A classic-styled Mosel Riesling from one of the top Grand Cru vineyards in the middle Mosel - Ürziger Würzgarten. Merkelbach is a tiny producer (only 1.9 hectares) - smallest German producer we know! Certainly boutique standard.
Medium sweet. Good intensity of stone fruits and acid tension (sweetness and acidity play). Good minerality/salinity and transparency. Medium finish. Highly recommended because this is a classic Mosel Riesling - not too ripe or sweet! Check out the background below.
We taste a lot of German Riesling but from time to time, when we are lucky, we stumble upon some tiny family run producers who makes absolutely stunning quality wines but not heard in mainstream media. Merkelbach is one of them. And tiniest of them all! Only 1.9 hectares which translate to about only 20,000 bottles a year. As a comparison, Lafite Rothschild makes about 240,000 bottles!
Merkelbach is owned by brothers Alfred and Roth Merkelbach. Well into their 70s now, they still make wines but entered into an agreement with the talented Johannes Selbach of Selbach Oster to manage their operations and marketing. The Selbach family officially purchased Merkelbach in 2019.
Johannes and Sebastian Selbach with Alfred Merkelbach
Their top holdings are in Ürziger Würzgarten (red slates) - one of the finest red slate soil Grand Crus in the Mosel alongside Erdener Pralat. The average age of their vines are 45 years (old by Riesling standard)
The Merkelbachs are firm believers in tradition, and while changes in climate and style preferences have pushed up must weights and produced profoundly riper wines, the brothers craft wines of a style more typical to an era long forgotten. Their Kabinett are still refreshing, Spätlesen taste like Spätlesen, and oechsle levels rarely exceed the Pradikät range.
The Merkelbachs vinify each parcel separately, each Fuder representing a different parcel. Because of their tiny cellar, their pradikät wines will never be a blend of any more than 2 parcels together, indicated by the Fuder numbers on the label’s AP code.