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Müller is based in Scharzhof in Wiltingen. Among the highest rated Riesling wines in Germany (on www.riesling.de) Egon Mueller has three of the top eight wines.

Notorious for their low yields, the wines of Egon Müller tend to be richer and fuller than others of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. The 2017’s are no different.

Saar Rieslings are known for their well balanced, fine acid compositions. I love them for their explosiveness, zest and intense aromas. They have structure and balance, are low in alcohol (although higher than those from the Mosel) and usually impress with a long finish, lingering on your tongue  like a ballerina which you can still see before your inner eye long after they left the stage.

I had the great pleasure of trying the 2017 Kabinett last week. MIND BLOWN!

The precision, poise and definition here is epic. An incredibly pure core of fruit with such persistence. So fine and long. Insanely good.

Looking at the numbers it’s got an extra 1% alcohol over Dr Loosen’s Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett and around the same sugar. Meaning it was picked riper by around 18g/L of sugar and all of that sugar was fermented out. The consequence, riper fruit profiles and increased vinosity.

Müller’s Trockenbeerenauslese ofter reaches the price of a small car per bottle!

Fortunately, we have an array of special wines at much more affordable prices.

Winemaking Grapegrowing

From Weingut Egon Müller

At Scharzhof we favour a traditionally minimalist approach to winemaking. Our work continues to be based on the quality driven philosophy of the late Egon Müller III

One hundred per cent of the quality of a wine is generated in the vineyard. It is impossible to reach even 101 per cent in the cellars but it is a great achievement to pack the full potential of the vines into a bottle

Like most great estates, old vines, perfect sites, low yields, respect for the environment, no herbicides, or pesticides, as few fungicides as possible and no additions to the wine bar sulphur are the norm.

Auction Wines

We also have a couple of sneaky Auction wines available.

The Verband deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates, abbreviated VDP), is an elite group of some 200 quality-oriented German vintners who are committed to terroir-driven viticulture at the highest level. Each producer carries the ‘VDP eagle’ symbol and is committed to expressing the best of their terroir at all price points.

The auction is a once in a year event in which producers of the VDP offer one or a few tiny batches of very special and/or unique wines, and in most cases the auction is the only way that these wines can be purchased.

The wine makers are heavily motivated as they want their peers to taste and be impressed by these very special bottles so reputations and pride are powerful motivators for these special wines.

Some of the batches are just 50lt (in the case of TBAs) or just one barrel in other cases.

Essentially these are the best of the best from the wineries that are not general releases. In other words volume = 11!

The 2017 vintage at Weingut Egon Müller-Scharzhof

The winter 2016-2017 began early and it was cold. From the Eiswein harvest on November 30th at -9,5°C, it stayed cold until the end of January. The dry weather that prevailed since July continued. In February temperatures rose and March was quite warm and sunny. April began spring-like and soon the first fresh leaves appeared on the vines. Between April 18th and 28th temperatures dropped repeatedly to -5°C causing considerable frost damage particularly in the lower part of the Scharzhofberg. However, since it wasn’t always radiation-frost but occasionally there was also wind-frost and even a bit of snow, no vineyard was completely spared.

Overall, April was very dry with only 4,6 mm of precipitation and because of the dry conditions the losses were limited and probably didn’t exceed 30%. May was hot. It remained dry but the vineyards thrived. The first flowers could be found on the vines in late May and by midJune, the flowering was finished everywhere. Since it didn’t rain we only started spraying the vineyards in June, using organic products. Despite the continuing drought, the grapes developed well and the berries were rather big, compensating partially for the losses from the frost.

In July the trend turned: It remained warm but we had more than average rainfall. By the end of July veraison began and we finished spraying with the 5th treatment from July 28th to 30th. The warm and humid weather continued but the vines remained surprisingly healthy.

Only by late August, Botrytis appeared. September was cold and wet but because of the cooler conditions, the spreading of Botrytis was slowed considerably. Yet it was clear that harvest would be early. The weather improved by midSeptember and after a few dry and sunny days, we started picking on September 25th. The first week of the harvest was fine with morning fog and sunny afternoons and we picked Botrytis affected grapes and from those selected the dry, shrivelled berries for Beerenauslese or Trockenbeerenauslese. Sugars were high and so were the acidity levels.

On September 30th it began to rain, and on October 3rd we received 18 mm overnight. Up to that point the long-range weather forecast had been favourable. The rainy weekend had been forecasted but the following 2 weeks were supposed to be dry. Over the weekend it did change however, and we had to prepare for rainier conditions. Still, we continued our selective picking, even though it slows down the harvest considerably. Fortunately, there were only minor showers and towards the next weekend it became dry again. After a few sunny days we picked the last grapes on October 14th.

For us this is the earliest harvest ever. We began 4 days earlier than 2003 and we finished 2 days earlier than 2014. This is of course due to the hot spring and summer speeding up the ripening of the grapes. The April frost played its part by reducing the quantity and allowing the vines a stress free development during the drought. Because of the experience of past hot vintages we do look a bit more at the acidity levels and maybe pick a bit earlier but first and foremost the early finish is due to the small yields: We only harvested 29 “Fuder” or an average of 18 hl/ha.

Besides the frost it was noble rot that caused loss of volume through evaporation, compensating us with increased concentration. We have promising Auslese, Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese that make up a significant part of the crop. Still, 2017 isn’t a Botrytis vintage like 2005 or 2006, where every single grape is affected by Noble Rot. All the plots in Scharzhofberg and Wiltinger braune Kupp were picked in 2 passes, each time selecting for Botrytis. The remaining grapes that will go into the Kabinett were healthy, golden and crunchy. Thus 2017 resembles 2011 but while the sugar levels are comparable, the acidity is on average 1,5 g/l higher, wines that with all their power and concentration will remain excitingly elegantEgon Muller

Where in the World is Weingut Egon Müller-Scharzhof?

Egon-Müller is in the Saar valley a smaller tributary that runs of the Mosel river.

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Egon Müller's 2017s

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About the Wines

2017 Egon Muller Scharzhof Qualitats Riesling

93 Points

Enticing aromas of elderflower and saffron lead off, with an intriguing silky texture enveloping the apple, spice and mineral flavors of this white. Barely off-dry, this is harmonious and long, delivering a refreshing finish. A lovely sipper, but this would be a great complement to food as well. Drink now through 2029.

Aleks Zecevic, Wine Spectator

92 Points

The effusive aromas of white fruits and blossoms draw you into this very elegant and polished Saar riesling. The racy acidity beautifully balances with the touch of sweetness. The steely finish is super straight. Drink or hold.

James Suckling

Lovely

The Scharzhof QbA bottling is again a lovely example in 2017. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a very pretty blend of white cherries, pear, slate, a touch of petrol and a delicate touch of citrus peel in the upper register. On the palate the wine is fullish, crisp and nicely transparent, with zesty acids, fine focus and very good length and grip on the promising finish. This is one of the most ageworthy 'estate Rieslings' produced in all of Germany and the 2017 will once again be a nice, long distance runner. 2018-2040.

John Gilman

2017 Egon Muller Scharzhofberger Riesling Kabinett

Note from Paul: This is seriously underscored by all critics tasted by most at least 9 months ago it has resolved and built generosity. This was stunning last week!

91 Points

This features powerful acidity and racy minerality to the rich flavors of nectarine and lemon tart. Stays elegant and refreshing midpalate, while notes of cream emerge on the finish. Give this a few more years to integrate. Best from 2020 through 2027.
Note from Paul: This is seriously underscored tasted by Aleks 9 months ago it has

Aleks Zecevic, Wine Spectator

93 Points

An extremely racy and vibrant Kabinett that packs a ton of character into its sleek frame. A rapier-like finish that flashes as it moves across the palate. Drink or hold. (6/2018)

James Suckling

92 Points

The “regular” 2017 Kabinett from the Scharzhofberg is a classic example of the fuller, lower yield style from Egon Müller. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a nascently complex blend of pear, green apple, a fine base of slate, a touch of fresh lime and a lovely floral topnote redolent of iris blossoms. On the palate the wine is crisp, fullish and very nicely balanced, with ripe, zesty acids, fine focus and grip, very good balance and plenty of complexity to come with a bit of bottle age. Very tasty. 2022-2050. (7/2018)

John Gilman

2017 Egon Scharzhofberger Riesling Spatlese

95 Points

Rich and lush, but with piercing acidity running through, creating an elegant floral feel, delivering flavors of lavender, kiwi, elderberry and candied lime. The vibrant structure imparts focus and length, as this stays intense but balanced on the kaleidoscopic, mineral-inflected aftertaste. Great clarity and expression. Best from 2021 through 2036.

Aleks Zecevic, Wine Spectator

2017 Egon Scharzhofberger Riesling Auslese

96 Points

A monumental auslese that focuses on freshness and minerality, rather than concentration and sweetness. This glides across the palate seamlessly, showing peach tart, ginger glaze and lemon curd flavors accented by thyme and spice. Well-structured and harmonious, but also with intense acidity for now. Elegantly framed on the super long, pure-tasting finish. Give this time to integrate. Best from 2021 through 2045.

Aleks Zecevic, Wine Spectator

2017 Wiltinger Braune Kupp Riesling Spatlese

94 Points

Seriously attractive orange blossoms on the nose. Plenty of ripe fruit on the palate, but this remains restrained and classical. The finish is long with plenty of mineral freshness. Drink or hold. (6/2018)

James Suckling

93 Points

There are two Spätlesen from the Braune Kupp vineyard this year, with one being earmarked for sale at the auctions in Trier. This is the regular bottling that will be available through the trade and it is really lovely, with just a blush of botrytis adding a nice glaze to its aromatic and flavor elements. The complex nose offers up scents of white cherries, lime blossoms, bee pollen, a touch of fresh mint, lovely slate undertow and a topnote of white flowers. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish and quite suave on the attack, with excellent focus and balance, vibrant acids and very good length and grip on the zesty and complex finish. This will be delicious to drink from the outset, but will age very nicely as well. 2018-2045+. (7/2018)

John Gilman

2017 Wiltinger Braune Kupp Riesling Auslese

96 Points

Within the context of Egon Müller, this is a quite a bold and generous wine. However, like the other wines of this vintage from this site, it has a super straight and fresh finish that pulls you back for more. Drink or hold. (6/2018)

James Suckling

94 Points

The 2017 Braune Kupp Auslese from Egon Müller is another beautiful wine in the making, with great purity and salty mineral drive coupled to its nice glaze of botrytis. The aromatic constellation delivers a mix of pear, white cherries, a hint of mint, bee pollen, salty soil tones, hints of the honeycomb to come with bottle age and a topnote of violets. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and beautifully glazed, with an elegant profile, a fine core, bright, zesty acids and excellent length and grip on the complex and vibrant finish. This wine deserves at least five years in the cellar to start to show some of its secondary layers, but it is so delicious right now that I am sure that many bottles will be drunk with great pleasure right out of the blocks. 2023-2075+. (7/2018)

John Gilman

Auction Wine

2017 Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Alte Reben (1890 Vines) Riesling Kabinett

94+ Points

The 2017er Scharzhofberger Kabinett Alte Reben comes from old vines in the central (“Breiten Weg”) and upper front (“Knipp”) part of the vineyard, and was fermented down to just over 40 g/l of residual sugar. It develops a beautiful but still backward nose of pear, apple, passion fruit, wet stones, herbs and spices, all wrapped into fresher scents of white flowers, sea breeze and mint. The wine proves delicately creamy and intense on the palate and leaves a beautifully pure and nicely zesty feel of elderflower and minerals in the long, spicy and refined finish. This one is made for the long haul, as it needs to integrate its complex and delicately fruity elements. It has quite some upside potential as it gains in finesse with aging. 2027-2047. 

Mosel Fine Wines