Monday, July 7, 2008

LOST IN GERMANY

So, alongside the Austrian Pre-Sale information I had to wade through, I also had to make it through Terry Thiese’s German DI (Direct Import) info. I have been a huge supporter of Thiese’s German portfolio, which consists of some of the best producers from all over Germany, for well over 10 years now, and was excited to see what his notes had in store for me.

As I said with regards to the Austrian DI, Mr. Thiese is a wonderful writer, who actually makes researching his wines much more enjoyable than most importers would. Though not a quick read, my English Literature background seems to take hold whenever I pull up his latest notes.
To give you insight into my thought process as to what 2007 German wines I am bringing in, here is the list, accompanied by his notes (TT) and my brief remarks (K2):

1. Joh. Jos. Christoffel Riesling Spatlese Erdener Treppchen 2007. TT: “This ‘07 is salty and tangy, brilliant, but bottling has distorted it and sharpened its acids at the expense of its fruit, yet what peaks through is so compelling, suggesting ultimately an ‘07-melange of juicy fruit and a serpentine slither of firm mineral.” K2: Christoffel is one of those remarkable producers in the Mosel who has built an amazing reputation for quality. The wines of Christoffel have become extremely rare, limited only to long-time supporters of the brand. His wines can never be doubted; they always deliver superb character and quality.

2. Hexamer Riesling Spatlese Trocken Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg 2007. TT: “As a rule Hexamer’s wines have been too pointed to work in the dry idiom, and this one was the first hint that something was different about his ‘07s, for this immediately shows the authority of important wine from important soil; smoky, foresty aromas; wonderfully juicy and stony; amazingly focused and long.” K2: I haven’t brought in anything from Hexamer for a few years, for no other reason than I didn’t have any room. Always superb value from the Nahe region.

3. H. Donnhoff Estate Riesling 2007. TT: “Back to the insane quality of the 2005; porphyry and kirsch, deep and bright, exotic and minty, spicy, with perfectly calibrated sweetness. This would easily pass for Felsenberg, and offers ridiculous quality for the “entry-level” wine.” K2: Without a doubt, this wine has been my favorite Riesling from anywhere in the world vintage-after-vintage. An extraordinary value in dry QbA Riesling.

4. H. Donnhoff Riesling Grosses Gewachs Felsenberg 2007. TT: “… a juicy and masculine Riesling; a smooth mild breeze blowing over a soil where rain just fell; all the fragrance of the earth and bushes and flowers exhale. An almost pensive, thoughtful dry wine.” K2: Something new from Donnhoff – the term “Grosses Gewachs” is relatively new. It means “great growths.” Most of these wines are dry, and of superior quality, coming only from the best vineyard sites.

5. H. Donnhoff Riesling Grosses Gewachs Dellchen 2007. TT: “…an essence of its terroir, leather and prosciutto; the palate is stonier and spicier, or becomes that way as it ambles around your senses; an almost forbidding solemnity that’s not austere; both enveloping and pointed.”

6. H. Donnhoff Riesling Grosses Gewachs Hermannshohle 2007. TT: “… Dark aromas swoon into a bright palate, like those times you look at a sunlit tree against a black stormy sky; it reads a text it loves deeply, it almost weeps, its voice is moderate but charged with ambiguity and a sort of compassion, a wonder; it wants to be cuttingly berried and mineral and it also wants to caress; it gets your attention not by its noise but by its quiet, and finally you can’t fathom all the almost garish spicy arpeggios against this lullaby texture."

7. Wagner-Stempel Scheurebe Trocken 2007. TT: “Pungent! As stony as Pouilly-Fumé and as curranty as marl-grown Sancerre—35-yearold vines on porphyry by the way—93º Oechsle; full of licorice and wintergreen; it’s like a Traiser Bastei as Hans-Günter Schwarz would have made it. Wonderful chewy, juicy wine; addictively drinkable.” K2: Not just a token Scheurebe, but something of unique exceptionalism.

8. Gysler Silvaner Halbtrocken 2007. TT: “This one’s a little drier and more sinewy than last year—it’s the ripest and latest-picked (93º Oechsle), and do you realize what that means? The best fruit goes into the CHEAPEST wine! And he does that for you and me.” K2: A reload of this tasty, dry white.

9. Muller-Catoir Riesling Kabinett Trocken Haardt 2007. TT: “Amazing complex aroma; lemon blossom and bergamot and jasmine, with warm and cool notes alternating; the palate follows, with generous yet cool fruit and really explicit salt; again a paradoxical blend of filigree and creaminess. Gotta love 2007!” K2: Here’s arguably the best, most renowned producer in the Pfalz, recognized for their penchant for dry (trocken) wines.

10. Muller-Catoir Weissburgunder Kabinett Trocken Haardt 2007. TT: “This is crazy-good, with gloriously expressive classic varietal aromas spoken with almost a Riesling diction; pure filigree luxury, and you will not find classier Pinot Blanc anywhere.” K2: Companion to the Riesling, this tasty German Pinot Blanc is of exquisite character.

11. Muller-Catoir Muskateller Kabinett Trocken Haardt 2007. TT: “No secret I feel this is the best Muscat in Germany and thus one of the very best on earth. What’s there to say anymore about this absolute sure-thing, the sex that’s always perfect, the thirst that’s always quenched? Except that it has almost a Riesling minerality, and it’s an audience of many thousands laughing, and it delivers a huge mass of $%&#ing delicious flavor with 11.8% alc. So deal with THAT, alcohol bullies! Wine can convey no greater joy than this. . . .” K2: Muscat Blanc from Germany, done in a racy, slightly sweet style. Amazing stuff for Asian food or just hedonistic drinking.

As always, the second DI from Thiese is usually due in September/October. We will feature a good portion of these during many of the tastings between September and November to give all of you a chance to try them. I will keep you posted on their arrival, and will have more on Terry Thiese in the future.

1 comment:

jseeds said...

Yay! Killer line-up. I can't wait to try these...
Herr Donnhoff is out of control.