2016 Adam & Haart Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett


Mosel Fine Wines: 92/100
Vinous: 91+/100
Wine Spectator: 91/100

“What a beautiful Kabinett!”



Professional reviews:

Mosel Fine Wines (David Rayer & Jean Fisch): “This offers a gorgeous nose of pink grapefruit, ginger and minty herbs. The wine proves hugely zesty on the palate and leaves a stunningly fruity and herb-infused feel in the almost Saar-like finish. What a beautiful Kabinett! 2026-2041” 92/100 pts

Vinous: “Adam didn’t vinify a village-level dry Piesporter this vintage, but luckily we have this luscious Kabinett. Faintly dusty and fermentative notes veil the nose, but behind those come prickly notes of nettle and cassis leaf along with intimations of the lemon and grapefruit that dominate on a delicate, generously juicy palate. The long-lingering, animatingly bright finish is transparent to stony, alkaline and pungently herbal nuances. This needs some time for the aromas to clarify. And there’s no question that its flavors are the least ripe among the three Adam 2016 vintage Kabinetts, which presumably reflects the fact that to achieve Kabinett levity it’s necessary to harvest sooner in Goldtröpfchen than in other nearby sites. 91+/100 pts

Vinous: “Andreas Adam experienced little overall loss of yield to peronospora, but his observations concerning that widespread outbreak are worth recording. On one hand, he insisted that ‘whoever did his job had little problem.’ On the other hand, he reported having lost the entire crop from a few small parcels because his surrounding neighbors didn’t react quickly enough. ‘I sprayed a few rows deep into their vines,’ he testified, ‘but that was not enough. We had a bit of hail in August,’ added Adam, ‘but much worse was the effect of sunburn.’ Even so, his overall yields were only slightly sub-par. Picking here began near the beginning of October and was finished (save for the estate’s first Eiswein) by the end of that month. “The must weights scarcely moved during that period,” observed Adam. ‘It was instead all about aroma- and flavor-building. This made it ideal for Kabinett and dry wines. Near the very end, the grape skins thinned and turned amber, and it was only at that point that we picked some Spätlese and Auslese’ – but even then in small amounts and at modest must weights, the Spätlese having registered just under 90 Oechsle, a level at which other Mosel growers harvest Kabinett. ‘Acids were pretty stable, too,’ reported Adam, ‘but near the end they began to fall off, so you had to be careful. And for us, having waited until the first week of November would have made no sense.’ Adam has the opposite problem from the many Mosel growers who report diminished consumer or collector interest in nobly sweet wines. ‘I would have loved to make BA or TBA again this year,’ he said, ‘because for several years now we have had a clientele eager for these – including in France and Spain, incidentally – but there was too little botrytis for that to have been possible.’ Overall, Adam is justifiably happy with vintage quality, suggesting that ‘2016 is even a bit more fun to drink [macht noch mehr Spass] than 2015.’ I concur. Fermentations were a bit slower than usual at this address (some lasting through February), which Adam attributed to a frigid January – though the dry-tasting wines reached not just legal but in part radical dryness without sacrificing alcoholic buoyancy or animation. ‘Usually I rack those wines off their gross lees soon after fermentation,” related Adam, ‘but this year I left them on the full lees until just before bottling in late April.’

Noteworthy in 2016 is Adam’s having bottled three stylistically distinct wines from three sectors within his monopole, Dhroner Häs’chen (a site I discussed, with an accompanying photograph, in my coverage of vintage 2015). Adam continues to add to his holdings in the Hofberg whenever prime parcels become available. He and his sister Barbera now manage just over a dozen acres of vines, including some only recently planted in a terraced sector of the Hofberg. (Adam’s wife Annika is also intimately involved in the operation.) During my recent visit, Adam offered the following critique (which may seem familiar to my readers) of all too many Grosse Gewächse: ‘You reduce each vine to very few clusters, then in part halve those so as to end up with something like models in the fashion industry: great to look at or photograph, but is that the point? And then you have to pick them before their potential alcohol gets out of hand. You end up with wines that project power, but not personality, that impress but without being fun to drink [ohne Trinkfluss]. And there are Mosel growers who take Pfalz Grosse Gewächse of this sort as their model.’ (For much more about this estate, its distinct stylistic approaches and its vineyard holdings, consult my reports on its 2014 and 2015 collections.) — David Schildknecht, January 2018″

Wine Spectator: “Lovely apple pie and floral notes mingle with the rich texture of this charming Riesling, which features a vibrant underlying structure, built with precision and purity. Inviting, mineral-infused finish.” 91/100 pts

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A.J. Adam, Julian Haart