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Posts Tagged ‘Nahe’

A Vineyard Born of A Copper Mine

March 15, 2013 3 comments

I enjoy sampling new wines and invariably this will happen at MacArthur Beverages.  This week I happened to stop by while James Wright of Wine Monger was showing some wines to Phil.  He started by pouring a pair of wines from Gut Hermannsberg a label I admittedly had not seen before.  This might not be surprising as this name and label first appeared in 2010 after Dr. Christine Dinise and Jens Reidel purchased the historic Königlich-Preussische Weinbaudomäne Niederhausen-Schlossböckelheim. If the original estate name did not sound familiar then surely the iconic label with its black Prussian eagle would jolt ones memory   For me this brought back memories of my University of Michigan days.  A quick look through The Village Corner Catalog from 1994 finds 1988 Staatsdomane, Schlossbockelheimer Kupfergrube, Riesling Auslese on offer for $10.99 per bottle with the description, “Mittel Nahe’s top site, developed by the Prussian crown early this century and still the property of the state.  Dazzles with racy, minerally porphyry-soil savor and spicy-floral riesling display.  Tightly packed now though, needs a lot of cellar time.”

Image from Jahrhundertweine.de

Image from Jahrhundertweine.de

As James poured the Schlossböckelheimer, briefly noting he would explain why he would pour the estate riesling second, he told us of the quarried hillside whose existence preceded that of the vineyard.  Indeed the original name Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube describes the copper mine which existed until 1901.  In 1902 the Prussian state started transforming the location into a vineyard.  The goal was to build a modern winery and vineyard to be used for teaching and research into phylloxera, rodents, and diseases..  This involved shifting some 300,000 cubic meters of soil and bringing in carbonate shale to transform the rugged volcanic-based terrain into a vineyard.  The first vintage occurred in 1907 but it took until 1911 for the first excellent vintage.  The domaine was one of the founding members of the VDP in 1910.  In 1946 it was acquired by the state of the Rhineland-Palatinate who maintained its research focus.

James Wright, Wine Monger

James Wright, Wine Monger

The domaine was privatized in 1998 then ultimately acquired almost one decade later by Dr. Christine Dinise and Jens Reidel.  The new name is a tribute to the fine vineyard of Hermmannsberg.  With the all new staff having fully experienced the 2010 vintage, James felt the 2011 vintage began to show their understanding of the vineyards.  All of the vineyards are classified as Erste Lage.  The Schlossböckelheimer had been open in the morning.  It was beautiful with precise, sweet flowers and fruit and an edge reflecting the volcanic and slate soils.  The estate Riesling was good as well, perhaps a soft-focus version of the former being a blend of multiple vineyards.  It was poured second because the residual sugar was higher and noticeable at that.   The bottle had been purposefully opened the day before to show the longevity of the wine.  You could drink this over several days.  I recommend you try both.  If you could only try one then the Schlossböckelheimer is certainly worth the price.  The prices below reflect what is listed on the Wine Monger website.

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2011 Gut Hermannsberg, Schlossböckelheimer Riesling, Nahe – $33
Imported by Wine Monger.  This wine is 100% Riesling which was fermented with indigenous yeasts in a mixture of old oak casks and stainless steel.  RS 3.2 g/l, Acidity 6.8 g/l, Alcohol 13%.  I thought this a beautiful wine with a captivating notes of floral fruit, citrus, and mineral.  It was precise and focused with integrated minerality and a structure that came through in the finish.  This should develop nicely.

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2011 Gut Hermannsberg, Riesling, Nahe – $18
Imported by Wine Monger.  This wine is 100% Riesling sourced from all of the vineyard.  It was vinified solely in stainless steel.  RS 8.5 g/l, Acidity 7.4 g/l, Alcohol 12.5%. there was a light nose with gentle tropical and floral aromas which were a touch sweet.  There was a crisp start in the mouth with the residual sugar coming through in the  middle.  There was texture on the tongue along with sweet spices, and vibrant acidity.  Some structure comes through.

Lastly we tried a liter bottle from Weingut Schmitges.  Andreas Schmitges took over the old family estate in 1990.  James explained that Andreas is very much a food man.  His desire to produce Mosel wine which works with food is reflected in the direction he turned the estate.  Though there was less depth than the Gut Hermannsberg, Riesling this is a less expensive Riesling in a bigger format.

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2011 Weingut Schmitges, Riesling Dry – $16.50 (1 Liter)
Imported by Wine Monger.  This wine is 100% Riesling sourced from vines in Erdner Treppchen and Erdner Prälat on soils of sandy loam.  It was fermented in stainless steel.  RS 8.0 g/l.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was lighter and more subdued with honey and white fruit aromas.  There was some density to the flavors then a focused nature with fruit and acidity.  There was a little citrus note in the middle, freshness, and overall a bit less  depth.

A Maturing Wine From Emrich-Schönleber

The Emrich’s have been tending vines and producing wine since the mid 18th century.  Up until the 1960s they also worked with agriculture and livestock.  Starting in 1965 Wilhelm Schönleber focused the estate on the production of wine.  Today they farm 17 hectares of vineyards composed of Monzinger Fruhlingsplatzchen, Monzinger Halenberg, and some others.  The Monzinger vineyards are located in western Nahe at altitudes of 160-250 meters.  The Monzinger Halenberg vineyard faces south on soil of stony blue slate and quartzite with slopes of up to 70%.  The 2002 vintage was an excellent vintage for Emrich-Schonleber for despite the rain, strong winds quickly dried the grapes.  This half-bottle gave the impression of having reached maturity.  Despite the lively, grippy start it lost some steam towards the finish so it might be best to start drinking this now.  This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2002 Weingut Emrich-Schönleber, Monzinger Halenberg, Rielsing Auslese, Nahe – $25 (375 mL)
Imported by Chapin Cellars LLC.  Alcohol 9.5%.  The color was a rather light, amber-gold.  The light to medium nose was heavy with some mature aromas and some matchstick.  In the mouth there was a lively start with acidity on the tip of the tongue, fine weight, and grip.  The wine was more mature in the mouth with a hint of mature cider followed by fading flavors and acidity in the finish.  A ripe tropical touch comes out as the impression of softness and a hint of earth comes out.  *** Now-2020.

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Good Young German Wines

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

To counter-balance my Chardonnay tasting notes here are a pair of Riesling notes.  The Donnhoff is a solid and focused wine which will benefit from a few years of age.  The Weingut Gunther-Steinmetz is young and while in need of age as well, has good personality in the mouth with its citrus and mineral flavors.  If I had to pick one then I would grab the Gunther-Steinmetz and promptly place it in my cellar.  It will achieve greater heights.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Weingut Gunther-Steinmetz, Braunebeger Juffer, Riesling Kabinett, Feinherb, Mosel – $19
Imported by Mosel Wine Merchants.  This wine is 100% Riesling fermented with indigenous yeasts.  It was not de-acidified. Alcohol 9.5%.  The color was a very light straw.  The light to medium strength nose revealed ripe fruit and petrol.  In the mouth the fruit was nervey at the start with bracing acidity and texture on the tongue.  There was weight to the grapefruit flavors, lots of texture, and with air, tart fruit.  The flavors became drier in the aftertaste as minerals and tangy citric notes came out.  Needs a few years to open up.  *** 2015-2025.

2011 Donnhoff, Riesling, Trocken , Nahe- $19
A Terry Theise Selection imported by Michael Skurnik.  This wine is 100% Riesling.  Alcohol 12%.  The interesting nose revealed white fruit which was a touch floral along with a delicate, yeasty aroma.  In the mouth the flavors were up-front and lively on the tongue from some sparkle.  There was a clarity of flavor and acidity on the front of the tongue. It took on leaner, stone flavors in the finish along with focused ripeness.  Young.  **(*) 2014-2022.

A Wine For the Daytime

October 30, 2012 Leave a comment

I rarely drink at lunch but with our Hurricane Sandy preparations complete there was nothing left to do but wait out the storm.  I had actually opened this bottle of Kruger-Rumpf a few days earlier but it remained tight.  It finally opened up yesterday to show primary fruit with thoroughly enjoyable texture and plenty of balanced acidity.  The low alcohol meant my glass had no effect on my ability to clear out water soaked leaves downed by Sandy.  While it was great fun to work the wine in my mouth I would strongly recommend cellaring it for several more years.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Kruger-Rumpf, Scheurebe, Spatlese, Nahe – $22
A Terry Theise selection.  This wine is 100% Scheurebe.  Alcohol 8.0%.  The color is a very light, straw yellow.  The nose offers up grapefruit and some sweet fruit.   In the mouth there was ripe, sweet white fruit which is delivered with a rich, racy mouthfeel.  The sweet floral fruit takes on minerals and drier flavors in the finish.  The finish also reveals more citrus flavors along with a fine texture.  There is a tangy aftertaste which sees the return of the grapefruit acidity.  *** 2016-2024.

We Return to PUBLIC

For Lorelei’s second trip to New York I asked William if we could dine at PUBLIC. Lorelei had not eaten there and it had been some years since we were last there. It is hard to believe that PUBLIC is now nine years old. Walking around the restaurant instantly reminds me of dinners and New Years Eve of past. The industrial design has not aged which is no surprise since, for example, the bar is lit by Crouse Hinds explosion proof pendant lights. When I look through my old images taken at PUBLIC time is marked by changing hair, glasses, and clothes. At the restaurant it is marked by a changing menu and newer vintages (and some older!) on the wine list.

We joined William for dinner as soon as the doors opened. An early start maximizes the amount of time Lorelei may stay and we needed as much as possible to sample a variety of Chef Farmerie’s excellent dishes. The bar immediately sent out the St. Thyme wine cocktail. The thyme and rosemary infused St. Germain shows ideal balance between herbs, sweetness, and bubbly acidity from the blanc de blanc. We started with such appetizers as the Parsnip soup in an espresso cup (fun to mix the espresso creme fraiche) , Marinated white anchovies (fresh notes of the ocean), Grilled kangaroo on coriander falafel, and Grilled Kobe beef tongue (grilled bits taste great with the relish).

The least we can do is bring up a couple of bottles of wine to drink with dinner. To start we drank the 2002 Donnhoff, Riesling Spatlese, Norheimer Kirschheck, Nahe. At ten years of age there is a rich yellow color. It is still quite young showing great focus, clarity, and honeyed yellow fruit. By the end of the evening a racy vein of fruit developed giving a hint of its future. The fruit, acidity, and ripeness are impeccably balanced. This will surely make old-bones and is best left in the cellar. ***(*) 2017-2035. While our entrees were prepared we lingered over the bottle while enjoying a dish of vegetables such as pickled carrots and crispy leaves with truffled hummus.

Our entrees consisted of the Mushroom and Ricotta tortellini (beautiful texture), Roasted Chatham cod with manila clams (the clams alone are amazing), and Szechuan crusted tenderloin and roasted belly of Berkshire pork. Intensely aromatic there was no need to tilt my head for aromas filled my nose as soon as I was served. For these dishes we drank the 1999 Rene Rostaing, Cote-Rotie. Having been decanted for an hour or so it showed a strong aromatic personality of earth, minerals, and spice. In the mouth it was refined and elegant with flavors that followed the nose. Fresh in the mouth with plenty of acidity it neither subverted nor was upstaged by our entrees. **** Now-2019.

For our dessert we went with Sticky toffee pudding with Armagnac ice cream, Hokey Pokey ice cream, and the PUBLIC chocolate plate. Lorelei devoured the Hokey Pokey ice cream so I deeply satisfied myself with the Sticky toffee pudding and chocolates. Wine Director Erin Scala surprised us with a trio of New Zealand dessert wines. Having never tried this style of wine before I was excited.

The 2004 Dry River, Riesling, Late Harvest, Craighall Vineyard, Martinborough was floral with controlled ripeness on the nose. In the mouth the elegant fruit had some weight easily matched by the acidity. A wine that may certainly be drunk by the glass. *** Now-2022.

The 2010 Seifried, Riesling, Sweet Agnes, Nelson was markedly different with dry toast aromas, cereal, a hint of berries, plenty of acidity. Not my particular style of wine but certainly interesting to taste. ** Now-2017.

The 2004 Vinoptima, Gewurztraminer, Noble Late Harvest, Ormond was the sweetest of the three with viscous tropical flavors, supporting acidity, and though assertive, it had a seductive personality. I opted for a second pour of this one because it worked will with the Sticky toffee pudding. *** Now-2019.

Jenn loves port so Erin brought her two more glasses. I did not get to try the NV Seppeltsfield, Para Grand Tawny, Barossa Valley for Jenn certainly appreciated the glass. The 1985 Bodegas Toro Albala, Don Pedro Ximenez, Gran Reserva, Montilla-Moriles was thick with fig-like texture and flavors, baking spices, and caramel with good acidity and length. I have no clue how these age. Though it should certainly last for a long time why not drink it now? *** Now-2027.

Spurred by Erin’s excitement about wine at our dinner I contacted her after our vacation. Erin is the Wine & Beverage Manager having joined PUBLIC just over one year ago. Having taken on a developed wine list she has made some small changes like including younger Australian producers such as Some Young Punks. The wine list is predominantly focused on the wines of Australia and New Zealand but does include various selections from around the world such as 1981 Adelsheim, Elizabeth’s Reserve, Willamete Valley and 2004 Contino, Gran Reserva, Rioja in triple magnum. Erin’s most notable inclusion is the Antipodean Influence Abroad page. In keeping with the theme of the restaurant this list features wines made from Australian and New Zealand winemakers in Europe and the US. Through these wines she wants to highlight the growing global influence of Roseworthy and Otago. She is particularly excited by Angela Osborne’s Tribute to Grace Grenache and Michelle Reeve’s David Family Pinot Noir. In the early years the wine list gained vintage depth through lots purchased at Langton’s wine auctions in Australia. Today the auction purchases happen locally in Manhattan. With a reduced focus on Australian wines they may readily win interesting lots to add to the list.

I definitely recommend you check out the PUBLIC wine list and at dinner you should ask Erin for help in picking something new. Bring your friends and curiosity for there is much to recommend. Any enthusiasm will be warmly embraced and nurtured. For those wondering what Erin drinks outside of PUBLIC check out her new wine blog Thinking.Drinking.

Tasting a Mixture of Wines with Lou

Last week Lou and I got together for an impromptu tasting.  I had just picked up the 1999 Kruger-Rumpf from MacArthur Beverages so I brought that along with the only other bottle I had from this estate.  Lou had already opened the Albert Mann so he decided to decant the Lilian Ladouys followed by the Caronne Ste Gemme.  Of the two Kruger-Rumpfs I was absolutely surprised by the youthful character of the 1999!  It has the energetic acidity I so much love in a German Riesling, the impeccable quality of a library release, and a great price.  The 2005 was markedly different with riper fruit and more obvious residual sugar.  I agree with Lou in that I doubt it will reach the heights of the 1999 but it should certainly develop with some age.  For me the Albert Mann was polarizing.  While it was absolutely amazing to smell an ocean in my wine glass, the aromas were quite strong.  In the mouth it had a lovely mouthfeel and the stuffing for a long life.  I suspect others will enjoy this wine more than I did.  The two Bordeaux were in a similar state of maturity with rather similar flavors.    The Lilian Ladouys bore redder and cooler fruit whereas the Caronne Ste Gemme had riper and darker fruit.  While both are approachable, the fruit was still primary so I would continue to cellar them.

1999 Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Spatlese, Munsterer Pittersberg, Nahe – $32
A Terry Theise Selection imported by Michael Skurnik.  This wine is 100% Riesling sourced from a 5.5 hectare vineyard on soils of Devonian slate. This was a light yellow color, a touch lighter than the 2005.  The nose was more aromatic than the 2005 with matchstick, dried herbs, and white fruit.  In the mouth the flavors of white fruit and orange citrus notes was delivered with textured acidity on the tongue.  The fruit remained fresh and bright throughout with good acidity and a lively personality.  The fruit became tarter in the finish with dried herbs in the aftertaste.  This young wine is drinkable now though will live a long time.  *** Now-2025.

2005 Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Spatlese, Munsterer Daudenpflanzer, Nahe – $19 (at the time)
A Terry Theise Selection imported by Michael Skurnik.  This wine is 100% Riesling sourced from a 1.7 hectare vineyard on soils of decomposed quartzite with loess.  The color was light yellow and slightly darker than the 1999.  The nose bore riper fruit, petrol, and heavier aromas.  In the mouth there was more residual sugar beneath the weightier flavors.  The initial fruit faded, leaving a long dark aftertaste of fruity-tooty flavors.  On the second night the flavors were front-loaded with good interwoven flavor and texture before things tightened up with a short aftertaste.  I would cellar this for development.  **(*) 2017-2022.

2008 Albert Mann, Pinot Gris, Rosenberg, Alsace –
This had been open for two days.  The aromatic nose smelled like the sea with its briny, kept notes.  In the mouth there was surprisingly good texture and focus with only hints of briny flavors to the yellow fruit.  This was lovely in the mouth with an oily character.  On the next night the nose became overpowering with seaside aromas. Unique.  ** Now-2025.

2006 Chateau Lilian Ladouys, Saint-Estephe, Cru Bourgeois Superieur – $16
This wine is an approximate blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Franc sourced from ninety plots of vines averaging 40 years of age. The wine is aged 16-18 months in one-third new oak barrels. The color was a touch garnet. There was a fresh nose of red berries and menthol with a generally fruity nature. In the mouth there was cool structure, acidity, and very fine tannins. ** 2015-2019.

2006 Chateau Caronne Ste. Gemme, Haute-Medoc, Cru Bourgeois –
This wine is an approximate blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot sourced from an average of 25-year-old vines.  The wine is aged for 12 months in 20% new barriques.  The color leaned towards ruby.  There was denser, riper, dark red fruit.  The wine was a little spicy with good structure and acidity.  The flavors became blacker in the finish with a hint of minerality and drying but a bit chewy, tannins.  ** 2015-2022.

A Pair of Riesling Quartzit from Hexamer

February 28, 2012 1 comment

It is always fun to try wines from Weingut Hexamer as they are both interesting and reasonably priced.  Last summer we tasted through the 2006, 2007, and 2009 Riesling Quarzit wines.  The Quarzit wines come from a parcel in the Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg vineyard rich in quarzite soils.  The 2010 Riesling Quarzit, which  is from the vintage remarkably high in both acidity and sugar, took several days to settle down and reveal itself.  Now that I am drinking a bit more Riesling I have noticed the use of “sponti” in the notes of both Terry Theise and Lyle Fass.  This is a term used to describe the wild or stinky aromas in a Riesling due to the fermentation with indigenous yeasts.  This bottle definitely exhibited sponti so if you want to experience this aroma then that is reason alone to buy this bottle!  In recommending this wine I strongly suggest that you cellar it for several years, otherwise you will be disappointed if you drink it all during the first day.

Unfortunately I never tried the 2008 Riesling Quarzit for the 2008 Riesling Quarzit Reserve is an unusual blend.  It is an interesting wine whose flavors morph with air.  It is a wine you may drink as the 2010 Quarzit ages.  These are currently available at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Weingut Hexamer, Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg, Riesling Quarzit, Nahe – $19
A Terry Theise Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines.  There was a brighter start with ample acidity, a slight Pilsner note (sponti from the natural yeast) before the residual sugar came out midpalate, followed by tart fruit in the finish.   After two days the wine became integrated as it revealed tart white fruit which prickled the tip of the tongue then put on weight as freshly focused yellow fruit came out.  **(*) 2015-2019.

2008 Weingut Hexamer, Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg, Riesling Quarzit, Reserve, Nahe – $22
A Terry Theise Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines.  This is a blend of 75% regular Quartzit and 25% from a 1200 liter cask that took an extra long time to finish fermenting, which was blended then aged for an additional 12 months on the lees.   This was a vibrant yellow color.  In the mouth the flavors initiated with a big wave of fruit, almost prickly, sweeter, with a saline and subdued ripeness to the honey texture.  Flavors of stone mixed with the acidity.  With air the wine became fresh with floral and honey flavors.  *** Now-2019.

The 2010 Vintage Tasting of the German Wine Society

February 20, 2012 2 comments

The Harbor Square Club Room

Last week I attended the 2010 Vintage Tasting of the German Wine Society, DC Chapter. Long-time member Dave Wendler organized the tasting which was tutored by Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages. It was hosted by Marilyn at the National Harbor Club Room. Phil presented 10 different wines, all of which are available at MacArthur Beverages, from the unusual 2010 vintage. The combination of extremely high acidity and sugar levels has not been seen before. While 1996 also had extremely high acidity levels, it did not have the sugar levels. This has resulted in many wines being deacidified. In addition, yields ran 30-50% below normal so it was a truly a small amount of wine to go around. Phil commented that this was a clean vintage with low botrytis. As a general observation I felt the flavors tilted towards fresh, white and green fruits. My two favorite wines of the evenings were the gorgeous 2010 Egon Mulller, Scharzhofberger, Riesling Kabinett followed by the 2010 Donnhoff, Kreuznacher Leistenberg, Riesling Kabinett. While the Egon Muller is somewhat pricey yet worthwhile $55, the Donnhoff is $25 which is a great price for such a lovely wine.

Serious Sign But A Fun Tasting!

The wines were opened a few hours ahead of time and served in flights of two. I have included a summary of Phil’s comments for each flight along with my brief tasting notes. Thanks again to Dave and Laura, along with all of their friends at their table for making me feel welcome. I certainly enjoyed hearing Phil speak and I look forward to his future tastings.

Phil

Affordable Qualitatswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA)

These are two introductory wines by very good producers. The Dr. Loosen is made entirely from purchased fruit. While St. Urbans Hof make an introductory purchased-fruit wine, this selection is a step up being made from estate fruit. Both of these are strong values and represent safe, affordable selections at restaurants and stores.

2010 Dr.Loosen, Dr. L, Riesling Qba, Mosel – $11
Imported by Loosen Bros. USA. This was more aromatic than the St. Urbans Hof with a floral ripe nose. In the mouth the structured fruit was fresh, fruity, and finished with a sandy texture.

2010 St. Urbans Hof, Riesling Qba, Mosel – $15
Imported by HB Wine Merchants. Produced from estate fruit. This was a touch more yellow than the Dr. Loosen. A mineral nose. The initially ripe fruit softened to tart flavors, and an aftertaste of little drying tannins and minerals.

Kabinett from the great Donnhoff estate

One of the great estates of the world and a favorite of Dave. If one selection from Donnhoff is good than two is better! Donnhoff acquired the Kroptenpfuhl vineyard from the Anheuser family several years. Through replanting and other efforts this vineyard is under restoration and Phil expects that these wines will only get better with each successive vintage. Phil also believe that the Nahe is an exciting region that combines the best characteristics of the Mosel and Rheingau.

2010 Donnhoff, Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl, Riesling Kabinett , Nahe- $25
A Terry Theise Estate Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines. This vineyard was acquired three years ago. A softer nose. In the mouth racy fruit, textured acidity with tropical flavors in the finish. The aftertaste is great with tart flavors and a light mineral note.

2010 Donnhoff, Kreuznacher Leistenberg, Riesling Kabinett, Nahe – $25
A Terry Theise Estate Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines. The nose was lifted and gritty. The flavors were very lively on the tongue with mouthfilling flavors which coated the inside of my lips. There is a great presence to this wine with its incense notes, floral and ripe fruit, spices, and low-level acidity that makes one salivate. Showing really well.

Two Kabinetts from the Mosel

The Saar is a very cool region that naturally produces wines high in acidity which age very well. A.J. Adam is a young, enthusiastic producer who makes wines from very steep vineyards. The Egon Muller selection comes from the famous Scharzhofberger vineyard. With impeccable pedigree Phil felt this would age for 20 years.

2010 A. J. Adam, Dhron Hofberg, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel – $32
A Terry Theise Estate Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines. This show focused fruit, petrol underneath, with the acidity initially starting at the tip of the tongue. There was a gentle spiced sweetness. There were drying tannins in the mouth with a gentle aftertaste.

2010 Egon Mulller, Scharzhofberger, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel – $55
Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons. The lighter nose contained drier aromas. The flavors almost prickled the tongue at first before beautiful, glycerine body developed. There was a light vein of stones in this mouthfilling wine with a persistent aftertaste. Clearly young but so beautiful, this was my favorite of the night.

The Brothers Fritz and Thomas Haag

This pairing showcases two different wines made by the brothers Fritz Haag and Thomas Haag at Schloss Lieser. What was particularly fun is that the fruit is sourced from different parcels of the same vineyard. Not only were the flavors different but the acidity level was remarkably different with the Fritz Haag tasting de-acidified.

2010 Fritz Haag, Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr, Riesling Spatlese, Mosel – $45
Imported by Rudi Wiest, Cellars International. A yellower color than the Schloss Lieser. This revealed dark fruit that quickly rounded out with less acidity and just a touch of texture. It was almost cloying.

2010 Schloss Lieser, Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr, Riesling Spatlese, Mosel – $30
Imported by Rudi Wiest, Cellars International. This was more overt with lively white fruit and ripe notes that bubbled on the tongue. I preferred this over the Fritz Haag with its ample acidity which remained on the lips with a sweet-tart profile.

Two Auslese

These two Auslese were quite different. The Monchhof will be best for earlier drinking and will probably not age long. The Selbach Oster remained tight and should age for some time. Pralat is the tenderloin of Erdener Treppchen with Monchof owning the largest portion. Phil commented that he often found cherry flavors in the wines of Erdener Treppchen.

2010 Monchhof, Erdener Pralat, Riesling Auslese, Mosel – $38
Imported by Rudi Wiest, Cellars International. With good up front texture, the fruit was sweeter and tight, with caramelized notes, perfume, and unctuous tropical flavors that while good were a touch heavy. Very young.

2010 Selbach Oster, Bernkasteler Badstube, Riesling Auslese, Mosel – $40
This revealed textured ripe fruit, plenty of acidity which mixed well with the fruit, lively in the mouth, a tart midpalate. Young and less distinct in its flavors this will clearly age. I rather liked the liveliness.

Dave and Phil with Scharzhofberger

2006 Hexamer, Riesling Kabinett, Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg

January 19, 2012 1 comment

This bottle from Weingut Hexamer was bought a few years ago from MacArthurs.  Having drunk three vintages of the Weingut Hexamer, “Quartzit” back in August I thought it would be fun to try this bottle.  From a vintage that produced a small amount of ripe wines this bottle is drinking very well at this point.  While I would not specifically search for this bottle at a store, I do not hesitate in recommending that you open a bottle from your cellar.

2006 Weingut Helmut Hexamer, Riesling Kabinett, Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg, Nahe – $23
A Terry Theise Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines.  A golden-yellow in the glass.  There is a medium strength nose of rich fruit reminiscent of baked apples in cream.  In the mouth the rich flavors are almost unctuous with a textured tickling on top of the tongue.  The finish contains floral flavors bound in glycerine as stones come out in the long, darker aftertaste.  A solid effort that, while not particularly complex, is quite tasty and provides enjoyment.  Drink now or over the next several years.

Two German Rieslings from 2007

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

We recently tried two estate selections from Weingut Schafer-Frohlich in Nahe and Weingut Schloss Lieser inMosel-Saar-Ruwer.  This means they grapes are sourced from the many different vineyards owned by the wineries.  According to the Rudi Wiest website Nahe “vineyards, can produce top Rieslings with citrus-like intensity and an explosive vibrancy unique in this region.”  Indeed these are two completely different wines!  The Schafer-Frohlich showed an apple and citrus profile while the Schloss Lieser showed sweet fruit of peach.

Vineyard at Bockenauer Felseneck, Image from Schafer-Frohlich

These are both Rudi Wiest Selections that I purchased at MacArthur’s.  The Schafer-Frohlich was purchased for $18 and the Schloss Lieser for $22.   I preferred the Schloss Lieser but I do not hesitate in recommending both wines for they demonstrate the interesting contrast between these two regions.  I think that the Schafer-Frohlich will show better in a few years but that the Schloss Lieser has more depth to the fruit.  Or maybe I prefer it because I am on a Mosel kick!

2007 Weingut Schafer-Frohlich, Riesling, Medium-Dry, Nahe
This Riesling  is sourced from vines grown on soils of blue slate, loess, loam, and weathered volcanic roack.  This wine is darker than the Schloss Lieser with its yellow color and gold tinge.  The moderate nose has aromas of cookie dough. In the mouth there are flavors of apple, pink citrus, then piercing acidity that prickles the tongue.  The flavors turn towards green apple in the finish.  On the second day there is good fruit that is riper midpalate with mouth coating acidity.  This become a shock to drink after the Schloss Lieser.  The wine leaves the impression of youthful clunkiness and should be cellared for several years. **(*) 2015-2022.

2007 Weingut Schloss Lieser, Riesling, Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer
This wine is a light yellow color.  There are some notes of match-stick with some stink at first.  But this eventually blew off.  There is a burst of ripe fruit in the mouth followed by spritz.  The fruit is almost sweet, like yellow peach, then the flavors slowly fall off as a slightly oily finish develops.  A good wine that is drinkable now but will age for some time. *** 2015-2022.