Engraved Cask at Nikolaihof. What's in it? It's a secret.

The Cellar of a True Wine Devotée - Part One

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The wine merchant laments the frequently seasonally inappropriate delivery of various wines: why do we get the Beaucastel in August, and then Chablis in January? But this time, the timing is perfect: a trove of top quality Riesling, many with an appealing amount of age, all very fairly priced, and just what's required to relieve heat stroke.

*Too many items to list here; visit the article on our website to see offerings from Zilliken, Schäfer-Fröhlich, Dönnhoff, A.J. Adam and many more!!!

**Quantities are limited; first-come, first-served. To view live inventory, please visit the article on our website.

***Due to a technical error, most of you did not receive this email when it first went out. Please accept our aplogies if you are receiving it for a second time.

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Alzinger 2008 Wachau Mülhpoint Grüner Veltliner Federspiel

Fermented entirely in stainless steel the Mulhpoint vineyard is located on the un-terraced lower part of the hill below Steinerthal. The soil here is a mix of primary rock and sand which makes for a lighter wine – this is elegant, mineral-driven, peppery, a little spicey with a sweet mossy aroma. There is profundity here. rsg

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Alzinger 2008 Wachau Steinertal Grüner Veltliner Smaragd

Steinertal is only 5 hectares and Alzinger's portion is painfully small, but the Grüner Veltliners and Rieslings produced here are among the top in all of Austria. The 2008 is just starting to show some signs of maturity and retains the classic Alzinger sense of cut, tactile minerality and bracing focus. And yes, we have this one bottle in stock! -jfr

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Hirtzberger 2006 Wachau Grüner Veltliner Rotes Tor Federspiel

Nose of pepper, lemon, lavender, flowers and minerals. Heartbreakingly elegant and concentrated with lovely richness but wrapped in finesse. LF

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Nikolaihof 2005 Wachau Riesling Steiner Hund Reserve

I have a three check system for tasting. Of what I tasted for a week in Austria, this is one of three wines that received the coveted third check for being mind-blowingly good. Savory minerals... the finish undulates — it comes in waves with moments receding and then reapproaching. It's expansive as a novel, touching, weeping and reminiscent of world-class perfume — you know the kind with just a twinge of an attractively disconcerting quality? I also tasted a singing, yet very youthful 92 Steiner Hund Riesling Spatlese if that gives you any reference for how long these wines can age. I was given a bottle of this wine with a specialized birthday label — and I intend on cellaring quite a few more as well. This wine deserves a soft spot in your heart too. RSG

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Nikolaihof 2006 Wachau Riesling Steiner Hund Reserve

2006 was a hot, ripe vintage in the Wachau and Kremstal but our friends at Nikolaihof still managed to keep things calm and reasonable, bringing this wine in at just 12.5 degrees. Steiner Hund is located just outside of the official Wachau borders, so rather than the expected Smaragd label this would otherwise carry, the Saahs family has elected to instead use the oft-abused term Reserve. Don't be fooled by the simple Napa-like nomenclature, though: this is seriously good wine. The nose is simply electric, a stunning array of lime blossom, sea spray, crushed rock and lemon rind. The palate matches the aromas and adds a delicious layer of saltiness to this floral, exceptionally fruited riesling. Delicate but concentrated and very long, this will drink well and improve for at least the next 15 years. -jfr

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Nikolaihof 2007 Wachau Grüner Veltliner Hefeabzug

In a recent vertical of Hefeabzug (2003 — 2008) the 2007 and the 2004 had even votes for wine of the night. I do feel like this wine is still showing all primary fruit, but after tasting a few vintages deeper I am more convinced than ever it has much more to give. For an "entry level" wine there is more than enough character here for cellaring. A sopranist wine full of meadow flowers and a fresh oyster salinity — which I love. There is a sense of verve here that can only be found in the most pure and animated wines, and yet it is balanced by a contemplative tone. RSG

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Prager 2001 Wachau Riesling Smaragd Klaus

Few pleasures compare to that of aged Prager. The 2001 Klaus is pure magic, and drinking quite, quite well at the moment. Is it at its peak? It very possibly has a few more years to go and a bit more fat to shed, so we happily encourage you to both drink and hold. This beauty isn't going downhill anytime soon, and we plan to still be checking in on this well into the 2020s. Klaus is holy ground for Riesling and is perhaps the greatest site in the Wachau. 2001 is a terrific vintage, the best Austria has seen since 1997, and this wine is absolutely seamless. Broad-shouldered and muscular, yet well-defined and brimming with energy and freshness. -jfr

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Busch, Clemens 2005 Mosel Pündericher Marienburg Spätlese Trocken

The 2005 gets a three star rating, which is an internal designation for top dry bottlings, but as of the 2007 vintage this will be labeled Grosses Gewächs. Dynamic aromatics of orange-peel, geranium, brine and spice. Floral aromas are heady but not sweet; and this medium-bodied, dry Riesling dances around the palate with grace into a very long finish. RSG

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Busch, Clemens 2007 Mosel Pündericher Marienburg Grosses Gewächs

Entirely from grey slate parcels in the Marienburg this Great Growth is done in traditional 1000 L Fuders. The aromatics here are stunning — licorice, purple iris, fresh meadow, there is an ethereal concrete core that opens to an insane depth of wild flower, sweet elder flowers and a finish that seems youthfully austere but goes wild with great length and viscosity. rsg

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Busch, Clemens 2008 Mosel Vom Roten Schiefer Riesling

The 2008 vintage streamlined this wine and the natural racy acidity complements the warmth and spice that red-slate soils lend to this Riesling. This is a savory wine — licorice, herb, apple, christmas spices, but with a very typical Riesling wild flower tonality. The creamy viscosity and salinity balance out this palpably dry Riesling. Complex, warm and stunning wine. rsg

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Pfeffingen 2006 Pfalz Riesling Weilberg Grosses Gewächs

This just has to the bast damn QPR in Grosses Gewachs going these days. It was decanted for four hours before it arrived at my house and this decant job did this wine wonders. Screaming nose of peach fuzz, peach skin, red slatey minerality and some talcum powder. The nose kept changing as the wine was a real chameleon. Lovely palate with thick 2006 fruit and unreal balance. Peaches, apricots, tangerines all in a very fleshy style. A soft texture but not lacking in acidity. A lovely long finish with almost some tannic grip. Curious how long these will age as I have some in the cellar. Seems like a ten year wine. LF

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Prüm, J.J. 2001 Mosel Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese

This is Auslese to bury deep in the cellar. The perfect gift for the Riesling lover that is looking for a wine that will be compelling either in 2011 or 2031. If enjoying now, be sure to give it a lengthy decant, as I found this really hit its stride after about 4 hours open. Not heavy but expansive, mouth-filling and fresh with perfectly balanced acid. Notes of pear, sweet lime, succulent yellow and white peach, this is just so delicious. Prum at its finest, and one of the most thrilling bottles I've recently tasted. -jfr

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Rebholz 2006 Pfalz Riesling Kastanienbusch Grosses Gewächs

Definetly the more powerful and structured of Hansjorg's two great dry Grosses Gewachs sites. Powerfully minerally and amazingly concentrated this is more classic than the 2005 and seems to have a longer aging curve. LF

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Schmitt-Wagner, Carl 2003 Mosel Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese

So sure, maybe it's not the most interesting of recent Mosel vintages, but this wine is still fairly well-balanced and tasty. Good richness, just the right amount of sweetness and starting to show some savory secondary characteristics. Plus, your vertical of great back-vintage Schmitt-Wagners won't be complete without it! -jfr

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Schneider, Jakob 2007 Nahe Riesling Kabinett 1L

A leaner and dryer kabinett than most of the 2007s. Made from some of the most prestigious sections of the NAHE. Crisp apple fruit, and a serious mineral back bone. One liter size, so invite friends!

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Schloss Schönborn 1994 Rheingau Johannisberger Klaus Riesling Kabinett

Full-bodied for a Kabinett but somewhat more chiseled compared to the richer '95 Holle. Bold flavors of lime, orange blossom and some dill-like herbal notes. Intense with plenty of good dry extract and great balance. Still tasting quite young but starting to show very interesting secondary characteristics. The vineyard itself is just northeast of where the Main meets the Rhine, with chalky soils that contribute to the wine's mineral cut. -jfr

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Schloss Schönborn 1995 Rheingau Hochheimer Hölle Riesling Kabinett

A beautifully developed Riesling showing intense petrol and flint notes, along with a distinct orange zest character. More flesh and light sweetness than the Klaus but balanced with great acid for the Rheingau. On the palate there are savory flavors of smoke and petrol, golden apple, orange blossom, tangerine pith, even a little grapefruit. The vineyard is down-slope from the famous Schloss Johannisberg, close to the Rhein river and composed of heavy, loess soil. An incredible deal for mature Riesling that's drinking quite well. -jfr

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Steinmetz, Günther 1990 Mosel Kestener Paulinsberg Riesling Spätlese

Medium yellow gold color, nice apple-y bouquet with some good petrol aromas evident. On the palate mellow and broad and full and rich, medium sweetness, very good balance, proper mouthweight for a mature Spatlese and a good long finish with moderate but ample acidity. A lovely, mature Middel Mosel Spatlese at 21 years of age and an absolute bargain at $18.99. You should pounce on this one, you will be pleased with your purchase! -JBT

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Steinmetz, Günther 2007 Mosel Mulheimer Sonnenlay Riesling Feinherb

This wine has deep aromas of wild yeast, corn husks, apricot, peach pits and slate. It has an intense tang on the palate with wonderful balance between acidity and rich, fleshy fruit. Overall it is a lovely citrus and mineral-driven Feinherb. This just keeps getting better as the night progresses and the wine opens up.

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Van Volxem 2007 Saar Riesling Estate

Out of the gates it does not give much and really only blossoms on the third day open. But in no means is not enjoyable on day one. It is tight and unyielding on day one with citrus and tangerine fruit on the palate and a stony slatey presence. But it is folded in on itself. You can tell that it is holding alot in reserve as the finish extends but the midpalate is not quite there. On Day two it opened more with lovely fleshy midpalate stone fruit and citrus galore. The minerality kicks in on the long finish and it is getting quite delicate. On Day three this is hitting on all cylinders with a full rich mouthfeel, delicate midpalate and long minerally citrus tinged finish. I see this wine aging ten years and I will be grabbing some for the cellar. Excellent dry Saar Riesling. LF

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Von Buhl 2006 Pfalz Spätlese Dry

This was a lovely, ripe and somewhat aggressively mineral bottle of Riesling. Lots of tangerine, peach and apricot pit aromas with chunky funky minerals and striking acidity. Definetly in the piquant camp. Angry wine but in a good way. Great clarity, cleanliness and purity with nice concentration. Very nice and something that seems like it should be drunk young. LF

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Reichsgraf Von Kesselstat 2006 Mosel Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Trocken *** (3-Star)

Another one of the great Kesselstat dry wines that I tasted on my summer visit there. This had a great nose out of the gates with tangerine, minerals, slate, peach flesh and lots of other nuance. Very prickly nose. The palate was full and lush with a vevlety mouthfeel and very pure dark orange citrus fruits. Then it closed down on the palate every so slowly throughout the night. There was great acidity and so much stuffing to this wine. This really seems like it has a long life ahead of it. The nose did get dazzlingly complex towards the end of the night and the palate did show some warmth as it warmed up. That seems to be common trend in the 2006 GG and EG's. We'll see if age can tame that. LF

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Von Othegraven 2007 Saar Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spätlese Erste Lage

The verve of racey Saar acidity balancing the ripe, ripe fruit of the 2007 vintage make this a splendidly balanced Spatlese packed with the generous fruit we've come to love in von Othegraven's wines. All spontaneous yeast fermentation — their offerings have some of the most compelling aromatics of any Mosel wine.

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Von Othegraven 2008 Saar Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Spätlese Erste Lage

Andreas Barth, cellarmaster and winemaker at Von Othegraven, specializes in lean, stylish, classic expressions of off-dry wines from the Saar. The Bockstein is a well-regarded vineyard in the central Saar area, facing southwest and made up of weathered slate, loam and quartzite. We love 2008s and are happy to snatch these up and offer them from private collections whenever we get the chance. -jfr

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von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser 2007 Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Riesling

Aromas of fresh purple Iris with a twinge of petrol, lemon, and hay. Shows the phenolic ripeness of the vintage on the mid-palate along with a high-acid finish and a timid display of residual sugar. Tart and pure... and why the Hell not drink 07 Maximin Grunhauser for virtually nothing? RSG

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Weins-Prüm, Dr. F 2005 Mosel Erdener Prälat Riesling Auslese

Floral nose with peaches and some cream elements. Fantasic complexity and ripeness. Long palate with great acids. Seemed a bit backwards too but no shortage of material here. Lovely finish. LF

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Weins-Prüm, Dr. F 2006 Mosel Erdener Prälat Riesling Spätlese

What a wine this is. Ten minutes open and it is stunning. Has all the hallmarks of 2006 in the Middle Mosel. Powerful rich and decadent fruit, an amazing mid-palate, immense concentration, great acids and a long finish. This is showing a tremendous amount of baby fat right now and is fun to drink but is no where near its full expression. Erdener Pralat is quickly beocming my favorite vineyard in the Mosel. This wine had classic Pralat exotic tropical fruit (mango, super ripe apricots, guava) with incredible strucutre and trademark Pralat finesse. Just a showstopper and even better than the '04 albeit in a much bigger stye. This has the weight and texture of Bert's '05 Erdener Pralat Auslese. Amazing and am very happy to own some of these. I am going long on 2006 as it is my favorite vintage at the top adresses since 2001. LF

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Adam, A.J. 2005 Mosel Riesling Dhroner Hofberg Reserve

This wine was flat out bonkers. Having only tasted Adam in passing and never sat down with a bottle I learned after this I should more often. I will as Adam will grace my cellar very soon. This wine had a wonderful creamy texture along with juicy citrus and stone fruits that culminated in a wonderful juxtaposed finish. The nose was crisp pear and mineral along with spice that kept getting more prominent throughout the night. This really reminded me of Batard in texture and length. It was rich but also had a juiciness due to the wonderful acidity that was not crazy but perfect for this wine. The finish was long and winding with notes of flowers and spice. An amazing wine that really was one of the best Rieslings I have had all year. Adam is from the small town of Dhron in the Mosel. LF

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Adam, A.J. 2007 Mosel Riesling Dhroner Hofberg Kabinett

This is mostly from Hofberg, which is his Grand Cru site. Actually it might all be from Hofberg. Need to check that out. Well this wine was slamming on all cylinders. Really had those Hofberg flavors of exotic tropical fruits and a lovely figginess along with cake-icing-like fruit and brilliant cleansing acidity. Long on the finish and chewy but has wonderful opacity at the same time. So crisp, so pure and so clean. Classic slatey nose with guava, mango, fig and more slate. Some slight bubbles from being so young and lots of fruit on the attack while the finish is slatey and mineral. Just like the '05 Hofberg Reserve this has that wonderful almost Batard-like texture while being light as a feather. Wonderful and seems like a Kabinett with legs. Great great wine. Glad I have two more. Nice to throw some "real" Kabinetts in the cellar for a change. LF

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Adam, A.J. 2008 Mosel Riesling Dhroner Hofberg Auslese 375ml

Yes, we really do have this one remaining half-bottle of Andreas Adam's superb 2008 Hofberg Auslese. This is intended to be "dessert wine"-style auslese, with a large amount of residual sugar and high-flying levels of acid to balance it out. Buy this before I do. -jfr

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Adam, A.J. 2009 Mosel Riesling Dhron Hofberg Kabinett 1.5

We received very few magnums of the 2009 Kabinett and it is one of the best large-format values in the store. Adam is one of Germany's most "natural" producers and this invigorating style is not to be missed. Very pretty with delicate notes of rose petal lees, and strongly reminiscent of a tasty peach tart. This really opens up with air as the floral notes recede and the powerful primary fruit comes to the fore. Jubilant and expressive! -jfr

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Adam, A.J. 2009 Mosel Riesling Dhron Hofberg Spatlese 1.5

I'd love to have this magnum as the centerpiece of a four-course meal right now, as it develops so well and goes through so many different and progressively more interesting stages the more air it sees. Maybe I want to cellar it though. Or why not just open it at a party and make everyone happy? -jfr

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Adam, A.J. 2009 Mosel Riesling Dhroner Hofberg Spätlese

Hand-harvesting, organic fertilizers, dedicated attention to vineyard-work, indigenous (ambient) yeasts, long lees-contact and no filtration. Why aren't you drinking more of Andreas Adam's stellar rieslings? He's doing everything right in the vineyard and the cellar, and we absolutely love the results. -jfr

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Adam, A.J. 2009 Mosel Riesling Piesporter Goldtröpfchen (GG-Style)

The Hofberg is the site that made Adam's name and it's the one where his family has the most historical connections, but Andreas really perks up when discussing the Goldtröpfchen. The 2009 was his first vintage producing wine from this site, and it's an explosive, stately wine that's going to take years to come around and let the fruit really sing. It comes from very, very steep, old, ungrafted terraced vines in the Laychen section of the western part of the site. Only miniscule quantities are made and everything's long been sold-out, so we're extremely fortunate to have received two bottles from a collector to offer. -jfr

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Adam, A.J. 2009 Mosel Riesling Dhroner

All the vines for this wine are from the Hofberg site, but it is not labeled as such. This comes from 20-30 year old vines and is fermented 50% in stainless steel and 50% in 1000 liter neutral wood. With just 12 grams of residual sugar it has only the subtlest sense of "sweetness" to enhance the glacier-water purity and precision. Though fermented entirely with wild yeast, it avoids the classic sponti aromatics and instead emphasizes components of herb, rose petal and lime rind. A twinge spritzy and very easy to drink. rsg

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Adam, A.J. 2010 Mosel Riesling Dhron Hofberg Kabinett 1.5

Who doesn't want magnums of Riesling? A strikingly well-balanced (especially within the context of the vintage), almost, dare I say it, delicate Riesling. Distinctly floral, tending towards rose petals with gentle, shimmering citrus flavors. This is as tasty of a Kabinett as we can hope for, made, as always for Adam, with only indigenous yeasts, no spoofy cellar work and only organic fertilizers. -jfr

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Adam, A.J. 2010 Mosel Riesling Dhroner Hofberg Kabinett

A strikingly well-balanced (especially within the context of the vintage), almost, dare I say it, delicate Riesling. Distinctly floral, tending towards rose petals with gentle, shimmering citrus flavors. This is as tasty of a Kabinett as we can hope for, made, as always for Adam, with only indigenous yeasts, no spoofy cellar work and only organic fertilizers. -jfr

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Darting, Kurt 2008 Pfalz Durkehimer Nonnengarten Rieslaner BA 500ml

Our customers may mostly know Darting for his excellent value Kabinetts that are always fruity and fun, but there's a more serious side to the estate as well. Kurt apprenticed with the legendary Hans Günter Schwarz and makes these botrytized dessert wines in the style of Müller-Catoir's retired master. Acquired from a private collector, we get to offer these incredibly rare wines at exceptionally low prices. -jfr

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Emrich-Schonleber 2007 Nahe "Bacchus" Kabinett

Bacchus is a cross between Silvaner/Riesling and Muller Thurgau. Tons of citrus fruit. Very juicy and ripe with lots of complexity derived from the fruit. Little or no mineral but there is some as this is Schonleber we are talking about. Could use a touch more acid but a fun summer quaffer and a great deal. LF

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Emrich-Schonleber 2007 Nahe "Lenz" Riesling

Nose of chalky minerality, seahsells, lime zest and some slight cassis fruit. Palate was ripe and concentrated and had lovely weight without being heavy. There was a nice dash of saltiness on the finish. This was changed remarkabley over the three hours it was open to showing its sugar and fruit to going into a shell and just showing screeching acid and minerals and finally coming into harmony with some nice elegant fruitiness and beautifully detailed minerality. This wine is a true bargain and lovely Nahe "business card" for Werner Schonleber. LF

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Emrich-Schonleber 2007 Nahe Riesling Mineral Trocken

Some '07 dry wines are just spectacular while others have left me flat. This one was spectacular. Nose of yellow plum, mineral (as the name suggests) red plum, yellow fruits. The nose is clean, concise and crisp. The palate has no shortage of acidity but is wonderful with hints of all types of yellow fruits and plum that probably needs four or five years to truly develop. Very complex now buy has more to say. Long minerally finish. Excellent trocken wine and maybe one of the best I have had from Schonleber. LF

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Rudolf Furst 2005 Franken Burgstadter Spatburgun Centgrafenberg "R"

Maybe the best Pinot I have had from Furst. Even better than the outrageous 1997 bottling of this wine. The nose is all ripe baby fat style fruit now but under is some oak spice, mineral and earth. Keeps opening up in the glass with each swirl. Fantastic dense palate but this is very young today and offers long aging potential. The tannins are sweet and very ripe and this wine will wow you on the finish. Truly explosive. Profound. I need me some of this too but it will be big bucks. LF

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Rudolf Furst 2005 Franken Burgstadter Centgrafenberg Spatburgunder

This is Furst’s “1er Cru” offering and it is gorgeous. The Burgstadter Centgrafenberg is a wonderful south-facing vineyard with mostly colored sandstone and loam. This is one of the great vineyards of Franken and Paul easily is the qualitative leader here. In this area of Franken Pinot was rustic and of a lower quality level until Paul Furst came along and started vinifying Pinot Noir in a Burgundian style. His 1990 of this wine remains a legend and put German Pinot Noir on the map. The 2005 may be the best vintage yet. Paul seems to think so. Elegant wine with loads of crushed berry fruit, earth, some hints of toast, spice and earth. The palate is rich and concentrated with a velvety texture and extremely ripe tannins buffered by cleansing acidity. This could stand some time in the cellar to gain more complexity. Ravishing wine. LF

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Furst, Rudolf 2006 Franken Burgstadter Silvaner Centgrafenberg "pur mineral"

A step up in complexity and concentration over the "pur mineral" Silvaner. The soils here are red sandstone and clay. More opulent nose than the "pur mineral." A hint of smoke adds complexity to the dazzlingly mineral nose. There is wonderful fruit on the palate and crunchy acidity. Concentration is amazing for such a humble varietal but then again this is Franconia and Silvaner is world famous here. I can see why. Stunning. LF

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Fürst, Rudolf 2006 Franken Bürgstadter Centgrafenberg Riesling "R"

Still showing lots of young primary stone fruit. More elegant with a wonderfully viscous texture and palate-saturating extract on the finish. Lovely wine in need of four or five years in the cellar. LF... and perfect time to try this wine thanks to a little bit of bottle age, but also for the cellar as this will continue to develop with grace. RSG

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Haart, Reinhold 2006 Mosel Riesling Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Spätlese

This is a lovely wine but you need to have patience as it takes many hours open to unfold but when it does watch out. Loads of tropical fruit, intense minerality and a creamy texture with a nice fleshy pit fruit quality on the finish. Theo Haart is the most underrated winemaker in all of Germany. LF

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Haart, Reinhold 2006 Mosel Wintricher Ohligsberg Riesling Aus EL

An often overlooked site but in Theo Haart's hands it often is magical. This is one of the top Auslesen of the vintage and has great clarity and expression of fruit. Amazing stuff and you cannot get in anywhere except CSW! LWF

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Haart, Reinhold 2007 Mosel Pies Goldtropf Auslese EL

Very noticeable botrytis on the nose. Finely etched wine for an Auslese. Mindbogglingly rich yet so delineated and chiseled. Not that sweet but oh so dramatic on the palate. Stunning wine. 7 out of 4 stars. LF

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Haart, Reinhold 2007 Mosel Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Spätlese EL

Classic nose of tropical fruits. You can tell this wine is stuffed just by smelling it. Really open for business when I tasted this in August 2008. Opulent with great acidity and really goes all over the palate. Really profound. Haart hit a homerun in 2007. LF

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Keller 2007 Rheinhessen Riesling Kabinett

Linear wine with crystalline purity and lovely elegance. Red fruit flavors and so lively on the palate die to great acidity. Cuts a deep swatch across the palate. Killer, concise and pure. What I have come to expect out of Keller. Loved it. LF

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Keller 2007 Rheinhessen Grauburgunder Trocken

This is a phenomenal wine that puts most Italian Pinot Grigio's at this price point or above to shame. A lovely mineral nose with pit and stone fruits on a very elegant frame with lovely ripeness and stoniness all over the palate. Nice fruit and great cut on the finish. Very long finish which is typical of many 2007's. LF

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Knebel 2007 Mosel Winninger Hamm Riesling Spätlese Trocken

Coming from the middle terraces of Hamm, one of the more slatey and steep spots of Winninger. Impressively deep — apples, warm minerals and, again, a geranium note that adds a bitter-sweet floral allure. Depth of body and weight keep this dry Riesling in balance. Stunning. rsg

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Kunstler 2006 Rheingau Holle Erstes Gewachs

Of Kunstlers two Erstes Gewachs this is the more powerful expression with loads of tangy citrus fruits, intense and focused minerality and lovely purity. The 2006's are just as good as the brilliant '05's and Gunter Kunstler is making some of the best dry wines in all of the Rheingau. LF

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Kunstler 2006 Rheingau Kirchenstuck Erstes Gewachs

Lovely wine and of Kunstler's two Erstes Gewachs this is the more achingly elegant with lost of citrus fruits, stone fruits and pungent minerality. Really floats on the palate with great concentration and purity. Needs time. LF

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Künstler, Franz 2007 Rheingau Stielweg "Old Vines"

Künstler's Stielweg Old Vines bottling comes from 50+ year-old parcels planted in heavy loam/clay soils in between the village and the river Main. This bottling is always dry and tends toward the full end of the spectrum. Künstler was making probably the most interesting wines in the Rheingau during this period and 2007 was a particularly strong vintage at this estate. -jfr

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Schafer-Frohlich 2006 Nahe Bockenauer Felseneck Spatlese

The '06 on day one starts off with a bit of sulfur but under that is a core of concentrated red fruits intermingled with bright pure tangerine and peach. There is a wonderful intense mineral character along with the typical intense Tim Frohlich acidity. The length, finesse and mid-palate are first class and put this in the top tier of Spatlesen from the vintage. On day three this wine really started to strut its stuff as the sulfur wore down and this was just a pure, incredibly tetxured, silky, complex and just darn amazing wine to drink. This has years to go before it enters its optimal drinking window but with some major air this is so much to commit infanticide on. Tim Frohlich is easily on the same mantle as Emrich-Schonleber and Donnhoff. LF

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Schäfer-Fröhlich 2007 Nahe Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese

Slightly reductive aromas with hints of lime and honey. Very filigreed and fragrant under all that reduction. Palate is perfectly ripe with beautiful fruit and purity with lovely wild cherries lingering on the finish. LF

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Schafer-Frohlich 2007 Nahe Bockenauer Felseneck Spatlese GK

Stunning nose of forest floor, green moss, and peach. Excellent persistence on the palate with drop dead gorgeous purity. So filigreed with amazing razor-like acidity and finish that does not stop. Spatlese of the vintage? LF

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Schäfer-Fröhlich 2008 Nahe Bockenauer Felseneck Spätlese

Made from all estate-owned fruit in Felseneck, arguably Tim Frohlich’s flagship vineyard.The nose is crystalline but savory with notes of polished stone and leesy pie crust. The palate is big and fleshy, lightly sweet but very round and plump. The sweetness has already tamed itself a bit since release, when it was boisterously “in-your-face.” Waves of ripe fruit, sweet peach, nectarine, apricot and a whole array of citrus all roll onto the palate and remain through a very long finish due to the wine’s pointed balancing acidity. Some slightly salty mineral notes appear at the end, but at this point in its life the wine is still all about rich, lush fruit. With time this will become only more refined but it’s hard not to just enjoy the wine’s gregarious personality right now. Tim Frohlich is using native yeasts to great effect in Bockenau and it will be a pleasure to watch how these wines unfold over the years. –jfr

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Schäfer-Fröhlich 2008 Nahe Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese GK

Harvested later than the regular spatlese from this vineyard, with only the cleanest, highest quality, concentrated fruit retained. Yes, it’s just that much more intense and characterful than its counterpart. -jfr

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Schafer-Frohlich 2007 Nahe Schlossbockelheimer Felsenberg Grosses Gewachs

Riper than the Halenberg with a nose of minerals and red fruits. Some exotic spice too. Concentrated, long and very intense palate. So clean and pure with unreal acidity and length. Juicy and elegant with lovely purity. Very special. LF

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Schäfer-Fröhlich 2008 Nahe Estate Riesling Kabinett

Entirely wild yeast fermentation. The tension between fruit and acid makes for a wine that is tangibly vivacious — notes of lime and rose.

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Schäfer-Fröhlich 2009 Nahe Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Spätlese

One of the greatest wines tasted at the 2009 Wiest offering. Dead-on gorgeous iris aromatics; this wine is all wild meadow and floral with Nahe-style purple fruit on the mid-palate, balanced with lemony acidity, and a scrumptiously long finish. Very, very good. rsg

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Schäfer-Fröhlich 2010 Nahe Bockenauer Felseneck Grosses Gewächs

Rockstar Nahe winemaker Tim Fröhlich's signature bottling. John Gilman went bananas for it and so did we. Like citrus dipped in gold. -jfr

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Schäfer-Fröhlich 2009 Nahe Bockenauer Riesling Estate Kabinett

Tim Frohlich's wines have a signature uniqueness that sets them apart from all other German offerings. It's no wonder these wines have a mad following. The 2009 vintage was very good at Schafer-Frohlich — the Kabinett has a wildness to it, fleshy tropical fruit, and an exceptional finish. A kabinett that might well prove the age potential of kabinett. rsg

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Schafer-Frohlich 2009 Nahe Estate Riesling Medium Dry

More approachable than the dry offering (but we feel that way nearly across the board because of the way the acidity plays out in the vintage). Lilac, fresh herb balance out the spiny structure that acid-lovers love.

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Schäfer-Fröhlich 2010 Nahe Bockenauer Felseneck Spätlese

Always a reliable Spatlese, the 2010 Felseneck has some fascinating exotic aromatics to complement the classic citrus fruit notes that include both savory and red-fruited tones. Long and ripe but balanced by terrific acidity, this demonstrates everything that is wonderful about the 2010 vintage. Drinking beautifully now but will age well for many years. -jfr

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Zilliken 2009 Saar Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett EL

A great Kabinett from one Zilliken's top sites. 2009's ripeness was possibly best expressed in the Saar where there's always going to be plenty of acid to balance things out. This is fruity and expressive but really fleshes out with a little bit of air. The fruit character leans on the citrus side, tinged with an herbal note and a focused mineral undercurrent. Huge aging potential as well. -jfr

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