Vinopolis Newsletter – June 22, 2016


Three Stalwarts of Tradition Arriving Fall 2016: Merkelbach, Nikolaihof and Gobelsburg; Tarlant Champagne; Molitor Riesling; Bergstrom – New Estate Release; New Reviews for Summer’s Staple: Rose; Wines Arriving This Week

Three Stalwarts of Tradition

The Terry Theise catalogues have dropped and we’re excitedly flipping the pages to find the best wines from this much-raved about vintage. Below are three stalwarts of tradition: the humbly divine Merkelbach, the iconic Nikolaihof and the ancient, great Gobelsburg. The wines are listed below and arrive in the fall.

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Terry Thiese (Riesling maven, marketeur & provocateur) has named Merkelbach co-winner of his Winery of the Year proclamation for this 2015 vintage.  Terry of course looks beyond Donnhoff & Schaefer in this awarding. The Merkelbach brothers, Alfred and Rolf, age 82 and 79 respectively, make classic Mosel wine from a mere five acres, without frills. In 2015, the Merkelbachs “slipped into some sort of apotheosis,” writes Theise. “[They] seem to have pared away even the pared-away-ness, so that what remains is a kind of divinity.” Yes, we are offering you bottled bliss.

Merkelbach Wines Arriving Fall 2016
Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Kabinett #4 2015 750ML ($24.95) $19 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Kabinett #4 2015 750ML ($249.95) $199 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“The numbers are the Fuder numbers, to distinguish multiple bottlings, though in this case there’s just one Kin-Ros-Kab. Yet it is known as Fuder number 4 because that’s how intimately these things are known. The wine is perfect; angular, salty, solid yet lissome, piquant and not very sweet, but large-scaled with an impact of slate that doesn’t yield an inch. Wonderful and pure.”

Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese #2 2015 750ML ($27.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Spatlese #2 2015 750ML ($279.95) $239 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“Aroma!! Though this is an Auslese in most years, this Spät is entirely euphoric on entry; a parfait of slate and fruit, and then the acidity sizzles along into the finish, in a galvanic salt-wracked spray of slatey fire-and-ice.”

Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese #1 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese #1 2015 750ML ($279.95) $239 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“I have to point out: this wine has been a core-list item for us, and we usually blend Fuders in order to give us (relatively speaking) “volume” under one s.k.u. But this year there are just three contributing lots, and they’re so distinct from one another that I’m shipping each separately, though all as core-list. This will be random, as it would be utter chaos for y’all to “pick” the Fuder you preferred.
I will note them separately. And this one is pure, pure licorice, classic kiwi and sassafrass; a look into the very bones and capillaries of Uerz-Würz, like an MRI of terroir. A completely amazing Mosel wonder of a very fundamental nature.”

Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese #6 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“A little bottle-sick but all elements in place, especially saltiness and minerality. Has some reduction to shed, but often these turn out to be the best wines, and this one’s potentially superb.”

Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese #7 2015 750ML ($29.95) $21.90 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“This is complete and entirely striking, for its purism and lack of (nor need for) makeup; it’s the opposite of spiffy, a genius but an autodidact, with savant-like expressiveness; force, dignity and length, it squares the circle and culminates the culture.”

Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese #10 2015 750ML ($31.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Case-12 Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Spatlese #10 2015 750ML ($299.95) $259 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“Runner-Up Wine of the Vintage … This is a stand-alone offering, not included under the core-list program. In part this is because it is very different from the others, now showing perfume and strawberries; almost brashly expressive to a hypnagogic degree; my dear—these are wines! The outer limit of the complexity of slate, its possibilities, you might say, its threads and eyelashes and the tiny etches in the skin.”

Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Kinheimer Rosenberg Riesling Auslese #5 2015 750ML ($31.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“The most masculine Auslese I think I’ve ever tasted. Power, saltiness, force, iron; the thing is almost domineering, absurd and amazing. You cannot miss it.”

Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese #9 Urglück 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“This is a single parcel under its cadaster name. One wonders how Mosel wine ever improves on this. Ore, ginger, quince, garrigue, with the para-slate force that feels almost druidic; it’s adamant, spicy, it’s Bach really, mystic. It’s a taser of slate.”

Weingut Alfred Merkelbach Urziger Wurzgarten Riesling Auslese #8 Lang Pichter 2015 750ML ($41.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“The greatest wine I’ve tasted from Rolf and Alfred. Incomprehensibly articulate, rich, taut and gorgeous; lysergically vivid and expressive; has more fruit than Urglück, kiwi-lime-strawberry-salt, leading to an ecstatically beautiful implosion of beauty and complexity. Just sit still, pour, inhale, taste and worship joyfully. Soon it will be gone.”

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The Saahs family has owned Nikolaihof since 1894. Before them, monks tended the vines and made the wine. The monks’ ancestors acquired the buildings and vineyards after the collapse of the Roman Empire. And before the Romans, the Celts were making wine here along the Danube. Nikolaihof is considered the oldest wine estate in Austria, and their Im Weingebirge was the first vineyard to carry a name. Riesling and Grüner Veltliner of the highest order have kept this estate on the fine wine map. One of the first biodynamic wineries in the world, Nikolaihof still ages the wines in Austrian oak, in a cellar that’s 700 years-old, and has begun re-using an 18th-century wooden press. If that’s not enough, Nikolaihof is Terry Theise’s Winery of the Year for 2016. The 2015s are immaculate.
Nikolaihof Wines Arriving Fall 2016
Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Zwickl Gruner Veltliner 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“Leave it to them! This is, in essence, an unfiltered “Hefeabzug,” and you get two wines in the same bottle if you want. How? It’s fallen bright in the top one-third, and if you pour carefully you will have a clear wine. You can then shake the rest of the bottle to mix the sediment and pour yourselves a cloudy glass of tasty atavism. They encourage this! The wine-on-top is oyster and delicate and birchy. The cloudy one is “darker,” more boxwood and cress. It’s fun! But the clear wine, in the ’14 vintage, is lovelier. However, the 2015 on its heels is doughier and richer and here the cloudy wine makes more sense. In any case, I offer you what is probably the world’s first interactive Grüner Veltliner.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof im Weingebirge Gruner Veltliner Federspiel 2015 750ML ($39.95) $29 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise
: “After the mineral attack of the Hefeabzug this wine is almost sedate. But this is deceptive. A sideways mineral length comes in midway through, and takes off its shoes. It’s there to stay. Its first fruit runs in the sorrel-lentil direction, delicate, refined….and then the stray but determined mineral. In some ways this gentle wonder is the essence of Nikolaihof.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Gutsriesling 2013 750ML ($44.95) $31.90 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“23 g/l of residual sugar, as it happened, and every wine here is as-it-happened. So Nikki declined to futz with it. The result tastes like something Florian Weingart would have made in the Wachau, all the mirabelle and herbs but with a different twangy terroir here. I don’t know what “use” you’ll make of it; I only know I like it.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Riesling vom Stein Federspiel 2015 750ML ($44.95) $31.90 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“No one in the world could make a wine as wee and little and yet as astoundingly beautiful as this one. Breezy and cool and clinging and endless; wet-straw flavors feel loessy but the balsam and physalis say primary rock. Affectionate and richly satisfying, Nikolaihof at their utter best when they’re not in their “antique” dialect. Beautiful in every way but the intense one. Purely sapid and companionable.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Riesling vom Stein Smaragd 2013 750ML ($74.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“Not surprising how gorgeous this is—’13 rules! The wine is all a swollen umami middle, and all a complex and sweet mélange of grains, leaves, rock dust and flowers. Haunting smoky length, like summer squash on the grill. It’s melted the explicit high-notes of ’13 into a murmur of butter and powdered ginger. Who in the world makes wine like this? Radiance seen through frosted glass. Someone says she loves you, and you can’t believe your ears.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Steinriesler Riesling 2004 750ML ($99.95) $71.90 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“What a strangely compelling visit this was, a real panoply of experiences. This has 11.5% alc; it’s “Vom Stein” but not labeled. It isn’t as nutty as the ’98 or ’99 were, and it’s not as spicy as the ’02; instead it is fervidly green, led by verbena, radish, grilled fennel; a curious note of quinine and pickled ginger and parsley root; it has 2004’s herbaciousness and angularity; it’s a salad in a glass.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof Vinothek Riesling 1997 750ML ($199.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 97 points
“Aged for 17 years in a domestic 3,500-liter cask before it was bottled in August 2014, the 1997 Riesling Vinothek is the best part of the regular 1997 Riesling Smaragd Im Weingebirge, which was bottled and marketed in late 1998. The aged Vinothek version offers a fascinatingly clear, bright, deep and multi-layered nose with iodine and ripe as well as intense white-fleshed fruit aromas. Full-bodied, full of finesse and elegant, this dry, transparent and mineral Riesling develops a great intensity, complexity and power on the palate, but never leaves its silky road of purity, finesse and transparency. There is a lot of Spiel and tension here, but the most exciting characteristic trait is the intense and very mineral, almost endless finish. How youthful this wine is! And its further aging potential is still terrific. The wine reminds me of certain sherries, white Riojas and Jura wines, although it is not less oxidative. But it spent a long time in cask and has the freshness, complexity and thrilling taste of those. It’s a great, unique and stimulating wine that was bottled with 12.8% of alcohol, 6 grams of residual sugar and 6.5 grams of acidity.”
David Schildknecht–Vinous 97 points “This successor to the almost supernaturally ethereal and haunting 1995 also has to live up to the reputation of a vintage-of-the-half-century. It manages, though! The bouquet is unearthly in its complex amalgam of bittersweetly floral (iris, gentian, buddleia), pungently nutty, subtly smoky (black tea) and elusively mineral (sea breeze, wet stone, faint fusel oil) components. Considering the secondary development signaled on the nose, a surprising intensity of pure white peach, apple and grapefruit emerges sumptuously on the silky palate. The buoyant finish, more tightly clinging and less ethereal than that of the 1995, represents a long, harmoniously undulating interaction of liquid floral perfume, diverse minerality and succulent fresh fruits. I tasted this shortly before its mid-2014 bottling (a rare exception to the Nikolaihof rule against unveiling wines from cask) and did not review that note before tasting seven months later. My first spontaneous word each time was “unearthly.” And happily, my impressions that followed demonstrated that this wine’s amazing personality, including its aromas and textural allure, had made it to bottle scarcely altered. The source vineyard here, incidentally, is the Im Weingebirge whereas the 1995 was from Vom Stein.”

Familie Saahs Nikolaihof im Weingebirge Riesling Baumpresse 2011 750ML ($129.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“It’s painfully spendy, but have you seen that massive press? Apart from which, truth is truth; the wine is superb. Grain and smoke and jasmine and turkey stock and fingerlings at their little sweet best. This wine is intense, though with all of 12.5% alc.”

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Schloss Gobelsburg

One of Austria’s oldest wine estates, dating back to 1171, Schloss Gobelsburg still produces some of the country’s finest wines. Historic vineyards surround the castle at Gobelsburg, while wines come of age in its 11th century cellars, in casks made from local lumber. The winemaking here remains minimalist in terms of technology, so the wines keep their Schloss Gobelsburg signature (conformity is for the masses). The Tradition series takes this respect for low-tech to its height by employing 19th century methods of winemaking. The end result at Schloss Gobelsburg is exalted Riesling and Grüner Veltliner, in the pure Austrian style. Regarding the 2015s, Terry Theise writes “If you look at a sustained level of excellence across a large range, with very high summits among them, it has to be Gobelsburg” for winery of the year.
Schloss Gobelsburg Wines Arriving Fall 2016
Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Gruner Veltliner 2015 750ML ($17.95) $14 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“In a vintage as good as 2015 every wine punches above its weight, and even this GV stands easily among the excellent domain wines I offer elsewhere. It’s real loessy, lentils and tapioca; complex but rich and stylish; herbal, boxwood and legume, beans and butter and dill and a satisfying richness of texture. Maybe the best vintage ever?”

Schloss Gobelsburg Langenlois Gruner Veltliner 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“I was wary. Yet another wine? Sure, I understand this is a “village” wine to lead in to the Crus coming up, and I appreciate how Michi didn’t want to jump from the negoç wine directly to Steinsetz. But whew, we got a lot of skus as it is…..The first sip demolished my concerns. It contains young-vines juice from the sites Redling, Thal, Lamm (!), Renner and Grub, which makes those wines even better. It shows superb focus in an herbal direction; hyssop and spearmint, leading into a spicy finish that leaves a tingle behind. Mid-palate is tense and vigorous, with “physio” sweetness.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Steinsetz Gruner Veltliner Reserve Erste OTW Lage 2015 750ML ($29.95) $24 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“There is also the matter of whether the price can be maintained for a single-vineyard wine that improves from year to year, and is now, no joke, about 50% better than it was up to 2010. And this wine? Wow, an entirely euphoric aroma leads into the most glorious vintage ever of this; more lush and “sweet” than usual though still with its lemon-balm, mint and radish and balsam; though it remains a cressy GV it’s a lot more spiffy these days, and along with the upcoming Renner it offers ridiculous value. For the time being….”

Schloss Gobelsburg Renner Gruner Veltliner Reserve Erste OTW Lage 2015 750ML ($47.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“When I tasted it I almost violently did not want to write a tasting note. It is a perfect vintage of this great, great Cru, and that’s all that needs to be said. The vineyard lies at the foot of the Gaisberg, on eroded gneiss with a lot of paragneiss, mica and amphibolite, all under a blanket of loess. Its wines are as good as the Lamm, which is a warmer site giving wines of greater amplitude and stature. Yet the quality of flavor and complexity of nuance are incomparable from Renner, and I had it next to the Lamm just to make sure I wasn’t being diddled by my subjective preference for minerality.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Lamm Gruner Veltliner Reserve Erste OTW Lage 2015 750ML ($64.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Schloss Gobelsburg Lamm Gruner Veltliner Reserve Erste OTW Lage 2015 1.5L ($139.95) $99 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise
: “Lamm as a rule is buckwheat-y, rusky, savory but not thick, like a vegetable-veal stock with barley, yet oddly also like lamb itself. (“Lamm” doesn’t mean lamb, but is rather a dialect word for “loam.”) It is a great wine though virtually without fruit per se. Its poise of gloss and power, intensity and outline, mass and transparency are emblems of the paradox without which no wine is truly great. The aroma is sublime here, and the wine will be clearly and definitely Great. The palate is salty and amazingly detailed for all its power—as usual. Look, if Lamm, Gobelsburg, 2015 haven’t already convinced you this is a must-purchase, then you haven’t been listening or I’m shitty at what I do.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Tradition Gruner Veltliner Reserve 2014 750ML ($54.95) $44 pre-arrival special
Schloss Gobelsburg Tradition Gruner Veltliner Reserve 2014 1.5L ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“The Renner GV, from which this wine is made, was the best GV I tasted from 2014, so I approached this wine with great hope. The aromas are fascinating and almost inscrutable. There’s the sweet mealiness from the vinification, but there seems also to be some botrytis—or its echo—that’s more pronounced than it was in the “normal” Renner last year. Especially on the palate. And yet the finish (always the truest truth of a wine) is intricate and searching and surprisingly peppery, verbena-like. The wine isn’t yet resolved, but the discussion among its aspects is itself compelling.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Gobelsburger Riesling 2015 750ML ($19.95) $16 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“A hello! aroma, linden and woodruff at first; a fine, snappy Riesling, grainy and sweetly taut; a pitted fruit nuance dances with shade-grown Sencha; this is lively energetic tasty Riesling.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Zobing Riesling 2015 750ML ($34.95) $26 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“Again, a village-wine as a bridge from the negoç wine to the Crus. There’s a spring-onion sweetness; intricate and sapid green and savory; exotic saltiness and a refined minty finale.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Gaisberg Riesling Reserve Erste OTW Lage 2015 750ML ($39.95) $33 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“Gaisberg to me is always a moonlight wine, and this one is cool, gauzy, sheer, ethereal and yet with a clearly visible dialogue (maybe even a dialectic) among minerals and blueberries; surpassingly refined and filigree, a Riesling-lover’s wine, yet for all its high frequencies it is not delicate.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Zobinger Heiligenstein Riesling Reserve Erste OTW Lage 2015 750ML ($65.95) $51.90 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“As always, smokier, saltier and with another kind of texture, less crystalline than raw-silken; this vintage seems to emphasize the top notes and mineral more than the Wicca-potion, yet the aroma is entirely erogenous, a feather-stroke of almost unbearable complexity; cicada-hiss, anise-hyssop and black cherry in an infinitely precise and limitless gesture of measured power.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Zobinger Heiligenstein Riesling Reserve Erste OTW Lage 2010 750ML ($79.95) $59 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 92 points
“Schloss Gobelsburg’s 2010 Riesling Heiligenstein presents a smokily aromatic as well as more incisive and phenolically gripping palate impression than that of the corresponding Gaisberg. At a place where intense spice; herbal pungency; and of what for want of words can only be called diverse “mineral” impingements all intersect, you have this wine’s vibratory, invigorating palate rub-down. A crunch of berry seeds and piquancy of apricot kernel add to the effect of this vinous sauna (minus the heat!) Hints of gooseberry point toward the coolness of the vintage, while lilac and elderflower perfume unmistakably point toward the face of this great site. Look for at least the better part of a decade of stimulation both mental and physical, and if at all possible have some Gaisberg on-hand for direct comparison.”
Terry Theise: “Michi wants to offer a couple wines with bottle-age, and this is a wonderfully curious way to begin. 2010, if you don’t remember, was a ripe, powerful vintage with markedly high acidity, and this wine is developing typically; the structure is dramatic and the fruit is already completely tertiary. It’s sturdy, with excellent length, and probably ready to drink. Paradoxically I am finding that extreme high-acid vintages actually should be drunk young, because wine does not really “age on its acidity.” Acidity ages on itself, which is to say it is frozen-in-place, and really doesn’t address the above-ground fruit at all.”

Schloss Gobelsburg Tradition Riesling Reserve 2014 750ML ($59.95) $44 pre-arrival special
Terry Theise:
“Made as always from Gaisberg old-vines, and in 2014 that wine had far more botrytis than I’m comfortable with. This wine has it also. It is highly atypical, so do not expect it to taste as it “usually” does, and if you’re averse to botrytis in dry Rieslings then you won’t be happy here.”

Pure Champagne

If you haven’t heard of Champagne Tarlant, maybe your ancestors had. Founded in 1687 and passed down from generation to generation ever since, Tarlant is a household name in Epernay. The family grows 35 acres (with four crus in their portfolio) of the usual-suspect Champagne varieties, plus such grapes as Arbanne and Petit Meslier. After the crush in a traditional-style, round wooden press, each vineyard plot is vinified separately, in oak or stainless steel, and then raised in barrel. The Tarlant family does the blending, and likes its Champagne dry, so the wines are mostly undosed. This is classically pure Champagne, of deep-rooted descent.

These Champagnes arriving next week: June 29th

Tarlant Zero Brut Nature Rose NV 750ML ($69.95) $48 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 92 points
“Tarlant’s NV Brut Nature Rosé is even better. All of the elements come together beautifully in the glass as this powerful, precise wine takes shape over time. The wine shimmers across the palate with layers of beautifully articulated, perfumed fruit, showing marvelous precision and balance. The Brut Nature Rosé is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Pinot Noir based on 2006 with the addition of reserve wines.” AG

Tarlant La Vigne d’Antan Blanc de Blancs  2002 750ML ($249.95) $219 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 96 points
“The 2002 La Vigne d’Antan is utterly breathtaking from the very first taste. A vivid, crystalline wine, the 2002 emerges with the essence of crushed rocks, salt and bright, citrus-infused fruit. Hints of white pepper and flowers add elements of exoticism in a striking, pure Champagne loaded with class. Readers who can find the 2002 should not hesitate as it is magnificent.”

Tarlant La Vigne Royale Blanc de Noirs 2003 750ML ($179.95) $149 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 94 points
“The 2003 La Vigne Royale, 100% Pinot Noir, is another fabulous Champagne from Tarlant. An explosive, deeply expressive Champagne, the Vigne Royale blossoms in all directions, showing superb purity and depth. Layers of fruit build to the

broad, expansive finish. Sweet, floral notes leave a lasting impression. Dosage is 1 gram per liter.”

Tarlant Zero Brut Nature NV 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Antonio Galloni 91 points
“The NV Brut Nature Ero is a fascinating wine. It shows plenty of richness, despite the non-dosage style. Pears, apple tart, pastry, hazelnuts and dried flowers are some of the many nuances that flow from this deep, textured Champagne. This is a fabulous showing. Now, with a full year of disgorgement, the wine is drinking absolutely beautifully. The Ero is equal parts Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay from vineyards in the Vallee della Marne.” AG

Molitor of Mosel
Riesling Without Compromise

Situated at the center of Wehlener Klosterberg, the Markus Molitor estate cultivates a total of 15 vineyard sites, highlighting the diversity and brilliance of the Mosel. Holdings include parcels some of the region’s highest-regarded vineyards – among them, Erdener Treppchen, Graacher Himmelreich, Bernkasteler Badstube, Zeltinger Sonnenuhr, and Wehlener Sonnenuhr.

Molitor took over the vineyard from his father in 1984 – at the ripe age of 20! Many of the vineyards are poised along extraordinarily steep slopes of 80% or greater inclines, necessitating work done carefully and manually. Vines and soils are worked organically, with dense leaf cover over the vines and relative few grapes per vine in order to maximize nutrient supply and extract yield.

Harvest is, perhaps, the most crucial step in the process. “Time is a decisive factor,” Molitor states. “Despite the increased risk, we harvest quite late. This gives the grapes time to ripen physiologically – the most important criterion to develop the optimum balance of the wines with increased extract values and animating acidity.”

Markus is a firm believer in spontaneous fermentations from natural yeasts, with elevage taking place in a three-storey cellar built out from the slate soils – the constantly cool climate and high humidities ensure a slow and steady fermentation. Upon completion, the wines rest for several months on the fine lees, imbuing character and the domaine’s signature fuller-bodied style.

We’re thrilled to offer a wide spread of wines from Molitor, available now for purchase and slated to arrive in August:

Weingut Markus Molitor Brauneberger Klostergarten Pinot Noir ** Trocken, Mosel 2011 750ML ($59.95) $49 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94 points
“Fine, beautifully fragrant, almost floral Pinot aromas emerge from the glass of the 2011 Brauneberger Klostergarten Pinot Noir **, quoting wild strawberries, redcurrant and caramel intertwined with subtle slate and most delicate, smoky flavors. Full-bodied, intense and powerful, but also elegant and balanced, this sweet and ripe Pinot has a remarkable finesse and freshness leading to a persistent finish of great delicacy and aging potential. This Pinot speaks with a French accent and should develop over the next 10-15 years.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $74

Weingut Markus Molitor Trarbacher Schlossberg Pinot Noir ** Trocken Unfiltriert, Mosel 2011 750ML ($69.95) $51.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 94+ points
“The 2011 Trarbacher Schlossberg Pinot Noir ** offers a deep, intense, pure, dark, smoky, slate-like bouquet of blackcurrant, dark cherries, chocolate, mocha and crushed rocks. The wine is powerful and quite ripped on the palate but also fresh, silky and very fine in its tannins and texture. The finish is powerful yet pure and almost salty and displays besides licorice aromas a great finesse and firmness. Is that the Gevrey-Chambertin from the Mosel? Let’s discuss that in ten years from now. The wine has surely a great aging potential.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $78

Weingut Markus Molitor Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Auslese *** Goldkapsel, Mosel 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 98 points
“Stunningly clear and pure on the citric-perfumed nose, the sweet 2013 Bernkasteler Lay Riesling Auslese *** is characterized by its laser-like precision and elegance, which is perfectly paired with its vibrant acidity and piquant minerality that lingers and makes this Auslese a memorable one.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Markus Molitor Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese ** Goldkapsel, Mosel 2013 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Even purer and perhaps more sophisticated than the Bockstein is the sweet 2013 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese ** with its cool, slate purity and springlike citrus and blossom aromas, which are delivered as lime chutney on the nose. This again is a kind of pure Armani perfume and the cool character of a true gentleman who turns out to be a notorious rake, elegant and balanced as it is. The texture is nobly concentrated and juicy, and there is no single botrytis berry in this stunning wine. Drink it now, but drink it slowly, or store it for a decade or two.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Markus Molitor Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Auslese *** Goldkapsel, Mosel 2013 750ML ($99.95) $79 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 98+ points
“More tropical fruit aromas such as juicy pineapples and macerated ginger dominate the nose of the richer yet still pure and subtle 2013 Graacher Himmelreich Auslese ***. Quite sweet, intense and densely textured on the palate, this wine neither lacks elegance nor piquancy nor balance. It is just more generous, sweeter and lush than the Würzgarten ***-Auslese, but at the same time its is absolutely delicate and full of finesse.”

We never get tired of saying it, but yes:
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Markus Molitor Kinheimer Hubertuslay Riesling Auslese *** GK 2013 375ML ($59.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Weingut Markus Molitor Kinheimer Hubertuslay Riesling Auslese *** GK 2013 750ML ($89.95) $69 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 97 points
“The 2013 Kinheimer Hubertuslay Auslese *** needs a little but of time to open up and show its finest, intense raisin aromas indicating grapefruit/lemon and pineapples on a piquant background. Rich, oily textured and extremely elegant on the palate, the wine offers a lavish tropical juiciness quoting pineapples, but is stunningly pure and piquant. The finish is beautifully balanced and highly elegant. This is perfectly made.”

The rally continues… this is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Markus Molitor Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Auslese ** GK 2013 750ML ($59.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 97 points
“The sweet 2013 Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Auslese ** is somewhat remote in its cool and aristocratic smokiness, which delivers a fragrant perfume of lemons, limes and crushed stones to the nose. Quite juicy, yet subtle and elegant on the palate, this is a highly concentrated, minerally piquant and persistently salty Auslese with a stunning delicacy in the aftertaste. The wine is very firm and piquant, but its concentration and vibrancy will take it through decades.”

Yup. This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

Weingut Markus Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese ** 2013 750ML ($49.95) $39 pre-arrival special
Wine Advocate 96 points
“Compared to the dry Sonnenuhr Spätlese, the dry 2013 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Auslese ** is significantly more refined and detailed in its subtle, slightly fumy mineral flavors on the nose, but as clear and healthy in its citrus aromatic, which is completed by delicate pineapple flavors. The wine is absolutely elegant and delicate on the palate and the concentration has nothing to do with power or richness here, but with purity, finesse, complexity and length. The mineral or slate taste is remarkably fine and densely woven which gives this Auslese a great elegance and the finish of a world-class Riesling. The finish is not only very persistent but also aromatic, piquant and salty plus full of needles. This is a great wine made for decades and there is perhaps just one competitor in the Mosel and that’s Markus’ own 2013 Auslese ***. “

One last time with feeling… This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The next best price is $74.94 (!!!)

Just a reminder about our current shipping specials during this season:

For the summer season we are offering UPS Three Day Select Service for the price of UPS Ground for shipments normally traveling 4 or more business days.
Free service upgrade only applies on single orders purchased and shipped during the promotional period.  Additional fees will apply to orders held for any reason until after the promotional period and shipped by Three Day Select.  Offer not valid on pre-arrival items that arrive after the promotional period.

We offer flat rate shipping on any size single order / single shipment

-to Oregon for $17,
Washington & Idaho for $20,
-and California for $25

These rates do not apply to orders held in storage here for any reason.
Multiple orders consolidated into one shipment
do not qualify for flat rate shipping.

New Estate Release
Founded by Dr. John and Karen Bergström, production at Bergström Wines began in 1999 when their son Josh returned home from viticulture and enology studies in Burgundy. Josh has worn the caps of general manager, head winemaker, and vineyard manager ever since. Bergström owns 84 acres of vineyards in the Willamette Valley, across four of the region’s AVA’s, comprising five estate vineyards in total. Organic since the start, the winegrowing is now biodynamic. Bergström also releases wines made from select independent vineyards. In total, the winery produces ten Pinot Noir and two Chardonnay cuvées, 10,000 cases per vintage. The amount of new oak varies from zero to 100 percent, and, while enjoyable young, cellaring is beneficial. Wines of structure and density, with grippy tannins, Bergström consistently receives high notes by revues like Wine Spectator and by professionals such as Stephen Tanzer. As stated on their website, “The Bergström Family believes world-class Oregon wines from the Willamette Valley’s preeminent hillside vineyards can be achieved only through nonindustrial, artisanal winemaking.” For this reason, Bergström wines are already an Oregon classic.
Bergstrom Arriving July 1st
Bergstrom Wines ‘Bergstrom Vineyard’ Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills 2014 750ML ($99.95) $89 pre-arrival special
Winery note
“John and Karen Bergström planted Bergström Vineyard in the spring of 1999. Situated on a south-facing slope overlooking the northern Willamette Valley, this 13-acre vineyard is rooted in the ferrous, red clays of the Dundee Hills, a sprawling volcanic island of rock where hazelnuts, black walnuts and cane berries have thrived for more than a century. Ideally situated, the vines at Bergström Vineyard are bathed in the warm sunlight of the Oregon summer by day and cooled by the marine breezes of the Pacific Ocean by night, leading to freshness, vibrancy and structure in the final wines. Because the vine roots stretch deep into the volcanic basalt below the surface of the hillside, wines from this vineyard also embody true minerality. The site expresses purity, as well. No invasive chemicals have been used at Bergström Vineyard in more than 12 years, and we are proud to be biodynamic. Six Pinot Noir clones (Pommard, Wädenswil and Dijon clones 114, 115, 667 and 777) call Bergström Vineyard home. Characteristically, Bergström Vineyard Pinot Noirs are rich and decadent but known for their elegance with great red fruit flavors and aromas as well as lovely floral perfume and distinct minerality.”
This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!

New Reviews for Summer’s Staple: Rose

Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($34.95) $28 special
Josh Raynolds—Vinous 92 points
“Vivid orange-pink. Displays vibrant, sharply focused scents of fresh red berries, blood orange and pungent flowers, joined in the glass by a mineral nuance. Silky and dry in the mouth, offering energetic strawberry and orange zest flavors that flesh out slowly with air. Shows excellent clarity and stony cut on the finish and leaves suggestions of berry skin and honeysuckle behind.”

Domaine Saint Damien Gigondas Rose, Rhone 2015 750ML ($27.95) $24 special
Josh Raynolds—Vinous 91 points
“Brilliant orange-pink. Fresh red berries, orange zest, pungent flowers and white pepper on the intensely perfumed nose. Juicy and mineral-driven on the palate, offering sappy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and a touch of blood orange. Shows excellent focus and vivacity on the long, mineral-laced finish, which leaves a juicy red berry note behind.”

This is the lowest listed price in the USA today!
The average price is $28
Le Galantin Bandol Rose, Provence 2015 750ML ($21.95) $18 re-arrival special (returning Friday, June 24th)
Josh Raynolds–Vinous 90 points
“Extremely pale orange-pink. Assertive aromas of orange pith, red berries, jasmine and garrigue show very good clarity and a dusty mineral element. Juicy and sharply focused, offering energetic strawberry and tangerine flavors that spread out nicely with air. Silky and dry on the incisive, very persistent finish, which strongly repeats the floral and mineral notes. I find this wine quite graceful and accessible as young pink Bandols go.”

Wines Arriving This Week & Next

…from Cayuse Vineyards

Cayuse Vineyards Camaspelo, Walla Walla Valley 2011 750ML ($149.95) $119 pre-arrival special, ETA June 24th
Wine Advocate 95 points
“More Cabernet Sauvignon dominated, the 2011 Camaspelo incorporates 20% Merlot and was aged in 50-60% new French oak. One of the few 2011s that has some upside, it offers up a smoke-laced array of black currants, singed herbs, graphite and hints of spring flowers to go with a medium to full-bodied, elegant and seamless character on the palate. Inky purple in color, with fine tannin and a big finish, it’s a smoking Cabernet that will evolve nicely for 15 to 20 years.”

Cayuse Vineyards ‘Widowmaker’ En Chamberlin Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley 2008 750ML ($219.95) $189 pre-arrival special, ETA June 24th
Wine Enthusiast 96 points
“Superb sculpture and definition in this compact and lightly funky evocation of pure Cabernet Sauvignon. The deep, dense, super ripe berry flavors are framed within a bouquet of dried herbs, pepper, mineral, astringent tannins, and a crisp mix of earth, wood and plant flavors. Superb length and ageability.”
Wine Advocate 94 points “The Cayuse En Chamberlain 2008 Widowmaker is an essence of cassis laced with sloe berry as well as floral distillates that would seem remarkable for any wine from Cabernet Sauvignon, let alone when subjected – as was the bottle in question this March – to side-by-side comparison with Baron’s Bionic Frog of the same vintage. There is a remarkable creaminess of texture and sheer melted fondue of tannins here that I wouldn’t have believed possible. Is this seductive Cabernet Sauvignon as complex as the greatest examples of its variety? Hardly, I think. But it finishes with extraordinary length and there are stony and bittersweet herbal nuances as well as a hint of chocolate to parallel its persistent florality and intensely luscious fruit. Look for at least a decade of delight.”

Cayuse Vineyards ‘Widowmaker’ En Chamberlin Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley 2011 750ML ($199.95) $169 pre-arrival special, ETA June 24th
Wine Enthusiast 97 points
“Cellar Selection. This glorious, evocative wine calls up a rich and sensuous catalog of scents and flavors. Black truffle, sea salt, clean earth, fungus, strawberry, liquid rocks, umami, tar…? the words pour out with each sniff and swallow. It’s detailed, substantial and refined, gathering itself for a long, generous, captivating finish. Drink now through 2030.”
Wine Advocate 95+ points “The 2011 The Widowmaker is a beauty. One of the top Cabernet Sauvignons in the vintage, it offers up classic red and black currant fruit, earth, smoked meats and spice to go with a medium to full-bodied, elegant, seamless texture on the palate that carries masses of beautifully polished tannin. Aged 18 months in 50-60% new French oak, it’s a relatively forward vintage for this cuvee (which is the norm for the vintage) that can be enjoyed anytime over the coming 15 years or more.”

Cayuse Vineyards Wallah Wallah Special #4 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley 2012 1.5L ($319.95) $289 pre-arrival special, ETA June 24th
Wine Advocate 96+ points
“Made by Christophe as a tribute to Cote Rotie and coming from a blend of estate vineyards, the 2012 Syrah Wallah Wallah #4 Special spent 22 months in older puncheons and neutral smaller barrels before being bottled only in Magnum, of which there’s only 2,500 to go around. Hitting 13.6% natural alcohol, its deep ruby, semi-opaque color is followed by fabulous notes of rose petals, incense, violets, leather and sweet raspberry. These flow seamlessly to a full-bodied, supple and elegant Syrah that has no hard edges, integrated acidity and thrilling purity of fruit. Showing more and more tannin with time in the glass, it needs to be forgotten for 4-5 years and will have an easy two decades or more of longevity.”

…from a classic Roussillon producer
Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 2013 750ML ($49.95) $41.90 pre-arrival special, ETA June 24th
Case-12 Domaine de L’Edre Cotes du Roussillon Villages 750ML ($549.95) $449 pre-arrival special (that’s only $37.42/bottle!), ETA June 24th
Wine Advocate 95 points
“One of the wines of the vintage is the 2013 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Domaine de l’Edre. While this cuvee had a rustic edge in the past, today it’s incredibly polished and pure, with brilliant aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, licorice, crushed flowers and chalky minerality. Medium to full-bodied, ripe, yet elegant and balanced, it’s a classic Roussillon that can be enjoyed today or cellared for a decade.”
…from the modern renaissance makers of Tinto Pesquera

Condado de Haza, Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($26.95) $18 pre-arrival special, ETA June 30th
Case-12 Condado de Haza Crianza, Ribera del Duero 2012 750ML ($299.95) $199 pre-arrival special, ETA June 30th
Wine Spectator 93 points
“This rich red shows a deep core of plum, bramble and mineral, with notes of loam and game that impart a savory character. Solid tannins support a thick texture, while balsamic acidity keeps this balanced. Austere but harmonious. Drink now through 2024.”