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. ALFRED MERKELBACH 2016 RIESLING AUSLESE URZIGER WURZGARTEN A.P. #10

    Item #: i_318012
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    ANTONIO GALLONI - VINOUS 92 POINTS "This is the exception to 2016’s relatively narrow range of must weights and acidity chez Merkelbach, having been harvested at 98 Oechsle and finished with only 6.3 grams of acidity. “These were really thin-skinned berries,” explained Alfred Merkelbach, “and as a result there was a lot of shriveling,” albeit without benefit of botrytis. Quince and strawberry preserves on the nose, accompanied by scents of heliotrope and lily, translate into a glycerol-slicked palate performance loaded with inner-mouth perfume. Hints of white raisin as well as a savory suggestion of browned butter add appeal to a lingering finish that compensates for its lack of animating brightness with an invigorating hint of seed-crunching bite. (Amusingly – it couldn’t happen often – the Merkelbachs ended up stopping this at precisely the same 71.4 grams of residual sugar as the A.P. #11.)" -- David Schildknecht

    MOSEL FINE WINES 91 POINTS The 2016er Urziger Wurzgarten Auslese AP10 was harvested at 98 degrees Oechsle in the prime Class I former Treppchen vineyard within the Urziger Wurzgarten. This develops a rather ripe nose of melon, herbs and spices. The wine is nicely spicy and juicy on the palate and leaves a feel of ripe pear and melon enhanced by dried spices in the long finish. This is an outstanding smooth Auslese made in a style not unlike that of the finest 2003 wines. 90 points
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    was $38.98 Special Price $35.98
  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
    WINE SPECTATOR - 93 POINTS Graceful, with crunchy minerality and vivid acidity paving the way for elderflower, bergamot, vanilla and poached pear flavors. Shows great balance between sweetness and acidity. This is almost ready to drink now, but should integrate more after several years in the cellar. Best from 2023 through 2038. 198 cases imported.

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  4. ALFRED MERKELBACH 2018 RIESLING URZIGER WURZGARTEN Kabinett #13

    Item #: i_318009
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Of course this is a Spatlese 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. BECKER 2014 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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  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 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.

    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 ESTATE TROCKEN (DRY)

    Item #: i_321206
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE (90 - 91) POINTS
    The 2019 Riesling Trocken is clear, bright and remarkably finessed in its fruit aromas and lovely stony notes. Medium-bodied this is a very elegant, refined and linear dry Riesling with stimulatingly piquant acidity and mineral purity. A gorgeous wine and a picture-book Riesling from the 2019 vintage. Stimulating lemon zest and juice flavors on the salty aftertaste. Highly recommended. Tasted as a sample in Bremen, April 2020.

    “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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  11. DONNHOFF 2019 RIESLING OBERHAUSER LEISTENBERG KABINETT

    Item #: i_324099
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 90 -91 POINTS The 2019 Riesling Kabinett Oberhäuser Leistenberg is pure, precise and flinty on the coolish and stony nose. Juicy, precise and flinty on the palate, this is an elegant, crystalline, very intense and charmingly juicy Kabinett with a long and aromatic finish. Highly attractive as always. Tasted as a sample in Bremen, April 2020.

    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.
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  12. DR HERMANN 2019 RIESLING KABINETT URZIGER WURZGARTEN

    Item #: i_311412
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 91 POINTS From 40- to 100-year-old, ungrafted vines, the 2019 Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Kabinett is very clear and precise on the nicely (I tend to say: Mosel-typical) reductive, spicy/herbal and subtly intense nose. Bottled with 8.5% alcohol, this is a clear, light, linear, elegant and refreshing Würzgarten with ripe acidity and stimulating grip on the balanced and elegant finish. This 2019 is already very digestible. 15,000 bottles made. Tasted from AP 2 20 in May 2020. - Stephan Reinhardt
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  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. DR. LIPPOLD 2016 RIESLING JOSEPHINE

    Item #: i_342383
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Medium-bodied and almost creamy in texture, creating a sweet and spicy impression at the core, featuring honeyed chamomile tea, turmeric and candied ginger flavors. Very enticing, and elegant finish.

    The grapes for this delious Riesling come from the prized area of Urziger Wurtzgartein, in the middle of the Mosel, above the village of Urzig. Vinified and aged entirely in stainless steel vats, and intentionally released after a minimum of one year in the bottle, it displays a classic Moel mineral and lime noted throughout with bright crisp acidity and just enough residual sweetness to soften the edges.

    Christened and named by the Francofile Enno Lippold after Napoleon's wife, Josephine, it is meant to be a reminder that Riesling from the Mosel was once prized throughout the French court and, in particular, held in high esteem by none other than the wife of the emperor. Napoleon controlled this area of Germany for almost 15 years following his very successful military campaigns in this area.
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  16. DR. LIPPOLD 2018 RIESLING "ANTE" PRE-PHYLLOXERA

    Item #: i_372051
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Produced from 38+ year old vines in the historical Premier Cru vineyard of Neuberg. Red slate soil is unique to Uerzig and the 60%gradient slope makes for a very difficult time in the vineyard. The wine is aged a minimum of 18 months after bottling before release andis off dry.

    This bottling exhibits what i like to call "hidden sweetness" namely an effacious level of residual that barely if at all reaches the threshold of perceived sweetness. Bright lime and fresh strawberry supply a Wuerzgarten typical nose and palate. Polish and buoyancy go delightfully hand in hand. The sustained finish is vivacious, a consummately refreshing, mouthwateringly saline, invigoratingly accented with apple and strawberry seeds and transparent to subtly smoky, stony nuances. David Schildknecht, Vinous
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  17. 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
  18. ENDERLE & MOLL 2018 MULLER THURGAU "BUNTSANDSTEIN" NATURAL WINE, UNFILTERED

    Item #: i_306867
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Natural. One of Enderle and Moll’s rarest and smallest production wines, from old Müller-Thurgau vines grown solely on colored sandstone. 2-3 week maceration and fermentation, then pressed and moved to used barrique where it stays on the gross lees for 10 months. Then a very light filtration and a tiny addition of sulfur. The most aromatic of their white wines.”

    Importer notes: “ In Germany many insiders consider Enderle & Moll the country’s single greatest producer of Pinot Noir. That’s a wild claim to be sure, but then you taste the wines and you think to yourself, “…yeah, alright, well maybe…” The wines are that compelling. What you can say with certainty is Sven Enderle and Florian Moll fly in the face of just about every conventional estate in Baden. It’s hard to emphasize how contrarian (and even confrontational) their vineyard and cellar work appears to the powerful coops of the region, to say nothing of the “famous” estates who still seem to pursue efficiency, ripeness, size, alcohol and, yes, new oak, with abandon. Sven and Florian work with very old vines. In fact their vines are among the oldest Pinot Noir vines in Baden. They farm all the vineyards organically and biodynamically. Absolutely everything is done by hand in the vineyards (which are quite steep) and in the cellar. They have a direct line on barrels from this little Burgundy estate called Domaine Dujac – the barrels range from one to over five years of age. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered.”
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  19. ENDERLE AND MOLL 2017 PINOT NOIR "LIASION" ORGANIC, SPATBURGUNDER, BADEN

    Item #: i_362348
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    'Liaison' is from 45 to 50-year-old vines planted on both Muschelkalk (shell limestone) and Buntsandstein (colored sandstone) and is a beautiful example of the elegant coupling of these two terroirs. Stephen Bitterolf of Vom Boden (the US importer of Enderle and Moll) wrote the following note on the 2018: “Liason” is something like the “1er Cru” bottling for Enderle and Moll. This wine is deep; we’re talking Mariana Trench deep... The nose goes from strawberry and raspberry all the way to dark, earthy crushed berry and cassis; this is an example of a wine with just superb density and definition. The glycerin-rich fruit coats the herbal, kitchen spice aromatics that the whole range flaunts, yet here it is better integrated than in almost any bottle other than the Grand Cru “Muschelkalk.” The palate is wound up, coiled up, taut and angry. The relative generosity and depth of the nose is turned inward here, showing phenolics and minerality and super-fine tannins. Fun to drink now with food, this is going to develop into perhaps one of the best Liasons from Enderle & Moll. Try and be patient; if drinking young, decant. (Thanks for the note Stephen!)

    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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  20. FALKENSTEIN 2018 RIESLING SPATLESE FEINHERB NIEDERMENNINGER HERRENBERG A.P. #11, MAGNUM 1.5L

    Item #: i_374429
    Bottle Size: 1.5L
    JOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 93+ POINTS The nickname for this parcel is “Meyer Nepal”, which had something to do with the steepness of the slope here and a gentleman named Meyer, but I cannot recall the exact story (and further evidence why we need those back labels!). The 2018 “Meyer Nepal” version of Herrenberg Spatlese Feinherb comes in around eight percent octane and carries seamlessly about 15 thirty grams per liter of residual sugar, which buffers its excellent acids and vein of minerality most admirably. The bouquet is an outstanding blend of tangerine, lime, complex slate tones, a touch of wild yeasts and a topnote of orange peel. On the palate the wine is pure, fullish and beautifully balanced, with a good core, racy acids, excellent focus and depth and a long, pure and complex finish that ends with plenty of lift and grip. 2019-2050. 93+.
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  21. FALKENSTEIN 2018 RIESLING SPATLESE KRETTNACHER EUCHARISBERG

    Item #: i_374426
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 94 POINTS From grafted 50- to 60-years-old vines in the steep Förster Ternes lieu-dit, the 2018 Krettnacher Euchariusberg Riesling Spatlese (AP 14) is cool, ripe and intense on the crystalline, flinty, concentrated and aromatic nose. This is a mountain stream of Saar Riesling coming from one of the greatest terroirs in the Saar. Lush and firm, with challenging mineral acidity and tight structure, this is an expressive terroir wine that is sharp and precise as a knife and complex as a construction plan. Tasted in June 2019.

    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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. HOLGER KOCH 2017 CHARDONNAY "BICKENSOHLER HERRENSTUCK"

    Item #: i_342371
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Terroir-driven Chardonnay transplanted from Puligny-Montrachet

    Very fine nose of ripe citrus notes, pears, brioche and light oak. On the palate the wine is very elegant, juicy and tasty. The oak flavors are integrated nicely and frame the pretty apple and pear flavors wonderfully. The wine finishes beautifully with a touch of minerality.
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  25. HOLGER KOCH 2019 SUPER GLOU "JA GOUTTE!" WHITE ORGANIC, BIODYNAMIC

    Item #: i_342373
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    A blend of younger-vine Weissburgunder, Muller-Thurgau, Gewurztraminer, and Grauburgunder (Pinot Grigio) aged in a mix of stainless steel and neutral barrel. These grapes give off white fruit and flowers, stone on the nose, the wine has lovely energy bolstering ripe pineapple, green herbs, white peach, apricot, Fuji apple with saline minerality on the finish. ORGANIC. 12.5%ABV
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