2014 A.J. Adam Hofberg Riesling Kabinett


Wine Advocate: 92/100
Wine Spectator: 92/100
Vinous: 89/100

This is a picture-book Mosel Kabinett and it drinks pretty dry. It’s a Must Buy.”



Professional reviews:

Wine Advocate: “Review by Stephan Reinhardt eRobertParker.com # 223 (Mar 2016) Rating: 92 Drink 2016 – 2034 

Sourced in the back of the side valley from healthy grapes with 79° Oechsle, the steel-fermented 2014 Hofberg Kabinett shows a very clear and pure, smoky-flavored bouquet with fine and ripe, yet lovely piquant Riesling flavors along with lemon aromas. Light, piquant and sweet on the palate, this is an extraordinary Kabinett because it is not just light, fruity and piquant, but also very complex and filled with tension. This is a picture-book Mosel Kabinett and it drinks pretty dry. It’s a Must Buy.

Andreas Adam welcomed me in the stylishly renovated house of his grandparents in the tiny village of Dhron. I have rarely seen a top producer in such a narrow lane and in such a small house. I felt like I was guest in a film from the first half of the 20th century. I like this humble and authentic scenery ,because Adam is a small producer who is currently building his reputation with lovely, clear, bright, finesse-full and elegant Mosel Rieslings from top sites in Dhron and Piesport. He is doing this even in highly problematic vintages, such as 2012 (peronospera), 2013 and now also 2014. “I don’t need the 2014 vintage again,” says Adam. “I haven’t seen something like this in all my life. We had to start our harvest at the end of September in 2014, although many vintners in the valley are still saying ‘Don’t pick before October!’ But that’s old thinking. In fact, we started at the end of September and finished October 20. In particular, the warmer plots, which always had a great reputation in former times, tend to rot early nowadays ,because the grapes have a higher ripeness and the skins are much more sensible when the autumn rainfalls are setting in. As a result, we needed many, many pickers because the later it gets the more grapes were affected from wet botrytis and vinegar, also due to the warm October temperatures. Quite early, we already gave up five or six out of 40 parcels, which added up to 0.6 hectares, just to concentrate on our top vineyards. It was very important to fine the musts through cooling them down before the fermentation, because we don’t like to filter them since this would take too many nutrients away that we need for the natural fermentation.” “What we have put onto the press had nothing to do with what we have seen in the vineyards. Even in our Spätlese, there is no botrytis! We have sorted it all out, even if it caused tears in the eyes of our oldest pickers. The must weights were not that high and so the wines fermented quickly to moderate volumes of 11% alcohol.” The results are stunning. No botrytis and no raisin flavors at all in all of his vines, not even the entry level estate Riesling. Adam is surely one of the top performers in the Mittelmosel in 2014, and if I had to recommend just one wine of his 2014s, it would be probably the Häs’chen. This is an old, ungrafted vineyard Adam purchased that he is now bringing back onto the map of the finest Mosel wines like before the Dhroner Hofberg, which also in 2014 brought great Rieslings again, including the beautiful Kabinett. The Auslese was already sold out and I did not taste it. Needless to mention that Adam’s Goldtröpfchen is the finest next to Johannes Haart’s Grosses Gewächs, and that the medium dry “in der Sängerei” is another top Riesling of Adam’s convincing 2014 portfolio.” 92/100 pts

Wine Spectator: “This boasts a powerful minerally aroma, with a deep well of richly spiced Gala apple and Asian pear flavors. The lightly honeyed finish is complex and elegant, offering some savory notes. Drink now through 2022. –KM” 92/100 pts

Vinous (David Schildknecht): “Picked at only 79 Oechsle, this comes off feather-light without having had to leave behind more than faint sweetness. Fresh lemon and toasted hickory nut in the nose translate into a piquant and brightly citric palate impression reinforced by tart rhubarb and offset by mouthwatering salinity. The finish of this lean Riesling is almost painfully penetrating but at the same time ultra-invigorating. Administering a sniff and sip of these slate-infused smelling salts would certainly wake someone from a dead sleep! Give it time to settle down a bit. It might eventually age fantastically, though I am hedging my bets. (This is effectively Adam’s default wine of the vintage: the place to which clean fruit not suited for other bottlings was shunted. Given the volume, he had to bottle twice. But it was done almost back-to-back; the two wines have identical chemistry, indeed are indistinguishable – so their difference in A.P. numbers is irrelevant.)” 89/100pts

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A.J. Adam