Vinous (David Schildknecht): “Gentian and iris, white peach and grapefruit, herbal essences and green tea combine for a head-turning nose and a subtly cooling, infectiously juicy palate, unafraid to display luscious fruitiness and billowing inner-mouth floral perfume as well as scintillating, crystalline mineral shimmer and mouthwatering animal savor, here akin to toasted shrimp-shell reduction. I say “unafraid” because to taste many a Grosses Gewächs, not to mention hear them discussed inside Germany, you could easily get the impression that fruitiness and floral effusion were faults. This captures the imagination as well as the salivary glands, and at least in my case, the heart.” 95/100
Wine Advocate: “Review by Stephan Reinhardt eRobertParker.com # 223 (Mar 2016) Rating: 94+ Drink 2021 – 2034
The 2014 Riesling Monzinger Halenberg GG displays a highly precise and elegant, coolish and flinty/stony flavor on the nose. Concentrated, juicy and with the smooth and elegant acidity again, this is still extremely young and great Halenberg with a very long and complex finish. Grown on a 70% steep slope on slate and quartzite, this finely structured Riesling is so delicate, extremely drinkable and complex, and will still be great in 15 or 20 years.
Due to fastidious grape and berry selections, Werner and Frank Schönleber have produced another excellent vintage even in 2014. Although even the best Rieslings are not extremely concentrated or powerful, due to a relatively early harvest, these are very clear and medium-bodied, elegant, well structured and digestible wines with 12% natural alcohol, good acidity and the complexity of truly great terroirs. To be very honest: It’s not just that the wines are already pretty accessible, these are R.I.E.S.L.I.N.G.s and great Rieslings from great terroirs do not need much alcohol to shine and show intensity. Since the Schönleber family cultivates nothing but great terroirs, you can’t get any disappointing wine here. The Grosses Gewächs Rieslings have been among the finest dry German Rieslings for many years. You should desperately taste the following three Rieslings: Lenz, if you like to have a wine that brings spring onto your palate; Mineral, if you like something challenging with acidity and salinity that will become finer with more years on the bottle; and Monzinger Frühlingsplätzchen trocken, if you like a serious terroir wine that can easily compete with many German Grosses Gewächs Rieslings, though not with Schönleber’s Frühlingsplätzchen GG. Riesling lovers should also check the Spätlesen and Auslesen. These wines are so piquant and mineral that they don’t taste sweet at all. The medium-dry 2014 Halenberg R is still on the lees in January and will go into the market no earlier than this summer. The Schönlebers have done a heroic effort to bring in very good grapes, which had to be examined, cleared and sorted fastidiously. The warm and humid weather at the end of September wasn’t optimal for the grapes because acid flies on the damaged grapes caused acid rot that had to be sorted out without any compromises. “Each grape had to be turned at least twice before it came into the bucket,” says Frank whose father spent the whole harvest outside just to inspect the rows, to control the pickers and their buckets. What came in was of stunningly good quality. The basic qualities were selected between September 26 and October 10 at 88° to 94° Oechsle, whereas the last days until October 20 were dedicated to the grand crus that were picked at 91° (Auf der Ley GG), 92° (Frühlingsplätzchen GG) and 93° Oechsle (Halenberg GG). These were bottled in May (so earlier than usually), whereas the basics and the predicates were bottled in March/April. 2014 is another great portfolio from Emrich-Schönleber that offers a lot from which to choose.” 94+/100 pts