For mere Muggles, this is as fantastical as sweet Riesling gets. For wizards of Hogwarts, this is what they graduate to after drinking butter beer. Venturing into the world of C. Von Schubert’s legendary estate, MAXIMIN GRÜNHAUS, and imbibing this 2009 Herrenberg Riesling Spatlese is like being transported to the magical world of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. There’s definitely wizardry afoot here—in the scintillating rendering of fruit so wholesome, bright and enchanting and in the texture so laser focused and pure. So many distinctive notes of German Riesling are here—and particularly from a historical vineyard such as the Herrenberg, where wines like this one have been produced as far back as the Roman Empire: peach, apricot, honey, almond, lemon, vanilla and, perhaps, even some caramel from Honeydukes candy shop. But there must also be a touch of secret magic from Professor Dumbledore in the mix. The final concoction is so sunny and bright, it’s definitely enough to ward off the dark forces of Lord Voldemort, at least for the time being. No need to invocate “wingardium leviosa” with a cloak & wand to experience the wine’s spell. Like Harry himself, this Maximin Grünhaus was born special and was meant to do great things. –J.M.
Great Wine: Quinta Da Aveleda