Maximin Grünhaus, Estate

Mosel, mosel Germany

Located on steep, south-facing slopes two kilometres from where the river Ruwer meets the Mosel, the estate of Maximin Grünhaus has a history of viticulture that dates back to Roman times. It takes its name from the Abbey of Saint Maximin, a Benedictine monastery which owned the land from the 7th to the 18th century. Passing into French administration under Napoleon and then eventually to the von Schubert family in the late 19th century, the estate is now overseen by sixth-generation family member Maximin Von Schubert, who took over from his father Carl Von Schubert in 2014.

A Riesling specialist, the property is divided into three separate, but contiguous vineyards, each with their distinct microclimate, gradients and soils: the Abtsberg, the Herrenberg, and the Bruderberg. Work in the vineyards is finely tuned with nature, with organic fertiliser and cover crops of wild herbs preferred to pesticides or herbicides. The grapes are harvested by hand in several passes to capture the right ripeness levels across the vintage. Winemaker Stefan Kraml, who has been with the estate since 2004, focuses on expressing the character of the Riesling from each plot. The cellar is situated minutes from the vineyards to ensure quick pressing after harvest to retain aromatics. Depending on vintage conditions, grapes are either destemmed or whole-bunch pressed and clarified through natural settling. Stefan ferments the must with indigenous yeasts in small stainless steel tanks and classic large oak casks, made from wood from the estate’s own forests by local coopers.

The Abtsberg is 14 hectares of blue Devonian slate subsoil on a 75% gradient. It is was traditionally the most renowned of the three sites, with the best parcels classified as ‘Grosse Lage’. Historically, Abtsberg’s wines were destined for its namesake, the abbot (‘abt’ in German) of the monastery. The dry Grosses Gewächs ‘Abtsberg’ Riesling is characterised by a finely structured minerality, racy acidity and generous fruit combined with a delicate texture. Made from parcels harvested later in the season, the Spätlese displays a rounder body and ripe apricot and peach notes with noticeable but balanced sweetness. The Kabinett has a refined, aromatic citrus profile which overlays a crisp texture with a touch of sweetness.

The Pinot Noir from the Abtsberg is subtly powerful, with a layered core of red berry notes and bright acidity complemented by clove spice from the oak.

The 19-hectare Herrenberg vineyard lies near the Grüneberg forest and is a cooler site than neighbouring Abtsberg. The Rieslings produced from the red Devonian slate soils here were once regarded as second to those from Abtsberg but, with the shifting climate in recent years, have achieved distinction in their own right and will age beautifully over decades. The dry Grosses Gewächs ‘Herrenberg’ Riesling is defined by a mineral salinity with hints of wet slate, lemon zest and dried herbs. New from October is the off-dry `Herrenberg` Superior Mosel Riesling. This wine stands shoulder to shoulder with the Grosses Gewächs, with its 14.3 g/l of residual sugar balanced by crisp acidity, giving the impression of an almost-dry wine. Also new, the late-harvest Spätlese from Herrenberg has a creamy palate enlivened by nuances of white grapefruit, herbal spices and a tingling acidity. The naturally sweet and beautifully balanced Riesling Kabinett ‘Herrenberg’ is juicy and complex on the palate with a pronounced fruit centre.

Herrenberg is also the site where the grapes for the Pinot Blanc Reservé are grown. Maturation in new Fuder barrels contributes lovely spice and rich structure to this recent addition that impresses with its distictive character.

The dry Grosses Gewächs `Bruderberg` Mosel Riesling completes Maximin’s prestigious trilogy and introduces the smallest and coolest of the three vineyards. The one-hectare Bruderberg vineyard shares the same blue Devonian slate soils as the Abtsberg and produces elegant and vibrant wines with a smoky mineral core.

Estate

Wines from the Estate range are made from fruit sourced from the Abtsberg and Herrenberg sites. The `Schloss` Gutswein Riesling, which replaces the previous estate wine `Monopol`, is produced from younger vines, with most of the fruit coming from the Herrenberg vineyard. The dry and spicy `Grünhäuser` Ortswein Riesling has just joined our portfolio. Produced exclusively from vines at least 35 years old predominantly from the Abtsberg vineyard, this wine stands out for its elegant tension and marked minerality that will develop over decades.

 

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Wines

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