Spreitzer Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Spätlese '303'
From a sub-parcel called Eisenberg (iron-hill) from which a TBA was picked in 1921 with the then-record must-weight of 303o Oechsle. Eisenberg can be found on the 1867 Royal Prussian quality map as the highest quality category in the Rheingau.
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Press & Reviews
Succulent and medium-bodied, this starts out lush and ripe, and then the acidity emerges, adding firmness to the structure and providing balance to the passion fruit, papaya and tangerine notes. These components mingle with chrysanthemum oil aromas, while mineral details remain submerged. Fine length. Best from 2021 through 2037. 36 cases imported.
A very succulent and creamy Spätlese with a ton of pie-crust character and some lemon cream at the rather long, silky finish. Drink or hold.
Even though it pits 10.2 grams of acidity against 110 of residual sugar, this year’s “303” is less extreme on paper than some of its illustrious predecessors have been, and its overall balance perpetuates a gradual diminution of perceived sweetness in this flagship Spreitzer bottling from the relatively high-elevation Eisenberg sector of Lenchen that borders Hallgarten’s famed Jungfer and Schönhell. (For the history of this bottling and its name, see especially my review of its vintage 2015 instantiation.) And speaking of analyses, here is a great example – at more than thirty grams – of the off-the-charts sugar-free dry extract levels that so frequently characterize vintage 2017. Bartlett pear, pink grapefruit, mango and Golden Delicious apple already in the nose point toward a sweetly-ripe personality; but their combined lush succulence on a glossy, subtly oily palate is balanced by a hint of citric brightness and even more so by mouthwatering salinity that serves to entice the next sip long before the finish has faded. (Andreas Spreitzer considers that salinity characteristic of Eisenberg site-influence.) This tropical-fruit cocktail of a wine is likely to have a long life, with greater nuance emerging as its sheer sense of sweetness eventually begins receding.