It’s record after record here at iDealwine! First, we saw a bottle of Hermitage Cuvée Cathelin from Domaine Chave go for an impressive €8,512 at auction. This time, it was the exceptional Trockenbeerenauslese 1976 from Egon Muller that reached new heights: this German Riesling was cinched by a Chinese wine enthusiast for €12,160.
Egon Muller’s superbly light sweet wines have become renowned for their finesse to the extent that they are now prized the world over.
This domain has remained in the family since it was first founded in 1797. Jean-Jacques Koch’s (Egon Müller’s ancestor) decision to buy some land on the Scharzberg hill showed incredible foresight: although the terroir in this region was perfectly suited to producing excellent white wines, its isolated position prevented any great commerce. The situation improved, however, with the development of the railway lines in the 19th century. It was Egon Müller’s father who began to produce sweet wines on the domain, the first being from the sumptious 1959 vintage. From then on, the wines only improved in quality and performed consistently well at the annual Grosser Ring wine auctions in Trier.
This Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese (a Sélection de Grains Nobles of sorts) in the mythic 1976 vintage is a true collector’s item and its immense scarcity certainly influenced the final auction result. At €12,160, the winning bid overtook the price fetched for a similar bottle at a recent auction in London.
Why does this wine cause such a bidding frenzy at auction? We’ll leave it to the seller of this unique bottle to explain: “This wine is a miracle! In theory it should be a failure, it has a low ABV and a colossal sugar content. That’s usually the recipe for a heavy, stodgy wine. Yet, with time, this Riesling loses sweetness and develops a remarkable softness. The finish is admirably dry. Such elegance! This is a bottle that deserves 30 years in the cellar to reach its full potential. To be honest, words cannot describe the magic of this wine.”
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