Truly spectecular: 1999 Schloss Saarstein – Serriger Riesling Auslese

A few weeks ago, I saw a bottle of a 1999 Riesling at a local wine store in Munich. I’ve heard a lot of great things about aged Riesling but I actually never tried any. Because I was unfamiliar with the wines from Schloss Saarstein I asked my friend Oliver, a true Riesling expert, whether he can recommend the wine or not. Oliver told me that the wine should be great therefore I decided to buy the wine. Let me tell you right away: the 1999 Schloss Saarstein Serriger Riesling Auslese was one of the very best white wines that I’ve tasted so far.

Schloss Saarstein

Schloss Saarstein is located in Serrig an der Saar, a small town in Germany’s Saar Valley. The Saar raises in the Vosges Mountains and flows into the Moselle near Trier. Schloss Saarstein is best known for its Riesling. The styles range from simple Kabinett to more sophisticated Beerenauslese. Regularly Schloss Saarstein Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese fetch top prices at VDP-auctions. The winery distinguishes between three levels of quality. Saarstein is their most basic line. Wines labeled Schloss Saarstein are of higher quality. Only Schloss Saarstein’s finest wines are classified as Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner Riesling “VDP” Grosse Lage.

Saartal by Wolfgang Staudt License: CC BY 2.0

Saartal by Wolfgang Staudt License: CC BY 2.0

Mosel-Saar-Ruwer QbA

The three valleys of Moselle, Saar and Ruwer form Germany’s most prestigious wine region for quality wines which until 2007 was known as Mosel-Saar-Ruwer QbA. On 1 August 2007 the region was renamed to Mosel QbA. The new name is considered more consumer friendly. However in my opinion the new name does not indicate anymore that the wine regions includes all three river valleys and not just the Mosel valley. Many very good Riesling are produced along the Saar and Ruwer therefore the old name was more precise. If Mosel QbA is more consumer friendly then Ruwer and Saar should get their own QbA wine region. Saar QbA and Ruwer Qba. Do you like the old name or the new one better? Why?

Tasting Notes: 1999 Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner Riesling Auselse

Alright let’s get back to the 1999 Schloss Saarsteiner Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner Riesling Auselse Mosel-Saar-Ruwer QbA. Why do German wine names always have to be so long?

According to various sources the wine has an aging potential of more than 40 years. Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner Riesling Auselse is produced with 100% Riesling grapes. Unfortunatly I found no technical sheet on the winery’s website so I cannot provide you with any other information.

1999 Schloss Saar Stein Serringer Schloss Saarsteiner Riesling AuselseAuslese, literally meaning selected harvest, indicates a late harvest Prädikatswein.

Prior to drinking the wine was decanted for roughly 20 minutes. The cork smelled bad and I was worried that the wine might be spoiled. Thankfully it was not!

In the glass, Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner Riesling Auselse had an incredible golden-amber color. The label listed alcohol by volume was 9%.

The nose, was a true sensation! Right after pouring the first glass there was just one Aroma: Petrol. Aged quality Riesling often tend to smell like petrol. A few minutes later exotic fruit joined the petrol smell and after roughly 15 minutes the petrol aroma was completely gone. Passion fruit and pine apple were now most dominant.

On the palate, there were notes of mature fruit (especially red apple and pine apple), candid oranges and honey. Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner Riesling Auselse was quite sweet and well-balanced. Even after 14 years there was still some refreshing acidity. The wine was extremely smooth and very vivid. The never-ending finish was truly unforgettable.

5 / 5 stars      

Parting Words

This is one of the very best Riesling that I have tasted so far which is underlined by my 5 star rating for this wine. I strongly encourage you to give the 1999 Schloss Saarstein  Serriger Schloss Saarsteiner Riesling Auselse a try. Price-wise this wine seems to vary  lot. I bought a bottle in Munich for under 12€ but there are online shops selling it for 40€+.

What is your opinion on aged Riesling? What was the oldest white wine that you have tasted so far?

26 comments on “Truly spectecular: 1999 Schloss Saarstein – Serriger Riesling Auslese”

  1. hannah-theis hannah-theis Reply

    Great review! This sounds like a Riesling to try! I can’t believe that you were able to get it for so little money. I think that the old name of the Mosel wine region is too long. I like the new one better.
    Is Auslese the most expensive type of Qualitaswein?

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Hannah,
      Thank you for commenting. I know, it’s quite crazy that the store was practically giving the wine away for almost nothing!
      Generally speaking, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein tend to sell at higher prices than Auslese. Bu an excellent Auslese might sell for more than a decent Eiswein..

  2. drinkforlife Reply

    Wow a full five star rating. I’ll add this wine to my to-buy list. You’re right about German wine names. This one is just way too complicated to pronounce!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Drinkforlife,
      For me German wine names are not that difficult to pronounce since its my mother language but I think that the length of German wine names is often too long.

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    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Wineking,
      I just visited the site and the price seems more than fair. If you decide to buy a bottle of Schloss Saarstein Serringer Schloss Saarstein Riesling Auslese then let me how you like it.

  4. RiojaChianti RiojaChianti Reply

    Great photo – the scenery looks amazing!
    I don’t thinK I tried any white wine that was older than 3 year old..

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Marco,
      I served the wine with a cheese plate (mature Parmesan, Fontina, Pecorino and a few more). In my opinion the Schloss Saarstein Serringer Schloss Saarstein Riesling Auslese is the perfect example of a meditation wine.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Anatoli,
      This wine was very special and I plan to go back to the store to see whether they have any more bottles left. At that price they are a must-buy for me 🙂

  5. foodwine88 Reply

    This sounds like a very good Riesling. My personal preference is Scheurebe and Gruner Veltliner but Riesling is alright, too. Scheurebe just ages better in my opinion.

  6. winetalks winetalks Reply

    Thanks for telling us about this wine! By reading your review I can almost taste the wine. Just ordered a mixed case of Schloss Saarstein Riesling Auslese (2x 2011 2x 2010 2x 2009). I’ll probably keep them in the cellar for a few years.

  7. Oliver Reply

    Oh, I am SOOOOO excited for you, Julian! What an awesome find and I am so glad you liked it. It sounds absolutely delicious, and I think once one has tried aged Rieslings, it is hard not to fall in love. I am just so excited this one worked out for you!!! Did you buy the remaining bottles??? 🙂

  8. Julian Rossello Reply

    Oliver,
    Thanks for letting me know about the typo. I bought the remaining four bottles that the store had in stock. I’m already looking forward to try this Rieslign again but I think I’ll store two bottles for at least another 5 years 🙂

    Recently I also tried an aged Riesling and an aged Scheurebe Auslese from the winery von Bühl. Pretty good wines – especially the Scheurebe was to my liking. Have you tried the wines from von Bühl?

    • Oliver Reply

      Do you mean Reichrat von Buhl? I am not sure I am familiar with von Bühl winery…If you did mean von Buhl, then I am afraid I have not tried them. There are not many wines from the Pfalz that I have tried. I used to drink quite a bit of Müller-Catoir wines in the early 2000s, but have not retried since I ran out…and from what I hear, their wines are not as good as they used to be.

      I, personally, can enjoy Scheurebe. I know many people who will not touch it, but the grape can be turned into nice wines by the right people…

      And, good for you on buying the bottles, and stashing some away. They will be good for a while!

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