TN: 2018 Alfred Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese #11 'Urglück'

  • 2018 Alfred Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese #11 'Urglück' - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (10/28/2023)
    When I pulled this bottle a couple of days ago I had no idea that Rolf Merkelbach had passed a week prior. He and his brother were shepherds of memory, of a type of Riesling not seen much anymore. It was only a few years ago that the brothers handed over their estate to the Selbachs, who continue making the wines in the same way the Merkelbach brothers did for so many decades.

    I was introduced to the wines with the 1990 vintage, and followed them regularly from that time on. What always struck me was that the wines never picked up on the bigger is better fashion. They remained true to their roots, and the classical style where the pradikats had meaning.

    This Auslese is consistent with that legacy. It’s Auslese, but many producers would probably sell it as Spätlese. It’s easy to drink, and perhaps even just quaff without thinking. Pause for a moment though, and the spice and red fruit of Wurzgarten becomes clear, with nothing standing in the way. It’s a textbook example of a site being the focus of a wine. And that’s what Merkelbach has always been - a window on the vineyard, brought into being by just a few caring hands.

thank you David. This was one of the few 2018 Germans that I really loved. Still have one bottle of it.

I didn’t know Rolf passed away either. You note is nice tribute to him. May he rest in peace.

The first I’ve heard of Rolf’s passing. Thanks for mentioning it. The death notice from his brother puts it well: “Sein Leben galt dem Wingert.” / “He lived for the vineyard.”

I’ve long been a fan of Merkelbach, though my introduction was their epic 2001s (still going strong of course).

I might open one soon to toast to Rolf.

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I didn’t know of Rolf’s passing until I saw your note on CT just now. Sad to hear that news.

Sounds like a classic Merkelbach wine. Thanks for the note.