Sunday, April 19, 2015

Eugen MÜLLER -- 2013 Rieslings (Pfalz)

This 17-hectare estate is not well-known, presumably because (1) much of the production is sold to private customers and (2) it is not a member of the prestigious VDP, unlike its more famous neighbors such as Winning, Buhl, Bassermann-Jordan, Mosbacher, Bürklin-Wolf, and Acham-Magin. But make no mistake, the vineyards and the necessary human input are here, allowing savvy customers to enjoy wines from some of Germany’s greatest vineyards at a fraction of the price of the wines from those same vineyards from the other producers mentioned above.

Most observers, including me, rate the Forster Kirchenstück as the greatest vineyard in the Pfalz, and Müller owns an enviable 25% of that vineyard. That alone should cause heads to turn, but he also has substantial holdings in the Forster Jesuitengarten, which many, myself included, would rate as probably just behind Kirchenstück in quality, and there are also holdings in Ungeheur, Pechstein, Freundstück, and Musenhang in Forst, all outstanding vineyards. I often call Forst the Vosne-Romanée of the Pfalz. Müller has no monopoles like the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti does in Vosne-Romanée, but on the other hand, even with its incredible holdings, DRC cannot claim, as can Müller, that it has holdings in every great vineyard in its village. Additionally, Müller has some holdings in Deidesheim (which I call the Chambolle-Musigny of the Pfalz), Ruppertsberg, and Wachenheim.

These great vineyard holdings wouldn’t mean a lot if Stephan Müller didn’t do what was necessary in the vineyards and the cellar to bring out their potential. But since he is doing a top job, the reason for interest is obvious, and therefore, as I wrote a few days ago, this is one of the most underrated producers in the Pfalz, and indeed all of Germany. (Continue reading here.)