Schäfer-Fröhlich

"Tim Fröhlich is at the absolute top of his game these days, and tasting here is a little bit like watching Roger Federer play tennis in 2006 or 2007!" - John Gilman

Young, good-looking, talented, and destined for greatness; don’t you just hate Tim Fröhlich? We love him anyway, mostly for his incredible Spätlesen and top of the line grosses gewächs wines, which we beg to get a few cases of each year. Although the wines have been very fine since the ‘90s when Tim took over his parents’ estate, we feel that 2006 was the breakthrough year when he achieved a level of breathtaking elegance and poise in his wines that only a few estates ever reach. The 2007s and 2008s were even greater collections; the wines are absolutely electrifying. Low yields, great sites, painstaking vineyard management, perfectionism in the cave, and a veritable lust for minerality are the hallmarks of the style here. As for the most recent vintages from 2009 onward.... dare we say it? Schäfer- Fröhlich is making Rieslings as great—and in some instances better than—any producers in the Nahe. They are some of the most impressive and exciting white wines crafted anywhere.

 

From John Gilman, A View From the Cellar, Issue #62:

"Tim Fröhlich was in an extremely good mood as he pulled back the curtain on his stunning range of 2015ers... The first Riesling grapes for the dry wines were brought in on the 10th of October this year and parcels were collected as they reached optimum ripeness over the course of the next thirty days, with the very last selections for the Grosses Gewächs bottlings being brought in over the course of the first ten days in November. Contrast this with the harvest of 2014, when everything had be to be brought in between the 29th of September and the 19th of October, due to inclement weather and the pressure of rot and it is easy to imagine how much more relaxed the picking was here in 2015. Given fully six weeks to harvest in leisurely and precise fashion, it is not surprising that each and every Schäfer-Fröhlich 2015er that I tasted was showing beautifully and this seems likely to be one of the greatest vintages in the career (thus far) of Tim Fröhlich.

Where it was the case that some of the dry wines in other cellars seemed a bit forced stylistically, this is emphatically not the case at Schäfer-Fröhlich in 2015, and the dry bottlings were every bit as fine as the Prädikat wines that I sampled during my visit, and certainly Tim Fröhlich will have (once again) produced some of the most beautiful Grosses Gewächs bottlings in the vintage. But, one should also pay attention to the other Trocken Riesling bottlings here in 2015, which are really of exceptional quality and the gap between them and the GGs this year is smaller than in less gifted vintages and they will represent some of the best values to be found in 2015 dry Riesling. As far as the Grosses Gewächs bottlings go in 2015, the distance out of the blocks in quality between this set and the really strong 2014ers here is not immense, as Tim Fröhlich really made stunning examples of the 2014 vintage, but there is an effortless beauty to the 2015 GGs that is really magical and augurs so very, very well for their future development in the cellar. Perhaps, ten years down the road, the 2015ers will have opened up a bit more distance between themselves and the superb 2014 GGs here, but out of the blocks, the two vintages’ GGs are really fairly close in quality. Beyond the range of 2015 Prädikat wines that I sampled on my visit, there are gold kap and some dessert wines also in the cellars here from this great vintage, but they were either not ready to show or still gently bubbling away in fermentation. A great range of 2015ers!"

2010 Gault Millau Winemaker of the Year     
2010 Falstaff Winery of the Year