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For any serious German buyer, whether collector or Riesling dork, the wines of Emrich-Schönleber belong in the cellar directly next to Keller or Schäfer-Fröhlich or Lauer. There is a balance, a center to the best of their wines that is about as perfect and meditative as Riesling ever gets: texture and glycerin matched to a chiseled, yet glossy and ultra-fine architecture.
While I think, stylistically, the wines Keller are the most similar to those of Schönleber, I included the Lauer reference on purpose – the more I taste the top Nahe wines (Emrich-Schönleber and Schäfer-Fröhlich), the more I am convinced the closest comparison to the Nahe is the Saar. Both regions shape wines of an uncommon steeliness – these are dense, ruthless wines… the top wines simply demand time in bottle and then open (have no fear drinking even the most basic of these wines on day two, three or beyond).
The 2021 vintage presents wines of great energy and delicacy, a superlative incisiveness. They are in many ways very similar to the 2020ers, yet they have ripeness levels that are a touch lower than in 2020 and acidity levels slightly higher. Thus they feel sharper, more buoyant, bouncy, cutting.
In short: They are ****ing awesome.
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