"Emrich and Schönleber family trees date back in the Nahe to the mid-18th century, but they didn't even plant a grape until about 60 years ago!"
From about 20 hectares of vineyards largely planted to steep, stony slopes, Emrich-Schönleber quickly moved into creating largely single-vineyard Rieslings from their awe-inspiring collection of vineyards such as the Frühlingsplätzchen (feel free to call us for pronunciation) and Halenberg. Lost in the shuffle for long was Niederberg, but after much petitioning the stunning site chock-full of slate and quartzite soils was elevated to "Erste Lage", or "First Growth" - that is, essentially a Premier Cru site. As we said, this is a stunning site as its soils pop to the eye; they also generate a touch more ripeness with the absorption and reflection of light to the vines, meaning the Niederberg is a touch riper in aromatics, with its' bright citrus peel and spice, incredibly grippy texture and breathtaking length. A gem to enjoy now or watch unfurl over decades. Frühligsplätzchen or "little place of spring" is often more approachable than other GGs in its youth - leaner, more floral with ample citrus, but great length of minerality. Halenberg is the powerhouse that deserves cellaring, or at least a solid, splashy decanting. Dense, mineral and with a tightly-wound core of complex fruits.
Pay attention also to the younger-vine wines, as they're gulpable and delicious right away. Halgans is harvested at spätlese levels of ripeness and fermented dry, so there is ample weight and density here, all from the Halenberg GG. Frühtau is similarly structured, only from the Frühlingsplätzchen, meaning this is softer, elegant, with plenty of minerality and spring herbs. Mineral is perhaps the best-known of the Schönleber wines, made with younger vines from all the top Grand Crus, making it both complex in its minerality and laser-sharp; this is the leanest and brightest of them all!