"The 2004 Gimmeldinger Mandelgarten Riesling Spatlese exhibits a lovely citrus and herb aroma, augmented by wafting esters for which I find no name. The palate suggests lemon cream character, along with accents of flowers and herbs, and deep malty, roasted root vegetable, and fruit pit low tones. As one works this around in the mouth, the whirl of intense, mysterious esters seems to place the taster in the center of a vortex. Herbal, citrus and floral top notes, honey, plummy pit fruit, deep nuttiness, and roasted rich vegetable tones combine for a still mysterious, organ chord of a finish. That this is truly a wine to meditate on, will not, I hope, discourage owners from taking it through some paces at the dinner table. And in the cellar? I would have absolutely no fear before it reaches the traditional American age of majority. Your problem will be seeing to it that there is still some left!
Since the arrival of young Mosel-born Martin Franzen at this great estate so long associated with the wisdom and artistry of Hans-Gunter Schwarz’s 36-year tenure as cellar master, I have been struck by a degree of qualitative continuity and stylistic affinity with the ancient regime that other commentators seem not to have noticed. In a very real sense, the legacy of Schwarz – “activism in the vines, minimalism in the cellar” – has seeped indelibly into the fabric of nearly every top winery in the Pfalz. How then could it be otherwise precisely at Mandelring #25? And although Franzen and a largely new team were forced, to a considerable extent, to rediscover the keys to these vines and sites, they are the same vines and sites so carefully tended, trained and conscientiously replanted over the past decades by the then team of Catoir and Schwarz. In 2004, Franzen has unlocked from them astonishingly numerous and improbably fine vinous treasures such as one has come to associate with the name “Muller-Catoir” in the nearly four decades since a very young Heinrich Catoir inherited this estate and decided to make a statement."