GERMANY

German wine is primarily produced in the west of Germany, along the river Rhine and its tributaries, with the oldest plantations going back to the Roman era. Approximately 60 percent of the German wine production is situated in the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, where 6 of the 13 regions (Anbaugebiete) are situated. Germany as the eighth largest wine-producing country in the world. White wine accounts for almost two thirds of the total production. Among enthusiasts, Germany's reputation is primarily based on wines made from the Riesling grape variety, which at its best is used for aromatic, fruity and elegant white wines that range from very crisp and dry to well-balanced, sweet and of enormous aromatic concentration.

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  1. 2NATURKINDER 2018 FLEDERMAUS WHITE NATURAL WINE, BIODYAMIC, UNFILTERED

    Item #: i_376691
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Importer: Jenny & Francois
    No temperature control.
    Organic/Biodynamic
    Total Sulphites: 7 mg/L (LOW!)
    This wine is fermented spontaneously.

    A blend of Muller-Thurgau and Silvaner, aged on the lees in stainless steel tank, unfined and unfiltered with no sulfur added. At first, the lactic note cuts through and gives the wine a citrus-laced sour, salty beer (Gose) vibe when first poured. Then, the palate fleshes out into juicy tart underripe peach, starfruit and pineapple, and evolves onwards to notes of olive brine and key lime curd.
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  2. ALFRED MERKELBACH 2017 RIESLING SPATLESE "URGLUCK" URZIGER WURTZGARTEN, A.P. #6

    Item #: i_318005
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE SPECTATOR - 92 POINTS Offers aromas of quince and honey, with the quince note continuing on the palate and combining with nervy citrus accents. Very suave and smooth, showing enough acidity for balance and dense flavors that carry through the finish. Drink now through 2031. 90 cases imported. — AZ

    MOSEL FINE WINES 93 POINTS "The 2017er Urziger Wurzgarten Spatlese “Urgluck” was harvested at a whopping 96 Oechsle, i.e. well into Auslese category. It delivers a captivating and elegant nose of flowers, minty herbs and candied grapefruit. These are joined by riper scents of whipped cream and vineyard peach as the wine gains from airing in the glass. This delightful Auslese in all but name shows quite some creamy and ripe fruits on the palate yet remains at all time very delicate and refined. A touch of exotic fruits and honey make for a smooth and juicy feel in the long finish. A hint of zest comes through in the after-taste. This is a gorgeous Auslese-style wine in the making! 2027-2047."

    Terry Theise note "Probably the masterpiece of their vintage, but not an “easy” wine. Extreme sassafrass, and very stony, but a hyssop-y spice trails along a subtle vein of fruit. Mosel at its most masculine, but hugely impressive, with its serious “resting face.”"
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  3. ALFRED MERKELBACH 2018 RIESLING AUSLESE URGLUCK #11

    Item #: i_318007
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    NOTE: THIS WILL BE THE LAST COMMERCIAL VINTAGE FROM MERKELBACH
  4. ALFRED MERKELBACH 2018 RIESLING URZIGER WURZGARTEN Kabinett #13

    Item #: i_318009
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Of course this is a Spätlese but it was the only Fuder one could even think of declassifying; it’s on the strawberry side of UW, and ridiculously long. Würzgarten has two profiles, which normally overlap while emphasizing one side or another. You have strawberry of various types, and you have another face of kiwi and sassafrass. And of course you have slate. These may be variations based on cadaster, as it stands to reason that steepness, altitude and soil-structure would all play roles. As a rule I’d say, if it looks rocky the wines will probably taste rocky.
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  5. BRAND 2018 CHARDONNAY "ELECTRIC ACID TEST" ORGANIC BIODYNAMIC

    Item #: i_305820
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic + biodynamic; 110-year-old, dry-farmed vineyards planted in limestone loess soils at 1,300 m (4,300 ft); stainless steel fermentation; bottled unfined/unfiltered with 35ppm So2 (very low sulphites); 12% ABV

    Winemaker: Daniel and Jonas Brand
    The brothers Brand, Daniel and Jonas, have brought natty winemaking to the far northern Pfalz, a cool-climate, limestone-rich, totally overlooked region. The more “famous” Pfalz (this is relative) is the Mittelhaardt region further south, with bigger estates and some wine tourism, but there is a gritty, working agricultural feel in the north. Over the years, the Brand brothers have quietly experimented more and more with zero-zero winemaking, as in this Electric Chardonnay Acid Test, a totally unexpected combo of 90% Chardonnay planted on the classic limestone soils of the region, and 10% Riesling for an extra jolt of acidity. Forget what you think you know about Chardonnay, this tastes nothing like the buttery, round, rich mommy juice you’ve had before. It’s rocky, minerally and lean, but not mean - there is a suppleness to the golden apple and pear fruit that makes it extremely interesting and food-friendly. A great all-purpose white for your dinner table.
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  6. DONNHOFF 2018 ESTATE RIESLING QBA FEINHERB NAHE, GERMANY

    Item #: i_328015
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    JAMES SUCKLING - 91 POINTS Green apples, pear drops and chamomile are in play here. Lightly off-dry with some softness and a fruity finish, but some pretty acidity crunch. Drink now

    “A PERFECT VINTAGE OF THE BEST WINE VALUE IN THE ENTIRE DAMN WORLD, any color, any grape, any country, any price-point. This year for the first time it also contains fruit from a new acquisition, a hectare in the (Niederhauser) Klamm (see also Jakob Schneider; the site is a mélange of Rotliegend and weathered porphyry, and has both steep and flat sections.)” - Terry Theise

    JANCIS ROBINSON - 16 POINTS The QbA bottling, described as 'fruchtig'. TA 8 g/l, RS 29 g/l. Richer and riper on the nose than the Höllenpfad Riesling trocken. Medium sweet but balanced. Creamy in the mouth thanks to the fruit ripeness but still deliciously fresh. Reasonably persistent too. JULIA HARDING, MW (JH)

    JOHN GILMAN, VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 89 POINTS The 2018 Estate Riesling Feinherb had also been bottled at the start of the week, ahead of my Thursday afternoon visit, but it was showing quite well indeed (despite having to follow-up all of those GG fireworks). This wine comes in at 10.5 percent alcohol, has acids of 8.5 grams and sports around twenty-five grams of sugar this year. The bouquet is very pretty, offering up scents of white cherries, apple, salty minerality and spring flowers. On the palate the wine is medium-full, crisp and juicy, with very good backend mineral tug, bright acids and lovely focus and grip on the absolutely delicious finish. Another bargain! 2019-2040. 89.

    "This is from two main vineyards Oberhauser Felsenberg (volcanic) and Kieselberg (slate) as well as declassified fruit from the Grand Cru sites and Klamm, a new acquisition, a hectare in the (Niederhäuser) Klamm which we know from Jakob – it’s a mélange of slate and weathered porphyry, and has both steep and flat sections.. The idea here is to make a village wine, basically, though it’s sold and marketed as a Gutswein or Estate bottled basic wine. The Estate wine combines the two major soils that dominate the holdings for the estate, giving the drinker a look into what Donnhoff is all about. The basic wine is a calling card and thus Cornelius wants to make statement" - Importer
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  7. DONNHOFF 2018 RIESLING ESTATE TROCKEN (DRY)

    Item #: i_321206
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    “A PERFECT VINTAGE OF THE BEST WINE VALUE IN THE ENTIRE DAMN WORLD, any color, any grape, any country, any price-point. This year for the first time it also contains fruit from a new acquisition, a hectare in the (Niederhauser) Klamm (see also Jakob Schneider; the site is a melange of Rotliegend and weathered porphyry, and has both steep and flat sections.)” - Terry Theise.

    "This is from two main vineyards Oberhauser Felsenberg (volcanic) and Kieselberg (slate) as well as declassified fruit from the Grand Cru sites and Klamm, a new acquisition, a hectare in the (Niederhäuser) Klamm which we know from Jakob – it’s a mélange of slate and weathered porphyry, and has both steep and flat sections.. The idea here is to make a village wine, basically, though it’s sold and marketed as a Gutswein or Estate bottled basic wine. The Estate wine combines the two major soils that dominate the holdings for the estate, giving the drinker a look into what Dönnhoff is all about. The basic wine is a calling card and thus Cornelius wants to make statement" - Importer
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  8. DONNHOFF 2018 RIESLING NIEDERHAUSER HERMANNSHOHLE SPATLESE

    Item #: i_311009
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 95 POINTS The 2018 Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Spatlese is deep and flinty as well as complex on the stony nose with its ripe and even stewed peach aromas. Silky, lush and refined on the palate, this is a concentrated yet pure, crystalline and delicate Riesling Spatlese with a long and complex, very mineral and filigreed, lingering salty finish. Highly stimulating and fresh. A gorgeous Spätlese from the famous Hermannshöhle. Tasted in July 2019.
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  9. DONNHOFF 2018 RIESLING NIEDERHAUSER KLAMM KABINETT

    Item #: i_328019
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "From a one-hectare plot with younger vines on porphyry soils, the 2018 Niederhäuser Klamm Riesling Kabinett is open, bright and fresh on the nose, with ripe fruit but also remarkable smokiness, elegance and polished character. Lush and round but crystalline and fresh on the palate, this is a charmingly elegant and fruity Kabinett with frisky salinity on the finish and nice mineral grip. Very attractive and fresh. Tasted in July 2019."
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  10. DONNHOFF 2018 RIESLING OBERHAUSER BRUCKE SPATLESE

    Item #: i_311010
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS The 2018 Oberhauser Brücke Riesling Spatlese is very intense and aromatic on the dense and voluptuous nose. Lush and creamy on the palate, this is a generous and dense, lush and persistent Brucke Spatlese with remarkable freshness and piquancy. It's pretty straight and piquant, with remarkable finesse and mineral tension. Tasted in July 2019. Stephan Reinhardt.

    Before we go into Donnhoff's 2017s and 2018s, let me report about a record the estate made at the auction in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, in late September. The one and only magnum of the 2015 Hermannshöhle Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese Freitag—a wine that I scored 100 points three years ago—came under the hammer and fetched 22,491 euros (incl. fees and taxes). The one and only Dade Thieriot from Dee Vine Wines in California was the last man standing. He bought the wine not for a collector and not even for himself but for his four-year-old daughter who likes Riesling—"sweet Rieslings in particular," as Dade told me a few days later. So, huge congratulations to Marie-Katharina for what Helmut Donnhoff calls "a monument of German Riesling culture" and "possibly the finest wine we have ever produced at our estate." Four bottles of the standard size were auctioned for a total of 13,744.5 euros and 16 of the 375-milliliter bottles fetched a sum of 20,391.84 euros.

    So now, are there any other wines on the horizon to beat that one day? You never know, but I'd guess rather not. However, again there are marvelous wines to buy from Donnhoff from both vintages, 2018 and 2017.

    2017 was deeply marked by frost in April that hit the plants terribly after the early budbreak. "We are located in a narrow valley and always threatened by spring frost," says Helmut Donnhoff, who tasted both vintages with me on an extremely hot summer day in July this year (2019). "We already thought the 2017 vintage would completely fail." Torches rescued the famous Brucke vineyard where Donnhoff produces (in certain years) perhaps Germany's finest Eiswein, but other vineyards suffered a lot. "The summer was very nice and helpful for the plants, but in the end, we had losses between 25% and 50% compared to a normal year, especially in our lesser plots that we pick for our estate wine. The crus were less hit, though." Donnhoff, who celebrated his 70th birthday a day after the now famous auction, has enough experience with difficult vintages and heavy losses. "You have to work hard the whole year, but you don't gain that much in the end. The more so since you have to pay the same amount of pickers, who had to go through each parcel several times in 2017 due to an uneven ripeness. We couldn't pick everything together and had to pick very carefully," Donnhoff remembers. "However, there is a big advantage, since the remaining grapes get everything that the vine and its roots are delivering. ... There was not much botrytis, which was fine anyway: Wine lovers ask us for dry wines more than for sweet wines today. ... However, the average yield was 30% to 35% less, so we couldn't supply all our clients. Some markets even didn't get anything."

    As often in nature, a small vintage is followed by a generous one, and this was the case in 2018. "Extreme rainfalls in May and June made it very clear already early in the year that 2018 would be a vintage where we would need all our vats or even more," says Donnhoff. "Even during the very warm and dry summer especially, the old vines didn't show any hints of drought stress. Wherever we had a look, all our grapes were just marvelous, no matter in which vineyard. And the yield was even higher than we expected. The harvest weather was also beautiful, and all the grapes were in perfect condition, as if they were painted. Cornelius did great canopy management," Donnhoff senior praises his son. All in all, "2018 is a very, very good vintage. We got the same concentration and intensity like 2017, but in 2018, this is based on super clear and healthy grapes, whereas the density and structure of the 2017s was due to the heavy reduction during spring frost." However, both vintages are not characterized by botrytis and are marked by their amazing clarity, and I couldn't say which of the two fazes me more. Perhaps in 2018, the Spatlesen are a bit finer and clearer than in 2017, and without any doubt, the 2018 Hermannshohle Spatlese is the best buy this year from Cornelius and Helmut Donnhoff, whereas the 2018 Brucke Beerenauslese is the greatest wine, and the 2018 Hermannshohle GG is the finest dry Riesling—not only here but also in the entire Nahe valley. SR.
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  11. DONNHOFF RIESLING GROSSES GEWACHS GG SCHLOSSBOCKELHEIMER FELSENBERG

    Item #: i_328022
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    JAMES SUCKLING - 97 POINTS This wine is endless with apples, peaches, pears, stone, cream and white flowers. It’s so steady and long. Goes on and on. Pristine. Joyous and captivating. Drink or hold. Stuart Pigott

    WINE ADVOCATE - 93+ POINTS Bottled in July, just two days before I tasted the 2018 Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Riesling trocken –GG– for the first time, the nose was ripe and generous but fine and flinty-mineral. Lush and salty-piquant, this is a full-bodied, rich and powerful yet vital Riesling with lots of body but also tension, purity and grip. Tasted again in August 2019.

    Before we go into Donnhoff's 2017s and 2018s, let me report about a record the estate made at the auction in Bad Kreuznach, Germany, in late September. The one and only magnum of the 2015 Hermannshohle Riesling Trockenbeerenauslese Freitag—a wine that I scored 100 points three years ago—came under the hammer and fetched 22,491 euros (incl. fees and taxes). The one and only Dade Thieriot from Dee Vine Wines in California was the last man standing. He bought the wine not for a collector and not even for himself but for his four-year-old daughter who likes Riesling—"sweet Rieslings in particular," as Dade told me a few days later. So, huge congratulations to Marie-Katharina for what Helmut Donnhoff calls "a monument of German Riesling culture" and "possibly the finest wine we have ever produced at our estate." Four bottles of the standard size were auctioned for a total of 13,744.5 euros and 16 of the 375-milliliter bottles fetched a sum of 20,391.84 euros.
    So now, are there any other wines on the horizon to beat that one day? You never know, but I'd guess rather not. However, again there are marvelous wines to buy from Donnhoff from both vintages, 2018 and 2017.
    2017 was deeply marked by frost in April that hit the plants terribly after the early budbreak. "We are located in a narrow valley and always threatened by spring frost," says Helmut Dönnhoff, who tasted both vintages with me on an extremely hot summer day in July this year (2019). "We already thought the 2017 vintage would completely fail." Torches rescued the famous Brücke vineyard where Dönnhoff produces (in certain years) perhaps Germany's finest Eiswein, but other vineyards suffered a lot. "The summer was very nice and helpful for the plants, but in the end, we had losses between 25% and 50% compared to a normal year, especially in our lesser plots that we pick for our estate wine. The crus were less hit, though." Dönnhoff, who celebrated his 70th birthday a day after the now famous auction, has enough experience with difficult vintages and heavy losses. "You have to work hard the whole year, but you don't gain that much in the end. The more so since you have to pay the same amount of pickers, who had to go through each parcel several times in 2017 due to an uneven ripeness. We couldn't pick everything together and had to pick very carefully," Donnhoff remembers. "However, there is a big advantage, since the remaining grapes get everything that the vine and its roots are delivering. ... There was not much botrytis, which was fine anyway: Wine lovers ask us for dry wines more than for sweet wines today. ... However, the average yield was 30% to 35% less, so we couldn't supply all our clients. Some markets even didn't get anything." As often in nature, a small vintage is followed by a generous one, and this was the case in 2018. "Extreme rainfalls in May and June made it very clear already early in the year that 2018 would be a vintage where we would need all our vats or even more," says Donnhoff. "Even during the very warm and dry summer especially, the old vines didn't show any hints of drought stress. Wherever we had a look, all our grapes were just marvelous, no matter in which vineyard. And the yield was even higher than we expected. The harvest weather was also beautiful, and all the grapes were in perfect condition, as if they were painted. Cornelius did great canopy management," Donnhoff senior praises his son. All in all, "2018 is a very, very good vintage. We got the same concentration and intensity like 2017, but in 2018, this is based on super clear and healthy grapes, whereas the density and structure of the 2017s was due to the heavy reduction during spring frost." However, both vintages are not characterized by botrytis and are marked by their amazing clarity, and I couldn't say which of the two fazes me more. Perhaps in 2018, the Spatlesen are a bit finer and clearer than in 2017, and without any doubt, the 2018 Hermannshohle Spätlese is the best buy this year from Cornelius and Helmut Dönnhoff, whereas the 2018 Brücke Beerenauslese is the greatest wine, and the 2018 Hermannshohle GG is the finest dry Riesling—not only here but also in the entire Nahe valley.
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  12. DR LOOSEN 2016 EISWEIN RIESLING 187ml ICEWINE

    Item #: i_311924
    Bottle Size: 187ml
    TASTING NOTES: This vibrant, racy dessert wine conjures flavors of densely packed pear, apple and guava, with an intense, nervy edge in the aroma. It is luscious, silky and juicy on the palate, with bright acidity giving it a crisp, dynamic finish.

    From the Producer:
    Eiswein ("ice wine") is another of nature's rare and wonderful gifts in our area. We hold aside certain plots of vines, hoping for a deep enough freeze(minimum 8C, or 17F) to harvest frozen grapes. These grapes are picked in the wee hours of the morning and pressed while they are still frozen, to slowly squeeze out a few drops of precious nectar, leaving the water behind as ice. The result is a vibrant, racy dessert wine that is strikingly different from the rounder, more honeyed style of the wines concentrated by botrytis.

    This estate-grown Dr. Loosen Riesling Eiswein comes from special parcels in Bernkastel and Wehlen that we hold aside every year, hoping that it will freeze before the grapes fall victim to overripeness or rot - or get eaten by the wild boars! The frozen grapes for this particular bottling came primarily from a premier cru site called Bernkasteler Matheisbildchen, which is about halfway up the steep slope behind the Dr. Loosen estate house. The higher elevation makes this a cooler site, with greater potential for Eiswein.
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  13. DR LOOSEN 2018 RIESLING BLUE SLATE KABINETT

    Item #: i_322600
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Classic Mosel Rieslling. Loosen's generic Riesling Kabinett Blue Slate smells of mint, lime, narcissus, and ripe honeydew melon, which follow on a luscious, surprisingly softly-textured, yet refreshing palate. This is certainly delicate, yet its sweetness is impeccably-balanced.
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  14. EGON MULLER 2015 RIESLING SCHARZHOFBERGER AUSLESE 375ML **HALF BOTTLE**

    Item #: i_311017
    Bottle Size: 375ml
    **Please note, this is a half sized bottle
    WINE SPECTATOR - 95 POINTS This sings with a pure, elegant mix of peach, quince, dried pear and apple tart flavors. Rich and creamy midpalate, this features an exuberantly minerally and fruity finish that glistens with acidity. Drink now through 2042. 20 cases imported.

    JAMESSUCKLING.COM - 96 POINTS A creamy-dreamy nose with a lot of tropical flowers that is very enticing. Very lush and concentrated but with great purity and delicacy too. If you have never tasted an Auslese from Egon, then you've missed something in life. This wine is the ideal one to put that right. If you're already familiar with this wine from other vintages, you could wait years or decades for this. Stuart Pigott

    JOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 97 POINTS The 2015 Auslese from the Scharzhofberg vineyard that I had the pleasure to taste from Egon Müller is utterly brilliant. The bouquet offers up a very, very pure and discreetly glazed bouquet of white cherries, pear, bee pollen, a touch of orange zest, gentle slate undertow and a pungent topnote of cherry blossoms. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and stunningly pure, with a creamy core, ripe, juicy acids and magical length and grip on the nascently complex and absolutely electric finish. This is a breathtakingly magical wine in the making, and keep in mind, this is only the tip of the Auslesen iceberg at Weingut Müller! 2025- 2100. 97.

    MOSEL FINE WINES 96+ POINTS Gorgeously vibrant scents of white peach, herbs and spices give way to richer and more complex notes of apricot, pineapple and fresh herbs and white flowers with airing. The wine manages to be delicately smooth and, at same time, racy as an almost Eiswein-like acidity cleanses the palate and provides focus to an area of complex cocktail fruits, herbs and minerals in the finish. This beauty in the making has stunning development potential. 2025-2060
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    $250.00
  15. EGON MULLER 2015 RIESLING SCHARZHOFBERGER AUSLESE 750ml

    Item #: i_311012
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE SPECTATOR - 95 POINTS This sings with a pure, elegant mix of peach, quince, dried pear and apple tart flavors. Rich and creamy midpalate, this features an exuberantly minerally and fruity finish that glistens with acidity. Drink now through 2042. 20 cases imported.

    JAMESSUCKLING.COM - 96 POINTS A creamy-dreamy nose with a lot of tropical flowers that is very enticing. Very lush and concentrated but with great purity and delicacy too. If you have never tasted an Auslese from Egon, then you've missed something in life. This wine is the ideal one to put that right. If you're already familiar with this wine from other vintages, you could wait years or decades for this. Stuart Pigott

    JOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 97 POINTS The 2015 Auslese from the Scharzhofberg vineyard that I had the pleasure to taste from Egon Müller is utterly brilliant. The bouquet offers up a very, very pure and discreetly glazed bouquet of white cherries, pear, bee pollen, a touch of orange zest, gentle slate undertow and a pungent topnote of cherry blossoms. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and stunningly pure, with a creamy core, ripe, juicy acids and magical length and grip on the nascently complex and absolutely electric finish. This is a breathtakingly magical wine in the making, and keep in mind, this is only the tip of the Auslesen iceberg at Weingut Müller! 2025- 2100. 97.

    MOSEL FINE WINES 96+ POINTS Gorgeously vibrant scents of white peach, herbs and spices give way to richer and more complex notes of apricot, pineapple and fresh herbs and white flowers with airing. The wine manages to be delicately smooth and, at same time, racy as an almost Eiswein-like acidity cleanses the palate and provides focus to an area of complex cocktail fruits, herbs and minerals in the finish. This beauty in the making has stunning development potential. 2025-2060
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    $450.00
  16. EGON MULLER 2018 RIESLING SCHARZHOFBERGER KABINETT A.P. #2

    Item #: i_311091
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS The 2018 Scharzhofberger Kabinett is brilliant, clear and coolish on the nose, with cold, wet and clayey yet also crunchy slate aromas and bright fruit. Lush and precise, with lingering salinity and mineral expression, this is a complex and structured Scharzhofberger Kabinett with great aging potential. Tasted in June 2019. Stephan Reinhardt.

    JOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR 91-92 POINTS There are only two Kabinetten from the Scharzhofberg this year, with an old vine bottling also produced. The “regular” Kabinett (this sobriquet seems rather inappropriate when discussing an Egon Müller wine!) is 9.5 percent in alcohol, carries around fifty grams per liter of residual sugar and has acids of 8.5 grams and very low pH this year. The wine is young and very promising, offering up scents of apple, lime, petrol, slate, wild yeasts and an exotic touch of violet in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and fairly powerful in personality, with excellent depth and focus, excellent mineral drive and simply superb grip on the long and very well-balanced finish. As this was just bottled, my score may even be a touch conservative.
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    $132.99
  17. EL IXSIR 2012 RED LEBANON

    Item #: i_342366
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    James Suckling: 92
    WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "El Ixsir (Elixir) is the top wine produced by the Ixsir winery located just outside Batroun, Lebanon. The excellent 2012 is composed of 55% Syrah, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot aged 24 months in French oak (50% new). On the nose you find aromas of blackberries, black cherries, red fruits and a hint of woody spice. On the palate silky, lush fruit flavors are balanced with good structure and a long finish. Drinking very well now if decanted, the 2012 will benefit from another year or two in the bottle. The Wine Advocate gave this 92 points praising its Cote Rotie-like style."
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  18. ENDERLE AND MOLL 2017 PINOT NOIR "LIASON" ORGANIC, SPATBURGUNDER, BADEN

    Item #: i_362348
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Silky and aromatic, this earthy, red-fruited Pinot Noir that could rival even the best Bourgogne Rouge bottlings. Sleek, soft, mineral-driven red fruit dominates the palate, with nuances of herb spice and soil.
    Sven Enderle and Florian Moll farm a little over five acres on the western fringe of the Black Forest. Most of their Pinot comes from two sites: one with 25-45 year-old vines planted in colored sandstone (Buntsandstein), and one other miniscule plot (0.045 ha total) from 60-year-old vines (the oldest in the region) planted in shell limestone (Muschelkalk). All work in the vineyard is done by hand, yields are low, and vineyard work is organic/biodynamic. Parcels are vinified separately, with one-third whole clusters. Grapes are crushed in an old wooden basket press and then go into second-hand Burgundy barrels (mostly from Domaine Dujac). Florian thinks it foolish to automatically equate higher ripeness levels with better quality and that doing so often leads to overripe, high-alcohol wines with lots of extract and a shortage of acidity and delicacy. These are delicious Pinots of enormous integrity, made with undeniable passion and point of view.

    Enderle & Moll has long been deemed one of the best new Pinot Noir producers in Germany. Notes of juicy red cherries, ripe raspberries, and tart orange dominate this well-balanced, insanely delicious palate.

    Organic and Biodynamic.
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  19. FALKENSTEIN 2018 RIESLING KABINETT KRETTNACHER EUCHARISBERG ALTE REBEN

    Item #: i_374426
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 95 POINTS Exclusively from the Gisela parcel and bottled with 9% alcohol, the 2018 Krettnacher Euchariusberg Riesling Kabinett Alte Reben (AP 08) offers delicately fine and weathered slate and flint stone aromas, indicating great complexity. On the palate, this is an immensely straight, fresh and linear Riesling with highly mineral acidity and generous, intense and concentrated fruit. Very complex and amazingly long this is an expressive terroir wine that needs a decade to show its class. Great transparency, tension and mineral grip here. Great expression. Tasted in June 2019.

    If you are interested in superb, classic, highly individual Saar Rieslings, Hofgut Falkenstein is one of the very best addresses. As in old times, each plot is vinified and bottled separately, and only a very few wines blend the fruit of two similar parcels that are too small to fill a 1,000-liter fuder. Each parcel has a given name—so, there is an "Uncle Peter" or "Gisela" fuder—though it is never mentioned on the label. Thus, the wine you get is only officially the Euchariusberg Kabinett Alte Reben, but in truth—and among freaks—it's "Gisela." Like any other wine, "Gisela" always goes into the same fuder every year, and so, if you want to speak about terroir, the terroir begins here: inside the traditional Mosel barrel that is cleaned but never filled with water between the bottling and the advent of the new vintage. Instead, a part of the sediment is conserved with sulfur and helps shape the new "Gisela," as does the vineyard plot with its old, ungrafted vines. The Webers say this is how they keep the soul of each fuder alive.

    By the way, "Gisela"—or Euchariusberg Kabinett Alte Reben—is the finest Kabinett I have tasted in the Saar Valley this year. It has the luminous, precise and airy character combined with vitality, depth and complexity like Egon Müller's finest Scharzhofberger Kabinetts used to have. Really, I don't think I'm exaggerating. There was no Kabinett like Muller's Scharzhofberger before I met the Euchariusberg Kabinett from the 2017 and 2018 vintage, which actually outshine the famous neighbor in both years.

    Unfortunately, the Falkensteiner Rieslings are fast-selling wines. You need to have a great relationship with your supplier, because even at the domaine you won't get a bottle to buy, only to drink. Erich and Johannes Weber could sell each bottle at least two times. There is no other domain that is as "hot" as the Falkensteiner Hof right now. The Webers are real farmers who do everything themselves and by hand. The vines have just one arch, and the soils are kept meager, with natural green cover between the rows. "After 42 years of farming the same way, we have an evolved system," said Erich. Whole-cluster pressing and natural fermentation in traditional fuders in the old, humid cellar are part of the system, too. Father and son know each single vine, and both (plus one employee) care about the plants as if they were pets. Some call the Webers (and their "wine historian" Lars Carlberg) crazy, and that's exactly what they are—but there is no better way of craziness. Just check out the wines, they speak for themselves.
    The current vintage is the 2018, an early but ripe year. The Riesling harvest began on September 15. "As soon as the grapes have 80° Oechsle we get nervous, because we want to keep the acidity Saar-like and Falkenstein-like," said Erich Weber. Like most of the domains, the yields were reduced on the press. "The first must that is running from the press is 'winzerblond' [untranslatable: bright] or colored like ice tea," he said. With more than 0.8 bar of pressure, the juice becomes dark and reflects the enormous sunshine of the vintage even in a dense canopy wall. "It was easy to lose two grams of acidity if pressed for too long, so we stopped early. This is also a kind of intervention, but it's not a chemical one," Erich told me. He described the look of the grapes as "beautifully golden and healthy like in 2015." Since he is striving for lightweight wines, which he loves to compare with a ballet dancer, he doesn't de-leaf the grape zone, doesn't pick too late and does no maceration. "We don't want to have holes in the dance floor because the dancer is too heavy." In 2018, the Webers stopped pressing at 0.8 to 0.9 bar, while in normal years and also in 2017, the pressing went up to 1.1 to 1.2 bar. "We also need the last part of the pressing, otherwise the acidity would be too high. Ours is already self-confident, but we don't need 12 grams of total acidity."
    Due to spring frost and botrytis, 2017 was a more difficult vintage, and the parts that were left on the press in 2018 were discarded in 2017. The selective picking paid off: the Hofgut Falkenstein's 2017s are extraordinary good, especially the Auslese from the Euchariusberg.
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  20. FALKENSTEIN 2018 RIESLING NIEDERMENNINGER HERRENBERG KABINETT TROCKEN (DRY) #19

    Item #: i_374421
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    JOHN GILMAN -VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 90 POINTS - As I mentioned before, the Herrenberg vineyard in Niedermennig (which cascades down from the cellar doors here) has a section of blue-grey slate and a section of red slate, and Erich Weber prefers to bottle each section on its own. He has sixty to eighty year-old vines in both sections, so the primary difference here is simply the variations of slate type. The 2018 Kabinett Trocken #19 is from the blue slate portion of the vineyard and is known in the cellars by its nickname of “Egon”. The 2018 Egon Kabinett Trocken is a good bottle in the making, offering up a fine nose of green apple, grapefruit, lovely slate undertow and a topnote of lemongrass. On the palate the wine is medium-full, bright and zesty, with fine mineral drive, excellent focus and grip and a long, primary and promising finish. This is a good bottle in the making. 2022-2045+. 90.
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  21. GUT HERMANNSBERG 2014 RIESLING GG GROSSES GEWACHS TRAISER BASTEI

    Item #: i_372021
    Bottle Size: 750ml

    WINE ADVOCATE 90+ POINTS Picked significantly earlier as in 2013 and before, the 2014 Traiser Bastei Riesling GG displays a very clear, fresh and mineral, as well as elegant bouquet. Creamy textured, juicy and elegant on the palate, with a well integrated acidity, this medium-bodied Riesling reveals a ripe acidity and good mineral piquancy, as well as a velvet texture. Still young, this wine might gain more transparency over the years.

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  22. HANS WIRSCHING 2017 SCHEUREBE (DRY WHITE) in slim, fluted bottle

    Item #: i_331139
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    JANCIS ROBINSON 16 POINTS - "Old-fashioned roses. Proper Turkish Attar perfume! And then, when your nose is leading you down a path of Gewurz fat-bottomed spiciness, the palate delivers bracing freshness in a carnival of pink grapefruit, a naughty hint of passion fruit, lean and taut as a gymnast (not a fat bottom in sight) but kick-boxing flavour. An astonishing amount packed into just 11.5%. Cucumber-fresh finish."
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