A special newsletter for drinkers and collectors of some of the finest wines of Austria and Germany.
Each year I offer several of the top wines from the Terry Theise Estate Selections portfolio to my customers.
This is a pre-arrival offering, with the wines due to arrive in the Fall.
Why buy on pre-arrival?
You will have access to wines that will not come to the Chicago market otherwise. Many of these wines are tiny in production, and it is a matter of getting it now or missing it.
It will save you money! Pre-arrival orders mean that the local distributor doesn’t have to tie their money up in inventory. They thus pass on this savings to you.
This list contains some of the world’s best dry white wines, sweet white wines, and even a red or two. Lots of other wines are available, so if you know this portfolio, don’t hesitate to ask about others. I have chosen some of my favorites.
Finally, the descriptors below come from Terry Theise himself. They will make you laugh, they will make you shake your head, but just know that he is one of the most gifted tasters in the world for these particular categories, and he gets real excited!
Go to this link to download his catalogs for Germany or Austria. http://www.skurnikwines.com/msw/theise_catalogs.html They come packed with details and anecdotes.
THE ORDERS ARE DUE BACK TO ME BY THIS FRIDAY JULY 13TH!!!
2010 Sattler St. Laurent “Reserve”
One of my favorite Austrian reds. Should get a couple years at least in a cellar before diving in.
“I have already tasted at Glatzer the day before, and was forming my theory that the best among the ’10’s were the kinds of red wines I absolutely loved. After the extravagances of the two mezzo-forte ’11’s above, this is more my world: finesse, purity, articulation, fruit. Focused and refined and almost noble; salty and sweetly smoky. Dollar for dollar I’m sure you can’t find Burgundy this good. Shapely and delicious, like a veal stock with cloves and rose-hip.”
$31.99 BTL. / $383.88 CASE
2010 Walter Glatzer Blaufränkisch Reserve
“Everyone said what a pain in the nech the 2010 reds were to make, but you have to feel a result such as this made it worthwhile. This is lovely because of, not in-spite-of the vintage, it finds a seam of sweetness and grace often obscured by the sheer generosity of riper years; it’s delicate and meditative but with filigree detail. A small poem, not a big symphony. I tried to get free of it – other wines were waiting – but I kept circling back; wines like this one speak to me.”
$21.99 BTL. / $263.88 CASE
2011 Walter Glatzer Grüner Veltliner
“A cheerful bonny little guy, in a great sunny mood; seems sweet-leesy as if the 2011 lees were mixed with talc; creamy and lentilly, and almost doughty in its beaming charm.”
$13.99 BTL. / $167.88 CASE
2011 Walter Glatzer Grüner Veltliner “Dornenvogel”
“Glatzer’s “reserve” wines are named “Thorn Bird” after the avian marauders who like to dine on his ripest grapes. This is the best vintage of this wine in many years, uniting its usual olive-oil snap to the sweet leesiness of the ’11’s, giving both substance and charm; some sponti notes also, but this wine has power, spice and density – if the not the Nth degree of complexity. But you know, satisfaction counts for something.”
$17.99 BTL. / $215.88 CASE
2010 Schloss Gobelsburg Riesling “Tradition”
“It smells like Gaisberg (from which it is made). It’s almost unbelievable salty and long and soulful in its rich cream and mossy green and chicken-breast umami, but really what it is, is a psalm of Riesling. To drink such a thing is to feel carried to some other place, as though you were present at the moment of its birth – Riesling, come into the world from out of the great silent mystery.”
$98.99 PER MAGNUM / ALSO AVAILABLE IN 750ML BOTTLES
2011 Hirsch Grüner Veltliner “veltliner #1”
“In fact this is a markedly tasty and successful 2011; surprisingly dark aromas lead into a fresh silvery palate mingling flowering fields and nettle; it’s spicy yet calm and poised, even lapidary. And blissfully light (11.5%!).”
$18.99 BTL. / $227.88 CASE
2011 Nikolaihof Grüner Veltliner “Hefeabzug”
One of greatest producers in Austria, if you collect, ask me about some of their higher end wines. Here is an introductory to those that don’t know the wines. One of the first biodynamic estate’s in the world.
“How would their 2011’s be? It was relatively loose-knit by Nikolaihof standards, and so it showed its leesiness more – Hefabzug means ‘sur lie’ – but it’s splendidly salty and oystery, dynamic and snappy and long.”
$26.99 BTL. / $323.88 CASE
2011 Eugen Müller Forster Kirchenstück Riesling Auslese
“Savagely fine vineyard fragrance, a city made of cherry blossom. The palate is literally stunning in the ferocity of its terroir, endlessly salty and flowery, already expressive and integrated, and lashing and electric.”
$31.99 PER 500ML BTL. / $383.88 CASE
2011 Dönnhoff Mixed Case Riesling Grosses Gewächs
Dry Riesling fanatics, this is something you should have in your cellar!
2 bottles each of Dry Riesling from the Grosses Gewächs vineyards of Felsenberg, Dellchen and Hermannshöhle. Only sold as a six-pack.
2011 Dönnhoff Hermannshöhle Riesling Grosses Gewächs
“The best since the legendary 2005, and the best dry Riesling I’ve yet tasted from Germany. Ridiculous delineation and spice, world-class doesn’t begin to describe it; intricacy, a kinetic mélange of dough, fruit, mineral; brilliant but effortless, a virtuoso playing within her ability a fiendishly difficult piece. Searching, endless finish. This I think is the result of Helmut’s larger holding in the site – the ability to select with utmost care, and to make a being like this.”
$148.99 PER MAGNUM (HOW COULD I RESIST) / ALSO AVAILABLE IN 750MLs
2011 Dönnhoff Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Spätlese “Felsentürmchen”
“The sirloin section of Schlossböckelheimer Felsenberg has given us a miracle in 2011. A stop-you-in-your-tracks fragrance. Nahe Riesling – the greatest smell on earth! This is the utter breathing soul of Riesling; salty energy, dreamy echoes, the last vibrations of the pealing bells; it firms up and gets fruitier with oxygen; the finish is primordial, iron and pine. Riesling at its most shamanic.”
$41.99 BTL. / $503.88 CASE
2011 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese
“Queenly, powerful but sedate; trails a heavy vinous finish, shows its essential core, coiled yet fluid, massive yet furtive; leaf and quince, gorgeous and calm, and with a little jab of acidity as it finishes.
$49.99 BTL. / $599.88 CASE
2011 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese
“It’s both the giggling daughter of Felsenberg yet also the older poet-sister of Kirschheck. Here its minty face is really digital and explicit, and the wine is as clearly great as it can ever be, rippling with pent-up energy, electric with minty brilliance, yet pliant with its cool smooth texture.”
$58.99 BTL. / $707.88 CASE
2011 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Auslese “Goldkapsel”
“Dönnhoff is the only vintner I know – let me repeat that: the only vintner I know, who understands that Auslese is a refinement of the soul of the Spätlese, not a departure into the genre of botrytis-dessert wine on a miniature scale.
And the moment you taste this, you will know: greater divinity is not to be conceived. The lion lies down with the lamb. All is forgiven, yet no need to forgive any more. Wine – life – doesn’t offer a grace tenderer, more calming, more grave, and yet more unquiet than this. It is a beacon by which you locate your deepest soul.”
$43.99 PER 375ML BTL. / $527.88 CASE
2011 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Auslese “Goldkapsel”
“Similarly numinous and serene, but here the impact is kaleidoscopic, a thousand tiny beads of nuance, a fugue of nuance, leading to a fugue-state – it is all there to be seen, everything you thought you were looking for – and yet you wonder. It’s not what you thought you would find, and now you’re more curious than ever.”
$46.99 PER 375ML BTL. / $563.88 CASE
2011 Jakob Schneider Riesling Kabinett
This wine is SO fun to drink! If you like just a hint of sweetness in your Riesling, and you find yourself eating spicy food frequently, you need to buy this by the case.
“After Dönnhoff ‘s estate Riesling this is certainly the best value in the offering – year after year.
Why? It always hails from what we’ll soon call “classified” vineyards – the ’11 comes from Rosenberg, Felsensteyr and a little Kirschheck – and it’s like getting a cuvée from Pucelles, Folatières and Bâtard and calling it Bourgogne Blanc. The ’11 is more volcanic than it’s sometimes been; absurdly complex, deft, slinky and salty, refined and long as all hell; a stern dry smoky finish with an echo of blueberries and even a tiny phenolic nip.”
$17.99 PER 1-LITER BTL. / $215.88 CASE
2011 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Kabinett
“Y’know what? I freakin’ love this vineyard. And here it is in a dewy, virginal form, the single gleaming instant of innocence that isn’t naïve, hope that isn’t defeated, kindness unconscious of reward, sweetness that can’t help itself.”
$23.99 BTL. / $287.88 CASE
2011 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling “Schmitt”
“This is almost demure after the hyperactive Anrecht; all its flavor – all its amazing flavor – coming as a taut minerality yet also a fluid herbal savor in the middle and back palates. The almost sedate attack doesn’t prepare you for the onslaught of flavor to follow, yet it’s all gentle and companionable.”
$53.99 BTL. / $323.94 SIX-PACK CASE
2011 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling “Rotlay”
“Here’s a little cinéma vérité; we had three lots, of which “B” gave the most funky old-school Mosel. Everyone loved it. But a blend of all three pieces gave a more symmetrical, more complete dialogue, a “better” wine, at the cost of civilizing the beast that was “B.” And the wine is superb. But…but “B” is just so gloriously ornery – let’s do it!”
$53.99 BTL. / $323.94 SIX-PACK CASE
2010 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese **
“This is probably the very finest mega-rich Auslese Johannes has made; it has a clear stream of lime and pêche-de-vigne; a perfectly streamlined yet huge Auslese, from below the sundial, 80+ year vines; it’s juicy and addictively tasty yet entirely proud and serious and yet with no affect of seriousness; it’s not huffy.”
$55.99 BTL. / $671.88 CASE
2011 Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett
“For newcomers to Merkelbach, these wines are vinified cask by cask, and each (so-called) fuder is numbered, and the wines are presented by fuder-number. The largest blending/holding tank in the cellar can only hold two fuders (each contains about 112 cases worth of wine), so there’s never a blend of more than two individual wines. Yes, such a thing still exists in our world.
This Kabinett was dramatically the better of two options, complex and long, hyssop and blackberries.”
$17.99 BTL. / $215.88 CASE
2011 Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese #13
“The loveliest, juiciest and fruitiest of them all, wonderful texture of strawberry mousse, and beautifully integrated botrytis.”
$21.99 BTL. / $263.88 CASE
2010 Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling BA
“I noticed that “#5” on the list. “How much did you make of this?” I asked Alfred. No one ever makes a lot of this kind of wine; usually you hear about “60 liters” or “120 liters,” but Alfred looked at me quizzically and said, as if it was self- evident MMMM, a Fuder, (naturally). Ohh-kay. The first BA they’ve made since 1976, and they made an entire barrel of it – 1200 liters! And this is because they wouldn’t make such a wine unless they could make a barrel of it!
It was picked en bloc from two parcels, the great Lang Pichter and the equally great Sonnenuhr (downstream between the sundial and the road, perfectly sited and sheltered). The wine is amazingly gauzy and even refreshing, though with concentrated but refined, even noble fruit. When has a wine with 137 ̊ ever been so lithe, so bewitchingly spicy? Pure apple compote and cinammon. This really is exotic yet classic, not at all recherché. And you can drink a couple glasses! And open another bottle – there’s a fuder!”
$45.99 BTL. / $551.88 CASE – YEP THOSE ARE 750ML’S – A STEAL!
2011 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erdener Treppchen Riesling Auslese**
“From the Herzlay, and this is an avalanche of slate; stunningly solid; its feet are so deep in the soil, the apple fruit is so pure, the slate becomes so delicate in the finish, and the thing lingers endlessly yet vaporously, amazing equipoise of firm and gauzy, ethereal and vivid. Pity we’ve stopped caring about wines like this, and lucky for the continued existence of beauty that the Chinese are buying them like crazy.”
$55.99 BTL. / $335.94 SIX-PACK CASE
2011 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese ***
“Earlier sentiments apply! The tender restraint here is heart-rending. It’s softer than its forbears, the first truly ‘sweet’ wine.”
$64.99 BTL. / $389.94 SIX-PACK CASE
2011 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett #16
“The pistachio side of Domprobst, but focused to a point so fine it’s like you took a laser pointer to the terroir, and yet it’s limpid and lapidary and shady. Amazing.”
$25.99 BTL. / $311.88 CASE
2011 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese #5
“A little botrytis now, contributing to a truly celestial fragrance; here the whole thing goes incandescent, as the fruit goes all tantra upside the mineral; it is getting terribly hard to spit these. The pointillist detailing of the dialogue of elements is so tender and pure, it seems to cleanse the very world.”
$44.99 BTL. / $539.88 CASE
2011 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese #11
“A remarkable creature! It brought Dönnhoff to mind; it concentrates the fruit-mineral essence without adding perceptible sweetness; if anything it’s just saltier, more air-cured; this is a series of miracles that shake the soul and ease the way, and all of them demure, tactful, and lighter than air.”
$71.99 BTL. / $863.88 CASE