Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich en primeur Back to producer list
Tim regards the 2017 as a top vintage, one of the most elegant ever. Vegetative growth is always a little behind in elevated Bockenau, so there was almost no frost damage. The grapes were healthy, and the onset of botrytis in October produced some fine late-harvest wines, including a massive 250 Oechsle TBA.
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2018 Felseneck Kabinett (SFRO11218A)
The first grapes to be harvested give a bright wine bursting with energy. It has a touch of yellow but consists mainly of cool, green fresh fruit with zingy citrus notes and a streak of smoky slate.
2018 Felseneck Spätlese (SFRO21218A)
35-year-old vines give a dense zingy, stony wine with floral fruit, a fresh green note, and almost effervescent lemon acidity.
2018 Felseneck Spätlese Goldkapsel (SFRO29218A)
As every year, the grapes were picked on the same day as the regular Spätlese, but from 55-year-old vines in the steepest, south-facing part of the vineyard, giving an altogether more intense wine. It is smooth, elegant and fresh, with lively green fruit and a gentle persistent spicy slate finish.
2018 Felseneck Auslese (SFRO33218B)
A precise wine with no botrytis, this is bright and lemony with pure yellow and green fruit and a long clean salty finish.
2018 Nahe Riesling trocken [07 19] (SFRO64218A)
The ripe melon and floral fruit is full-bodied and intense, and is carried by lemony acidity, with a hint of musk and smoke on the long finish.
2018 Vulkangestein trocken (SFRO66218A)
From 30-to-40-year-old vines in Felsenberg and Stromberg. A cool green note freshens the rich floral fruit tinged with yellow, and there is bright acidity and a long complex hot mineral finish.
2018 Bockenauer Schiefergestein (SFRO70218A)
From 30-to-40-year-old vines in Felseneck. At first impression creamy and rounded, but it is tautened by cool green fresh nettle flavours complementing the yellow fruit, and slaty citrus notes that lead to a long, dense flinty finish. Most growers would be proud to class this a GG.
2018 Bockenauer Schiefergestein feinherb (SFRO71218A)
2018 Stromberg GG (SFRO76218A)
The steep rocky volcanic soils of Stromberg are the site of the estate's oldest vines, half of them eighty-five years old. Not surprising then, that the wine is intense, with a dry, smoky stone core, but balanced by intense yellow fruit, vibrant citrus acidity and a long fine salty finish.
2018 Frühlingsplätzchen GG (SFRO77218A)
Hard red slate gives an elegant wine with pronounced dark earthy flavours, redcurrant fruits, a spicy note, vibrant lemony acidity and a firm salty finish.
2018 Kupfergrube GG (SFRO79218A)
Kupfergrube - on the site of an old copper mine - is a narrow strip of vineyard between the river and a steep volcanic cliff, and has correspondingly little airflow. The rocks reflect and store heat, and the grapes have riper flavours even when they have the same must weight as those in other vineyards. This year it has produced the most charming wine in the portfolio: it is flowing, effortless and elegant, with red fruits, clearly delineated vibrant citrus fruit and a steely, salty stony finish.
2018 Felsenberg GG [18 19] (SFRO80218A)
Felsenberg's position next to the river makes its vines reach maturity quickly. This also means the vineyard is susceptible to fog, and as the damp air softens the grapes, it is crucial to harvest at the right moment. Tim Fröhlich is all over it, with the result that his wine is less weighty than that of other growers. There is power here, of course, from the rich soils, but the racy citrus acidity keeps it light on its feet, and there are seductive herbal notes on the long fine saline finish.
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