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Merkelbach, Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett, 2021

White Wine from Mosel, Germany


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With 140 combined vintages under their lederhosen, Alfred and Rolf are getting up there in age, and are ready to pass the baton on... well, mostly. Unsurprisingly, they'd rather spend their golden years tinkering in their beloved vines than in a cold, damp cellar. So while they continue the daily climb to their teensy Middle Mosel estate, the equally historic Selbach family have agreed to do the dirty work for them. Ürziger Würzgarten. It is one of the valley's steeper vineyards, curved into an amphitheater, and crimson-hued thanks to the red slate throughout. When the Selbachs took over, they agreed to keep making the wines the way they have been for decades. Everything is still done by hand, in their giant, ancient fuder, with direct instruction from the Merkelbachs. And the results? Dare we say...near perfection? At last year's Skurnik German tasting — among literally hundreds of wines — this bottle stood out.


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Every time you open a good bottle of wine it's an opportunity to travel, usually to that special place where the grapes were grown and the wine was made.

But sometimes the wine will take you on a trip through time. There are a few estates that haven't changed for decades. But not many—López de Heredia comes to mind, and Lafarge in Volnay. When you taste their wines, you experience something ancient and beautiful. Time travel.

In the case of the Merkelbachs, that time is the 1950s. Nothing has changed since then: for all those decades the same two brothers have made wines from the same terroirs, over and over again, using the same ancient methods on their beautiful, old, ungrafted vines. They started young and are both around 80 years old today.

Like López and Lafarge, the wines are extraordinarily good. They have to be for the project to survive so long, working this way.

Professional Reviews

Robert Parker

RP 92
"The 2021 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett opens with a clear, fine, intense and purely slatey nose with ripe apple aromas. Round and refined on the palate, this is a filigreed, saline and stimulating Kabinett with round and elegant fruit, crystalline acidity and fine grip on the finish. Excellent! 8% stated alcohol. Natural cork."

What importer Skurnik Wines has to say about this wine...

Varietal: Riesling
Region: Mosel
Appellation: Mosel
Vineyard: Ürzinger Würzgarten
Soil Type: Blue Devonian slate
Fermentation & Élevage: Old Mosel fuder


  • Grape Variety


  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Farming Practice


  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Medium Bodied

German Wines

Is there a better grape than Riesling? Is there a better value? Its fruit purity, its perfume, and its mineral nuance are all unparalleled. And for centuries, the top German Rieslings were priced accordingly: at least as expensive as the top red wines of Bordeaux and Burgundy. But nowadays you could spend a lifetime exploring Germany’s great Riesling-producing regions while staying well within your budget. You might take an occasional break to try Germany’s other white grapes or perhaps a glass of Spätburgunder (the local name for Pinot Noir). It’s time to get started!

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