Monday, 14 December 2015
Egon Muller - Chateau Bela
Egon Muller is King of the Riesling grape. One of the great producers in the Mosel region of German, and most famous for his wines coming from the Scharzhofberg vineyard. The Scahrzhof estate has been in the Muller family since 1797; and with the famous steep slopes with huge chunks of slate covering the ground, Egon is able to produce his famous and absolutely stunning Rieslings.
Egon Muller is 1 of the 8 producers who owns plots in the Scharzhofberg vineyard area, totalling around 8 hectares - this is where Rieslings of legendary status are found, with the off-dry Riesling from the Scharzhof winery being one of the most prestigious and most expensive in the world.
It lies in a side valley of the Saar river, and is one of the most coolest site here, classified for the VDP and as a Gross Lage (top site).
Wines from here have a distinct salty, mineral tones with elegance. Capable of ageing, gaining a concentration of ripe fruit yet maintaining a vibrant acidity.
But his success doesn't end there..not happy with just producing wine from this area, he decided on producing collaborations with producers from other areas of the world.
I first came across his Kanta Riesling from Australia, a year and a half ago; a collaboration between Egon Muller and Michael Andrewartha, which sees German traditions and precision meeting the premium, cool climate fruit from the Adelaide Hills. Still on the 2009 vintage today (at work) sees a truly exceptional wine, with great minerality, intense floral and lime characteristics and a great long finish. He definitely brings his own style to this wine from this area, this wine is lean and elegant and drinking great with light dishes such a a ceviche.
But this post isn't about Kanta Riesling, although it seems I got carried away talking about it. I am in fact drinking Chateau Bela Riesling. Another collaboration of Egon Mullers', but this time in Slovakia, on the banks of the River Danube.
Together with Miroslav Petrech (another well known winemaker) this great wine, produced since 2001 is truly exceptional, and one I pour time and time again at work, great with our matching wines to complement first courses and as an aperitif. We get through cases of this at work, yet I still manage to be able to buy a case of it to enjoy at home, currently drinking the 2012 vintage, but having tried back vintages aswell; this wine ages exceptionally well.
Nose; Lime zest, peachy and apricot notes - getting notes of sweetness too!
Palate; A racy acidity dominates this dry style of riesling, thats why its so easy to drink, and so easy to go back too. Zesty limes,Dried apricots, bruised apple and some candied sugary ginger in there too.
This is just such a great wine, great with light dishes, seafood, an aperitif with nibbles or excellent on its own! Its one of my favourites out there, its high, mouthwatering acidity - like biting into a fresh lime makes it so appealling and hard not to put a glass of it down enjoy!
"Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance" Benjamin Franklin