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. BATTENFELD SPANIER 2019 RIESLING KIRCHENSTUCK GG GROSSES GEWACHS, TROCKEN DRY

    Item #: i_342401
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    JAMES SUCKLING - 96 POINTS
    Very complex, spicy nose with a whiff of funk adding tension, this is a tightly focused, medium-full bodied wine with a strict tannin structure that may be too much for some, but it delights us. Just wait until it unfurls! Better after 2021.

    WINE ADVOCATE - 92 - 93+ POINTS
    The 2019 Hohen-Sulzen Kirchenstuck Riesling GG is bright and precise on the purely chalky, delicately yeasty and lemon-scented nose. Full-bodied, pure, straight and salty on the palate, this is an elegant and juicy, very stimulating and almost easy-drinking Kirchenstuck with remarkable finesse and vitality. It's not as dramatic as the Frauenberg or the Rieslings from the Zellertal, but an excellent Riesling for sure. Tasted as a sample in April 2020.

    As far as my first impressions from spring this year do not deceive me, Hans Oliver Spanier pressed his perhaps best Riesling to date in fall 2019. I have never tasted so much tension, precision and chalky terroir expression under the BattenfeldSpanier brand as I did in his 2019 Grosses Gewachs bottlings. The Frauenberg Riesling GG is outstanding, as are the two Rieslings from the cooler Zellertal, Zellerweg Am Schwarzen Herrgott and the Zellertal Kreuzberg, which was still extremely racy and nervous when I tasted it in April. Its tension and concentration, however, will make this another great wine that will be auctioned in Bad Kreuznach in September this year, which is also the release month of all the other GGs listed here.

    Like in 2018, Hans Oliver did not expect such a great vintage still in August. "The vines still seemed to be a bit stressed from the previous vintage throughout the year, which was another very warm year yet less dry than 2018," he reported over the phone. "However, in September from the vines and later from the vats, the taste was just incredible," he remembers.
    There were some key factors to deal with the heat and the drought. In the vineyard, soil and canopy management were crucial. A good layer of humus and straw to protect the vivacious soil from drought, and compost etc. were as helpful as the right leaf wall and a balanced yield. Hans Oliver Spanier has farmed organic since 1993, yet he got in contact with dry farming only after the heat of 2003. Year after year, he has adapted his vineyard management to global warming, yet in 2019, the cool nights from mid-August until the end of the harvest in early October were more than helpful. Those made 2019 a classic of modern times.
    Secondly, the deep roots and the time of the harvest (mid-September until October 3) were important as well as the handling of the grapes when picked. Hans Oliver Spanier, who also makes the wines for the Kuhling-Gillot brand from the "Red Slope," is not a friend of a too-early harvest just to keep acidity but to relinquish intensity, depth and complexity. He prefers to pick in two steps but almost always prefers the later harvest the most. He also reduced the maceration time significantly. Since high temperatures and direct sunlight cause natural tannins in the grapes' skins anyway, a further maceration of phenols wasn't necessary. "We have perhaps exaggerated this procedure after the 2007 and 2008 vintages," he admits. Therefore, in 2019 as already in 2018, at least 50% of the grapes were pressed as whole clusters, and the other half was only slightly crushed. The pressing was very always gentle and made sure to get as much as possible out of the skins without extracting too much phenols.
    As always, the musts were fermented in large oak vats (600 to 2,400 liters) spontaneously, and the best wines were kept on the full lees until a day before the assemblage and the bottling in June.
    The finest 2019 Rieslings come, again, from the Zellertal, with the Frauenberg in front, which is Hans Oliver's favorite Riesling anyway. The Zellertal benefits from the amplitude between warm days and significantly cool nights thanks to the cold winds from the Donnersberg. The soils are perfectly calcareous, though very rocky in the Frauenberg. Readers should definitely invest in the 2019s from BattenfeldSpanier and Kuhling-Gillot. You will not find many wines that can really compete with the finest here.
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  2. BATTENFELD SPANIER 2019 RIESLING NIEDER-FLORSHEIM "FRAUENBERG" GG GROSSES GEWACHS, TROCKEN DRY

    Item #: i_342398
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 96 - 97 POINTS
    Riesling meets Chablis! The barrel sample of the 2019 Nieder-Florsheim Frauenberg Riesling GG is intense and complex on the pure, chalky, floral and nicely reductive nose. Round, charmingly intense and juicy on the palate, this is a refined and silky-textured Frauenberg with a pure, very elegant, stimulatingly precise and salty-crystalline finish. Very promising. Tasted in April 2020.

    As far as my first impressions from spring this year do not deceive me, Hans Oliver Spanier pressed his perhaps best Riesling to date in fall 2019. I have never tasted so much tension, precision and chalky terroir expression under the BattenfeldSpanier brand as I did in his 2019 Grosses Gewachs bottlings. The Frauenberg Riesling GG is outstanding, as are the two Rieslings from the cooler Zellertal, Zellerweg Am Schwarzen Herrgott and the Zellertal Kreuzberg, which was still extremely racy and nervous when I tasted it in April. Its tension and concentration, however, will make this another great wine that will be auctioned in Bad Kreuznach in September this year, which is also the release month of all the other GGs listed here.
    Like in 2018, Hans Oliver did not expect such a great vintage still in August. "The vines still seemed to be a bit stressed from the previous vintage throughout the year, which was another very warm year yet less dry than 2018," he reported over the phone. "However, in September from the vines and later from the vats, the taste was just incredible," he remembers.
    There were some key factors to deal with the heat and the drought. In the vineyard, soil and canopy management were crucial. A good layer of humus and straw to protect the vivacious soil from drought, and compost etc. were as helpful as the right leaf wall and a balanced yield. Hans Oliver Spanier has farmed organic since 1993, yet he got in contact with dry farming only after the heat of 2003. Year after year, he has adapted his vineyard management to global warming, yet in 2019, the cool nights from mid-August until the end of the harvest in early October were more than helpful. Those made 2019 a classic of modern times.
    Secondly, the deep roots and the time of the harvest (mid-September until October 3) were important as well as the handling of the grapes when picked. Hans Oliver Spanier, who also makes the wines for the Kuhling-Gillot brand from the "Red Slope," is not a friend of a too-early harvest just to keep acidity but to relinquish intensity, depth and complexity. He prefers to pick in two steps but almost always prefers the later harvest the most. He also reduced the maceration time significantly. Since high temperatures and direct sunlight cause natural tannins in the grapes' skins anyway, a further maceration of phenols wasn't necessary. "We have perhaps exaggerated this procedure after the 2007 and 2008 vintages," he admits. Therefore, in 2019 as already in 2018, at least 50% of the grapes were pressed as whole clusters, and the other half was only slightly crushed. The pressing was very always gentle and made sure to get as much as possible out of the skins without extracting too much phenols.
    As always, the musts were fermented in large oak vats (600 to 2,400 liters) spontaneously, and the best wines were kept on the full lees until a day before the assemblage and the bottling in June.
    The finest 2019 Rieslings come, again, from the Zellertal, with the Frauenberg in front, which is Hans Oliver's favorite Riesling anyway. The Zellertal benefits from the amplitude between warm days and significantly cool nights thanks to the cold winds from the Donnersberg. The soils are perfectly calcareous, though very rocky in the Frauenberg. Readers should definitely invest in the 2019s from BattenfeldSpanier and Kuhling-Gillot. You will not find many wines that can really compete with the finest here.
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  3. BATTENFELD SPANIER 2019 RIESLING ZELLERWEG "AM SCHWARZEN HERRGOT" GG GROSSES GEWACHS, TROCKEN DRY

    Item #: i_342399
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 94 -95+ POINTS
    The 2019 Molsheim Zellerweg Am Schwarzen Herrgott Riesling GG is intense in color and flavors but still a raw diamond with fine notes of crushed limestones and cool winds. The attack on the palate is pure and fresh, tight and very salty before the wine reveals its complexity and compact structure. This is a very elegant and salty-piquant Riesling with lemon notes and very fine tannins. This is a Riesling with power, purity, finesse and a serious grip. Exciting! Tasted as a barrel sample in April 2020.

    As far as my first impressions from spring this year do not deceive me, Hans Oliver Spanier pressed his perhaps best Riesling to date in fall 2019. I have never tasted so much tension, precision and chalky terroir expression under the BattenfeldSpanier brand as I did in his 2019 Grosses Gewachs bottlings. The Frauenberg Riesling GG is outstanding, as are the two Rieslings from the cooler Zellertal, Zellerweg Am Schwarzen Herrgott and the Zellertal Kreuzberg, which was still extremely racy and nervous when I tasted it in April. Its tension and concentration, however, will make this another great wine that will be auctioned in Bad Kreuznach in September this year, which is also the release month of all the other GGs listed here.
    Like in 2018, Hans Oliver did not expect such a great vintage still in August. "The vines still seemed to be a bit stressed from the previous vintage throughout the year, which was another very warm year yet less dry than 2018," he reported over the phone. "However, in September from the vines and later from the vats, the taste was just incredible," he remembers.
    There were some key factors to deal with the heat and the drought. In the vineyard, soil and canopy management were crucial. A good layer of humus and straw to protect the vivacious soil from drought, and compost etc. were as helpful as the right leaf wall and a balanced yield. Hans Oliver Spanier has farmed organic since 1993, yet he got in contact with dry farming only after the heat of 2003. Year after year, he has adapted his vineyard management to global warming, yet in 2019, the cool nights from mid-August until the end of the harvest in early October were more than helpful. Those made 2019 a classic of modern times.
    Secondly, the deep roots and the time of the harvest (mid-September until October 3) were important as well as the handling of the grapes when picked. Hans Oliver Spanier, who also makes the wines for the Kuhling-Gillot brand from the "Red Slope," is not a friend of a too-early harvest just to keep acidity but to relinquish intensity, depth and complexity. He prefers to pick in two steps but almost always prefers the later harvest the most. He also reduced the maceration time significantly. Since high temperatures and direct sunlight cause natural tannins in the grapes' skins anyway, a further maceration of phenols wasn't necessary. "We have perhaps exaggerated this procedure after the 2007 and 2008 vintages," he admits. Therefore, in 2019 as already in 2018, at least 50% of the grapes were pressed as whole clusters, and the other half was only slightly crushed. The pressing was very always gentle and made sure to get as much as possible out of the skins without extracting too much phenols. As always, the musts were fermented in large oak vats (600 to 2,400 liters) spontaneously, and the best wines were kept on the full lees until a day before the assemblage and the bottling in June.
    The finest 2019 Rieslings come, again, from the Zellertal, with the Frauenberg in front, which is Hans Oliver's favorite Riesling anyway. The Zellertal benefits from the amplitude between warm days and significantly cool nights thanks to the cold winds from the Donnersberg. The soils are perfectly calcareous, though very rocky in the Frauenberg. Readers should definitely invest in the 2019s from BattenfeldSpanier and Kuhling-Gillot. You will not find many wines that can really compete with the finest here.
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  4. BECKER 2015 PINOT NOIR SPATBURGUNDER GERMANY

    Item #: i_308344
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    In the small town of Schweigen, Becker's vineyards straddle the French border… about 70% of this wine is grown in France, the other 30% on the German side. The soils consist of limestone covered in a clay/loam mix. The grapes are all destemmed and fermented in open tanks. The final blend is aged in large oak casks and 10% smaller barriques, all neutral oak. This is an incredibly drinkable, lovely Pinot with sweet fruit married to exceptional minerality. Notes of dried cranberry, pomegranate and light cherry entice the palate. Year after year, Becker's basic cuvee achieves the holy grail of Pinot: a light body belied by delicious flavor. Great on its own, but also compliments heavier seafood, poultry, and fine cuts of beef and game.
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  5. BERNHARD HUBER 2017 CHARDONNAY "ALTE REBEN" (OLD VINES)

    Item #: i_399969
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    FALSTAFF MAGAZINE - 94 POINTS Mineral nose, flint, roasted aromas, green walnut and pear. Begins softly on the palate, then develops density and pressure, enormous extract, pointed acidity, enormous minerality and spice, full of energy and also velvety. Long finale, great potential.



    We are so excited to share this discovery with you, and have been waiting over a year to finally get this wine in our hands. Though Riesling is Germany’s signature grape, we are taking a different path… this time with an introduction, if you will, to German “White Burgundy.” Yes! And who else to start than with one of the best. For the past 20 years, Weingut Bernhard Huber has been considered one of the most important wine producers in Germany, known most prominently for their Pinot Noir, but we were most taken by this sumptuous white. The Huber estate sits near the famous Kaiserstuhl (translated, the Kaiserstuhl means “Emperor’s Chair,” a volcanic range of hills with a ziggurat-like appearance), in the Baden village of Malterdingen with limestone soils, very similar to those found in the Côte d'Or. We hardly ever hear about these wines, because of scarcity. Most of the Huber’s wines are enjoyed in Germany where they are much beloved.

    The Huber "Alte Reben" or, "Old Vines" is 100% Chardonnay. grapes undergo spontaneous fermentation. According to Julian's philosophy, all musts are fermented through and then the young wines are given a long aging period on the lees, and matured in neutral French oak for 16 months. Fruit is sourced from Huber’s oldest Chardonnay vines are over 40-years-old with low yields. Perfect soils and firstclass climatic conditions make this wine top-notch.

    On the nose, you are greeted with the scent of white stone fruit, white flowers, baking spice, a smidge of creaminess, and immediately, one thinks of White Burgundy. The wine is buoyed by incredible freshness, minerality, lots of limestone and again white flowers and stone fruit on the palate. The feel is delicate, rich in finesse and elegant. We were so taken by this wine when we tried it in Germany, we had to bring it over to share with you.

    Huber's entry-level Chardonnay has been called Chardonnay Alte Reben since the 2014 vintage. The fact that this is an entry-level wine is not even rudimentary - it is rather a great wine art! Julian Huber is now setting new standards in terms of Chardonnay in Germany and the "little one" doesn't have to hide from his big brothers from the Bienenberg and Schlossberg vineyards. Thanks to an earlier harvest, Julian brings more acidity and firmness to the wines, plus a somewhat more reductive development and you already feel that the taste is clearly Burgundy. Cool smokiness on the nose, some sesame, flint (sulfur). plus white melon, apple, the wood is only minimally noticeable. On the palate, a minimalist and sparse structure and pure acidity, a lot of citrus, some grapefruit, then lime notes come through, but prancing and fine, remains grandiose, although it is still a baby, this Chardonnay is a real joy.
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  6. 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.

    ANTONIO GALLONI - VINOUS - 95 POINTS Fresh quince and lime announced on the nose take on a delightfully sorbet-like character on the palate, at once caressingly creamy and brightly juicy. Bittersweet nut extracts and lightly smoldering, ore-like smokiness harken to the character of this year’s Hermannshöhle Grosses Gewachs. The resonant, subtly spicy and mouthwateringly salt-tinged finish opens up a shimmering vista of crystalline stone. David Schildknecht.
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  7. DONNHOFF 2018 RIESLING OBERHAUSER BRUCKE BA BEERENAUSLESE 375ml

    Item #: i_328025
    Bottle Size: 375ml
    **Please note, this is a half sized bottle
    *** HALF BOTTLE ***375ml Bottle

    WINE ADVOCATE - 97 POINTS - The 2018 Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Beerenauslese is from grapes that were reserved for Eiswein. Picked in November, when the hope for ice wine had died, this is a highly concentrated yet pure and spicy-aromatic BA with some volatile notes on the nose. Rich and sweet on the palate, this is a sweet yet pure and salty-piquant, playful and tensioned BA of great class and concentration. This is very clear and piquant and concentrated with healthy, botrytis-free berries. Still Riesling and surely Brücke and doubtlessly great, with a laser-like precision and definition. Fabulous. Tasted in July 2019.
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    $169.98
  8. 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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  9. DONNHOFF 2019 ESTATE RIESLING

    Item #: i_328015
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    Wine Advocate: 90
    WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "The 2019 Riesling (Estate) is bright, clear and fresh on the nose, even flinty. Round, pure and lush on the palate, this is a medium-sweet Riesling with great finesse and the typical Mosel lightness and piquancy. Beautifully straight and full of character. Tasted as a sample in Bremen, April 2020."

    JAMESSUCKLING.COM - 92 POINTS A very attractive, just off-dry riesling with tons of fruit-salad character, but no hint of anything banal. Quite the opposite in fact, as this is precisely balanced and has a long, very clean finish. From organically grown grapes with Fair'n Green certification. Drink now. Screw cap.

    The basic maturity in 2019 was similar to 2018, Cornelious Donnhoff reported in a video chat in April. “The warm spring caused an extremely early budding, which was even earlier than in 2018.” However, a cold period in May thankfully slowed down further development and made the canopy management easier.

    A heat wave similar to that of 2018 followed in June, but the soils were still well supplied with water from the previous winter. Nevertheless, in some cases considerable sunburn damage could not be prevented when temperatures reached 40 degrees Celsius, especially not on shallow, stony soils. The loss of sunburned berries in the following period caused a natural yield reduction. Meticulous selections had to be carried out in autumn, because sunburned berries lead to a certain undesirable astringency in the wines. “The leaf wall was not yet closed in June,” explains Dönnhoff. “The damage also affected the western, non-defoliated leaf wall, because the heat at these temperatures mainly reflects back from the soil.” The eastern side is de-leafed so that the sunlight strengthens the grape skins and provides natural sun and botrytis protection.

    Overall, 2019 was initially similarly dry as 2018, but there was also heavy rainfall, which prevented drought stress and brought the vines through the summer well. The harvest for the sparkling wines began early again, at the beginning of September. The main harvest started right after the annual auction on September 23rd and lasted four weeks. Until October 22nd, the harvest team worked under “quite a lot of stress,” because “with the beginning of the harvest there was a bad weather front, which brought us showers almost every day, but only a few consecutive sunny days,” Dönnhoff Jr. said. “That worked out quite well, but it was a hard fight due to problems with rot, especially in the late days of the harvest, even though we cannot speak of an unusually high amount of botrytis in 2019.”

    Thus, the harvesting team was divided into two groups, the first of which went ahead to discard borderline grapes so that the following group could pick what was left hanging. At the winery, the grapes that were found to be good were then sorted again. “We had to hurry in 2018 to keep the must weights moderate, but last year we were driven by the changeable weather,” Dönnhoff said, summing up last year’s harvest.

    In comparison to the hot 2018 vintage, Dönnhoff noted that the nights in 2019 were a bit cooler, which means that the acidity has held up better and is two to three grams per liter higher than in 2018. “However, it is not sharp, but ripe, energetic acidity that gives the wines a special kick,” says Donnhoff. The alcohol gradations are also about half a percentage point below those of the previous year. If the grapes were still slightly crushed before pressing at the beginning of the harvest, with increasing ripeness and thinner skins, the grapes were pressed as a whole to keep the fruit clear and elegant.

    In the cellar, fermentations ran smoothly due to the low pH values and good nutrient supply. Harvested between the beginning and middle of October, the Grosses Gewachs Rieslings yielded a moderate 12.5% alcohol in 2019. Donnhoff's 2019 estate wines were bottled “at full throttle” during Holy Week, the single-vineyard wines followed after Easter and the Prädikate in May, while the GGs were kept on the lees until May/June. The yield of 10% to 15% below average is within the usual tolerance range.

    The lean and vital yet intense character of the 2019s as well as their high extracts make the wines classy long-distance runners. As always, the finest wines of the vintage include the grand crus and Pradikate from Spatlese onward, namely from the Hermannshöhle and the Dellchen. 2019 is another excellent to great vintage for Donnhoff.

    “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

    "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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  10. DONNHOFF 2019 RIESLING SPATLESE NIEDERHAUSER HERMANNSHOHLE

    Item #: i_304366
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 93 - 95 POINTS
    The 2019 Riesling Spatlese Niederhauser Hermannshohle is ripe and intense as well as precise and flinty on the bright and elegant nose. Juicy yet very fine and elegant on the crystalline and lithe palate, this is a highly refined and stimulating Spatlese of great finesse and precision. Tasted as a sample in Bremen, April 2020.
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  11. DONNHOFF 2019 RIESLING SPATLESE NORHEIMER KIRSCHHECK

    Item #: i_304367
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 92 -93 POINTS
    The 2019 Riesling Spatlese Norheimer Kirschheck is bright and elegant yet quite reductive at this early stage. Racy- piquant and pure on the palate, with tension, grip and elegance, this is a promising Spatlese, but it is completely shut down at the moment. Tasted as a sample in Bremen, April 2020.
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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. 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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    $109.98
  14. ENDERLE AND MOLL 2018 PINOT NOIR "LIAISON" ORGANIC, SPATBURGUNDER, BADEN

    Item #: i_362348
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Enderle & Moll's Liaison is, simply put, one of the greatest buys in European Pinot Noir. Sure that's a cliché, but true to say of a wine that drinks at two or three times its price. Enderle & Moll is famous for making Pinot Noir with that "Burgundian" lightness, with an amazing soil transparency. For the 2018 vintage, they lose none of the detail, yet the intensity of the experience is turned up. There is more of everything, except weight. The "Liaison" is so-named because it comes from old vines (50+ years old) planted in both sandstone and limestone. From the sandstone, the wine gains a heady floral exuberance, an exotic and extroverted perfume. From the limestone, the wine takes its rigor and form. It is a magical combination. For all the acclaim given to Enderle & Moll (even the likes of Jancis Robinson has called them "cult"), not much has changed. They are still farming organically and biodynamically, using an old basket press and aging the wines in used older Dujac barrels. Above all, they are still a small domaine with only around 4 hectares.
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  15. FURST 2017 PINOT NOIR KLINGENBERGER SPATBURGUNDER

    Item #: i_372022
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Paul Fürst has for many years been one of Germany’s greatest practitioners of Pinot Noir and his Klingenberger is the quietest, the most understated and elegant in his stable. This is a needle-fine Pinot, a wine of simply extraordinary textural elegance; it’s sappy and sweet-fruited with smoke and iron-inflected notes of soil and mineral.
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  16. GOLDATZEL 2017 RIESLING KABINETT TROCKEN DRY

    Item #: i_321120
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS A dry version, with hints of tobacco gliding along the thyme, white peach and lime flavors. Shows some viscosity on the palate, but this remains elegant. Offers a harmonious and well-defined finish. Drink now through 2026. 50 cases imported. — AZ
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  17. GUNDERLOCH 2019 RIESLING GG GROSSES GEWACHS PETTENTHAL

    Item #: i_322815
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 93 - 95 POINTS Intensely yellow in color, the 2019 Riesling trocken Pettenthal GG opens with a deep and intense, super aromatic and juicy bouquet of perfectly ripe, tropical (pineapple) fruit aromas intertwined with flinty notes of crushed, weathered slate. Rich yet refined and vital on the palate, this is a pure, lively and mineral Pettenthal with a lot of salt and dancing stones on the palate. The wine is not very dense or concentrated but juicy, refined and highly stimulating, almost Mosel-like in its playful, buoyant and frisky character. The finish is long and complex and reveals fine tannin grip and promising aging potential. Tasted as a sample in May 2020.

    JAMESSUCKLING.COM - 92 POINTS The aromas of dried chamomile, mint, oolong leaf tea and delicate yellow fruit give this GG a very special style. Not for those seeking power or weight, rather for fans of delicacy. In fact, it feels almost weightless at the long, dry finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
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  18. GUNDERLOCH 2019 RIESLING NACKENHEIM ROTHENBERG GG GROSSES GEWACHS

    Item #: i_322814
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    WINE ADVOCATE - 96+ POINTS The 2019 Riesling trocken Rothenberg GG is quite intense and aromatic right now, still yeasty. Round and a creamy on the palate, this is a rich and concentrated yet pure, lush and tensioned, very long and salty Rothenberg with fine tannins and great aging potential. An enormous wine for Gunderloch, yet I'd keep it for at least 6-10 years before I slowly start to drink it. This is the Gunderloch wine to buy! Tasted at the domain in August 2020.

    WINE ADVOCATE 94 - 96 POINTS The 2019 Riesling trocken Rothenberg GG is deep, intense and aromatic as well as refined and terroir-driven on the crunchy slate and iron-scented nose that is much less fruity than Hipping or Pettenthal but immensely deep and complex—a great wine! Rich and complex on the silky-textured palate, the 2019 combines intensity with lightness and finesse and finishes with purity and salinity. Sustainable finish with great aging potential. A great Riesling from Johannes Hasselbach, most likely the finest and most expressive he has produced so far. Tasted as a sample in May 2020.

    JAMESSUCKLING.COM 92 POINTS Quite smoky and leesy still, this is an embryonic dry white with a featherweight body, but a lot of dried-herb, green-leaf tea, licorice and sea-salt character. With aeration, some peach emerges. Plenty of tannins here, although they don’t dominate, the mineral finish quite austere. Drink or hold. Screw cap.
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  19. HANS WIRSCHING 2019 SILVANER DRY in fluted bottle.

    Item #: i_331137
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    The velvety texture is offset by ample minerality midpalate in this well-knit, zesty version. Geranium notes extend, meeting apple and lime flavors that linger on the well-defined finish. Drink now through 2022. 1,500 cases made, 600 cases imported.—A.Z.

    Why it's of note: Hans Wirsching is one of the largest family-owned wineries in Germany, with over 200 acres of vineyards, but they are still committed to high-quality wines. The winery focuses primarily on Silvaner, which is the most important variety in Franken, where they are located. This version shows the beautiful texture that great Silvaner is known for. Try it with crudo or sushi.

    A lively dry wine with a palate expressing notes of pear, lemongrass, gooseberry and ripe lime. Pure and focused, offering sleek mineral accents and a firm acidic backbone that drives this to a mouthwatering finish.

    Sustainably grown, the Wirsching family has been producing wine in the region since 1630. Home to Wirsching is the village of Iphofen, one of the most famous in Franconia and one which produces wines of unsurpassed regional quality from the steeply sloping vineyards. While the noble yet under-appreciated Silvaner is the estate's traditional focus. The Wirsching Silvaner has a bouquet of white flowers and garden herbs, fine mineral character, along with layers of fruit, spice, and uncommon depth. All of the Wirsching wines are Vegan.
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  20. HEXAMER 2019 RIESLING PORPHYR FEINHERB (OFF-DRY)

    Item #: i_328023
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    JAMESSUCKLING.COM - 91 POINTS Some people say the wines from the volcanic soils of the Nahe are difficult to understand, but this is a joyful, almost dry riesling with considerable mineral depth at the bold finish. Drink now. Screw cap.

    WINE ADVOCATE - 90 POINTS The 2019 Riesling Porphyr is another excellent wine from Schlossbockelheim's volcanic terroirs, namely the Felsen and the Konigsfels single-vineyard sites. Bottled with a bit of unfermented sugar, which makes it a demi-sec, the wine opens with the typical flinty and fruity bouquet that is almost irresistible. The attack on the palate is so charmingly finessed as well as juicy that you and your guests will definitely like it immediately. This is an easy-drinking and absolutely enjoyable Riesling from porphyry soils, and it reveals delicate grip and salinity on the finish without being all too complex. The Porphyr is a star in Germany as well as in Norway. 12% alcohol. Tasted from AP 14 20 in January 2021. Stephan Reinhardt.
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  21. HEYMANN-LOWENSTEIN 2015 RIESLING UHLEN "L" LAUBACH DRY

    Item #: i_342396
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 96 POINTS From the Laubach formation of the grand cru, the 2015 Riesling Uhlen L 'VDP Grosse Lage' is super flinty, refined and elegant on the nose where perfectly ripe Riesling and white truffle aromas are displayed. On the palate, this is an intense, dense and finessed Riesling with great tension, salinity and complexity. The finish is aromatic, pure and very long, really what Reinhard Lowenstein was aiming for: to serve the intellectuals as well as the hedonists. A great and age-worthy Riesling.

    Reinhard Lowenstein welcomed me very relaxed in late October 2016. He had already finished the harvest on October 18th. "When we began here many years ago we were the latest picking our grapes, today we are the earliest." 2016 was a very vigorous vintage and "Team HL" had to invest a lot of manpower to manage the leaf walls.
    There were three big problems in 2016. Sunburn was the greatest danger at the end of August, so the grapes were sorted twice, in the vineyard first and then again at the sorting table in the press house. Another big problem, of which Clemens Busch also reports, was the cutworm (Erdraupe) that ate the young buds. "Some producers in the Uhlen lost almost the entire crop in late April," reports Reinhard Lowenstein. He sent out his team at night, and in the early morning roughly 1,800 worms were fed to the chickens.
    The third problem was peronospora. Since the bud-break was rather late in Winningen, the earlier vineyards were hit more significantly than the later sites. Since Heymann-Lowenstein is not a certified organic producer, he was able to protect his densely planted vines with the help of the helicopter. The final result is that, with 46 hectoliters per hectare, he almost reached his goal to crop 50 hectoliters on average. Some of his colleagues picked less than half of that.

    Vintage 2015 "2015 is a surprising vintage," says Reinhard Löwenstein. "It was so terribly dry this summer that we feared we wouldn't have any leaves on the vines before the grapes are ripe. We don't know why yet, but our leaves remained green throughout the summer! I guess it is the old vines and their deep roots that protected us from dramatic losses."
    Also, in 2015 team HL picked early, between the last week of September and the last week of October. Due to the lack of botrytis, no sweet wines were produced in that year. The resulting musts were powerful and very spicy ("with flavors of cloves, muscat, and anise," as cellarmaster Kathrin Starke reports). The 2015s were fermented to dry even before Christmas, something that never happened before at Heymann-Lowenstein. "We also didn't have to add much sulfur, just 70 to 80 milligrams per liter (which makes up for 30/35 milligrams of free SO2)." The wines were kept on the lees until May when the assemblage tastings are done. Just the Röttgen was kept in Fuder barrels until the bottling in later summer.
    The wines from the Uhlen are exceptional again in 2015, including most of the Rothlay (R) again but also the Laubach (L) and the Blaufusser Lay (B). These are flinty, refined and elegant terroir wines with perfectly ripe Riesling flavors, plus intensity, finesse and great tension. These wines serve the intellectuals as well as the hedonists.
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  22. HEYMANN-LOWENSTEIN 2015 RIESLING VON BLAUEM SCHIEFER

    Item #: i_342397
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 91 POINTS
    The 2015 Riesling Vom Blauen Schiefer opens with a beautifully clear and slatey bouquet of perfectly ripe Riesling flavors. The wine is round, piquant and salty on the palate, reveals picture book finesse and transparency and is extremely stimulating in its dry but perfectly balanced finish. The aftertaste is pretty long and already complex. If you are looking for a picture book wine of the terraced Lower Mosel, this is the one you have to taste. Thirteen percent of alcohol can hardly taste lighter and more stimulating.
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  23. J&h SELBACH 2017 RIESLING PIESPORTER MICHELSBERG

    Item #: i_311872
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Ripe peaches and lime zest leap from the glass of this beautiful, lightly sweet Mosel Riesling. Enjoy it as an aperitif or with spicy Asian foods.

    J&H Selbach is the proprietary brand for the regional wines of Johannes Selbach. Johannes uses his long-standing relationships with growers around the Mittelmosel to source quality grapes for these cuvees. Though many Piesporters and Bernkastelers of dubious quality are available in the market, Johannes and his team work hard to ensure a level of quality and continuity from vintage to vintage, while keeping these wines inexpensive and serving as a great introduction to Mosel Riesling.

    Vinified in stainless steel, with just a hint of residual sugar, this wine vividly represents all that Mosel wine should be – Fruity with vibrant acidity, clarity, and precision; all highlighted by intense slate-driven minerality.
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  24. JJ CHRISTOFFEL 2016 RIESLING SPATLESE URZIGER WURZGARTEN

    Item #: i_324208
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    ANTONIO GALLONI - VINOUSMEDIA - 92 POINTS -
    Strawberry and quince preserves on the nose anticipate the jammy ripeness and honeyed aura exhibited on a glossy, glycerol-rich palate. At the same time, though, there is a juicy fresh-fruit side to the strawberries and a stimulatingly seedy crunch. An alluring inner-mouth influx of honeysuckle and lily-of-the-valley perfume contributes to the buoyant, almost ethereal impression of an impeccably balanced, bell-clear, at once soothing and tingling finish.
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  25. JJ PRUM 2018 RIESLING GRAACHER HIMMERLREICH KABINETT MAGNUM 1.5L ***SHIPS AS 2 BOTTLES***

    Item #: i_331141
    Bottle Size: 1.5L
    WINE ADVOCATE - 93 POINTS
    The 2018 Graacher Himmelreich Kabinett is bright, precise and floral on the slightly flinty, very elegant and finessed nose with crunchy slate aromas. Piquant and fresh on the filigreed and crystalline palate, this is a lush and tropical-flavored, buoyant and frisky Himmelreich with juicy apricot and white peach aromas and the fine grip pf broken slate. The finish is straight, piquant, well structured, stimulatingly fresh and salty. This is a gorgeous 2018 that tastes almost dry in the end. Tasted at the domain in September 2020. Drink date: 2022 - 2050. Stephan Reinhardt.

    Tasting 2018 and 2019 chez JJ Prum was one of the highlights of my Mosel trip in September. However, I decided to taste the highest predicates only in early 2021 and to focus entirely on Kabinett, Spätlese and Auslese, which is the core of the production here. I don't know which wine I should pick out here, but I assume I have rarely tasted better Kabinett wines here than the 2019s, namely the Wehlener Sonnenuhr, the Graacher Himmelreich and the Bernkasteler Badstube. Among the wide range of great Auslesen, I'd like to draw your attention to the iconic Wehlener Sonnenuhr, whose Gold Caps from both 2019 and 2018 are fabulous. I'll be back here in late winter for the rest of the 2018s and 2019s as well as for a range of auctioned wines about which I will report next spring.
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