Stück and halbstück full of Saumagen at Koehler-Ruprecht

Austrian/German Tastings plus New Arrivals!

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We're very excited to announce this week's tastings highlighting the German and Austrian Departments. First on Friday, October 12, from 5 to 7 we'll be joined by Erwin Tinhof, a grower from Austria's Burgenland who farms biodynamically and makes wines that are unusually chiseled and delicate for the region.

Then, on Saturday, October 13, from 4-7, we'll be premeiring the first round of releases from LDM Wines' first foray into the world of German wine, featuring selections from Knebel, Clemens Busch and Koehler-Ruprecht. To complement these, we'll have a few fruity/sweet classics from the Mosel, brought to us by Rudi Wiest.  

See below for these wines plus more recent arrivals. Hope to see you this weekend! -jfr

Ott, Bernhard 2011 Wagram Grüner Veltliner Qvevre

A complete about-face from the rest of Ott's traditional, stainless steel based production. The wine is a revelation, taking Grüner Veltliner to stunning places it's never been before both aromatically and on the palate. Fans of Gravner, Radikon, et al, must give this wine a try. -jfr

From the importer, the good folks at Terry Theise Selections: 

"The wine is almost entirely sourced from the Rosenberg, de-stemmed without crushing and placed whole-berry into amphora ranging in size from 500 to 2,000 liters.  The amphoras are buried in the soils of Rosenberg and Bernhard ages the wine, untouched, for 6 months before the wine is racked clear.  The grapes are never crushed, helping retain the purity of the wine and not allowing it to become clouded with over extracted tannin.  The wine is then bottled without filtration."

  • white
  • 2 in stock
  • $89.99

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Tinhof 2009 Burgenland Blau + Red

This is a light on its feet, bright and easy-going blend of Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt from Tinhof's biodynmically farmed vineyards in Eisenstadt. Pretty red fruits, good acidity, well-balanced and fresh. Austrian reds always seem to taste the best in Autumn, with their mild hints of smokiness and woodsy tones, and this is no exception. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $15.99

Tinhof 2011 Burgenland Blaufränkisch Rosé

Erwin Tinhof organically farms 11 hectares in Eisenstadt, on the west side of the Neusiedlersee. So far, this gets our vote for best Austrian Rosé of the vintage, a category in which there's generally pretty stiff competition. Hand harvested, fermented with native yeasts and 100% Blaufränkisch, this has bright flavors of strawberries and cream but is well-structured with a firm, steely backbone.  This will be my go-to rosé for the summer months, for sure. -jfr

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  • rosé
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  • $15.99

Tinhof 2009 Burgenland Weissburgunder

Now farming biodynamically in Burgenland's Leithaberg, Erwin Tinhof originally trained in France (including an apprenticeship at Mas de Daumas Gassac) and is producing excellent wines including this, the best Austrian Pinot Blanc we've yet tasted. This is a savory, mineral wine all the way to its core. Produced at cool temperatures in stainless steel tank, the wine has a leesy aroma but great freshness and clarity. The palate is broad, creamy and drenched in minerals with pretty yellow and white fruit notes. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

Busch, Clemens 2011 Mosel Riesling Trocken

Clemens avoided any crushing or maceration in 2011 to help preserve the acids in this vintage. Not surprisingly, his instincts were good. This year his entry-level Trocken is a stylistic return to the 2009, with a creamy texture, notes of apple and pear and of course, a clear and focused mineral tone. Busch remains one of the best and most distinctive growers on the Mosel. -jfr

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

Knebel 2011 Mosel Riesling

From steep slate sites in the staggeringly beautiful Terrassenmosel, this continues to be one of the best entry-level wines in all of Germany. Pretty notes of honey, white fruit and steely minerals on the nose followed by clean hints of lemon, lime, tangerine, ripe melon and crushed rock on the palate. -jfr

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

Koehler-Ruprecht 2010 Pfalz Kallstadter Steinacker Riesling Kabinett

Although Koehler-Ruprecht is widely regarded for their magnificent dry wines, this gently fruity and off-dry Kabinett is a winner. More citrus-driven than you'd typically except from the normally exotic Pfalz, this is a perfect quaffer for anyone looking for something that's just a bit off-dry. Sweet lemons, honeysuckle and fresh green mint. -jfr

 

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  • white off-dry
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  • $17.99

Koehler-Ruprecht 2012 Pfalz Kallstadter Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken

Quite delicious. Dark, sappy, rich, and textured with some power lurking behind the beauty. Bracing acidity and intensity complement the residual sugar. Though no longer on the label, this is still sourced from the sandy, pebble-laden Steinacker vineyard. Jonathan Kemp

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $20.99

Schloss Lieser 2011 Mosel Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Spätlese

The Niederberg Helden Spätlese is creamy but elegant, with very pure grapefruit and apple tones. Thomas Haag insists on using only spontaneous yeasts across the board, so while his wines sometimes have a bit of a sponti/reductive character to the aromas, we think this adds complexity and great interest. This wine provides great value, especially compared to the Juffer Sonnenuhr which people seem more willing to pay for because of the more famous vineyard name. Give it a try. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white off-dry
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $26.99

Schäfer-Fröhlich 2011 Nahe Bockenauer Riesling Kabinett

As famous as Tim is getting for his increasingly rare and expensive dry wines, we shouldn't forget what an incredbile job he continues to do with the sweeter-styled wines. The 2011 Kabinett is a bit dialed back from the mammoth 2010 (as is typical across the board, it seems). I love Kabinett and entry-level wines from this estate because they reign in some of the more opulent, showy characteristics his wines are known for and are simply fun to drink. The bright aromatics take some time to unfold but are quite pretty nonetheless, with classic lemon, lime and tangerine notes. Vivid, sparkling and with tremendous balance, it's an excellent Kabinett and one to enjoy as Tim Frohlich's star continue to rise. -jfr

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  • white medium-sweet
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  • no discount
  • $23.99

Zilliken 2011 Saar Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett

Bockstein is composed of hard rocky-slate, not thin-plated and soft like the Rausch, along with some bits of quartzite and yellow loam. The wines from here are generally more open than Rausch and this bright Kabinett has fresh minty tones and attractive green and yellow fruit aromas. On the palate it's fresh, light and filigreed. Lovely Saar Kabinett from one of the region's masters. -jfr

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  • white medium-sweet
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $22.99

Zilliken 2011 Saar Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spätlese

Very complex aromatics and flavors, a super-persistent finish and much more mineral and dark-toned than either the Rausch or Bockstein Kabinett. This is another excellent Spätlese from Hanno Zilliken, on par with the superlative 2010 and (miraculously) much less expensive! -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white medium-sweet
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $37.99

Wagner-Stempel 2011 Rheinhessen Riesling Trocken

Daniel Wagner of Wagner-Stempel is the Rheinhessen's unsung hero. Keller and others may command absurdly high prices for their dry wines, but out in the Eastern section of the region, not far from the Nahe River, Daniel and company are quietly producing a stunning set of delicious and age-worthy wines. This entry-level Estate Riesling is a calling-card for the house style: dry but very floral with light peach notes and a hearty sense of pristine minerality, with a dusting of fresh lemon zest. A great value for those seeking warmer-climate Rieslings that retain good acidity and elegance. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

Wagner-Stempel 2011 Rheinhessen Siefersheimer Riesling Trocken Vom Porphyr

Daniel Wagner calls this Riesling his estate's "Business Card." In his eyes, even more so than the Estate Trocken, this shows the potential of Siefersheim's unique volcanic terroir. It's a blend of fruit from the estate's two top sites, Heerkretz and Höllberg. It's a treatise on Rheinhessen fruit intermingling with pungent, flinty, smoky and stony notes. Crisp, bright acid cuts through darker peach, apricot and cassis notes, combining to form a wonderfully complex and invigorating dry Riesling. Very long and persistent on the finish. "Baby GG," if you will, for those interested in the VDP's recent hierarchical upheavals. -jfr

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • no discount
  • $39.99

Lauer, Peter 2011 Saar Riesling Barrel X

Everything you want from Barrel X, which continues to be such a great value: white flowers, grapefruit and lemon lime notes, along with bright green apple flavors and a strong, slate-driven follow through on the finish. This feinherb style wine finishes fairly dry, though it has roughly 25 g/l residual sugar. From a mixture of old and young vines, both in the Scheidterberg slope just to the west of Ayl and other nearby Saar vineyards. All slate, of course. Quintessential Lauer, and classic Saar. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white off-dry
  • 0 in stock
  • $17.99

Lauer, Peter 2011 Saar Ayler Kupp Riesling Fass 12 'Unterstenbersch'

Unterstenbersch (or Unterstenberg) is a 50-60 year old vine parcel at the foot of the Ayler Kupp slope. It's dry, but beautifully long with a shimmering sense of minerality. This is one of the best dry wines I had on my trip to Germany in May. Creamy, deft, very fresh, poised and elegant. Everything is in the right place. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $38.99

Lauer, Peter 2011 Saar Riesling Fass 11 'Schonfels'

Schonfels! It's the stony site that is so steep that our friend Lars nearly went tumbling down into the Saar on a recent visit. The site that has vines so old that the charming Florian Lauer isn't sure it makes sense to continue working the parcel, they produce so little wine for the amount of work it takes. The site that produces the most sought-after dry wine produced on the Saar. We have just a few cases, and it's just about as finessed, long and pure as anything I could imagine. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $54.99

Stein 2011 Mosel St. Aldegunder Palmberg Terrassen Ries Kab Trocken

Now this is a special wine, and a Chambers Street exclusive: This is a light, completely dry wine that only has 9.5% alcohol. How is this possible? Many, many leaves in the Palmberg Terrassen were damaged by hail in 2011 so photosynthesis wasn't able to occur correctly. As a result, sugars didn't develop as usual but normal physiological compounds correctly did. The result is fascinating: light a piquant, but with a long, full-flavored finish, this is just dripping with minerals. This is of a character with Ulli's easy-going Blauschiefer Trocken, but everything's more interesting. To me it's like great Muscadet with less alcohol, and it's the kind of thing I want to drink an entire bottle of myself. -jfr

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

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  • white
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  • $58.99

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  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $66.99

Ott, Bernhard 2011 Feuersbrunn Wagram Riesling vom Rotem Schotter

Ott's Rieslings were particularly strong in 2011, and the vom Roten Schotter, from high elevation vineyards planted to red, gravelly soil, is our favorite of the collection. Crisp, aromatic, classic Austrian Riesling with a driving sense of focuse and crushed stone. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $28.99

Ott, Bernhard 2011 Feuersbrunn Wagram Grüner Veltliner Fass 4

Fass 4 is a step up in concentration and distinctiveness from the basic "Am Berg," coming as it does from four parcels surrounding thier famous Rosenberg vineyard. Citrus, sugar snap pea notes, and softer than the more vigilant 2010. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $24.99

Hajszan 2010 Wien Grüner Veltliner Nussberg

2010 is one of the best vintages for GV we've encountered in some time. This wine is delightfully fresh, well-balanced and a text-book example of bright, penetrating Grüner from within the city limits of Vienna. Hajszan farms biodynamically and hit it out of the park in this high-acid vintage. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.99

Hajszan 2007 Kremstal Riesling Pfaffenberg

Wow! This Riesling is just starting to show secondary character and is a great value for the money. Although Hajszan is in Vienna, these grapes are grown in the famous Pfaffenberg vineyard that abuts the Wachau. Like an excellent Smaragd Riesling, this one is drinking well now but will age quite well and surely benefit from a decant. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $32.99