Eiswein is a rare beast; grapes are left out to freeze (picked when at least 8 degrees Celsius below freezing), running the dangers of assorted undesirable rots, birds, and greatly reduced yields. Picking (in Germany) usually takes place in December, and sometimes into the next year. Eiswein is troublesome to make, and expensive to purchase, with the residual sugars generally between BA and TBA levels.
Richter (from the Mosel) is blessed with a site (Helenkloster) that usually produces an Eiswein -(sometimes more than one- that may be differentiated on the label by an ** and of course the AP number). And several Richter wines are imported into Australia, although I am more familiar with their rich Kabinetts and Spatlese Rieslings.
I visited the Richter estate in 2007 and was treated to a range of wines, a lightning tour of the winery and its museum, and left with a purchased armload including several back-vintage wines.
Information kindly – and promptly- provided by Dr Dirk Richter about the wine “grapes were picked on 24 December at minus 13C; 255 g/l residual sugar, 12.1 g/l acidity” and a meagre 200 litres were made. These are very serious numbers! An eiswein ** was also made with equally sobering statistics.
The wine is a light copper colour with a khaki rim; there are exotic aromas of raisin, dried fruits, even coconut. The palate is still lively, with assertive apricot, orange citrus, and with some breathing, more lime characters. Brisk, clean, dense, and delightfully decadent.
While this style can live for decades, with its inherent acidity, on the evidence of this half-bottle, I favour the conservative side of the drinking window.
Drink to 2025, and 94 points.