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The Spätlese comes from various parcels in the Hofberg including some vines planted in 1953. Similar aromatics to the Kabinett but it's riper, richer and insanely long. The finish just erupts. To mix metaphors, it comes on like a tidal wive. Tremendous acid that's in balance with intense sweetness, with classic Adam citrus/apple tones and a distinctly mineral texture on the finish. One to age for years and years or enjoy now. -jfr
Certified biodynamic Zweigelt, grown on lime-rich clay (marl) soils, fermented and aged for ten months in used wood barrel. Black plum skin and juicy black raspberries mingle with a touch of black pepper and a tannic structure that calls for charcuterie and pork dishes as well as roasted vegetables. Cari Bernard
After being part of the local co-op for years, the Beurer family decided to make the change to crafting wines for their own label in 1997, and began to shift to organic farming starting in 2003, eventually becoming Demeter (biodynamic) certified. The wines of Jochen Beurer come from vines planted on the 'Keuperlandschaft', a local landscape that contains layers of different rocks from the Upper Triassic period. The land here is striated with different soil types, from Gipskeuper (gypsum) at the base, to Schilfsandstein (flaked sandstone), Bunte Mergel (colored marl), Kieselsandstein (pebble-strewn sandstone), and Stubensandstein, which attempting to research this particular layer brings one to the rather niche subject of European lithostratigraphy, which is another story for another day. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) Jochen works with biodynamic treatments in the vineyards, and in the cellar, only spontaneous fermentation will do. His 2016 Weiss Trocken is a blend of estate-grown Kerner, Müller-Thurgau, and Weissburgunder, fermented and aged in stainless steel. A truly joyous wine with stones, herbs and pollen on the nose and a fruity splash of limeade, raspberry seed, yellow apricot, and tangy, tropical pineapple core on the invigorating palate. Pair with lounging outside, spring and summer-inspired salads, grilled fish tacos with citrus-dressed coleslaw. Cari Bernard
Organically farmed, spontaneously-fermented Mosel Riesling for under $15. Just off-dry enough, Mosel St. is a go-to bottle for folks looking for fresh and easy Riesling to pair with food and friends. Perfect for everyday drinking, the wine is spritzig upon opening, medium-bodied, with good minerality and fruitiness. Notes of white peach and cherry, lemon juice, tart apricot, come forth with vibrant acidity to balance the residual sweetness and bring you back for another sip. Cari Bernard
A mix of estate (Heilig Kreuz vineyard) and purchased fruit, all from certified organic vineyards. Spontaneous fermentation is in stainless steel tank and the wines age in mostly stainless with about ten percent in neutral barrique. Green and herbal, with white pepper and ginger powder, tarragon and thyme on the nose, the wine has a surprisingly luxurious weight on the palate. Notes of green plum and mango, peach candy, white cherries, green strawberries and apricots--fruity but still lifted on the finish. Cari Bernard
Gernot's parcel of the Ellergrub is 2.2 hectares of ungrafted vines, over 80 years old. Farming is organic, fermentation is spontaneous, and the wine ages in a neutral oak barrels. In a shocking twist, the 2016 Ellergrub is slightly off-dry! The wine boasts a floral elegance and herbal freshness on the nose, yet is still quite dense and rich, with notes of yellow apricot, roses, and white peach skin giving way to a touch of citrus zest and strawberries on the finish. Cari Bernard
Wines made by Andi Knauss have been gracing our shelves for years now; his sparkling wines are a highlight, and we always look forward to his high-toned, light and lively Trollingers. The 2016 Rot (red), a blend of Portugieser & Lemberger, is cut from a different, bolder cloth. Cherry and plum liqueur aromas with blueberries and purple florals, the palate is juicy, lush, and deep, with a lengthy presence. Succulent, ripe forest blackberries and bramble, stewed plums, and a hint of dried herbs meld with a dark minerality. Not tannic by any means, it still maintains a structure that can stand up to an array of meatier options. Judging by the weather ahead of us, this is a BBQ wine through-and-through! Cari Bernard
Holger Koch makes some of the most elegant wines in the Baden region (located in southwest Germany). Working mostly with Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc, he's been making wines with a singular finesse in a region where the co-op is king. Grapes for the Herrenstück Pinot Noir are sourced from steep vineyards with meager volcanic soils, ferment spontaneously, and the wine ages in neutral 3000L wood barrels. Holger makes the distinction between the different selections of Pinot Noir he uses, choosing to use 'Spätburgunder' on the label when the wine is made from German clones (older vines) and 'Pinot Noir' when the vines are from selection massale cuttings sourced from vineyards in France. A lively wine, the energy on the palate comes through in a splash of juicy red cherries, tart red plums, pomegranate, with crunchy mineral cut and mouth-watering acidity. Cari Bernard
Fass 15, Stirn (forehead), comes from near the top of the Ayler Kupp where the hill curves around; the cooler climate and wind at this altitude makes for a site that is often harvested last. We haven't had a chance to try a bottle yet but will report back as soon as we do! Cari Bernard
Covered in eroded gray slate, Unterstenberg is the site on the Ayler Kupp that has some of the most water retention due to its location at the foot of the hillside. Notes of peach, orange zest, apple compote, and red grapefruit on the nose open up to a rich and fruit-forward palate boasting ripe apricot, yellow apple skin, and pineapple. Spicy and bold! Pair with grilled Thai curry squid, crab cakes over a citrus salad. Cari Bernard
A delicate nose of apricot blossom and grapefruit zest, the Fass 8 Kabinett drinks fairly lean in style, with fantastic balance and elegant integration of the residual sugar. Cooler notes of green strawberries mingle on the finish with fresh nectarine, yuzu, and crisp apple. Cari Bernard
Kern is a parcel on the west-facing side of the Ayler Kupp, extending from the top to the bottom of the slope, a cross-section of slate at multiple levels of erosion, warmed by the afternoon sun. A tropical nose of kiwi and passion fruit, the wine has a sharp, juicy attack of white grapefruit zest and kumquat, balanced by notes of green herbs, salinity, and wet stone minerality on the finish. Cari Bernard
Lauer's portion of Neuenberg is located on the flank of the Kupp closer to the base of the slope. Piquant, with vibrant red grapefruit, tangerine, and apricot notes that continue onto the palate followed by ripe mango, peach candy, yuzu and orange zest with ginger spice on the lengthy finish. Complex and fruity with great tension! Cari Bernard
What to serve with all sorts of warming, rich, spiced desserts? Gewürztraminer Eiswein! Grown on loamy soils with limestone and clay in the Haardter Herrenletten, left to freeze in the winter and harvested with an intense level of sugars and acidity. We were lucky to grab some of these from a private cellar, but haven't been able to try them yet! However, all signs point to this bottle being an awesome pairing for the sweeter end of your holiday table! Cari Bernard
The AP numbers chosen by the Schaefer family reflect a style rather than a specific vineyard plot, with the #10 often having a bit less concentration than #5 and a bit more lift and minerality. This year's #10 boasts ginger spice with a touch of white flowers on the nose, the wine is both juicy and mineral, with linear flavors of green mango and apple--a bit tight to open now, this bottle should age wonderfully!! Cari Bernard
Winemaker Max von Kunow took over his family's estate in 2010, and has made an ambitious effort to radically change both the farming and winemaking in just a short period of time. There has been a conversion of the vineyards to organics and the cellar to a focus on spontaneous fermentation and a range of dry and dry-tasting wines along with a fresh take on the Prädikat wines. The estate farms vineyards in top sites including Oberemmler Hütte (where they hold a monopol), Kanzemer Hörecker (also a monopol), and the legendary Scharzhofberg. The 2016 Scharzhofberg Kabinett is lean and fresh with finesse; a saline green dream of a wine, with notes of apricot, green mango, nectarines, lemon candy, green plums and strawberry tops. Cari Bernard