Wine Advocate (David Schildknecht): “Smelling like I just stepped into the pit of an active stone quarry with sparks flying as workers chip-away with hammers, the Wagner-Stempel 2011 Siefersheimer Riesling trocken Vom Porphyr – as usual, coming from both Heerkretz and Hollberg – combines nose-wrinkling pungency with pure, luscious, lively white peach, white currant, grapefruit and yellow plum such as call to mind Wagner’s photographs of the fruit that informed this wine: tiny, translucent green-gold, glowing globes of Riesling hanging in almost perfect uniformity. Wagner notes that it was hard to know which fruit to take for this bottling and which for his Grosses Gewachs, so close were analysis, appearance, and taste within the entire Riesling crop of these sites. A hint of persimmon piquancy and pungency invigoratingly disturbs the otherwise satiny palate of this almost infinitely juicy yet profoundly minerally Riesling, but the finish displays transparency of fruit to a shimmering interaction among pit piquancy, crystalline and smoky stoniness, accompanied by invigorating nips of citrus zest. The most exciting (among many an estimable) installment of this bottling since the glorious 2004, this Riesling trocken (perhaps sad to say) puts to shame the majority of typically twice as expensive Grosse Gewachse from anywhere in Germany. (And indeed, shows-up one-such in this very collection.) Look for at least ten or a dozen years of dazzling performance, for which, bravo!
”We had grapes in 2011 such I hadn’t seen in my 20 years of doing this,” enthuses Daniel Wagner. “In the parcels for Gutsriesling, we had completely ripe grapes of 90, 95 Oechsle at 70, 75 hectoliters per hectare and not a single rotten berry in the lot.” Like in the neighboring Nahe, he points out, grapes in the “Rheinhessen Switzerland” around Siefersheim weren’t yet far-enough advanced in ripeness during the wet, warm early September to succumb significantly to botrytis. And of course, though he didn’t say it, relatively large yields – not just terroir factors – fortuitously put brakes on ripening that helped get his grapes over 2011’s tropical hump, during which, as I mentioned in Issue 198, Wagner was on holiday anyway – hence my having tasted with his cellarmaster. “Right after we got back on September 18,” he explains, “we started picking non-Rieslings; Silvaner was brought in at the end of September because the acids were (with a few notable exceptions, as it turns out) dropping; and we were finished harvesting already on October 25. We worked with pretty short skin contact since the acids had dropped fairly low, but the juice and wine were very stable, and we used hardly any sulfur. Really, everything was picture perfect.” And that’s pretty much how they taste, too! Drink 2013 – 2025″ 93/100 pts
Michael Schmidt (www.jancisrobinson.com):”One wine’s loss is another wine’s gain, and whereas the estate Silvaner may have suffered a loss of edge at the generous hand of the 2011 vintage, the Porphyr trocken took a leap in quality, shedding the underripe character of 2010 and putting in a strong aromatic and minerally performance in 2011. Some ripe fruit stops just short of the exotic, but is put in excellent perspective by a harmonious combination of stony and earthy elements. (MS)” 17/20 pts