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 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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  2. 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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  3. ALFRED MERKELBACH 2018 RIESLING SPATLESE URZIGER WURZGARTEN A.P. #7

    Item #: i_318008
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE SPECTATOR - 90 POINTS This features a creamy texture, with yellow apple, candied orange and apricot flavors. Presents immediate appeal, yet the acidity denotes a promising life ahead. Slate minerality adds to the complexity. Drink now through 2030. 184 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 2017 ESTATE RIESLING

    Item #: i_311007
    Bottle Size: 750ml
  7. DONNHOFF 2018 ESTATE RIESLING QBA FEINHERB NAHE, GERMANY

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

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

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

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

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

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

    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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  9. DONNHOFF 2018 RIESLING OBERHAUSER BRUCKE BA BEERENAUSLESE 375ml

    Item #: i_328025
    Bottle Size: 375ml
    **Please note, this is a half sized bottle
    375ml Bottle
    $169.98
  10. DONNHOFF 2018 RIESLING OBERHAUSER BRUCKE SPATLESE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    This estate-grown Dr. Loosen Riesling Eiswein comes from special parcels in Bernkastel and Wehlen that we hold aside every year, hoping that it will freeze before the grapes fall victim to overripeness or rot - or get eaten by the wild boars! The frozen grapes for this particular bottling came primarily from a premier cru site called Bernkasteler Matheisbildchen, which is about halfway up the steep slope behind the Dr. Loosen estate house. The higher elevation makes this a cooler site, with greater potential for Eiswein.
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  13. EGON MULLER 2018 RIESLING SCHARZHOFBERGER KABINETT A.P. #2

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

    JOHN GILMAN - VIEW FROM THE CELLAR 91-92 POINTS There are only two Kabinetten from the Scharzhofberg this year, with an old vine bottling also produced. The “regular” Kabinett (this sobriquet seems rather inappropriate when discussing an Egon Müller wine!) is 9.5 percent in alcohol, carries around fifty grams per liter of residual sugar and has acids of 8.5 grams and very low pH this year. The wine is young and very promising, offering up scents of apple, lime, petrol, slate, wild yeasts and an exotic touch of violet in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied and fairly powerful in personality, with excellent depth and focus, excellent mineral drive and simply superb grip on the long and very well-balanced finish. As this was just bottled, my score may even be a touch conservative.
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    $132.99
  14. EMRICH SCHONLEBER 2017 RIESLING ESTATE TROCKEN DRY

    Item #: i_324314
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    A tributary of the Rhine, the Nahe River also lends its name to the wine-producing region covering over 4,000 hectares of vine. Clearly lesser known than Moselle, it is home to reputable producers like Emrich-Schonleber. Straightforwardness, freshness and minerality characterise this superb Trocken Riesling.
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  15. ENDERLE AND MOLL 2017 PINOT NOIR "LIASON" ORGANIC, SPATBURGUNDER, BADEN

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

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

    Organic and Biodynamic.
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  16. FALKENSTEIN 17 PINOT NOIR SPATBURGUNDER ROTWEIN NIEDERMENNIGER SONNENBERG TROCKEN RED

    Item #: i_374427
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE ADVOCATE - 93 POINTS The 2017 Niedermenniger Sonnenberg Red Wine trocken offers a deep, tart, fresh and mineral nose of black cherries, berries and licorice. Round and terribly fresh, with remarkable grip and tension, this is a pretty austere, mineral Pinot Noir with good potential. It's concentrated, fleshy and pure and low in sulfites.

    MOSEL FINE WINES - 90 POINTS The 2017er Niedermenniger Sonnenberg Rotwein Trocken is made from what was planted by the Webers as Spatburgunder 25 years ago but which the authorities now say is a mutation and not legally Spätburgunder, hence the fact that the wine is bottled simply as Rotwein, meaning red wine. It was fermented and aged for 18 months in traditional Fuder casks (hence the late AP number) without chaptalization and malolactic fermentation. It offers a beautiful nose made of cherry, mint, clove, herbs and a hint of soy sauce. The wine is beautifully light-footed and engaging on the silky and focused palate. The finish is still slightly hard, but nothing what a little bottle aging cannot wipe away.
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  17. 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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  18. FALKENSTEIN 2018 RIESLING SPATLESE KRETTNACHER EUCHARISBERG ALTE REBEN

    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 Spätlese (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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  19. 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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  20. J. JOS. PRUM 2018 RIESLING KABINETT WEHLENER SONNENUHR

    Item #: i_320487
    Bottle Size: 750ML
    WINE SPECTATOR - 94 POINTS Graceful, floral and flavorful, filled with elderflower, melon and star anise notes. This is very harmonious and complex, picking up durian and mineral details midpalate, coming together on the long conclusion. Drink now through 2029.

    MOSEL FINE WINES - 92 POINTS This 2017er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett offers a superbly floral nose complemented by vineyard peach, almond cream, smoke, minty herbs, pear and cassis. The wine is delicate, f loral and elegantly smooth on the palate yet develops a gorgeously focused and very persistent side full of intensity and complexity in the straight and multi-layered f inish. This is a great Kabinett in the making.
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  21. JOSEF LEITZ 2018 DRAGONSTONE RIESLING RHEINGAU, GERMANY

    Item #: i_311288
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Extraordinarily aromatic, vigorous wines from a vintner who grows more commanding each vintage. This is the wine that once was called Rüdesheimer Drachenstein, and it's the wine David Schildknecht said was the best Riesling value in the world, which is because Johannes sells it to us for much less than it's worth. Luscious yet tart peach, cherry, and rhubarb are seem suffused with salt and crushed stone in this bright, invigorating, irresistibly enticing Riesling.
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  22. KELLER 2018 RIESLING "RR"

    Item #: i_372096
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    "RR" refers to Riesling from red soils – a half-hectare parcel within Kirchspiel that gives fruit that is a little more spicy the fruit that goes into Von der Fels. RS 11 g/l.

    “2018 takes its place in a series with 1911, 1959 and 2001,” according to Klaus-Peter Keller, describing the 2018 feinherb wines as “delicately exotic, super-fresh, lively and with a fantastic chalky minerality. Masses of pleasure with moderate alcohol…happiness in a glass – a ballerina dancing on your tongue.” This bright yellow-gold, just off-dry Riesling ~ RR ~ 2018 has an irresistible, deeply resonant nose, with penetrating aromas of fresh pineapple, Honeycrisp apples, peach blossoms and hibiscus moving in and out of the foreground, sometimes alternating with insistent suggestions of lemongrass, ruby grapefruit, wild mint, and white truffles, as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is creamy and succulent, yet somehow crunchy at the same time, with a juicy core of flavors including ripe apricots, roasted marcona almonds, and Meyer lemon, all wrapped in a vibrant combination of palpable dry extract, almost salty mineral intensity, and voluptuous concentrated texture, all lingering in a persistent, elegant finish, with plenty of refreshing tropical acidity, depth, and cut. About this wine producer: Klaus-Peter Keller has inspired a renaissance of viniculture in the Hügelland, where the Benedictines of the Kloster Lorch grew some of the most prestigious wines in the Rheinland, in vineyards that were forgotten after the French Revolution. His stunning dry Rieslings have been called “the German Montrachets” by Jancis Robinson, MW, the brilliant editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine. But his noble sweet wines are no less well received. In fact, Keller has won the Gault Millau “Best of Germany” award in both categories. “If I had to name the best producer in Germany today, it would be Klaus-Peter Keller, wrote Steven Tanzer, the world’s stingiest wine critic. “Everything he touches turns to gold.” Though lionized by the journalists as the greatest winegrower of his generation, Klaus-Peter is quick to point out that “great wine would not be possible here, if it weren’t for these great limestone soils. It’s only that someone had to remember the old tradition and just make good wine.”
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  23. KRAEMER 2017 PET NAT SPARKLING WINE NATURAL PETILLANT SPARKLING

    Item #: i_324091
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    Natural wine. First harvest Muller-Thurgau grown on limestone soil. Whole cluster fermentation, elevage in stainless steel. No sulfur added … “liquid vitamins, squeaky clean.”  
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  24. LEINER 2019 RIESLING TROCKEN DRY

    Item #: i_342355
    Bottle Size: 1L
    Weingut Jürgen Leiner is located in Ilbesheim in the southern Pfalz, at the edge of the Pfalzerwald (Pfalz forest) and about thirty minutes’ drive north of the Alsatian border. They own 16.5 hectares and produce about 120,000 bottles of Riesling, Pinot Noir, and a few other varieties. They are Demeter certified biodynamic and members of Slow Food. The wines are “natural” but also perfectly clean and pure. Every label has a different insect from the vineyards on the label, a celebration of the life found among the vines. The soils are a complicated geology, generally loess and loam mixed with limestone, but there is a distinct terroir of colored sandstone (bundsandstein) and alluvial mix on the Pinot site and another special soil in the Riesling vineyards with an awesome German name: landschneckenkalk, or literally “land snail chalk.” Again, with the bugs. The Rieslings we are working with are vinified in steel, and the Pinot is aged 9 months in large fuder. The winery ferments with natural yeasts, and experiments with longer lees and skin contact. I have rarely had Pfalzer Rieslings with such dynamic energy and lip-smacking fruit as the Leiners.
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  25. MERKELBACH 2018 RIESLING SPATLESE #2 KINHEIMER ROSENBERG

    Item #: i_318013
    Bottle Size: 750ml
    WINE SPECTATOR - 92 POINTS Silky and vibrant, with prominent mineral details and lively, well-integrated acidity. Firmly structured, but shows plenty of apple and lime flavors, while light creamy notes linger in the background. Not overly sweet and very harmonious, but should show even more in a few years. Best from 2021 through 2034. 124 cases imported.
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