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Gault Millau Wine Guide Discovery of the Year
"The discovery of the year comes from the Mosel region, more precisely from the Saar. "28-year-old Stefan Müller is a young man, but he makes wines like an old hand. He invents nothing new and yet is resolutely modern. With wines that tell of craftsmanship and origin, he brings the unknown terroir of the Saar into the spotlight,” says the editorial staff - and predicts: "This young winegrower will belong among the greats in ten years.”
Mosel Fine Wines No. 42
"We have been reporting on the progress of this impressive upcoming Estate in the Konzer Tälchen part of the Saar Valley since three years now. But it is clear that 2017 is its finest vintage (so far!). The wines all have a sharp edge. Much as its neighbor (and befriended) Hofgut Falkenstein, the Estate is not afraid to pack acidity into its wines, as long as it is ripe. Stylistically, its wines are more intense and slightly bigger but no less pure than those of Hofgut Falkenstein. Given the acidity, it is no wonder that the fruity-styled wines are the stars of the 2017 collection. These wines are light, elegant and light-footed. But lovers of precise and elegant dry and off-dry Riesling should have a close look at this Estate’s Krettnacher Altenberg Spätlese Trocken and Niedermenniger Sonnenberg Spätlese Feinherb. Seeing young Estates blossom is one of the great rewards of doing work at Mosel Fine Wines. The hunt is now on for representations (if you are in the trade) or for securing some bottles (if you are simply a wine lover) of this superb Estate. Happy hunting!"
Stefan Müller is a neighbor and close friend with Johannes Weber at Falkenstein, and they share several vineyards in the Könz-Krettnach area of the Saar. The Müller estate consists of 10 hectares, mostly Riesling (90% of their holdings) and a little Pinots Noir and Blanc. Everything is hand-harvested on rolling hillsides teeming with life and vegetation. The vines see no herbicides and no pesticides—only some fungicide when needed.
The labels depict topographical maps of each vineyard. The most well-known site they have is Krettnacher Altenberg—mainly blue slate and the local green slate known as Diabas (cf. Zilliken’s vineyards)—but their largest holding is the Euchariusberg (pronounced oy-sharius-berg) where they have just over 5 hectares, with vines planted in 1964 and 1944. The parcels in Niedermennig are red slate and contain many old, ungrafted vines.
In the cellar, Müller also follows a surprisingly ad hoc usage of barrels and tanks, with no strict design for which wines go in what vessel; however, once a wine starts fermentation in one tank or barrel, it ages in that same vessel until completion. No chaptalization is allowed, and all wines ferment with wild yeast, with sulfur only added at bottling. In other words, Stefan skews organic at his small estate, but does not adhere strictly to the regimen that word implies. He is, in a word, pragmatic. The wines at Müller are exquisitely balanced, succulent, wildly aromatic, unapologetically ripe, and true to the Saar.