when it comes to ageing capacity. The Domprobst displays more overt slate notes, with earthy minerality dominating and a more obviously linear form that clearly needs time to show its full potential. These opposing vinous characters owe their personalities to the soils on which they are grown. The deep, grey-blue Devonian slate soil that they share embodies subtle differences at each site. In Himmelreich it is lighter in texture and structure, whereas in Domprobst there is more shale and stone.
What The Critics Say
"Dusty, mineral grapefruit aroma and gently perfumed with a floral note – more blossom than perfume. Utter purity on the palate – lemon and clementine and a cool depth of fruit that becomes more ripe and apricot-like on the finish. More complexity to come. (JH)" Drink 2020 - 2030
95/100 View From the Cellar, John Gillman (2015 vintage)
"The Domprobst AP #5 Spätlese shows a different face of the vintage, with a bit more creaminess to the fruit tones than the previous two wines, though still no botrytis. As Christophe Schaefer observed, “this is a perfect Spätlese to lead you to the Auslesen.” The bouquet offers up a superb combination of fresh pineapple, orange, slate, a touch of petrol, gentle wild yeast nuances and a lovely topnote of orange zest. On the palate the wine is medium-full, long and a bit more tightly-knit out of the blocks than the above Spätlese, with a great core of fruit, ripe acids and superb length and grip on the focused and very, very promising finish. This will need a few more years in the cellar to fully blossom, but it will be a legend in due course."
94/100 Mosel Fine Wines, Jean Fisch and David Rayer (vintage 2015)
"This delicately backward wine only gradually develops a full array of complex scents of smoke, tangerine, spices, tar and mango. The wine is packed with flavors on the palate as its fruity side drives the aromatic profile at this stage and brings some smoothness to the racy structure. The acidity is present even if more in the background on the palate, and only really emerges at this stage in the very long and clean finish. This little jewel of elegance and delicately zesty creaminess will prove quite simply irresistible at maturity." (AP5)
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