Vereinigte Hospitien Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese

Wine: Vereinigte Hospitien Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese.

Grape: Riesling

Region: Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany

Vintage: 2003

Price: $9.99

In the glass: Scharzhofberger Riesling is a golden lemon-yellow color with a clean, clear core going out into a fine glassy star-bright-citrine rim definition with very high viscosity showing, based on residual sugar level in the wine.

On the nose: It is an intense wine with loads of layered mango pudding, lychee sorbet, Braeburn apple sauce and soft, nearly creamy notes of pineapple segments. It also has very distinct underlying minerality with hints of wet slate and freshly cut sage.

On the palate: Scharzhofberger Riesling is a very rounded and sweet mouthful of fruit, with loads of candied white currants, definite apple cobbler, nearly complete with the cinnamon, but really more like a lemon drop or a chunk of althea candy. The midpalate is rich and palate-coating with yet more supple exotic fruits, almost guavalike and then pineapple, yellow melon and that fine acidity, so important in German rieslings. The finish is a 2-minute fade of lovely soft white fruits and citrus zest, then a touch of pear. Superb wine!

Odds and ends: This wine is from one of the top vineyards in Germany. Scharzhofberger has produced maybe one of the most legendary wines for a century or more. This is clearly a rare peek at something great from Germany with a little bit of age on it– and all for the ridiculous price of less than $10. This is a wine that should be consumed chilled to 52 degrees Fahrenheit and should be drunk on its own by the glass as an aperitif or with freshly steamed king crab legs. It will easily age through 2050.

Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89016-0749, or e-mail him at

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