Max Ferdinand Richter

Beautiful label, beautiful wine!

Max Ferdinand Richter
Germany, Mülheim
Wine Maker: Dr. Dirk Richter

Max Ferd. Richter has been producing Riesling in the Mosel since 1680. The Richter wines exude great class and breeding along with their classical Mosel raciness, fruitiness and mineral complexity.

This Estate relies purely on must weight, not residual sugar, for the quality, extract and grip which makes Richter not only one of the most exciting estates in Germany, but one of the finest exponents of Riesling anywhere in the world.

Recent vintages have provided an unusually good run; the 2000s are lovely even though this was a difficult year in the vineyard and shows how resilient the noble Riesling grape is on the steep slate slopes of the magnificent Mosel.

The sensational 2001s and 2002s are the best vintages since 1959, and finally prove that Riesling has climbed back on to the mantle where it so richly deserves to be. The super-concentrated 2003s from the hottest, earliest driest vintage on record where you can buy Kabinett level wines harvested at Auslese must weights. Then there are the delightfully bracing 2004s – a classical Mosel vintage showing bright zesty fruit and juicy mineral extract whilst performing the knife-edge Mosel balancing act.

Hot on the heels of this great run of vintages is the superlative 2005 vintage, which has the exotic ripeness of the 2001s and the mineral acidity of the 2004s! The 2006 vintage in the Mosel produced yields lower than both the 2005 and 2003 and Oechsle levels higher than both 2005 and 2003.

In 2008 the Mosel returned some classic dancing Kabinett’s. They are wines which literally dance in your mouth with mineral and crystal-like clarity. The balancing act is superb; crunchy fruit characters, lip-smacking acidity and mineral laden wines which are eminently glugable and very affordable.

Amazingly the ripeness and high degree of the fruity tartaric acidity is such that these wines show great harmony and have the necessary structure to age gracefully for many years.

One of the great contributing factors for this brilliantly vibrant vintage is the time between flowering and picking which was longer than normal. This allowed the grapes to slowly build their fresh high mineral tartaric acidity and compares very favorably with the terrific 2002 vintage.


2009 Richter Estate Riesling
The only qualification required to get into this marvellous off dry Estate wine is to be a vine of less than 15 years old from any of the Max Ferd Richter noble vineyards. Juicy, fruity and crunchy like crisp green apple. A fabulous everyday off-dry Riesling with lovely fruit, mineral and acid balance. 9.5% alcohol. Screwcap

2008 Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett
Fruity, vanilla, poached pear and hints of ginger and nutmeg. The palate delivers superb clarity and detail. It is focused and long as the nectarine and poached pear flavors linger and linger. 8.5% alcohol. Screwcap.

2008 Brauneberger-Juffer Riesling Kabinett
Yellow nectarine and peach with some nutty complexity and spice notes. This dances on the palate; lively, juicy, fine and detailed, peachy flavors and a mineral laden zesty long finish. 8.5% alcohol. Screwcap.

2008 Wehlener-Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett
Spicy and concentrated, almost exotic fruits with wild flowers. The palate shows lovely depth and good richness in a textural framework typically Richter with the loaded mineral finish. 8.0% alcohol. Scewcap

2006 Wehlener-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese
One of the more elegant and finer wines of the 2006s, still with plenty of botrytis it’s just that the character of the wine presents some of the more white fruit flavors, the palate is richly flavored but fine fruited with stacks of mineral and a long acid rich finish.

2006 Brauneberger-Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese
Super ripe and tropically nuanced wine with ripe yellow peach and vanilla extract this smells drop dead gorgeous. Picked at B.A. levels it is little wonder the palate is painstakingly concentrated with macerated yellow peach flavors, a touch of ginger and a creamy texture.

2004 Brauneberger-Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese **Cask 56
The Juffer-Sonnenuhr [the Grand Cru of Brauneberger] lies right in the centre of this famous vineyard close to the river. Loaded with ripe quince, pineapple, passion fruit and marmalade, this is first class juice. The palate weight is piecing, almost tear jerking it is so intense. The Cask 56 is a higher grade than the ‘Goldkapsel’ term used by other Mosel marketers. Drinking this rare, 600 litre production, you can see why. Amazing depth and extract (this was harvest at Beerenauslese level with potential alcohol of 15.5%!) intensely rich and creamy now with brilliantly ripe tartaric acid this will benefit from 20 to 50 years in the right cellar.

2006 Brauneberger-Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese – 375ml –
Similar characters to the Spätlese with the ultra ripe yellow peach and vanilla with a step up in intensity and dusty marmalade complexity. The dense and rich mouth-coating flavors of poached peach and vanilla and lemon curd are very intense and also very defined.

2006 Veldenzer Elisenberg Riesling Auslese **Cask 83 – 375ml –
Stuart Pigott considers the Veldenzer Elisenberg to be among the top quality sites in the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. This example shows red apple and black current, it has a silky smooth texture, sweet and rich, a powerhouse in the making which was picked at a potential alcohol of 20.0%.

2004 Mülheimer Helenenkloster Riesling Eiswein **Cask 121 – 375ml –
From only 200 litres of juice the grapes for this Richter Monopole were harvested on the 21st December 2004 at a freezing minus 10º Celsius and weighed in at 138° Oechsle. The frozen grapes were carefully plucked from the vine in the early hours of the morning before their short journey to the winery where they were checked berry by berry prior to pressing. Pineapple, cooking apples, paw-paw and honeyed; super rich sweet marmalade and cumquat with that gorgeous twangy fruity acidity piercing the crème brulee flavors. This is mouth coating, balanced and super long, multi-dimensional with great back-bone.

2005 Mülheimer Helenenkloster Riesling Beerenauslese – 375ml –
From the same vineyard that delivered the famous Richter Eiswein for twenty years. The conditions weren’t right for Eiswein in 2005 they were perfect however, for this magnificently opulent and plush richly textured masterpiece with its jellied apricot fruits and character filled cumquat marmalade finish.

2005 Brauneberger-Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese – Cor! (19/20) JANCIS ROBINSON
This is a magic act – a mere 7.0% alcohol, a massive 333 grams of residual sugar and whopping 12.7 g/l acidity. This knee-trembling juice with its candied macerated fruits is a command performance in exotic sweet wine production!

2002 Mülheimer Helenenkloster Riesling Eiswein – 375ml –
“The 2002 wine harvest was luckily completed on 8th January 2003 when we were able to pick the hard frozen Riesling grapes of our Mülheimer Helenenkloster monopoly vineyard, thus making the 26th Eiswein since we started in 1961. The temperature was down at –11° Celsius and subsequently the sugar level of that naturally concentrated grape juice jumped to 190° Oechsle – one of the highest levels we ever did reach!”
Dirk Richter, 24th January 2003
Cumquat marmalade, super concentrated, candied jellies, simply awesome. You could smell this for days and still be excited. This is super sweet rich and concentrated; cumquat marmalade, deep and complex crème brulee, so sweet and luscious but still fine with good grip and great acidity.

Perfect drops from German river country
“I have to admit to a strong bias towards the wines of the Mosel-Saar-Ruwer region. Here the wines of Max Ferd Richter, J.J. Prum and Muller (all marketed here, with Richter and Loosen to the fore) stand at the forefront. If you have never tasted these wines ……. cast aside your prejudices and buy a bottle labelled Kabinett (plus the vineyard name, such as Wehlener Sonnenuhr) from the 2001 or 2002 vintage. Make sure you share it with someone – not because of its strength, for it is only 7.5 per cent alcohol, making it the ideal wine for BYO Chinese / Asian restaurants – but because you will want a witness to the extent of your ecstasy. These are, quite simply, the most exciting wines available anywhere in the world today.”
James Halliday, The Weekend Australian

The mighty Mosel. (pic. Euan McKay)