Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese, 2009

Selbach-Oster, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese, 2009

  • icon-type Type


  • icon-year Year


  • icon-style Style

    Medium Dry

  • icon-country Country


  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level


  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Riesling 100%

An outstanding example of the top quality Rieslings produced by Selbach-Oster.

Drink now or hold for 20 more years.

About Selbach-Oster

Selbach-Oster is a German wine producer located in the Mosel Valley, a wine region famous for extremely steep slopes, slate soils, and Riesling. The Selbach family has been making wine in the region for more than 400 years and their wines are exported to every continent.

Selbach-Oster owns 21 hectares (51 acres) of well-known vineyard land planted mainly to ungrafted Riesling and some Pinot Blanc in the Middle Mosel. Regarded as the "golden mile", the steep, south-facing hectares stretch from Zeltingen to Bernkastel and include the vineyards Zeltinger Himmelreich, Zeltinger Schlossberg, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, Wehlener Sonnenuhr, Graacher Domprobst, and Bernkasteler Badstube. Selbach-Oster's very best parcels are the Rotlay, Schmitt, and Anrecht blocks.

Selbach-Oster produces a full range of Riesling wine styles, from completely dry, to sparkling, to botrytized dessert wines. Its style aims to express the high minerality of Mosel Riesling with relatively low alcohol. Indigenous, wild yeast is used to ferment the hand-picked fruit after harvest and half of the wine produced spends time in large oak barrels called foudres.

Grape variety

Riesling is a white grape variety which originated in the Rhine region. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and sparkling white wines. Riesling wines are usually varietally pure and are seldom oaked. As of 2004, Riesling was estimated to be the world's 20th most grown variety at 48,700 hectares (120,000 acres) (with an increasing trend), but in terms of importance for quality wines, it is usually included in the "top three" white wine varieties together with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling is a variety which is highly "terroir-expressive", meaning that the character of Riesling wines is greatly influenced by the wine's place of origin.

In cool climates (such as many German wine regions), Riesling wines tend to exhibit apple and tree fruit notes with noticeable levels of acidity that are sometimes balanced with residual sugar. A late-ripening variety that can develop more citrus and peach notes is grown in warmer climates (such as Alsace and parts of Austria). In Australia, Riesling is often noted for a characteristic lime note that tends to emerge in examples from the Clare Valley and Eden Valley in South Australia. Riesling's naturally high acidity and pronounced fruit flavours give wines made from the grape exceptional aging potential, with well-made examples from favourable vintages often developing smoky, honey notes, and aged German Rieslings, in particular, taking on a "petrol" character.

In wine making, the delicate nature of the Riesling grape requires special handling during harvesting to avoid crushing or bruising the skin. Without this care, the broken skins could leak tannin into the juice, giving a markedly coarse taste and throwing off balance the Riesling's range of flavours and aromas.

A wine that is best at its "freshest" states, the grapes and juice may be chilled often throughout the vinification process. Once, right after picking to preserve the grapes' more delicate flavours. Second, after it has been processed through a bladder press and right before fermentation. During fermentation, the wine is cooled in temperature controlled stainless steel fermentation tanks kept between 10 and 18 °C (50 and 64 °F). This differs from red wines that normally ferment at 24 to 29 °C (75 to 84 °F)

Unlike Chardonnay, most Riesling do not undergo malolactic fermentation. This helps preserve the tart, acidic characteristic of the wine that gives Riesling its "thirst-quenching" quality. (Producers of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio often avoid malolactic fermentation for the same reason.) Riesling is often put through a process of cold stabilisation, where the wine is stored just above its freezing point. The wine is kept at this temperature until much of the tartaric acid has crystallised and precipitated out of the wine. This helps prevent crystallisation of the acid (often called "wine diamonds") in the bottle. After this, the wine is normally filtered again to remove any remaining yeast or impurities.

In viticulture, the two main components in growing Riesling grapes are to keep it "Long & Low" meaning that the ideal situation for Riesling is a climate that allows for a long, slow ripening and proper pruning to keep the yield low and the flavour concentrated.

Alternative Names: Weisser Riesling, Johannisberg Riesling, Johannisberger, Rhine Riesling, Riesling Renano

About Zeltingen-Rachtig

Zeltingen-Rachtig is a municipality in the Mosel region known for its wines from the Riesling grape, located on a sweeping bend of the Mosel river, 2 miles (3km) south of Ürzig. It is composed of twin villages which were officially documented as a combined entity as early 1085, though wine labels feature only "Zeltinger" followed by their vineyard name.

The vineyards are a slightly less steep than at locations such as Graach and Bernkastel-Keus a little further downstream. Though Riesling dominates here, a little Silvaner and Müller-Thurgau are sporadically planted on some of the flatter areas.

Zeltingen's sole Grosse Lage site is its portion of the acclaimed Sonnenuhr (Sundial) vineyard, located at the upstream end of its vineyards. It is a southwest–facing slope of blue Devonian slate. Next door is the part of the vineyard belonging to Wehlen.

The large Himmelreich (Kingdom of Heaven) vineyard mostly lies above and to the sides of the village on a predominantly west-facing slope. A section above Sonnenuhr is cut off from the main body by the Schlossberg vineyard. Opposite the village, on the western banks of the Mosel, is the Deutschherrenberg and a further outlying portion of Himmelreich.

The highest profile winery located in Zeltingen-Rachtig is Selbach-Oster - a major owner in Zeltinger Sonnenuhr.

Regular price $838.00

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