Weekend Vinopolpick- April 12

April 12, 2014
Riesling: Dry, Not Shaken, Not Stirred
Vineyards along the Danube River

While a sweeter Riesling can be an ethereal joy from the right producer, dry Riesling is a pleasure for every day, crisp and clean with loads of fruit flavors. The best dry Rieslings exude charming fruitiness and flavor when young, and develop into grand and complex wines through ageing.

Riesling is a variety that has great prominence and importance in the wine-growing regions along the Danube River. Dry Riesling in particular is a specialty of Austria, the wines cherished for their powerful acidity and minerality. Riesling vines make up a mere 4% of Austria’s vineyards, yet the wines are some of Austria’s greatest whites and enjoy a phenomenal reputation. Though there is only a small amount made every vintage, these wines are sought after worldwide for their unique characters.

Austria has a warmer climate than the two comparable Riesling regions, Germany and Alsace. Sunny during the day and cool and windy at night, the Riesling grapes have a chance to go the full vegetative cycle and develop a higher ripeness that German Rieslings will typically not reach due to the cooler northern climate.

Terraced vines give grapes maximum sun exposure to help ripen

Austrian Riesling is exceptionally vineyard- specific for such a small winemaking area. Each vineyard has its own microclimate, depending of its incline, exposure to the sun, and soil terrain. Found principally in the Danube vineyard regions such as the Wachau, Riesling benefits from the primeval stone that has built up over thousands of years. To get to the water vines will often have to dig their roots as far as 60 feet through weathered, primal crystalline stone, picking up mineral elements as they quench their thirst. The result is a vineyard expression that is hard to beat, wines that have translucent character, stone fruit flavors and tight minerality.

Noted as being high-acid and dry, Austrian Riesling is powerful, but still quite light. In its youth, it is known for its stone fruit character, floral notes, and minerality. Generally thick bodied, coating the palate and producing a strong clarity of flavor coupled with a mouthwatering aroma, particular trademark of Austrian Riesling is a long finish that includes hints of white pepper. With their robust acidity, all Austrian Rieslings can age, taking on heavier floral scents and, at times, petrol.
Austrian Rieslings typically follow the style classification of German wines, designating by ripeness of the grape and must weight at harvest, with the exception of the Wachau. One of Austria’s most sought after wine regions, producers in the Wachau have gone through several measures in the past 50 years to ensure the quality of the wines made in this region, including creating an organization of respected producers (Vinea Wachau) and an exclusive classification system. For Wachau wines, there are three basic levels relating to sweetness: Steinfeder, the lightest wines. Federspiel, made from riper grapes and a higher alcohol percentage. Smaragd, the ripest, most alcoholic wines, denotes the highest quality level of Wachau wines. Wines especially from the terroirs of the Wachau and its neighbors reflect minerality reminiscent of slate or flint. Throughout these areas you can expect to find powerful and age-worthy examples of Riesling that are crafted for aging. FX Pichler and Nikolaihof are two world renowned producers of the Wachau, known for the quality wines they produce year after year.

FX Pichler
One of Austria’s most sought after producers, and definitely one of the hardest to find, the name FX Pichler is considered by many to be synonymous with great Austrian wine. The winery, located in Dürnstein, overlooking the famous Kellerberg, Schütt and Loibenberg wine terraces, is a work of modern art itself, and so are the wines made and stored within the premises. The winery of F. X. Pichler has been in the hands of the Pichler family for five generations, with Lucas Pichler responsible for the vinification since 1999, while his farther F.X. continues to meticulously care for the vines. Their philosophy is to produce world class wines, crafting wines that reflect the year, the soil and the special microclimate of the Wachau. The subtle nuances of each single vineyard are to be experienced and tasted in their truly monumental dry white wines – each with a mouth-filling presence, finish and complexity that will leave no question as to why these wines are searched out every year by Riesling fans.

A centuries old winery that has been passed down through the Saah family since the late 1800’s, Nikolaihof specializes in traditional, bone dry Rieslings from their old vine plantings. Their winemaking philosophy is focused around a belief in organic and sustainable growing methods, great care and attention in the vineyards, and little intervention in the cellar. Nikolaihof has been practicing Bio-dynamics since 1971, making them one of the longest Bio-dynamic practicing wineries in the world, if not the first. Natural fermentations are the rule, in Austrian oak vessels, deep in the cold, 700-year-old cellar. Long lees contact and aging are the norm, with some wines aging as long as 15 years before being bottled. The wines are intense in their youth and well worth the wait for the flavors that unfold after aging, stony intensity married with a rich body. Nikolaihof also releases small amounts of old, bottle-aged library wines (Vinothek), as well as recently bottled Rieslings that have aged in old casks for several years (Steinrieslers).


Stock List – Austrian Riesling – All Here Now

FX Pichler Riesling Loibner Loibenberg 2011 375ml ($49.95) $33 special 5 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “Intense and pure, featuring an aroma of white pepper and a minerally cast to the flavors of red peach, accented by anise and dried basil. Quince and lemon peel hints enliven the crisp finish. Drink now through 2020.”

FX Pichler Riesling Loibner Burgstall 2012 ($39.95) $33 special 24 bottles available
FX Pichler Riesling Oberhauser Smaragd 2012 ($49.95) $39 
special  18 bottles available
FX Pichler Riesling Loibner Loibenberg 2012 ($69.95) $59 
special 14 bottles available
FX Pichler Riesling Loibner Steinertal 2012 ($69.95) $59 
special 18 bottles available
FX Pichler Riesling Durn Kellerberg 2012 ($109.95) $89 
special 14 bottles available
FX Pichler Riesling Kellerberg 2011 ($119.95) $99 
special 1 bottle available

Gobelsburg Riesling Gobelsburger 2012 ($19.95) $16 special 26 bottles available
Terry Theise
: “Sleek and discreet; radishes and aloe-vera, less effusive than the GV, more introspective. Still, it’s focused and silky and herbal.”

Gobelsburg Riesling Heiligenstein 2010 375ml ($39.95) $21.90 special  2 bottles available
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.”

Gobelsburg Riesling Gaisberg 2012 ($34.95) $29 special 21 bottles available
Terry Theise notes
: “The perfection of the cool, a moony minimalist wine, like a Miles Davis solo, or the waltz of the little dancer in the music box, or a full white moon over a black field of icy jewels.”

Gobelsburg Riesling Heiligenstein 2012 ($59.95) $49 special 9 bottles available
Terry Theise notes: 
“Trades a little of Gaisberg’s outline and scores lovely exotic notes in return; spices, orchid-oolong and peony; not the gravitas of mineral of Gaisberg but more a semifreddo of middle-eastern spice and osmanthus.”

Hirtzberger Riesling Hochrain Smaragd 2011 ($69.95) $59 special 2 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points 
“A racy style, with well-defined flavors of ripe apple and pear, this crisp white delivers a citric snap, accompanied by rich notes of vanilla cream and spice, with a custardy finish. Drink now through 2018.”

Hirtzberger Riesling Singerriedel Smaragd 2011 ($119.95) $99 special 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 94 points
 “Sublime aromas of white peach, ripe apricot, lime zest and mandarin orange. Powerful, concentrated stone fruit and firm mineral structure are enlivened by brilliantly playful acidity, which together weave the exquisite texture. Wonderfully precise and light on its feet in spite of its depth, this is a rich riesling with enormous potential.”

Nikolaihof Riesling Vom Stein Federspiel 2012 ($37.95) $31.90 special 8 bottles available
Terry Theise notes:
 ” Adorable aromas of quince and currant leaf lead into a lively spicy fennel-y palate. The direct attack is really, ah, striking. Though they didn’t design it, of course. It’s like tatsoi leaves you eat from the bag.”

Nikolaihof Riesling Vom Stein Jungfernlese 2006 ($59.95) $49 special 21 bottles available
Terry Theise notes:
 “It means the virgin-vintage, the first crop from young vines. And it’s what the Germans would call Feinherb, and it’s what any sane person would call irresistible! A potion of iris and lavender, spicy and penetrating; very long, seductively earthy, like a really profound Nahe Spätlese, almost the 5-spice and wildflower of Dönnhoff’s Felsenberg.”

Nikoliahof Riesling Vom Stein Smaragd 2010 ($64.95) $55 special  6 bottles available
Terry Theise notes:
 “Almost rugged and gnarly- that’s ’10 baby. Flowering fields aroma doesn’t specifically signal “Riesling,” but the stretchy sinewy palate scratches that very itch; it’s the sting of mint without the mint of mint.”

Nikolaihof Riesling Vom Stein Smaragd 2009 ($69.95) $59 special 12 bottles available
Wine Spectator 91 points
 “Features a honeyed, floral aroma, with rich, decadent flavors of baked apple, licorice, dried pineapple and slate. Dried basil and mango notes linger on the complex and powerful finish. Drink now through 2018. 38 cases imported. ”

Nikolaihof Riesling Steiner Hund Reserve 2008 ($79.95) $66 special 13 bottles available
Wine Spectator 90 points 
“Creamy and juicy, this delivers an enticing floral aroma, with powerful, well-structured flavors of ripe cherry, baked apple and dried pear. The long finish resonates with rich and refined accents of vibrant mineral and spice. Drink now through 2018. 28 cases imported”

Nikolaihof Riesling Steinriesler 1998 ($84.95) $69 special 7 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “Rich bouquet of brioche, acacia blossom, pine resin, sweet hawthorn and lime zest. On the palate, this riesling’s subtler elements are drowned in its supple, yeasty character, but its caramel fruit sweetness is leavened by understated acidity. Finishes long, with flavors of wet stone, anise and baked apple. Very unusual, but in its own way astonishing.”

Nikolaihof Riesling Weingebirge Jungfernlese 1999 ($109.95) $89 special  2 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
 “This is a Jungfernwein: the first (“virgin”) crop from a young vineyard which, as often happens in such cases, produced a minuscule crop of tiny, shriveled berries and a wine whose fermentation pooped leaving behind considerable residual sugar-in this instance 27 grams. Thus it is anything but classic Wachau, but it will come as no surprise to learn that Nikolaus Saahs was not about to intervene with the wine as nature had left it. Scents of almond, iris, clover and fennel. Airy, almost light in the mouth, with the sweetness deftly checked by an improbable combination of high extract and botrytis. The structure is really quite delicate but I suspect this riesling will age magnificently.”

Nikolaihof Riesling Vom Stein Smaragd 2010 1.5 LITER ($139.95) $119 special 4 bottles available
Terry Theise notes
: “Almost rugged and gnarly-that’s ’10 baby. Flowering fields aroma doesn’t specifically signal “Riesling,” but the stretchy sinewy palate scratches that very itch; it’s the sting of mint without the mint of mint.”

Nikolaihof Riesling Vinothek Wachau 1995 ($179.95) $149 special 24+ bottles available
Terry Theise
 “This tender wine has been alone so long, it’s almost forgotten how to speak in language — so it sings. All it does is sing. You want to speak of its noble oxidation but you get caught in the sultry web of its amazingfloweriness and pure vetiver. It actually, after all these years in cask, needs oxygen. Your sensual-analytical skills don’t help you here. Put them away. Quiet down, all the way down. You can enter the house, they’ve left the door unlocked. But once inside, the rooms are dim. You find your way by an instinct you didn’t know you had. You listen as you never did before. And you are given back to yourself, a strange new person, swimming in beauty and as supple as a child, pensive and amazed.”



Dry Riesling: Austria is not alone
Germany’s topography is very similar to Austria, with a much colder climate

Germany, the ancestral homeland of Riesling, and Alsace, the only appellation in France that grows Riesling, both produce many fine, age worthy Rieslings in a variety of sweetnesses, as well as delightfully dry styles. German label designations for dry styles can vary widely depending on where it is produced; key words to look for are Trocken, Halbtrocken, Feinherb, and Grosses Gewaches. German Riesling, in comparison to Austrian, will typically be lighter in body with a more subtle minerality and a sharper fruit focus. Alsace Riesling tends to be more rich and aromatic than its German and Austrian counterparts, with a heavier body. Like Germany, many Alsace Rieslings are made in a richer, sweeter style, but a small group of Alsace producers specialize in dry Rieslings. The champion of bone dry Alsace Riesling is Trimbach, including their single vineyard Riesling, Clos Ste Hune, considered to be one of the world’s greatest white wines.

Alsatian Riesling lies on much gentler slopes
Stock List – German Dry Riesling – Available Now

Donnhoff Trocken Estate Riesling 2012 ($23.95) $18 special, 3+ cases available
Egon Muller Riesling Scharzhof 2011 ($24.95) $17.70 special, 35 bottles available
Muller-Catoir Haardt Scheurebe 2011 ($37.95) $27 special, 11 bottles available

Julian Haart Piesporter Goldtropfchen 2012 ($69.95) $49 special, 10 bottles available
Julian Haart Piesporter Riesling 2012 ($39.95) $29 special, 24 bottles available
Julian Haart Wintricher Riesling 2012 ($59.95) $37 special, 24 bottles available
Julian Haart Wintricher Ohligsberg Riesling 2012 1.5L ($149.95) $99 special, 2 magnums available

Adam Goldtropfchen Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($99.95) $69 special, 12 bottles available
Terry Theise:
 “Sterner stuff than the village wine; pointed intense aromas of blueberries and white iris and candied lemon. The palate is off the hinges! Entirely harmonious, rampantly exotic and rich, it’s like a Pfalz GG with more grace and less earthiness. Pink peppercorn and powder-puff, ginger and mustard-seed; stern slate on the finish after this thrill-ride of improbable elements for Riesling. The empty glass even smells a little like Savignin.”

Adam Hofberg Grosses Gewachs 2010 ($84.95) $66 special 1 bottle available
Stephen Tanzer
 “Lively aromas of apricot, lemon oil and mint. Bright peach pit flavor with bracing acidity animates the palate. Finishes crisp, clean and persistent.”

Adam Hofberg Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($79.95) $49 special 11 bottles available
Terry Theise:
 “A lot of color and a commandingly serious walnut and slate fragrance; the palate is proud, monumental and almost solemn, Riesling as Serious Business, Riesling in its fundamental mineral being. Picked “only” at 94º for elegance and drinkability (bless him!), the wine has inscrutable depth; a Doctoral thesis of slate.”

Clemens Busch Marienburg Fahrlay Grosses Gewachs 2011 ($69.95) $59 special, 9 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Rich aromas of white peach, quince, and nutmeg. Succulent apricot fruit is complicated by tantalizing slate and lifted by invigorating acidity. Full-bodied, deep, and very long.”

Clemens Busch Marienburg Falkenlay Grosses Gewachs 2011 ($59.95) $49 special 11 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Mellow aromas of apricot, nut oil, and mint. A bright peach flavor is animated by understated acidity on the palate. Rich but crisp Riesling with a long, clean finish.”

Clemens Busch Marienburg Rothenpfad Grosses Gewachs 2011 ($59.95) $49 special 12 bottles available
Falstaff Magazine [translated]
 “Golden yellow color. Very intense and highly mature, almost cooked fruit; very fine slate spice. Elegant palate: creamy, balanced, with long-lasting minerality, developed a tremendous fruit intensity and remained so to speak light, fine, and all opulence.”

Schlossgut Diel Dorscheimer Burgberg Grosses Gewachs Nahe 2012 ($79.95) $69 special 7 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“($81) Tropical fruit, persimmon and lemon oil on the nose, with a floral twist. Intense, full-bodied papaya fruit is highlighted by flinty minerality. Rich and concentrated on the finish. A bit youthfully closed today, but with excellent potential.”

Schlossgut Diel Dorscheimer Goldloch Grosses Gewachs Nahe 2012 ($74.95) $59 special, 9 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “($75) Bright aromas of white peach, acacia blossom and pine nuts. Crisp pear fruit paired with subtle saltiness gives the palate a vibrant character. Pure and clean, with a delicate spicy character lingering on the finish.”

Schlossgut Diel Dorscheimer Pittermannchen Grosses Gewachs Nahe 2012 ($69.95) $49 special 10 bottles available
Importer notes
 “Armin fusses at me that I visit too early for these “serious” wines to be properly appraised. This year he was part-right: Pittermännchen was really mean and phenolic and opaque, but Burgberg while cerebral, was ultra-violet and digital, micro-pixilated, a very dry Riesling of scruple and stature. Though it was just one of three compoenents of the final wine. Goldloch has the most fruit and its few grams of RS are helpful; there’s still a serious interplay of smooth stone and dried apricot, and it will be the grandest of the three.”

Donnhoff Dellchen Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($79.95) $49 special 36 bottles available
Terry Theise
: “I can’t give you a note here, because the wine was fiercely closed-in. Historically a late developer, it’s also historically a splendid Riesling, so I’ll defer the specifics.”

Donnhoff Felsenberg Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($69.95) $49 special 28 bottles available
Terry Theise
: “A big, smoky and determinedly important wine; still very early days, but this made me think of a Grand Cru Alsace with the fat removed and the mineral intact. But this isn’t just mineral; it’s a swollen dialogue of stones and smoke and exotic flowers. By the way, taste this for an exegesis of porphyry flavor.”

Donnhoff Grosses Gewachs 6-Pack 2012 ($499.95) $299 special 6 boxes available
2 bottles each of the 3 Grosses Gewachs bottlings from 2012: Dellchen, Felsenberg and Hermannshohle

Donnhoff Hermannshohle Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($89.95) $41.90 special 27 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “($73) Sumptuous aromas of dried apricot, blackberry and oyster shell, complicated by a smoky, herbal character. Dense passion fruit and finely polished minerality animate the palate. Rich, elegant and spicy on the persistent finish, this will certainly improve with bottle age.”

Donnhoff Roxheimer Hollenpfad Riesling Trocken 2012 ($34.95) $29 special 22 bottles available
Terry Theise:
 “This is a mostly steep site on sandy loam; call it a Cru but Dönnhoffs aren’t rushing to include it among the GGs. It seemed again to be on the austere side but so assertive in its terroir it blasts through with sheer flavor, an advancing brigade of tangy sandstone and lemon-eucalyptus.”

Donnhoff Tonschiefer Riesling Trocken 2011 ($27.95) $22 special 23 bottles available
Wine Advocate 88 points
 “Significantly clearer and more persistent than this year’s corresponding-basic-dry estate Riesling, the Donnhoff 2011 Riesling trocken Tonschiefer–originating as usual in the Oberhauser Leistenberg–delivers nut, lime peel, juniper and huckleberry piquancy against a background of wet stone, its firm feel and uncompromising dryness lending a certain austerity to a formidably tenacious finish. I would anticipate this being best employed over the next 2-3 years.”

Donnhoff Trocken Estate Riesling 2011 ($22.95) $15.50 special 30 bottles available
Jancis Robinson
 “Very reserved on the nose. The palate reveals some fresh green fruit on a surprisingly rich texture. Very dry and with the faintest of smoky notions it’s quite a serious trocken entry wine.”

Karthauserhof Spatlese Trocken Old Vines 2012 ($39.95) $29 special 23 bottles available
Karthauserhof Spatlese Edition Tyrell 2012 ($49.95) $33 special 12 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 89 points
 “Enticing aromas of apricot pit and lemon blossom with a hint of oyster shell. Lively and refreshing but nonetheless dense, with crisp peachy fruit and vibrant acidity on the finish. For the region this is a very well-made dry wine.”

Keller Riesling Trocken 2012 ($21.95) $17 special 3+ cases available
John Gilman 90 points
 “The 2012 Keller Riesling Trocken is a superb follow-up to the lovely 2011er, with perhaps even a touch greater precision and complexity. The deep and very classy nose offers up scents of tart orange, pink grapefruit, petrol, a complex base of limestone minerality and a topnote of orange zest. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish, pure and dancing, with a great core, excellent focus and grip and a very long, complex finish. This is just a stunning value! 2014-2030+.”

Leitz Rudesheimer Roseneck Riesling Katerloch 2012 ($39.95) $33 special 15 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “($42) Discreet aromas of white peach, sage and smoked almond. Glossy, dense apricot pit fruit with sweet herbal inflections animate the palate. The sheer depth and spicy juiciness of this wine ensure an impressively long finish. Has poise and potential.”

Leitz Rudesheimer Rottland Riesling 2012 ($49.95) $39 special 15 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “($48) Rich herbal aromas of dried apricot, toasted hazelnut and bacon fat. Highly concentrated, unctuous yellow fruit flavors communicate an ideal balance of flesh and juiciness as well as noteworthy depth. Finishes with impeccable balance and formidable length.”

Leitz Rudesheimer Schlossberg Riesling 2011 ($59.95) $49 special 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points
 “Vibrant aromas of peach pit, almond and clove. The ripe, crisp apricot fruit is well integrated into the wine’s salty, mineral frame. The savory finish brings nut oils and a sophisticated finesse into play. Still needs time.”

Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Kabinett Trocken 2012 ($24.95) $16 special 3+ cases available
Importer notes 
“Great wine, more like a dry Spatlese”

Von Winning Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten 2012 ($29.95) $26 special 2 bottles available
Terry Theise: 
“This was literally astonishing. I never anticipated such quality from this site, which sits above the Leinhöhle just below the woods- perhaps an advantage in the new climate era? I mean serious WOW; soursop and ginger and talc in an enticing bouquet; explosively expressive on the palate, like some cool spice-drenched pudding; perfectly balanced and insanely attractive.”

Von Winning Estate Riesling 2012 ($.95) $16 special 2 bottles available
Terry Theise: 
“This sits next to Dönnhoff as the zenith of quality at the estate-Riesling level. It’s unchaptalized, and has a delicate note of cask. It’s perfectly dry because it isn’t brutally dry. It’s sexy and spicy in that gingery Pfalz way, and it’s juicy in the way of the vintage. It has some of the angular charm of Meßmer’s Muschelkalk bottling, but with even more finesse and curvaciousness. It’s amazingly seductive. Your customers will love you for pouring this, or putting it into their shopping baskets.”

Von Winning Kalkofen Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($69.95) $59 special 10 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points 
“(($.95) $80) Bright aromas of white peach, sage, resin and lemon oil. Bright, penetrating apricot pit fruit and chalky minerality are nicely entwined on the juicy, pliant palate. The wine’s depth and spice rise above the austerity that this site often shows in its youth.”

Von Winning Kieselberg Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($69.95) $59 special 9 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 points
 “($80) Apple blossom, persimmon, nut oil and a smoky earthiness on the nose. Glossy, dense nectarine fruit with sweet herbal inflections animate the palate. The opulent depth, spicy juiciness and twist of clove ensure a compelling finish. Excellent potential!”

Von Winning Kirchenstuck Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($149.95) $109 special 9 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 91 points 
“($144) Rich scents of white peach, toasted almond, lemon zest and mint. Bright star fruit and spicy minerality give shape to the luscious flavors. Full-bodied yet graceful, this riesling ends on cool spices, with pleasing length.”

Von Winning Langenmorgan Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($69.95) $59 special 10 bottles available
Terry Theise:
 “It’s the manly side of Pfalz Riesling, and we debate whether this is a Grand or just a Premier Cru; yet the wine is articulate, herbal and peppery, cedary and woodsy, long, studious and spicy, with an almost urgestein minerality, suave even while it’s rural, and gentle even as it prods with its leafy message.”

Von Winning Pechstein Grosses Gewachs 2012 ($119.95) $89 special 11 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 92 (+?) points 
“($110) Exotic aromas of apricot pit, muskmelon, nutmeg and lemon oil. Rich and dense in texture, with pleasing depth to its peach pit and smoky spice flavors on the mineral lattice typical of the site. With its tantalizing herbal lift on the finish and impressive length, this is certainly the estate’s best dry riesling this year.”

Von Winning Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad 2012 ($44.95) $39 special 11 bottles available
Terry Theise:
 “The appetizer for the main course(s) to follow. It isn’t mineral, but rather smoky, belly-rich and robust, corporeal and mouth-filling and butterscotchy, spicy and generous, and yet solid and refined even with its big open bones.”

Stock List – Alsace Riesling – In Stock Now

Marcel Deiss Riesling 2008 ($29.95) $21.90 special 3 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 90 points
 “Pale, bright yellow. Sweet but subdued aromas of pineapple, mint and crushed stone. Juicy and delicate in the mouth, with moderate sweetness to the chewy flavors of pineapple, lemon and white flowers. Animpression of strong acidity gives atypical energy and penetration to this basic riesling, which finishes long and brisk, with lemon and lime flavors and strong stony minerality. Showing more fruit today than the 2009 version, but a deeper minerality as well.”

Marcel Deiss Riesling 2011 ($29.95) $24 
special 20 bottles available
Wine Spectator 92 points
 “Bright and juicy, featuring lovely balance and flavors of spiced plum and apple fruit, cantaloupe, apple blossom and honey, with a streak of minerality pushing through to the creamy finish. Drink now through 2023.”

Ostertag Riesling Fronholz 2010 ($44.95) $36 special 9 bottles available
Ostertag Riesling Clos Mathis 2010 ($42.95) $35 
special  2 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar 90 points 
“Pale straw-gold. Leesy notes complement very ripe apple and citrus aromas on the enticing nose. Sweet and suave on entry, showing a glyceral texture that hints at some residual sugar and helps soften the ripe peach and apricot flavors. The gently honeyed finish is long and clean.”

Ostertag Riesling Heissenberg 2010 ($44.95) $36 special 5 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar 91(+?) points
 “Pale straw-green. Closed nose hints at minerals, green apple and white stone fruits. Dense and powerful on the palate, offering ripe notes of quince and pear and a hint of fresh thyme. Finishes clean and long.”

Trimbach Riesling 2009 ($21.95) $17 special 24+ bottles available
Wine Enthusiast 91 points
 “This is a finely balanced wine, showing ripe fruit along with tangy citrus and pineapple flavors. It has weight and richness, with a full, concentrated character. Although this is ready to drink now, it is also worth aging for another year to bring out even more fruit.”

Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste Hune 2004 ($249.95) $219 special 2 bottles available
Stephen Tanzer 95 points
 “Pale, bright yellow. Ripe pineapple, liquid stone and exotic honey on the nose, with a spicy lift that suggests an oak influence this wine does not possess. On entry, this is sweeter and creamier than the Frederic Emile, but it livens up quickly in the middle, showing powerful minerality and sharply delineated flavors of liquid stone, pineapple and citrus peel. Still, this conveys a distinctly glyceral impression that suggests more sweetness than its 5 grams of residual sugar, no doubt a function of the 20% or so botrytized berries (in contrast to the Frederic Emile, which included no botrytis). Communicates an impression of power with elegance, finishing minerally and long but not austere. Pierre Trimbach compared this wine to the estate’s great 1990. This is already showing more Rosacker terroir than riesling character. About 9,000 bottles were made from 1.5 hectares of vines.”

Trimbach Riesling Clos Ste Hune 2005 ($249.95) $179 special 8 bottles available
Wine Advocate 94 points 
“In its aromas of lime, apricot, narcissus, chalk dust, red currant, and musk, the 2005 Riesling Clos Ste-Hune is surprisingly a bit more open and expressive than the Frederic Emile. On the palate this exhibits amazing, chalky density, firm citricity and a satiny, slippery, glycerin-rich texture. Tart red berry, pungent citrus zest, and quarry dust dominate in a finish that is unsurprisingly unyielding but promisingly long. Only time can reveal this wine’s true degree of superiority to the Frederic Emile, and the latter might well nip at its heels indefinitely! “