The Selbach family has a long viticultural history dating back to 1661. Today, the Mitte Mosel estate is run by Johannes and Barbara Selbach with help from their children. The family farms 25 ha of vines in Zeltingen (Himmelreich, Sonnenuhr and Schlossberg) and Graach (Himmelreich and Domprobst), and out of these 6.5 ha are farmed organically where the rest follows sustainable practices. More than a half of their vineyards are planted on their own rootstocks and the majority are on very steep slopes, necessitating cultivation and harvesting by hand.
In the winery, the Selbachs aim to bring out the purity of fruit. Settling of the must is done by gravity, without the help of enzymes. Fermentation is natural, cool and slow and there is substantial lees contact to create extra texture. The ferment takes place in a mix of traditional old oak foudre and stainless steel. The wines are unfined. The estate produces both traditional Prädikat wines and intensely sweet botrytised wines but their main focus is shifting towards Trocken styles and Großes Gewächs. This is classic, intensely mineral Mosel Riesling, reflecting the minerality of those blue slate soils and perfectly expressing each vintage’s unique character.
“Selbach-Oster might be one of the hottest domains along the Mosel, if not in all Germany.” – Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate.
94 points Wine Spectator
A lush style, showing notes of nectarine, poached apple and lemon curd, with a backbone of vibrant acidity. Lovely now, but pretty intense and could use some time to integrate in order to show its best. Mineral, fruit and floral elements are all present, leading to a long finish marked by Asian spice accents. (AZ)
93 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2018 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese is intense and clear on the deep, fragrant, stony-mineral nose. Dense and structured on the palate, with crystalline acidity and a linear-mineral, salty-piquant character, this is an elegant, highly precise and stimulating yet still very young Spätlese that will benefit from bottle aging. Tight, compact and very promising! 9% alcohol. Tasted from AP 1219 in May 2019. (SR)
92 points John Gilman
The 2018 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese* from Weingut Selbach-Oster is another very charming example of the vintage. Johannes Selbach notes that this includes a touch of botrytis and some beautiful golden berries in it this year. It delivers a fine bouquet of mango, white cherry, pear, apple blossoms, bee pollen, a hint of violets and a nice bass note of slate. On the palate the wine is medium-full, focused and zesty, with good acids, blossoming complexity and lovely length and grip on the very well-balanced finish. Good juice.
94 points Mosel Fine Wines: “AP: 20 19. The 2018er Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese* resulted from a selection of the best grapes harvested at 92° Oechsle and was fermented down to sweet levels of residual sugar (88 g/l). It delivers a gorgeously smoky and elegant nose of anise, candied grapefruit, minty herbs, lime and some grassy elements. The wine offers the concentrated and deep presence of an Auslese on the palate. Although the wine is still marked by its residual sugar, it impresses through its structure and the grip and freshness of the finish. This magnificent Auslese in all but name will provide much pleasure at maturity.” (06/2019)