Saarburger Rausch, Riesling, Spätlese

    Saarburger Rausch, Riesling, Spätlese,



    Zilliken, Saarburger Rausch, Riesling, Spätlese, 1999

    Justerini & Brooks Tasting note
    Zilliken, Saarburger Rausch, Riesling, Spätlese, 1999

    Plenty of smoky Saar character on the nose, apricots, peach, a touch of mint on the palate, this hasn’t developed a huge amount of creaminess yet, is moreover a wine of lip-smackingly satisfying up front fruit. Succulent Spatlese, ready to drink now.

    Drink Up
    David Schildknecht, Vinous
    This wine was raised in a five-year-old fuder with the intention of lending some structure and some pushback to its sweetness – and there is indeed a lot of sweetness here, pushing things in a syrupy direction. Quince and pear jellies and glazed pineapple dominate on the nose and the viscous, glycerol-rich palate. Happily, there is a lovely sense of lift despite the wine’s sheer concentration. Hints of zest from candied citrus peels as well as of resin from barrel add to the counterpoint supplied by tangy pineapple core on a finish of formidable persistence. And one hopes that there will be further diversity as well as a counter to the sweetness as this wine evolves in bottle. It originated with a 117-Oechsle must, and Hanno Zilliken even referred to it as a “super Auslese,” adding with a smile, “one that lent itself to offering as our auction Spätlese.” And he readily admitted that the estate has never before marketed as Spätlese any wine this concentrated and from fruit this high in must weight. (Readers already familiar with the Zillikens’ unique approach to registration numbers will recognize that this wine’s A.P. #7 implies not just that they deemed it superior in quality but also that it reflects a higher must weight than do three wines – the A.P. #s 8-10 – that were labeled as Auslese.)
    Date Reviewed:


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    Allergen Information:
    This product may contain sulphites. Full allergen information is available upon request, please call our Customer Relations Team on +44 (0)20 7484 6430.


    The life of a Saar Riesling grower is not an easy one. Possibly one of the coldest and most marginal corners of Germany, the Saar can produce some of the world’s great white wine in hot sunny years such as 1990. However, these are usually outnumbered by cold wet years resulting in over astringent and unripe wines. There are a small band of growers though who have a distinct advantage over the rest in the land that they own. A handful of Saar vineyards are steep enough and exposed enough to ensure a decent level of grape ripening even in poor years. Hanno Zilliken is fortunate enough to have sizeable holdings in Saarburg’s great vineyard, the steep south-facing Rausch. He exploits these slate based vines to the maximum through careful pruning and hand selection. When the wine is pressed, it gently descends by gravity into the oak casks lying in Hanno’s dark damp cellars. The wines are prime examples of Saar Riesling, being mouthwateringly taut, mineral and sophisticated.

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