Rieslingfeier 2019 NYC - Egon Müller Dinner at Momofuku Ko

Posted on 14 March 2019

The Egon Müller Scharzhof estate in the Saar river region is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest properties, producing one of Germany’s most sought-after wines.

On Friday, January 18th at Momofuku Ko in Manhattan 14 of us had the distinct pleasure of tasting a combination of renowned and off-vintage Rieslings provided by the estate from 1981-2015. 

The wines had been shipped to New York prior to Christmas so they were in ideal condition. All the bottles showed beautifully; exemplary expressions of what one would expect from Scharzhofberger wines.

Their hallmark is that of intense mineral character, perfect ripeness, and a supremely elegant expression of Riesling, supported by a fine core of acidity which gives these wines a structure that consistently guarantees a long life. (These wines are often compared with Chablis, given their vibrant, flinty acidity). Even less stellar vintages such as 1981 and 1987 showed amazingly well with perhaps less depth and length than 1983 or 1988, but nonetheless beautifully balanced, delicious Rieslings that paired exquisitely with the delicious Asian-infused cuisine.

As a festive surprise, I sent out four bottles from my cellar in California that were, indeed, not from off or lesser vintages. 

In fact, they were from three very fine years: 1971, 1988 and 1990.

A pair of 1971s: Scharzhofberger Auslese Goldkapsel #61 and Wiltinger Braune Kupp Beerenauslese both showed very well from one of the previous century’s finest and most remarkable years.

Egon declared the Auslese to be a bit tired compared with others he’d recently tasted, but that was splitting hairs for most of us at table. We loved it. It’s cousin from the nearby Le Gallais estate was utterly stunning and had plenty of vitality and power to hold for years to come.

The 1988 Scharzhofberger Beerenauslese (auction) was in perfect condition and was a wine to drink now or keep for decades. It’s ripe acidity profile lasted for seemingly minutes on the finish. A landmark bottle to say the least!

Then came the Big Daddy...

1990 Scharzhofberger Trockenbeerenauslese (auctioned in 1998). I vividly recall the occasion when this glorious wine was first publicly offered in Trier at the annual Grosser Ring September auction...it set an all-time record for a white wine up to that time: DM ?. There were 24 bottles and 24 half bottles offered as the final lot of the day. The color was deep amber and the bouquet jumped out of the glass in a fanfare of intensely ripe, raisiny, fabulously concentrated creme brulée  aromas that were just as outrageous as the endless, multi-layered finish that coated mouth, throat and soul...nectar of the gods...sheer ambrosia!

Needless to say, this was clearly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

May God bless you, Egon!

- Dade






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