From: Mosel, Germany
Winemaker Notes. Rotlay, a South facing parcel, is the single best parcel within the Sonnenuhr vineyard. On the sides it is open and flows into the other local parcels called "Kakert" and "Lehnschaft" though there some large outcroppings of rock in the border areas, creating a unique geographic scenario, similar to a "clos" in France, with a rather unique microclimate. The slope that comprises "Rotlay" faces straight south here and the soil is very stony, covered with big chunks of "blue Devonian" slate. The slate is the compressed silt of the seabed of the giant ocean that once covered most of the earth some 450 million years ago alongside the single continent Pangea.
CWC Notes. From our conversation with Johnnes and Sebastien Selbach, January 2023. Rotlay holds vines between 90-100 years old. The position of this vineyard is important as it sits in a "hot spot" between the cliff and river (expanded upon above) & is the site where it is typical for botrytis to form each year. There's approximately 1350 bottles produced from 1 neutral barrel (Fuder) for both fermentation and aging.
Critical Acclaim and Taste
RP 96 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2018 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese Rotlay is intense yet fine and coolish on the deep, fresh, aromatic, flinty and beautifully greenish nose. Picked at 118° to 120° Oechsle, this is a rich, mouth-filling, very charming, elegant, textured and finely salty terroir wine with lingering salinity and riper, more elegant acidity compared to the Schmitt, which comes from the second terrace behind the church.
94 points Vinous
"Linden, heliotrope, quince and apple in jellied as well as fresh form are effusively evoked on the nose, and the creamy palate offers corresponding billowing inner-mouth perfume, confitured richness but also freshness of fruit, reflecting the healthy and marginally less ripe (i.e., not overripe!) bunches that were included in this en bloc harvest. The lusciously and seductively lingering finish preserves creaminess, refreshing juiciness and floral perfume while introducing an invigorating lick of cinnamon and a nibble of fresh ginger. All of this is underscored by a slightly more prominent sweetness than generally exhibited by Selbach-Oster 'Rotlay' bottlings, a phenomenon doubtless attributable to lower-than-usual acidity. But the sweetness suits the wine’s personality, and never dominates. (DS) " (8/2020)
94 points Wine Spectator
"Multidimensional, with sweet, ripe apricot, guava and honey nuances, supported by acidity that pierces through and needs some more time to mellow, but promises a bright future. Texturally, this is seductive, with slight density and no rough edges. Shows intense flavor. (AZ)" (3/2020)
93 points Mosel Fine Wines: "AP: 13 19. The 2018er Rotlay, as it is referred to on the consumer label, was block-harvested at 107° Oechsle in this privileged sector of the vineyard situated near the border to Wehlen (the reference to Zeltinger Sonnenuhr is only provided on the back label), and was fermented down to noble-sweet levels of residual sugar (100 g/l). It offers a nice nose made of melon, passion fruit, apricot, aniseed herbs, and smoke. The wine is beautifully elegant and superbly balanced on the palate, and leaves a delicately ample but subtly zesty feel in the creamy finish. A hint of citric zest provides quite some structure and power to the after-taste. 2028-2048." (10/2019)
About. Since 1661 the Selbach family has owned vineyards in the Mosel region. Their main treasure is simply what nature presents us with: excellent vineyard-sites, and old, ungrafted vines on steep, south-facing slopes planted on heat-retaining, mineral-rich, rocky slate soil. Their philosophy of winemaking is "hands-on" in the vineyards and "hands-off" in the cellar. Most of Selbach Oster wines are still fermented and matured in the traditional oak "Fuder"-barrels supplemented by a small number of stainless-steel vats. They do not use new oak for Rieslings to preserve the delicate structure of subtle fruit and crisp acidity as purely as possible
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