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Although Schloss Eltz ceased operations back in the 1970s, the family still guards a treasure trove of several thousand bottles of Riesling from this justifiably legendary winery. On the occasion of the International Riesling Symposium, which was hosted by Schloss Reinhartshausen in the Rheingau in November 2010, Sophie Gräfin and Karl Graf zu Eltz invited guests to a memorable tasting of Schloss Eltz wines from eight decades.

Not only the noble sweet rarities impressed, but also the old, sometimes fully fermented cabinet Rieslings often showed themselves in amazing form. Today, you will look in vain for some vineyards on Rheingau labels. They had to make way for roads or housing developments. All in all, the tasting painted a picture of Rheingau Riesling that is characterised by finesse, depth and elegance, qualities that you also have to look for today in this legendary Riesling region, whose memory lies to a large extent in the cellars of Schloss Eltz.

Schloss Reinhartshausen hosted the International Riesling Symposium in 2010. (Photo: DWI)

1973 Eltviller Sonnenberg Ice Wine Beerenauslese
92 Relatively tart, a hint of oxidative aroma of candied citrus fruits and herbal malt with spicy botrytis notes. Very sweet in the mouth, but also racy and juicy, candied fruit, lively acidity, has play, very good substance and depth, herbal spicy notes, minerality in the background, very good to long finish.

1971 Rauenthaler Baiken Auslese
87 Very clear, deep aroma of candied and dried stone fruit with notes of candied herbs. Slender and finely fruity in the mouth, earthy-vegetable notes and hints of dried flowers, quite elegant style, animating, very good finish.

1971 Rauenthaler Baiken Trockenbeerenauslese
97 Complex, deep aroma of malt, dried fruits and candied herbs with spicy tones. Creamy, candied and dried fruits also in the mouth, some honey, very fine acidity, fine breed, complex and deep on the palate, beguiling, great length.

1976 Rauenthaler Baiken Trockenbeerenauslese
92 Somewhat oxidative scent of candy, caramel and herbs with aromas of dried stone fruit and dried herbs. Very sweet, spicy fruit in the mouth, candy and caramel, plus notes of dried flowers and foliage, fine acidity, good persistence and some depth, long.

1970 Rauenthaler Gehrn Spätlese
84 Aged, herbaceous bouquet of caramelised and dried stone and pome fruits with mineral notes. Very slender, almost dry-looking fruit in the mouth, present acidity, planty notes, a touch muted on the palate, no longer too deep, decent finish.

1966 Rauenthaler Burggraben Spätlese
83 Herbaceous and slightly old woody nose with earthy notes and aromas of candied stone fruit and peaches. Slender fruit and again slightly old woody notes in the mouth, lively acidity and very restrained residual sugar, somewhat drying on the palate, not too deep, decent to good finish.

1969 Rauenthaler Baiken Auslese
89 Aroma of candied stone fruit and apples with a hint of honey and caramel as well as notes of dried flowers. Soft and sweet in the mouth, slightly planty tones, fine acidity, also tart notes on the palate, earthy-mineral tones, good persistence, harmonious, very good finish.

1967 Eltviller Sonnenberg Auslese
94 Herbaceous bouquet of dried and candied pome and stone fruit with mineral notes and aromas of dried flowers. Delicate, sweet fruit with delicate spice and herbal notes, incredibly stimulating, lively, almost exciting acidity, deep and persistent on the palate, in captivating form, long.

1964 Rauenthaler Baiken Auslese
92 Candied and dried yellow fruits on the nose, herbal aromas and minerality. Lively, sweet and quite juicy in the mouth, herbal and mineral notes, fine, present acidity, animating bite, earthy to mineral notes in the background, very good finish.

1963 Rauenthaler Gehrn Auslese Cabinet
89 Delicately smoky and clearly herbaceous nose with aromas of dried citrus fruits and apples. Quite sweet, partly dried, partly candied fruit with herbal notes, fine acidity, good persistence and medium depth, harmonious, very good finish.

1962 Rauenthaler Gehrn Auslese
74 Old woody and earthy nose with a slight stink and bitter soup herb notes. Also bitter in the mouth, dull, already dull fruit, little life, drying finish.

1953 Rauenthaler Gehrn Beerenauslese
96 Deep herbal scent with minty tones, aromas of dried flowers as well as preserved and candied stone fruit. Concentrated, sweet, candied fruit in the mouth, creamy and at the same time firm, very fine, lively, almost racy acidity, fine spiciness on the palate, excellent depth, long finish. Splendid.

Many of the top wines tasted come from the vineyards around Rauenthal. (Photo: DWI)

1955 Eltviller Mönchsharnach Cabinet
85 Freshly corked and freshly sulphured, therefore unusually light coloured. Honey scent with herbal notes, some foliage and mineral tones. Dry in the mouth, restrained fruit with earthy and herbal notes, a little salty, lively acidity, slightly drying on the palate, neat, tart finish.

1953 Eltviller Klümbchen Spätlese
84 Caramel fragrance with a hint of citrus and vegetal notes. Lean and dry in the mouth, herbaceous and earthy, fine acidity, not much depth but some persistence on the palate, decent to good finish.

1959 Rauenthaler Burggraben Spätlese
87 Herbaceous and planty aroma of citrus fruits with mineral and a hint of earthy notes. Slender and sweet in the mouth, fine acidity, herbal and again also earthy tones on the palate, a hint of candy, certain persistence, slightly muted, good to very good finish.

1959 Rauenthaler Burggraben Auslese
93 Quite deep, mineral and herbaceous aroma of partly candied apples and stone fruit. Fine, sweet fruit with very fine acidity, dried planty to herbal aromas on the palate, distinct minerality, lasting on the palate, good depth, fine bite, very good to long finish.

1949 Eltviller Sonnenberg Spätlese
88 Tart, dried-vegetable and herbaceous aroma of candied citrus fruits and some peach. Calm, sweet fruit in the mouth, very fine acidity, certain bite, earthy-mineral tones, good persistence, harmonious, very good finish.

1947 Eltviller Mönchsharnach Cabinet
83 Fairly light colour. Not completely clear, somewhat bitter-vegetable scent of tart citrus fruits and some apple. Very lean, dry fruit with present acidity, herbal and mineral spiciness on the palate, has bite and with air increasingly grip, good finish. Possibly still too freshly re-corked and sulphured and therefore somewhat closed.

1945 Rauenthaler Gehrn Spätlese
88 Relatively bright. Mineral scent of stone and pome fruit with herbal notes. Almost completely dry fruit in the mouth, herbal-spicy and mineral, a trace of tannin, harmonious acidity, good persistence, very good, somewhat spicy finish.

1941 Rauenthaler Gehrn Spätlese
82 Light coloured. Planty scent of dried herbs, including soup herbs, as well as restrained aromas of yellow fruits. Lean and acidic in the mouth, herbal-earthy tones, restrained fruit, tastes younger than it is, even if it lacks some expression and substance, decent finish.

1939 Rauenthaler Gehrn Cabinet
88 Relatively light coloured. Herbaceous, dried-vegetable and foliage-like scent of citrus and peach, slight suspicion of cork. Lively, juicy-sweet citrus fruit in the mouth, lively and persistent, animating acidity, herbal spiciness and salty notes on the palate, some depth, very good finish. Very good despite the slight suspicion of cork.

1937 Kiedricher Sandgrub Spätlese
86 Oxidative bouquet of sour dried apple and bitterish sultana bread with foliage notes. Sweet fruit with lively, taut acidity, earthy and a little dry-tannic on the palate, dry herb aromas and foliage, very good finish.

1937 Rauenthaler Baiken Trockenbeerenauslese
100 Deep, complex aroma of coffee, nuts, currants and dried apples with herbal aromas. Taut, juicy, dense and racy in the mouth, ripe, sweet and yet downright crisp fruit, highly refined, taut acidity, coffee liqueur on the palate, minerality in the background, very deep and extremely complex, completely timeless, perfect balance, great length. Breathtaking.

1921 Kiedricher Sandgrub Spätlese
85 Braised chestnuts, soup herbs and tart yellow fruits on the nose. Also a little reminiscent of soup in the mouth, notes of dried stone fruit, delicate sweetness and fitting acidity, herbal notes on the palate, slightly drying, very good finish.

1893 Eltviller Mönchsharnach Cabinet
93 Fine spicy aroma of partly dried yellow fruits with aromas of tea, cedar wood and a little soup stock with fine dried floral spice. Fine-juicy and delicately sweet in the mouth, flavours of tart dried fruits, herbal-spicy on the palate, persistent, perhaps a touch drying, some depth, still animating, very good finish.

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