Wine Advocate: “From younger vines and lesser plots of the Saarburger Rausch, the 2016 Saarburger Riesling Feinherb is a bright and spicy wine with citrus and slate flavors. Creamy textured and seriously structured, with salty minerality and nice grip, this is a delicate and elegant Riesling with aromatic and juicy fruit. This should be an excellent Riesling with food, especially fish and veggies.
The 2016 harvest was terribly small at the domaine from Dorothee and Hanno Zilliken. Peronospora destroyed almost everything in their Saarburger Rausch, where healthy grapes had to be hunted. ‘Our machines were in the repair shop when we had to use them for sprayings. We got them back a few days too late and couldn’t protect our plants anymore,’ said Hanno when he served me a very few of his (excellent!) 2016s, which sold out in a very short time. Since many of his 2017s were ready to be bottled, I agreed to taste them, although my focus was on the 2016 vintage. To Hanno, 2017 is a top vintage like 2015, and he rates it above 2016 not just in terms of quantity but also quality. However, due to spring frost, the yields were reduced again, but it was not nearly as dramatic as in 2016. Hanno said that 2017 yielded four fuders per hectare compared to just two in 2016. “Although it’s below our average of five fuders (or roughly 50 hectoliters per hectare), we are pretty happy with the resulting wines. They are based on fully ripe and healthy grapes with excellent acidity structures. However, we did not produce any Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese but downgraded our potential BA to a top class Auslese that will be sold at the auction in Trier in September this year.” Due to smaller yields, three other wines are also missing in the 2017 portfolio: Rausch Alte Reben, Rausch “Diabas” and the generic Kabinett. During the tasting, I was deeply impressed by the lush and piquant character of the Prädikatsweine, namely the Kabinett, the two Spätlesen and the Auslesen from the Saarburger Rausch. The Grosses Gewächs (‘GG’) is also terrific, perhaps the finest I have ever tasted from this domaine. Unfortunately, I didn’t taste any Bockstein so far but was happy to taste three historic wines from 2008, 1998 and 1988. The 1988 Eiswein is simply great and will be auctioned—in Magnums only!—in Trier as well.” 90/100 pts
Moselfinewines.com (David Rayer & Jean Fisch): “This wine develops a light flowery nose enhanced by nice notes of peach and candied grapefruit. Attractively zesty acidity makes for a delicately juicy feel and gives this off-dry Riesling quite some charm. The wine then turns smoother in the long and light finish, making it very easy to enjoy now or over the coming years. Now-2024”