Perman Wine Selections Newsletter – 10/25/11

Hello,

Today’s newsletter is intended for fans of German wines. I recently brought in small quantities of some of the terrific 2010 vintage wines from some of the finest producers in the Mosel and Nahe regions. All of these wines come from one of the top importers of German wine, Terry Thiese. I have included his unique brand of tasting notes along the way (all quotes come from Thiese).

There are some wines featured that can be drunk now, but many of these are intended for collector’s of the finest German wines. I’ve said it before, so bear with me, but as someone who tastes wine each and every day, I’m of the opinion that many off-dry Rieslings can be considered among the fines wines of the world. If you judge wines based on balance, complexity and sheer drinkability, these could even be said to be at the top of the list.
So German wine fans, don’t miss some of these excellent 2010’s! Many of them will sell out.
Oh, and for those with a 2010er at home (baby born in 2010), there are some wines on this list that will make perfect gifts for his/her 21st birthday!

Cheers,
Craig

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DÕNNHOFF
I am offering 5 exceptional Rieslings from arguably Germany’s best producer. Helmut Dönnhoff has put the Nahe region of Germany on the map. He owns the best vineyards in the Nahe. These are some of the most “pure” wines you will ever taste. They never feel heavy, and they always have supreme clarity.

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2010 DÕNNHOFF ESTATE RIESLING TROCKEN
The one dry wine on this offering – and boy is it good!

“This was just the palate-cleaner to lead us into the serious wines, but wait – this is awfully good! It’s a lovely murmuringly smooth wine with length, a hint of fennel and a low note of stone. Best if you drink it good and cool, but not ice cold.”
$20.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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2010 DÕNNHOFF “OBERHÅUSER BRÜCKE” RIESLING SPÅTLESE
The Brücke vineyard is noted for its gray slate and loess soil. A very mineral driven wine.

“It seems drier but it isn’t. It’s explosively mineral yet its true depth is only glimpsed through a translucent mass of vinosity. Yet there’s also a buoyant lift and yet again a sort of gravitas, like a monk who likes flying kites. Part of this wine sleeps the sleep of the untroubled heart. And part of it is awake for hours, troubled by the pain of the world.”
$49.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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2010 DÕNNHOFF “NIEDERHÅUSER HERMANNSHÖHLE” RIESLING SPÅTLESE
The soil of Hermannshöhle is pure grey slate. It combines fruit with mineral and loads of complexity. Among the greatest vineyards in the world for Riesling.

“What, really, is left to say? All the images have been spent, the cupboard of adjectives is bare. In 2010 the slate is more prominent, the tones go less to scarlet and raspberry and more to limes and leaves and a surmise of licorice; the focus is arresting; the wine bores into you. Spit all you want, it won’t leave your mouth.”
$57.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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2010 DÕNNHOFF “OBERHÅUSER BRÜCKE” RIESLING AUSLESE GOLDKAPSEL
A Goldkapsel designates a special selection for the winery. Both of these Goldkapsel will be wines for the ages!

Again, no blatant botrytis, no candy or syrup, just a deepening of the Spat, a strange and haunting meld of peacefulness and energy, a glowy endorphin calm, a salt-plum wash, deliberate rivulets down the sides of the tongue; a wine that’s both in the zone and also constitutes the zone, with a suavity that isn’t cocky.
$43.99 HALF-BOTTLE / ONLY 6 HALF-BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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2010 DÕNNHOFF “NIEDERHÅUSER HERMANNSHÖHLE” RIESLING AUSLESE GOLDKAPSEL
One of the best Riesling made in Germany in 2010.

“Micro-chiseled, neurosurgical detail, implacable length, cherries and raspberries, a little phenolic scratchiness – lost for words, or rather, tired of them.”
$46.99 HALF-BOTTLE / ONLY 6 HALF-BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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SELBACH-OSTER
One of the greats in the Mosel, based in Zeltingen. Johannes Selbach makes wines that are sheer fun to drink. These are classic Mosel wines, and always at the top of their game.

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2010 SELBACH-OSTER “ZELTINGER SONNENUHR” RIESLING KABINETT
Here is a wine you can drink now – and oh what a value!

“It’s amazingly generous of Johannes to even make this wine for us. It’s his top single-site, and no way is it remotely a ‘Kabinett,’ yet he gets it to work almost spring-y; sharp-chiseled site aromas sing blazing clear from the glass. As expressive, deep and brilliant as many vintage’s Späts; all Fuder, 50% sponti; silky and murmuringly soul-deep.
$25.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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2010 SELBACH-OSTER “ZELTINGER SCHLOSSBERG” RIESLING SPÅTLESE
Schlossberg is one of the least known of the great “Grand Cru” sites of the Mosel. A mineral bomb with pure apple flavors.

“It smells like Rotlay does in many vintages. Perfect, pure, rich, bottomless, classic Mosel aromas – all sponti. I don’t claim this is the ultimate degree of intricacy or complexity. It is just the purest sublimity of its type. Clear, expressive, serenely energetic and long.

This is the taste I fell crazily in love with back in 1978, and came to understand as “Mosel.” Back then there were very few primary-fruit driven, stainless steel wines made. I like that style, but it’s explicable and it adds up; it’s linear. This kind of wine is mysterious and haunting. It’s like trying to describe why you think your lover is beautiful. You don’t enumerate her features and draw a diagram of how they’re positioned on her face. She’s just beautiful. And the way you feel when you look at her is a welling from your hidden heart. I feel something like it, when I taste a wine like this.”
$28.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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2010 SELBACH-OSTER “WEHLENER SONNENUHR” AUSLESE **
Doesn’t get much more famous than this vineyard. A wine of finesse, that really grows old gracefully.

Another scintillating masterpiece to follow the amazing ’09. Jo’s in the zone with this vineyard lately. Somehow this still conveys a silky clarity given its richness, as if it grows taller but not thicker. All Fuder; all gorgeous.
$36.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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2010 SELBACH-OSTER “ZELTINGER SONNENUHR” RIESLING “ROTLAY”
Johannes Selbach makes a collection of “micro-parcel” wines. These are selections from top “Grand Cru” sites. Rather than drinking wine made from grapes harvested in several passes, here you get the true identity of the vineyard, all single harvest.

“This is a relative giant. It will take years to exhale its deep held breath, as if it comes from the belly of a blue whale. Picked en bloc with 145-degrees Oechsle – I mean, come on! You don’t cut it with a knife and fork, you take a jackhammer to it.
$53.99 BTL. / ONLY 4 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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2010 SELBACH-OSTER “ZELTINGER SCHLOSSBERG” RIESLING “SCHMITT”
This was the first wine that Selbach produced a “micro-parcel” of in 2004. Again this is a wine to cellar for some time.

“I seem to have been channeling Dr Seuss when I tasted this wine. “Shatter and shimmer and gleam and glimmer, deep and crisp and weep and lisp – (etc)” Nothing rhymes with brilliance except consilience, but when flavor is mentioned, this has millions.”
$56.99 BTL. / ONLY 4 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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MERKELBACH
Yes, it is true, I always have a Merkelbach wine in the store. Which is impressive given that they are a tiny producer, with annual production of around 1700 cases.

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2010 MERKELBACH “ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN” RIESLING SPÅTLESE
This wine is insanely good for the money, and from a very special vineyard site at that.

“not a ton of it – just two Fuders, so about 220 cases. This may be the most profound wine they have ever made. It is primordial Ürz-Würz, a Mt Rushmore that ought to have their two faces on it. Have I ever tasted a more powerfully elegiac Mosel wine?”
$22.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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JOH. JOS. CHRISTOFFEL
Another legendary estate, and also a proud owner in the Würzgarten vineyard. Annual production is small, around 3200 cases.

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JOH. JOS. CHRISTOFFEL “ÜRZIGER WÜRZGARTEN” RIESLING AUSLESE ***
Hans Leo Christoffel feels this may be his best vintage ever. This wine needs time – and will be a gem in 10-years, 20-years, 30, well you get the point!

“Botrytis shows but doesn’t obtrude. 2010 was some kind of electric charge here in Ürzig/Erden, as if the stone itself were zapped. This amazing wine is almost gauzy but incandescent with spice and fruit, and with an elegant restraint that conveys a kind of melting, a swoon of fennel and lavender. Truly a vino di meditazione.”
$56.99 BTL. / ONLY 3 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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WILLI SCHAEFER
I love pretty much everything about the Willi Schaefer wines. Like Donnhoff this wines are so linear, so clear, they just hit you with layer after layer of complexity. This is a really small estate, they only make 2900 cases per year.

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2010 WILLI SCHAEFER “GRAACHER DOMPROBST” RIESLING KABINETT
I had to offer this “Kabinett.” I put that in quotes, because this has more richness than the usual Kabinett.

“As always, more starched and at-attention; overtly slatey and stony and with the clearest green apple; some wines show outside size but this shows inside size, it’s like free-run apple juice with semi-precious stones dissolved in it; the wine starts out assertive and palpably seems to melt, dissolve and soften, the way you feel if you see your beloved across a crowded room.”
$25.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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2010 WILLI SCHAEFER “GRAACHER DOMPROBST” RIESLING SPÅTLESE
A Domprobst Spätlese is most always a wine for the ages. This vintage is no different.

“As always, more starched and at-attention; overtly slatey and stony and with the clearest green apple; some wines show outside size but this shows inside size, it’s like free-run apple juice with semi-precious stones dissolved in it; the wine starts out assertive and palpably seems to melt, dissolve and soften, the way you feel if you see your beloved across a crowded room.”
$44.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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SCHMITT-WAGNER/CARL LOEWEN
Changes have take place at the Mosel estate Schmitt-Wagner. Carl Loewen has taken over winemaking duties for Bruno Schmitt. I had an opportunity to purchase an older case direct from the winery, and I couldn’t resist.

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2007 SCHMITT-WAGNER “LONGUICHER MAXIMINER HERRENBERG” RIESLING KABINETT
Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg is a very special vineyard. Ungrafted vines that were planted in 1896. There is an inherent spice tone that comes from the grapes of this vineyard. It is a beautiful wine, especially coming from the excellent 2007 vintage.

“High-toned and sleek, more overtly salty, lacier and precise; an articulate wine of elegant diction, girlish, a gamine of piquancy and mischief; spearminty and flinty – could almost be a Bernkasteler; in all another archetypal Mosel of the old school, the fine handsome old school; blessings on it. May it never die. Drinking like a dream right now.”
$18.99 BTL. / ONLY 12 BOTTLES AVAILABLE

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