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.
- Item #: i_304542Bottle Size: 750mlANTONIO GALLONI; VINOUS 92 POINTS - "I harbor fond memories of halbtrocken Merkelbach Wurzgartens long past, so perhaps you’ll think I was overly influenced simply by having once again seen those words on a bottle of their Riesling. But its contents certainly left me wishing that they would let this happen in their cellar more often. A classic Wurzgarten nose of fresh strawberry and lime adds hints of more Erden-typical tarragon and sassafras. Subtly silken in feel, this finishes buoyant and lusciously long, with animating, bright primary juiciness and transparency to shimmering impingements of stones and mineral salts. Incidentally, it weighs in at a mere 10% alcohol, a reminder that the Merkelbachs pick for Spatlese at must weights that most of today’s top Mosel growers would deem appropriate for Kabinett. A prime example of what I call “hidden sweetness” – residual sugar playing a supportive and catalytic role while not engendering any overt sense of sweetness – this will perform brilliantly at table as well as in your cellar."
MOSEL FINE WINES 89 POINTS - "This offers a nice nose of peach, cassis, wild strawberry, white flowers and fine spices. The wine is delicately zesty on the palate and leaves a clean and playful feel in the long and nicely spicy finish. This beautifully expression of off-dry Riesling will appeal to lovers of classic light-weighted Mosel wines. Now-2026"
- Item #: i_328015Bottle Size: 750ML“A PERFECT VINTAGE OF THE BEST WINE VALUE IN THE ENTIRE DAMN WORLD, any color, any grape, any country, any price-point. This year for the first time it also contains fruit from a new acquisition, a hectare in the (Niederhauser) Klamm (see also Jakob Schneider; the site is a 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
- Item #: i_321206Bottle Size: 750ml“A PERFECT VINTAGE OF THE BEST WINE VALUE IN THE ENTIRE DAMN WORLD, any color, any grape, any country, any price-point. This year for the first time it also contains fruit from a new acquisition, a hectare in the (Niederhauser) Klamm (see also Jakob Schneider; the site is a melange of Rotliegend and weathered porphyry, and has both steep and flat sections.)” - Terry Theise.
"This is from two main vineyards Oberhauser Felsenberg (volcanic) and Kieselberg (slate) as well as declassified fruit from the Grand Cru sites and Klamm, a new acquisition, a hectare in the (Niederhäuser) Klamm which we know from Jakob – it’s a mélange of slate and weathered porphyry, and has both steep and flat sections.. The idea here is to make a village wine, basically, though it’s sold and marketed as a Gutswein or Estate bottled basic wine. The Estate wine combines the two major soils that dominate the holdings for the estate, giving the drinker a look into what Dönnhoff is all about. The basic wine is a calling card and thus Cornelius wants to make statement" - Importer
- Item #: i_328019Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - "From a one-hectare plot with younger vines on porphyry soils, the 2018 Niederhäuser Klamm Riesling Kabinett is open, bright and fresh on the nose, with ripe fruit but also remarkable smokiness, elegance and polished character. Lush and round but crystalline and fresh on the palate, this is a charmingly elegant and fruity Kabinett with frisky salinity on the finish and nice mineral grip. Very attractive and fresh. Tasted in July 2019."
- Item #: i_374421Bottle Size: 750mlMOSEL FINE WINES 93 POINTS - "The 2017er Krettnacher Altenberg Spätlese Trocken was made from fruit harvested at 89° Oechsle in the Enkers part of the vineyard which is planted with 50 year-old vines. It offers a stunning nose of flowers, white peach, a hint of passion fruit and herbs. The wine develops a beautifully elegant feel of herbs, salty elements and spices, with a little bit of power in the finish. The balance and finesse is simply superb and full of potential. 2022-2037"
WINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS - "From Enkers Weinberg and picked around October 10, the 2017 Krettnacher Altenberg Riesling Spätlese trocken is clear, precise and flinty on the nose, offering ripe and refreshing mineral and lemon aromas. On the palate, this is a tight, very mineral, concentrated and structured Riesling with a bone-dry and salty taste and a juicy finish. This is full-bodied at 11.5% alcohol. Tasted from AP 7 18 in June 2019."
- Item #: i_304587Bottle Size: 750mlWINE SPECTATOR - 90 POINTS Lithe, featuring accents of Red Delicious apple to the lychee and citrus flavors. Presents a vivid structure, with notes of lemongrass and minerally spice on the long finish. Drink now through 2023. 46 cases imported. — AZ
MOSEL FINE WINES - 91 POINTS "Harvested at a refreshing low 79 Oechsle, this offers a gorgeous nose of pear, cassis and grape. The wine is beautifully well balanced on the palate, with ripe acidity gorgeously wrapping some mouth-watering sweetness in the long finish. The finish is elegant and as light as a feather. What a beauty! 2026-2041."
- Item #: i_362378Bottle Size: 750mlJOHN GILMAN, VIEW FROM THE CELLAR - 94 POINTS The 2018 Fass 8 Kabinett from the Kupp is a beautiful example of this Pradikat level. The wine comes in at 7.5 percent alcohol and carries sixty-eight grams of sugar, but these are countered by truly exceptional acids of 10 grams this year. The bouquet is pure and nicely “cool fruit” in its composition, offering up a lovely blend of lemon, grapefruit, salty slate minerality, white flowers and an esthery topnote of bee pollen. On the palate the wine is medium-bodied, filigreed and light on its feet, with lovely intensity of flavor, great purity and focus, zesty acids and a long, dancing and complex finish. There will also be an Auction Kabinett from the Kupp this year, which will be marked as Fass 5, but which I did not sample. However, the Fass 8 is a beautiful bottle of Kabinett. 2019-2060. 94.
- Item #: i_310011Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - The 2016 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese is super ripe and almost caramelly on the intense and concentrated nose. Intense and lush on the palate, this is a dense and concentrated Auslese with fine but tight and piquant grip and lingering salinity. Still a bit closed, this Auslese will develop more finesse and transparency over the years in the bottle.
Johannes Selbach's 2016s include some of the finest fruity Rieslings in the Kabinett, Spatlese and Auslese category I have tasted along the Mosel this year. The Kabinett wines are chunky, piquant and stimulating. The are Spatlesen mouthfillingly generous, round, lush, elegant and salty. The Auslesen are highly refined and elegant but also piquant and precise. The "Schmitt" Auslese from the Zeltinger Schlossberg is mind-blowing in its finesse and elegance, and the one-starred Spatlese from the Wehlener Sonnenuhr also represents world class Riesling from one of the Mosel's most famous vineyards. In the Zeltinger Himmelreich, Selbach-Oster selected a light, filigreed, highly delicious Beerenauslese from Pinot Blanc (!) as well as a brilliant Riesling Eiswein that combines precision and finesse with lingering salinity and piquancy. Among the dry wines, my enthusiasm is less chiseled. However, the 2016 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Trocken "Bomer" is a great mix of intense and lush flavors and the minerality of the Bomer terroir. If you don't like your wines too sweet nor too dry, then all the medium-dry "Feinherb" Rieslings are a great alternative, especially as food wines.
In total, Selbach-Oster lost 20% of the potential harvest mainly due to peronospora in 2016, but the family is really happy with the results. The course for the next generation has also been set. Christian Vogt (previously Karthauserhof, Ruwer) is the new cellar master, starting with the 2017 harvest. In order to face the challenges of fungal diseases and other infections, Selbach (vineyard manager: Frank Prüm) is changing over to "gentle pruning" that is reducing the cutting surfaces and respecting the crowns of the vine. By a special pruning technique, a healthier and longer life of the vines can be ensured. Grape varieties such as Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir were also planted two years ago. Just recently, the new winery and tasting room opened just 1.5 kilometers away from the ancestral home in Zeltingen. Last but not least, the next generation has to decide to change into the wines business so that the story of Selbach-Oster is to be continued.
JANCIS ROBINSON - 17.5+ POINTS - A generous fragrance of exotic fruit takes centre stage on the aromatic front, but does not refuse a little bit of help from the greener side of the herb garden. With mango, papaya and lychees there’s so much fruit on the palate that the Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese can afford to keep residual sugar within tasteful limits and shun the cheap thrill of sticky opulence. A hint of forest honey is all it needs to present its delicious assets in the best possible taste. (MS)
- Item #: i_324084Bottle Size: 750mlWINE ADVOCATE 90 POINTS The 2018 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett is quite deep and intense on the concentrated and complex nose. Round, lush and elegant on the palate, this is a lingeringly salty, very elegant and well-articulated Kabinett with tickling acidity and a fruit-intense, stimulating and grippy crystalline finish. It's not that sweet but is perfectly balanced, with mineral intensity and body. Just 10% alcohol but lots of expression.