In Today’s Newsletter:
Classical St. Emilion from Chateau Grandchamp
One Day Left: K Vintners / Substance Subscriber Special
New Brunello Reviews from Ian D’Agata
Goodfellow Subscriber Specials
New Terry Theise Wines Arriving Friday
The 2015 Huet Subscriber Special Ends Tomorrow
First Offer! 2016 Paitin
Classical St. Emilion
From Chateau Grandchamp
Vinification is in stainless steel and most of the elevage is in concrete (25-33% of the wine sees aging in older barrels), so these wines have a purity and vitality that’s uncommon in Bordeaux these days. Chateau Grandchamp is made from an estate vineyard, farmed organically and worked/harvested by hand—a true rarity in the “satellite” regions of Bordeaux. The Clos du Pavillon wines we’re offering are negociant, but Maurice only works with growers who own unique terroirs and farm in accordance with his philosophies. These are delightful wines with plenty of old-school personality.
We flew through our last stock, so we convinced our importer to secure us another round, arriving next week. If you didn’t get a chance to try it last time, now’s your opportunity!
Arriving Friday, April 10th:
Drinkable, delicious Bordeaux for under $20.
Chateau de Grandchamp, Montagne-Saint-Emilion 2015 750ML ($24.95) $19.90 pre-arrival special
Le Guide Hachette Des Vins 2/3 stars (Vin Remarquable) “A mountain that exalts the qualities of the 2015 vintage and participated in the final of the favorites. From a blend of hand-harvested Merlot (90%) and Cabernet Franc, Château Grandchamp’s team has extracted a wine that combines power and elegance. The color of the dress is purple with violet, the nose is centered on dark fruits with spicy aromas, the palate is frisky, smooth, fruity, with fine, firm tannins and a long finish. [translated]”
Importer notes “Château de Grandchamp is the only domaine on the hillside overlooking the ancient commune of Parsac, located in the Montagne-Saint-Emilion appellation on the right bank of the Dordogne. Vigneron Gonzague Maurice manually farms Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon in densely planted vineyards rooted in clay-limestone soils with small traces of iron. The vineyard has been in organic conversion since 2010, however grass is sown regularly between vine rows and ploughing is done in alternating rows. Gonzague’s sole objective in the vineyard is to obtain perfectly ripe and clean fruit. Triage is done in both the vineyard and the cellar to ensure the highest quality grapes. In the cellar, grapes are vinified in small, temperature controlled tanks and then aged in a combination of tank and one to two year old barrels. Above all, he seeks to preserve the fruit throughout the fermentation and ageing processes. The resulting wine is aromatically vibrant and beautiful balanced with soft tannins.”
Le Pavillon Dragon St George, St George – Saint-Emilion 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Le Pavillion “La Grange des Bardes” Saint-Emilion Grand Cru 2015 750ML ($37.95) $29 special, 36+ bottles in stock now
This is the only listing in the USA today!
One Day Left!
K Vintners / Substance Subscriber Special
10% Off 12+ bottles of K Vintners
Offer Ends Friday, April 3rd at 6 PM Pacific
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5% Off 6-11 bottles of K Vintners
10% Off 12+ bottles of K Vintners
Offer Ends Friday, April 3rd at 6 PM Pacific
Discount Will Not Display Online or In Your Cart
We will adjust your invoice before processing your card
Shop the sale on our webstore!
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About Our Oregon Shipping Special
Now extended through April!
Free Oregon Ground Shipping on Orders Over $120
Looking for our great deals and shipping specials to continue? Tell a friend who’s not on our email list to take advantage of this great offer and keep us busy in these unusual times!
New Brunello Reviews
From Ian D’Agata
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 96 points “Bright full red. Redcurrant, red cherry, violet, sweet spices, and orange zest on the scented nose. Not in the quite sweet and fleshy style this bottling is famous for, but suave and very well delineated, with the orange peel note providing inner-palate lift. Closes very clean with excellent length.”
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, Tuscany 2015 750ML ($69.95) $66 pre-arrival special, ETA April
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 94 points “Good deep red. Saline aromas and flavors of red cherry, blueberries, herbs, blood orange and sweet spices. Smooth and long on the bright, very sweet finish. Really quite good.”
Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Pianrosso, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2015 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, ETA May
Ian D’Agata-Vinous 93 points “Deep red. Perfumed aromas and flavors of red and black cherry, cinnamon, mocha, ginger and blood orange. Smooth and multifaceted, with strong licorice notes emerging on the long suave close.”
A Quartet of Goodfellow Subscriber Specials
Don’t miss these local deals!
Like most wineries in the Willamette Valley, Marcus has been hit hard by the recent restaurant shutdown, and so we’re working with him to bring a bunch of wines to you at much lower prices than normal. It puts (much needed) cash in the wineries pocket and allows you to save a ton on wines that already over-delivered at their original prices.
We launched this quartet of Subscriber Specials over the weekend to a great response—enough that we had to get the winery to bring more wine yesterday! These previously sold out (or close to it) wines are now fully stocked and ready for your sheltering-in-place tables.
A Special 2016 Willamette Valley Pinot at Special Pricing
Our first of the Goodfellow Subscriber Specials is a wine that we’ve never sold at retail before, technically—a special “restaurant edition” of the 2016 Goodfellow Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. The regular ’16 Willamette Valley was one of our bestselling bottles when we had it in and this new wine offers even more value. First of all, we’re able to offer it to you for even less than the original WV went for—under $20 a bottle, which is a stellar price for a wine of this quantity. If you’re willing to commit to a half or a full case (and why wouldn’t you?) the price gets truly nuts: $16.50/btl or just $15.75 respectively.
The wine itself is a slightly different blend than the “regular” bottling, emphasizing a bit more fruit and softer, more elegant tannins. Its base is made from the Bednarik vineyard (the star vineyard for Panther Creek in the late 90’s and a hidden gem in the Willamette Valley), which provides a rich, textured core that has plenty of Goodfellow zest and savoriness. The other main vineyards are layered in as well, with Durant providing florals and fruit, Whistling Ridge spice and structure and Fir Crest bringing some earth and color to the mix.
The resulting wine is one of the most delicious, complete bottles of WV Pinot we’ve tasted for the price. As you’d expect of a wine blended for glass pouring, this is fantastic out of the gate, no need to age this one. We’re sure it’ll improve over the next 5ish years, but if you’re looking for a Willamette wine to keep you company during a self-quarantine, you should pop (many) of them now.
Previously Sold Out, Re-Arriving Friday April 3rd:
A special restaurant reserve bottling of the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir!
Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($21.95) $18 pre-arrival special
Case-6 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($129.95) $99 pre-arrival special (that’s only $16.50/bottle!)
Case-12 Goodfellow Family Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley 2016 750ML ($219.95) $189 pre-arrival special (that’s only $15.75/bottle!)
The average price on the 2016 WVPN is $27
Your New House White?
Goodfellow “Dundee Hills” at Exceptional Pricing
Unlike the last wine, the “Dundee Hills” bottling of Chardonnay has been a mainstay over the last year. Made primarily from the Lark Block of Durant Vineyard, this is a classic Goodfellow Chard. It’s now $5 per bottle cheaper than it was yesterday, so stock up. At $24, this was one of the better deals in Willamette Chard. At $19, welcome to your new house white.
Previously Sold Out, Re-Arriving Friday April 3rd:
Goodfellow Family Cellars Chardonnay, Dundee Hills 2017 750ML ($29.95) Was $24, Now $19 Subscriber Special
John Gilman 90+ points “The fruit for the Dundee Hills bottling of chardonnay from Marcus Goodfellow all hails from the Durant Vineyard. The wine is excellent aromatically, wafting from the glass in a complex and slightly reductive blend of pear, apple, almond, iodine, a good base of soil and a well done framing of new oak. On the palate the wine is bright, full-bodied, focused and youthfully closed, with a good core of fruit, lovely soil signature, zesty acids and fine balance on the long and vibrant finish. This is perfectly drinkable today, if one decants it a bit and unlocks the reduction, but it is built to age and will be an even better dink with some bottle age. 2020-2035. 90+.”
This is the only listing in the USA today!
Staff Pick: Syrah From…The Willamette Valley?
At Even Better Pricing
At first glance, the Willamette Valley might seem like an odd place to grow Syrah—after all, we think of Syrah as a warmth loving grape. That said, when you look at the historical temperatures in the Northern Rhone combined with the volcanic soils that define both the Valley and areas like Cote Rotie, you start to wonder about the possibilities of the grape here. Cristom has occasionally released them, but we recently tasted one of the finest bottles of Syrah I’ve had from Oregon.
You might know that Marcus Goodfellow makes Syrah from Deux Vert Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton, but in 2015 he produced a Syrah Reserve bottling—and boy is it fantastic. The Reserve bottling spent longer in barrel (over 30 months) and was selected for structure, savoriness and power. Like most of Marcus’ wines, there’s a lot of whole-cluster fermentation in this bottling and it definitely reads as more “serious” as a result. While the wine is rich and intense, don’t expect over the top fruit here. It reminded me of really high quality St. Joseph, with dark, fresh fruits and a distinct meaty, savory overtone. I’m grabbing some for now and some for the cellar—it’s delicious now but I suspect it’s going to be a stunner in a decade.
In Stock Now:
Goodfellow Family Cellars Deux Vert Reserve Syrah, Willamette Valley 2015 750ML ($47.95) Was $36, Now $31.90 Subscriber Special, 35 bottles in stock now
John Gilman 91+ points “Marcus Goodfellow’s 2015 Deux Vert Vineyard (Reserve) bottling of Syrah includes five percent viognier, which grows alongside these syrah vines, which were the first to be planted in the Willamette Valley in 1994. The 2015 version comes in at 13.8 percent octane and delivers a refined and red fruity bouquet of raspberries, pepper, woodsmoke, roasted meats, lovely soil tones, plenty of spice elements and a nice framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, tangy and rock solid at the core, with excellent transparency and grip, ripe tannins and a long, focused and nascently complex finish. This will be a lovely bottle in due course, but it needs some time in the cellar to allow its backend tannins to resolve a bit. Fine juice. 2030- 2055+. 91+.”
VinopolNote: The Reserve bottling spent longer in barrel (over 30 months) and was selected for structure, savoriness and power. Like most of Marcus’ wines, there’s a lot of whole-cluster fermentation in this bottling and it definitely reads as more “serious” as a result. While the wine is rich and intense, don’t expect over-the-top fruit here. This reminds us of high quality Northern Rhone wines, with dark, fresh fruits and a distinct meaty, savory overtone. One for the table with some air or for the cellar.
Looking for a Syrah with a playful, floral side? Check out the “standard” bottling from ’13
Matello Fool’s Journey Deux Vert Vineyard, Willamette Valley 2013 750ML ($24.95) $18 special, 36 bottles in stock now
Josh Raynolds – Vinous 90 points “Bright violet. Smoke-tinged dark berries and pungent flowers on the nose. Juicy and focused on the palate, offering bitter cherry and cassis flavors that take a sweeter turn on the back half. Dusty tannins make a late appearance and add gentle grip to the smooth, energetic finish.”
Winery note “From the Willamette Valley’s first planting of Syrah, this cool climate, low alcohol wine will redefine your idea of the possibilities of new-world Syrah. If you like your Syrah French, here is a kindred but one of a kind wine from Oregon.”
’15 Whistling Ridge Pinot from the Winery’s Cellar
Whistling Ridge is Marcus Goodfellow’s Cros Parantoux—a site he seems to have particular affinity with, producing exceptional wines. It’s located on top of a hill in Ribbon Ridge, adjoining Patricia Green and the Beaux Freres Upper Terrace. This is often his most “Burgundian” bottling and takes a few years to open up.
Case in point: the now-stunning 2015 edition, which showed immeasurable promise when young (but not very much immediate pleasure). Recently, though, the wine seems to have turned a corner and offers an exceptional experience. Red cherry, spice and orange notes linger over a powerful palate that features a beautiful measure of red and black fruit over a beam of mineral energy. It’s gonna age for a while more, but is delicious right now. Marcus has been generous enough to pull a few cases out of the winery’s library and we’re excited to re-release it to you today.
Goodfellow Family Cellars Whistling Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir, Ribbon Ridge 2015 750ML ($49.95) $36 special, 9 bottles in stock now
Wine Advocate 93 points “From a vineyard planted in 1990, the pale to medium ruby colored 2015 Pinot Noir Whistling Ridge Vineyard has a spicy nose of coriander, warm cinnamon, potpourri and dried leaves over a core of baked cranberry and red cherry fruit with meaty/savory touches. Light to medium-bodied, it has spice-laced red fruits in the mouth, with a great frame of fine-grained tannins and wonderful freshness, finishing very long and very spicy. 270 cases produced.”
VinopolNote “Whistling Ridge has become Marcus Goodfellow’s Cros Parantoux—a vineyard that somehow went overlooked but now produces exceptional wines in the right hands. Nestled on the ridgetop abutting the Beaux Freres Upper Terrace, wines from Whistling Ridge tend to be compact and powerful-built for aging. Lots of spice and floral notes blend with a mix of black and red fruits for a stellar wine that’s one of the best versions yet.”
Vinopolis Wine Shop Curbside Pick Up
When you’re ready to pick up, just park in our lot,
give us a call, & we’ll bring your order to your car.
(If another adult is picking up for you,
please let us know their name when placing your order.)
New Terry Theise Wines
Chartogne-Taillet’s Les Barres Pinot Noir
Chartogne-Taillet Les Barres Pinot Noir Extra Brut, Champagne (2015) 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special
William Kelley-Wine Advocate 94 points “From a climat Chartonge made famous for its Pinot Meunier growing in chalky soils, the NV Extra Brut Blanc de Noirs Les Barres (Pinot Noir) derives from a westerly exposed parcel of Pinot Noir growing in sand—and hails entirely from the 2015 vintage. It’s showing very well, exhibiting attractive aromas of mirabelle plums, raspberries, anise, pastry cream and yellow chartreuse. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied, ample and muscular, with tangy acids, excellent concentration and a long, chalky finish.”
“It always feels somewhat miasmic to taste here, as though someone has strewn a thousand musical notes on the floor and now we have to pick them up and make them into music.” –Terry Theise
Kruger-Rumpf is a storied estate in the Nahe, the region in Germany that Donnhoff hails from, which lies between the Mosel and the Rhine rivers—sort of a halfway point between both geographic and stylistic. Kruger-Rumpf sits close to the Rhine, geographically, than some of the other big names in the area and their wines have more intrinsic power to them as a result. These are some seriously good Rieslings, at prices considerably lower than what you’d pay from other name producers.
The top wine from the estate comes from the awkwardly named “Dautenpflanzer” from near the town of Munster, which means that the label reads “Munsterer Dautenpflanzer”—a stereotype of a German name if we ever saw one. In house, we often call it the “MD” if you aren’t feeling up to testing your pronunciation skills. The Dautenpflanzer is a premier Grand Cru site of the lower Nahe, a place that yields wine s of power and resonance, and Kruger-Rumpf is the primary (and best) landholder.
These are fantastic wines that are only getting better with each subsequent vintage. Hope on board the 2018 train and you’ll be glad you did. These will drink beautifully on release (the barrel samples were astounding), and will only increase in deliciousness as they age in your cellar.
Arriving Friday, April 3rd:
Kruger-Rumpf (Binger Brucke Im Ruppertsberg) Abtei “1937” Riesling Trocken, Nahe 2018 750ML ($41.95) $36 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 94-96 points “The 2018 barrel sample of Kruger-Rumpf’s Abtei 1937 was stunningly gorgeous with brilliant details, ripe extract density, vivid mineral tones and vibrant acidity showing a purity and vitality of youth, but with the complexity and length of its old vine material. Georg Rumpf has crafted a Trocken beauty here with layers of delicacy and substance. This juice is on par with almost any GG, making it an incredible value already. Be sure to book your allocation of this ultra-limited bottling from Terry These and importer Skurnik Wines. You will not be disappointed, I know I will be hustling to get some myself. The regular Abtei offering is one of my new favorite Nahe Rieslings and while I love all the latest Kruger-Rumpf wines, especially from the Grosse Lage: Münsterer Dautenpflänzer, Münsterer im Pitterberg and Dorsheimer Burgberg, as well as exotic Rumpf’s Scheurebe plus their off dry Kabinett, Feinherb and wonderfully balanced Spatlese(s) I have become obsessed with the Bingerbrücker Abtei im Ruppertsberg vineyard and wines. This ’18 starts with subtle aromatic charm with orange blossom, rosewater, flinty stones, salt lick and quinces before thrilling the palate with energy and white peach, tangerine, lime intensity, verbena, mint tea and tart green apple. This light/medium dry Riesling is brisk and racy, at first but gains depth and builds with air in the glass adding some leesy texture, it is totally thrilling and will only get better with bottle age…The impossibly steep Kruger-Rumpf Abtei Cru, the northern most vineyard in the Nahe, which is on the outskirts of Bingen, was once an Abbey owned plot, across the Rhein from Rudesheimer Berg and is almost a mirror image soil wise to Schlossberg with a beautiful southern exposure. While still just a Premier Cru, this might be the best kept secret of the Nahe, making for a wine with Grosses Gewachs intensity and quality. Rumpf put a lot of blood sweat and tears into working this amazing site set on phyllite, which is essentially mica slate, all with organic methods and only hand-working of the vines due to the severity of the slope. For the first time, Kruger-Rumpf is doing a single block wine from this vineyard from vines that date back to 1937, the vineyards oldest and steepest section, and it is an amazing wine from a vintage to looks to be one of best in years. The dry Abtei 1937 Riesling, coming from these 81 year old vines was all done with native yeasts or Sponti, spontanous fermentation in over 30 years old Stückfässern (German 1200L oak casks) with full yeast contact, lees aged, until the following June, nine months after harvest. After walking this site at harvest in 2016 and tasting the grapes here I was convinced Georg Rumpf had a magical piece of land for exceptional single vineyard dry Riesling, and this 2018 is the best yet. This is special stuff from a special terroir and years from now I believe people with talk about the wines from Abtei the same way as (we do of) other much more famous places, like Carl Loewen’s Maximin Herrenberg 1896, Johannes Leitz’s Kaisersteinfels Terraces, Wittmann’s Morstein and the Carl Von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg to name a few. There are some glorious wines coming from Germany’s 2018 vintage, with Spreitzer, Schlossgut Diel, Carl Loewen, Von Winning, Kunstler, Selbach-Oster and Georg Breuer all showing samples of greatness in a recent trade tasting in San Francisco, and along with them Kruger-Rumpf shined. Be sure to keep an eye out for them all, in particular this 2018 Abtei 1937 Trocken.”
Terry Theise note “A special lot aged in a Hösch 1200-liter cask, it comes from the best part of the site, planted in 1937 and shows a lovely old-school touch, from the bright silvery mineral and the warm breathy caskyness.”
Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Im Pittersberg Riesling Kabinett, Nahe 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 91 points “Picked early around September 10th and vinified in large oak until April this year, the 2018 Im Pitterberg Riesling Kabinett offers a clear, ripe and spicy, beautifully elegant bouquet of bright fruits and crushed nuts. Very clear and fresh on the palate, this is a filigreed, elegant and persistently light, salty-piquant and crystalline Riesling with mineral tension and stimulating grip. This is a picture-book Kabinett that is a great pleasure to drink even today and certainly with food. 9% alcohol. Tasted from AP 21 19 in August 2019.”
Terry Theise note “Another forward-into-the-past bottling—in this case Georg wanted to make the kind of Kabinett his father made in the 80s, decidedly on the dry side, not very ripe (this has just 82º Oechsle), gentle and tertiary, and even on the dry side it shows Cox’s orange pippins and balsam and its genial Buddhist repose. Cask fermentations help to highlight the tertiary flavors.”
Kruger-Rumpf Dorsheimer Burgberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs, Nahe 2018 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 94+ points “Coming from a tiny incredibly steep Grand Cru site, the Burgberg Vineyard, that is set on volcanic and quartz soils near Munster in the village of Dorsheim. The Kruger Rumpf Burgberg GG is one of the most exciting wines of vintage at this small winery… It is fantastically mineral-driven dry Riesling. This latest set of wines, especially the Rieslings, from Georg Rumpf and his family are some of the best yet from this estate. The GG’s and the Premier Cru Trockens are gorgeous wines. No one is going to want to miss these 2018 Nahe offerings, especially the Pitterberg GG, the Abtei Erste Lage 1937 old vine, one of my secret favorites, and this beautifully detailed Burgberg GG. Rumpf has turned to mostly all organic practices, and the Burgberg parcel is farmed organic. [He] prefers to do natural fermentations, or Sponti, with his Cru wines with the GG’s getting less aging in large cask, Stuckfass, to allow less reduction and enhance generosity, while retraining freshness and vitality in the wines. [It] shows here in this barrel sample of Burgberg… These Kruger-Rumpf GG’s are some of the best values out there, they really deserve much more attention, as do the lesser bottlings and their wildly tasty Scheurebe, which is one of the best examples in Germany. The Kruger-Rumpf winery, which dates back to the 1790’s, is focused on purity and the expression of the distinctive terroirs in the family’s holdings, but only began making estate labeled wines in 1984 when Georg’s dad Stefan began crafting small production bottlings. Now, mostly retired Stefan has turned things over to his sons Georg and Philipp, who are continuing the traditions here with a renewed energy and technical skill. [Their work] impresses Terry Theise, their importer, who considers Kruger-Rumpf one of best under the radar estates in the region. [Theise] notes that Kruger-Rumpf is innovative and is always striving to reach new levels of quality. I visited Kruger-Rumpf in the fall of 2016 at harvest time and was thrilled with the stylish wines I found and was blown away with the individual vineyards they farm and the hard work they have been putting in the restore the Abtei site. The iron rich volcanic and quartz influenced 2018 Burgberg GG starts with white flowers, stone fruits and vibrant citrus before expansion on the medium full palate with layers of lime/tangerine, apricot, green apple, papaya, bitter pit white peach and white cherry fruits along with steely form, spearmint, verbena, mouthwatering saline, exotic spices and subtle leesy elements. This is going to be a legendary wine and is already showing Georg’s signature finesse and vinous personality. It has masses of potential and its delicacy is utterly delicious! There’s a lot to admire at Kruger-Rumpf these days and this crisp 2018 Burgberg is a stunning effort that gains with air in the glass and will more so with a few years in bottle.”
Kruger-Rumpf Munsterer Im Pittersberg Riesling Spatlese Goldkapsel, Nahe 2018 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92+ points “From vines planted in the 1970s in the “Hochmauer” section of the cru and fermented in an oval Halbstück (600 liter), the 2018 Im Pitterberg Riesling Spätlese (Gold Capsule) offers a clear, deep, ripe and intense yet fine and spicy, crystalline and complex bouquet with lovely ripe and intense fruit aromas and more flinty-mineral notes than the regular Spätlese. Round and crystalline on the palate, this is a lush and fresh, really sharp Spätlese with generous sweetness. This is an excellent and promising wine, but it needs more time than the regular Pitterberg Spätlese. Tasted from AP 24 19 in August 2019.”
Wine Advocate 89 points “From the Dautenpflänzer, the 2018 Scheurebe Spätlese is discreet on the grapefruit and lemon-tinted, nicely precise and flinty nose. Sweet, round and piquant, with racy acidity and fleshy fruit, this is a mouth-filling and attractively juicy Scheu that is not really sweet but also not dry. It’s a piquant wine with grip and tension but by far not the finesse and precision of Riesling. Tasted from AP 20 19 in August 2019.”
Terry Theise note “Top-3 manglings of the word “Scheurebe:” Shuh-roob. Shooby-rooby. Sha-boomy. I made none of these up. In German the eu sound is always like this: OY. Like boy-toy. Here’s a nemonic: when you think of the EU, you want to say “Oy!” OK? For shit’s sake, if you can pronounce “Mourvédre” you can pronounce Scheurebe. This is all from the “GG” Dautenpflänzer (whose name can only be used for Riesling, thanks to the wisdom of the VDP trilateral commission poobahs), it has zero botrytis and was picked “extremely” late. It was the last wine we tasted, and my entire note, repeated here verbatim and pure, was “Oh for fuck’s sake!””
Carl Lowen produces Rieslings that set the Somm world on fire. These are phenomenal wines coming from some of the oldest Riesling vines in the world.
Carl Loewen took over the historic Schmitt-Wagner estate, with its extremely old vineyard holdings, and has elevated it to new heights, returning a slew of historic vineyards back to the esteem they were held to in the 1800’s. His wines are textural, rich and complex and often from old, ungrafted parcels within vineyards. 2018 continues the estate’s rise and plays into their strengths, as the power and richness inherent in the wines this year complement Loewen’s natural savoriness and acidity.
“Karl-Josef and Christopher Loewen produced an impressive collection in 2018. The wines are more backward and slightly bigger than usual, but they retain the incredible ‘cut’ and precision that has made the success of this Estate. In particular, the Maximiner Herrenberg Trocken Alte Reben and the 1896 remain some of the finest dry and off-dry wines of the region. Also as usual, this is an Estate where the
“entry level” wines offer stunning value for money. The Riesling Alte Reben will give many high-end wines a good run for their money…” –Mosel Fine Wines
“This is one of the FIVE MOST INTERESTING ESTATES IN MY OFFERING, and among them it’s the one you know the least about… [Their sites] are every bit as important as Graacher Domprobst, Wehlener Sonnenuhr and Zeltinger Schlossberg, only you don’t know them, and therefore they COST LESS..” – Terry Theise
Arriving Friday, April 3rd:
Weingut Carl Loewen Estate Riesling, Mosel 2018 750ML ($24.95) $19 pre-arrival special
Wine & Spirits 91 points “An exclusive blend for Terry Theise Selections, this is bright and stylish, with crisp, lemony fruit over earthy minerality. The umami tones give it breadth and richness, while the wine remains invigorating.”
Terry Theise note “[+] The best vintage yet of this “bespoke” bottling for lil’ ol’ me. It’s fine, mineral and grassy, solid and salty, lyric and bright, with a little twang from the red slate. Everything works here, texture and character and interplay, and yet the harmony isn’t slack but instead finely taut.”
Weingut Carl Loewen Alte Reben Riesling Trocken, Mosel 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 93 points “These 2018s by Christopher Loewen are something very special and maybe even a step up on the last few outstanding vintages produced here at Weingut Carl Loewen. [These are] exceptional wines throughout the lineup, especially the top Feinherb and GG bottlings, but his entry level wines are stunning too and, at the price, are Rieslings to stock up on, in particular look for this gorgeous and seriously bone dry Old Vine “Alte Reben” Trocken… Loewen farms mostly in three VDP Grosse Lage sites, Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg, Thörnicher Ritsch and Leiwener Laurentiuslay. [The estate] is now considered one of the region’s superstars. The rise from solid to stellar has come recently with the generational shift from father to son, as has happened all over the world, and the praise here is incredibly well deserved. Like all the wines Christopher makes, the grapes are all pressed whole cluster and pomace is never moved as to not break the stems, which, as Loewen notes, leads to phenolic flavors and bitterness that he wants to avoid. The juice, he adds, is “browned” or oxidized pre- fermentation, a practice common in Burgundy, and his ferments are completely natural without addition of yeast (known here as Sponti) plus absolutely no enzymes or nutrition is used. This wine, one step up from the entry level estate, is an all stainless wine and while severely dry it manages to be complex and textural. It is a serious Riesling for those that want pure minerallity and racy acidity above all else. This 2018 shows a bit more fullness of form without losing any energy with exciting layers of zesty citrus and orchard stone fruits along with a hint of tropical essences and flinty/stony spiciness with lime, green melon, white peach, tart apricot and tangerine as well as crystalized ginger, wet shale, salty sea shore, white lavender/rose, chamomile and crisp apple skin. Tart and mouthwatering, this Alte Reben is still concentrated and has loads of structural extract, making for a complete Riesling that is zippy and refreshing, but one that can deliver a world class performance with food. It is a sleeper in the latest set from the talented Loewen, but one well worth seeking out! If wine is a story of people and place, it’s wines like this that are a celebration of that image. It is a joy to drink.”
Carl Loewen Longuicher Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 2018 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Mosel Fine Wines 91 points “The 2018er Longuicher Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett is made from grapes harvested at 83° Oechsle from up to 100 year-old un-grafted vines situated high up the hill and was fermented down to barely fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (40 g/l). The wine offers a beautiful nose made of grapefruit, pear, melon and aniseed herbs, wrapped into some white flowers. It develops nice flavors of pear and freshly cut apple on the creamy and smooth palate and leaves a nice fruit-zest tension in the long and delicately creamy finish. The sweetness covers a little bit the zesty side (which only comes through in the after-taste). We would therefore opt to enjoy this Spätlese-styled wine in a decade or more, when the sweetness will have receded. 2028-2048.”
Terry Theise note “[+] Ungrafted vines planted in 1903. Do please note the price. Consider what the equivalent wine might cost you from France or Italy or Spain. Then consider why I sometimes get frustrated. This was just a week in bottle yet it was still spicy and expressive and angular and both vivid and deep, with a moderate minty sweetness.”
Weingut Carl Loewen Longuicher Maximin Herrenberg “1896” Riesling Feinherb, Mosel 2018 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Grapelive 97+ points “One of the wine world’s great unicorn wines, the Carl Loewen 1896 Feinherb is from the oldest Riesling vines in Germany and from a Grand Cru steep Mosel vineyard that transmit absolute purity of terroir. There may not be a more authentic and pleasing Riesling than this, especially in a vintage such as 2018… Since the first time I tried this wine, I knew it was something extraordinary and special. It is brave example of letting a wine make itself, with vigneron Christopher Loewen picking the grapes at perfect ripeness and allowing the fermentation to go as nature demands, which in this case comes in just above (outside) the legal limit to be called a Trocken… The glorious detail and layers in this 2018 Maximin Herrenberg 1896 are mesmerizing with flinty/smoking mineral leading the way on the nose before lime blossom, rose petal and white orchard (stone) fruits lift from the glass. The revelation is on the medium bodied palate with its incredible play between hedonistic pleasures and chiseled and steely precision with layers of vivid citrus, apricot, delicate tropical notes and white cherry fruits as well as spiced/crystalized ginger, wet shale, citron and saline, where all these flavors combine and flow with a graceful crispness and a (light residual sugar) lingering creaminess. This 1896 Feinerb, dressed up in its special label and dark red wax capsule, is a profound example of Riesling and one of the absolute best, one of the top wines I’ve tasted this year…”
Mosel Fine Wines 93+ points “(Carl Loewen Riesling 1896) AP: 17 19. The 2018er Riesling 1896 comes from century-old un-grafted vines (planted in 1896) in the Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg using traditional winemaking methods dating back to the 1900s and was fermented down to 12 g/l of residual sugar. This hay-colored wine offers a beautiful even if still rather reduced nose made of candied grapefruit, ginger, cinnamon, whipped cream, and fine herbs. It is nicely playful yet creamy on the intense palate and leaves a delicately smooth yet multi-layered feel of herbs, ripe fruits and minerals in the long and suave finish. A touch of zest and tartness rounds off the experience. This remarkable wine feels slightly more off dry than in other recent vintages. We would therefore opt to enjoy this after a couple of years of aging. 2026-2038.”
Our 2015 Huet Subscriber Sale
Ends Friday, April 3rd
Vouvray wines offer near-unmatched flexibility at the table, and Domaine Huet’s reputation guarantees long ageing potential. Made according to tradition and terroir, with utmost respect for nature, Huet wines can keep for over a century. This is one of France’s pioneers in biodynamic viticulture. Horses still plough between the rows. In the winery, the recipe remains relatively simple. Fermentation takes place half in stainless steel, half in old oak, without malo. After only six months, the wines are bottled and then laid to age in a cellar dug from tuffeau rock, no air conditioning required. From here the Huet work is done: the rest is up to nature, Vouvray, and what eventually tastes like divine intervention.
Who wouldn’t want to acquire some of that?
Head to our webstore to see all the 2015 Huet on sale now!
Arriving in May:
Paitin di Pasquero-Elia ‘Serraboella’, Barbaresco DOCG 2016 750ML ($47.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 92 points “The 2016 Barbaresco Serraboella is bright, perfumed and very nicely lifted, with an attractive interplay of floral aromatics and textural depth. Mint, pine, kirsch, dried flowers and sweet tobacco are some of the nuances that emerge. The 2016 is tightly wound and classically austere in style, so it needs time in bottle to unwind, but it has undoubtedly fine potential.”
The average price is $45
Antonio Galloni 93 points “The 2016 Barbaresco Sorì Paitin is powerful, but also quite reticent today. Dark cherry, menthol, licorice, sage and dried flowers are all found in a searing, intense Sorì Paitin that needs to be at its best. Tannic and austere, the 2016 appears to be going through a closed phase, and yet it has a feeling of verticality and gravitas that is impossible to miss.”
This is the lowest listed price on the West Coast!