What's Old is New Again, with Maximin Grunhaus' Zippy Riesling

What's Old is New Again, with Maximin Grunhaus' Zippy Riesling

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…but whoever coined that adage clearly never met the wizards at Maximin Grunhuas.

The viticultural history at this famed Ruwer estate is old — we mean really, really, really old. By the time of Emperor Otto (successor of Charlemagne), their status as a winery had been documented. But even the von Schubert family was astounded when archaeologists discovered their building foundations were originally laid as part of a Roman road. This, coupled with Roman pruning shears and amphorae dug up in the vineyards, brings their wine history back another 500 years!!

So, after 1,800 years, we were excited to try something new from a place so old: Maximin, a zippy, slightly off-dry Riesling with the wispy citrus and aromatic purity inherent in the Ruwer.

The von Schuberts, who’ve been in charge of the estate for 6 generations, have recently acquired new parcels. Instead of blending these with their village level wines, they decided they deserved their own bottling and expanded their line.

Production methods are every bit as rigorous for the new wine as any of the classics, giving the wine the same inimitable quality as those found elsewhere at the estate. The vineyards, although not certified organic, are farmed with organic fertilizers and never see chemical herbicides or pesticides.

Down in their ancient cellar, wines ferment spontaneously with only ambient yeast — a rarity in Germany these days. These native yeast strains are key: Maximin von Schubert attributes the wines’ singular flavor profile and incredible quality at least in part to the flavors they help develop. The wines are aged in a mix of stainless steel tanks and old wooden fuder, another not so popular choice among modern German winemakers. Even cooler is that the wood for these fuder are now sourced from their own oak forests.

We were so delighted with this new wine from the highly touted 2019 vintage that we decided to buy everything the supplier had. The price is already unbelievably fair but with summer just around the corner and everyone eager to share a glass of wine (or a year’s worth of glasses) with friends, we’ve added a deeper discount on 6 or more bottles.

Maximin Grunhaus (Carl von Schubert), Riesling Maximin, 2019