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Schafer Frohlich Stromberg Riesling GG 2017 (750ML)

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Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions

97 JS / 96 VM / 95 DE / 95 WE

It's hard to imagine how a riesling could have a more northerly personality than this cool, delicate and very elegant wine. Great balance and very long, saline finish. From a forgotten, top site that Tim Fröhlich reactivated in 2012. Drink or hold. - James Suckling

White peach, gooseberry and lime are laced in the nose with chamomile, peppermint and pennyroyal. Those juxtapositions anticipate the dynamic of ripeness and citricity as well as of soothing and pungently invigorating elements that characterize this entire amazing performance. There is remarkable sheer succulence and intensity of glowingly pit-tinged white peach, zesty lime and crunchy, seedy gooseberry on the surprisingly silken palate. It’s as if concentration of fruit flavors were inversely proportional to the Stromberg’s rocky, virtually topsoil-free surface. But this is not to suggest that mineral flavor elements are short-changed. Far from it! That “dark minerality” that Fröhlich deems can be unpacked as some combination of smoky peat and black tea with stone suffusion and alkaline accents. “As ripe as they might get,” notes Fröhlich, “the berries on these old vines never lose their greenish tint or make the transition to deep gold,” and that is reflected in the vivid freshness and juicy animation of a long, fugal finish that tingles the tongue and tugs at the cheeks. If Bockenau’s virtues went virtually unnoticed until the 21st century, those of today’s Stromberg sites were almost completely unknown until Schäfer-Fröhlich produced their first, vintage 2012 Grosses Gewächs showcasing them. “When we had to demonstrate to the VDP with historical evidence that this site was Grosses Gewächs-worthy,” relates Fröhlich, “we uncorked a [nearly-dry] 1957 Spätlese from my grandfather that was unbelievably fresh and fine.” -- David Schildknecht, Vinous Media

The customary reduction resulting from a spontaneous, slow ferment still clouds the nose of this Riesling. From porphyry soils on a rocky, elevated site we get almost piercing freshness that presses all of the pleasure buttons of dry Riesling fans. Bundled around a central, bright shaft of acid are alluring notes of citrus and juicy passion fruit. A most wonderful, stony, precise juxtaposition of exactitude and juiciness. - AK, Decanter

The nose is closed here initially, suggesting bold tones of smoke and steel rather than fruit. With time and air, layers of pristine lemon, lime and tart tangerine extend from nose to finish. Dry and moderately full in body, it's a refreshing but silk-edged wine with a steely finish. Delightful already but will improve for decades. — Anna Lee C. Iijima, Wine Enthusiast

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