2015, Germany, WINE

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Germany's rich, illustrious wine history can stand proudly next to the rest of the world's great regions, but its recent history has been somewhat more checkered. For centuries, the country's nobly sweet Riesling wines were considered the finest on Earth. But by the late 20th and early 21st centuries, this style had long fallen out of favor with the general public, both in Germany and abroad. The dry, or trocken, style now encompasses the majority of German wine production, but the best contemporary winemakers have held fast to tradition and held themselves and their peers to strict quality standards.

The late-ripening Riesling grape is perfectly suited to the sweet style and perfectly suited to Germany's best vineyards, the most northerly in the wine growing world. First, only Pinot Noir can match Riesling's ability to convey such a pure sense of time and place from such highly specific plots of land. Second, the profile of luxurious sugar and fruit allied to bracing acidity is simply inimitable. Many regions have tried. All have failed. The sweet wines, or Prädiktat wines, are legally defined according to must weight and actual alcohol content. Kabinett is the first tier on the pyramid, typically bright and fresh in style with exuberant fruit and racy acid. Spätlese wines are riper in natural sugars and potential alcohol, fuller in body and residual sugar, and longer lived in the cellar. The Auslese tier takes wine to another realm of expression and complexity with intensely ripe fruits married to ultra-fine, filigreed acid. The super-premium tiers of Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, and Eiswein are to the point of defying description. Exceedingly rare and exorbitantly expensive, they are among the wine world's unicorns, and enjoying one is the treat of a lifetime, indeed.

In terms of terroir, Germany's wine identity is defined by the five-mile-long wall of vines in the middle Mosel River Valley. The best plots of vines cling to steep inclines (up to 60% in some places) on beds of weathered slate soils, said to impart the region's trademark "petrol" character to the wines' bouquets. Along the river's snaking course, the best sites enjoy southerly exposures to take full advantage of the day's rays, even late into the season. Many of Germany's greatest wine estates are based in the villages on the Mosel, but its tributaries, Saar and Ruwer, boast their own fair share of iconic vineyards and producers, with the wines generally more elegant and austere than those from the river's main course.

Where the Mosel meets the mighty Rhine river, there begins the rest of Germany's wine mosaic. The Nahe is another of the river's tributaries. Southeast of Mosel, it's more of a patchwork of vineyard sites, on both the main Nahe branch and along some of its tributaries. The wines are generally riper and more unctuous than the Mosel's, but great growers are finding new levels of refinement each year. At an eastward bend in the river, the historically majestic Rheingau's prized, south-facing vineyards produce wines of elegant subtlety and austerity. Where the Rhine turns south again, the Rheinhessen's easterly wall of red slate, known as the Roter Hang produces wines of luxurious sweetness and spicy minerality. Further down the river, the Pfalz is perhaps Germany's most exciting wine region today, as it sits in the lee of the Vosges mountains, far from any major river, making it Germany's driest, sunniest micro-climate. The resulting Rieslings display a honeyed decadence and body with riveting acidity, characteristic Riesling but wholly Pfalz at heart.

Away from this stretch of the Rhein, Germany's lesser-known regions quietly excel with often obscure native varietals and a few transplants. With Germany's most northerly vines, the tiny Ahr river valley grows some of the country's best Pinot Noir, or Spätburgunder, on steep blue and black slate slopes. A few top producers are now making wines to rival the heavyweights from elsewhere, with a meaty, ripe density and firm texture. In addtion to Spätburgunder, Germany's best indigenous red varietals also see great success in Baden, in the country's Bavarian south. Trollinger and Lemberger thrive particularly well around Württemburg. Franken, on the other hand, has a world-class reputation built on a white grape, and it isn't Riesling. The densely compact Silvaner does best here on the limestone soils, and the top wines are as ageworthy as most great Rieslings.

Germany's wine reputation may rise and fall with the fortunes of one varietal, as it should. But that one varietal is unlike any other, and with time the country's upstart mavericks will continue to make waves with the other staple grapes here, as well. Through highs and lows, the heart and soul of Germany's wine scene have stayed strong, and they're only getting stronger.

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96 points Stuart Pigott (JamesSuckling.com): Dönnhoff's first dry Riesling from their monopole Brücke (bridge) site in many years with a much more limited production than the other GGs. Tart blackcurrant and grapefruit notes dominate the nose suggesting that this is going to be quite a cool and tart… ...
JS 96
JG 95
WA 94
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Donnhoff Riesling Oberhauser Brucke GG (Auction AP# 30) 2015  (#329077)

Riesling from Nahe, Germany

[ 96 points Stuart Pigott (JamesSuckling.com): Dönnhoff's first dry Riesling from their monopole Brücke (bridge) site in many years with a much more limited production than the other GGs. Tart blackcurrant and grapefruit notes dominate the nose suggesting that this is going to be quite a cool and tart wine, and indeed it is. Enormous drive and depth on the palate lead into a whiplash finish. (9/9/16) ] 96 points Stuart Pigott (JamesSuckling.com): Dönnhoff's first dry Riesling from their monopole Brücke (bridge) site in many years with a much more limited production than the other GGs. Tart blackcurrant and grapefruit notes dominate the nose…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
JS 96
JG 95
WA 94
94 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): ...lovely bouquet... a wet and smoky stone fruit flavor, along with some lemon and herbal aromas. The wine is round and elegant on the palate, almost mouth-fillingly fruity and reveals a seductive concentration and intensity; it also has a refined acidity… ...
WA 94
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Muller-Catoir Riesling Haardter Herrenletten Trocken 2015  (#329683)

Riesling from Pfalz, Germany

[ 94 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): ...lovely bouquet... a wet and smoky stone fruit flavor, along with some lemon and herbal aromas. The wine is round and elegant on the palate, almost mouth-fillingly fruity and reveals a seductive concentration and intensity; it also has a refined acidity structure on the palate. It is richer and more generous than the Bürgergarten, but with concentrated fruit. This is very long and intensely mineral Riesling... Spectacular! Drink: 2019-2035. (Dec 2016) ] 94 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): ...lovely bouquet... a wet and smoky stone fruit flavor, along with some lemon and herbal aromas. The wine is round and elegant on the palate, almost mouth-fillingly fruity and reveals a seductive…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
94 points and 'Cellar Selection,' Wine Enthusiast: Initial whiffs of smoke and struck flint fade into pretty pineapple and blossom on the nose of this full-bodied, dry Riesling. Mango and tangerine flavors are riper and heftier on the palate than in many of the Mosel's 2015 Grosses Gewächs wines,… ...
WE 94
JS 93
WA 92
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Haag/Fritz Riesling Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Grosses Gewachs 2015  (#329079)

Riesling from Mosel, Germany

[ 94 points and 'Cellar Selection,' Wine Enthusiast: Initial whiffs of smoke and struck flint fade into pretty pineapple and blossom on the nose of this full-bodied, dry Riesling. Mango and tangerine flavors are riper and heftier on the palate than in many of the Mosel's 2015 Grosses Gewächs wines, neatly balanced by racy acidity and a backbone of cool steel. It's delicious already, but likely to evolve well through the 2020s at least. Alcohol 13%. (May 2017) ] 94 points and 'Cellar Selection,' Wine Enthusiast: Initial whiffs of smoke and struck flint fade into pretty pineapple and blossom on the nose of this full-bodied, dry Riesling. Mango and tangerine flavors are riper and heftier on the palate than in…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
WE 94
JS 93
WA 92
$36.95
$56.00
Save $19.05 (34%)56.00
Save $19.05 (34%)
94 points Stuart Pigott (JamesSuckling.com): The Centrafenberg Riesling from Paul Fürst is one of the most sought after German GGs because of the wine s crystalline purity, racy acidity, and complex herbal and berry aromas. This is one of the best vintages, packed with flavor and blessed with an… ...
JS 94
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Furst/Rudolf Riesling Burgstadter Centgrafenberg Grosses Gewachs 2015  (#329078)

Riesling from Franconia, Germany

[ 94 points Stuart Pigott (JamesSuckling.com): The Centrafenberg Riesling from Paul Fürst is one of the most sought after German GGs because of the wine s crystalline purity, racy acidity, and complex herbal and berry aromas. This is one of the best vintages, packed with flavor and blessed with an almost super-natural freshness. (9/27/16) ] 94 points Stuart Pigott (JamesSuckling.com): The Centrafenberg Riesling from Paul Fürst is one of the most sought after German GGs because of the wine s crystalline purity, racy acidity, and complex herbal and berry aromas. This is one of the best…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
90 points David Schildknecht (Vinous): ...Scents of lavender and corn shoot feature on an unexpectedly pungent nose. Abundant juicy fresh apple is mingled with soothing raw almond, cooling green herbal extracts and piquantly stimulating corn shoots on a buoyant, subtly creamy palate. The sustained,… ...
V 90
WA 88
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okonomierat Rebholz Pinot Blanc Pfalz Dry 2015  (#330130)

Pinot Blanc/Pinot Bianco from Pfalz, Germany

[ 90 points David Schildknecht (Vinous): ...Scents of lavender and corn shoot feature on an unexpectedly pungent nose. Abundant juicy fresh apple is mingled with soothing raw almond, cooling green herbal extracts and piquantly stimulating corn shoots on a buoyant, subtly creamy palate. The sustained, refreshingly animated finish is correspondingly complex, capping a performance that belies this little beauty s modest price. A degree of versatility at table...is assured... Drink 2017-2019. (Aug 2017) ] 90 points David Schildknecht (Vinous): ...Scents of lavender and corn shoot feature on an unexpectedly pungent nose. Abundant juicy fresh apple is mingled with soothing raw almond, cooling green herbal extracts and piquantly stimulating corn shoots…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
94+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...The wine comes in at around 12.5% alcohol and offers up a refined and very classy bouquet of grapefruit, white cherries, wild yeasts, dried flowers, a lovely base of minerality, petrol and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied,… ...
JG 94
WA 94
WS 94
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Schafer-Frohlich Riesling Nahe Felsenberg Grosses Gewachs 2015  (#328695)

Riesling from Nahe, Germany

[ 94+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...The wine comes in at around 12.5% alcohol and offers up a refined and very classy bouquet of grapefruit, white cherries, wild yeasts, dried flowers, a lovely base of minerality, petrol and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, nascently complex and just beautifully balanced, with a fine core, superb focus and grip and a very, very long, classic and refined finish. Just a beautiful wine in the making. 2022-2060. (Mar/Apr 2016) ] 94+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...The wine comes in at around 12.5% alcohol and offers up a refined and very classy bouquet of grapefruit, white cherries, wild yeasts, dried flowers, a lovely base of minerality, petrol and a smoky…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12 available
JG 94
WA 94
WS 94
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$69.95
$110.00
Save $40.05 (36%)110.00
Save $40.05 (36%)
95 points John Gilman: ...The bouquet... is stunning, soaring from the glass in a fine blend of pink grapefruit, a hint of gooseberry, plenty of smokiness, gorgeous minerality, wild yeasts, a hint of mossiness and a topnote of lime peel... pure, full-bodied and beautifully light on its feet, with a… ...
JG 95
WA 94
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Emrich-Schonleber Riesling Monzinger Fruhlingsplatzchen GG 2015  (#329907)

Riesling from Nahe, Germany

[ 95 points John Gilman: ...The bouquet... is stunning, soaring from the glass in a fine blend of pink grapefruit, a hint of gooseberry, plenty of smokiness, gorgeous minerality, wild yeasts, a hint of mossiness and a topnote of lime peel... pure, full-bodied and beautifully light on its feet, with a rock solid core, bright, seamless acids and stunning length and grip on the very, very elegant and perfectly balanced finish... one of the most beautiful dry Rieslings I tasted on this trip. 2020-2050+. (Mar/Apr 2016) ] 95 points John Gilman: ...The bouquet... is stunning, soaring from the glass in a fine blend of pink grapefruit, a hint of gooseberry, plenty of smokiness, gorgeous minerality, wild yeasts, a hint of mossiness and a topnote of lime peel... pure, full…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
91 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): The 2015 Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett is still pretty reductive, but round, fresh and fruity, with a stimulating piquancy and salinity. A classic Mosel Kabinett with 8.5% alcohol and just the perfect amount of fruit sweetness. Drink 2018-2035. (Apr 2017… ...
TP 91
WA 91
WE 90
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Haag/Fritz Riesling Kabinett Brauneberger 2015  (#327941)

Riesling from Mosel, Germany

[ 91 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): The 2015 Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett is still pretty reductive, but round, fresh and fruity, with a stimulating piquancy and salinity. A classic Mosel Kabinett with 8.5% alcohol and just the perfect amount of fruit sweetness. Drink 2018-2035. (Apr 2017) ] 91 points Stephan Reinhardt (Wine Advocate): The 2015 Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett is still pretty reductive, but round, fresh and fruity, with a stimulating piquancy and salinity. A classic Mosel Kabinett with 8.5% alcohol and just the perfect…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
TP 91
WA 91
WE 90
$24.95
$32.00
Save $7.05 (22%)32.00
Save $7.05 (22%)
92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...plenty of filigree and lovely complexity and balance...10% alc... 43g/l r.s... The bouquet is lovely, wafting from the glass in a blend of tart orange, pink grapefruit, plenty of smokiness, wild yeasts, lovely minerality, a touch of mossiness and a… ...
JG 92
WA 90
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Emrich-Schonleber Riesling Monzingen Kabinett 2015  (#329909)

Riesling from Nahe, Germany

[ 92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...plenty of filigree and lovely complexity and balance...10% alc... 43g/l r.s... The bouquet is lovely, wafting from the glass in a blend of tart orange, pink grapefruit, plenty of smokiness, wild yeasts, lovely minerality, a touch of mossiness and a topnote of dried flowers... medium-full, crisp and light on its feet, with superb focus and grip, classic Kabinett filigree and a very long, vibrant and nascently complex finish. A lovely example. 2016-2040. (Mar/Apr 2016) ] 92+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...plenty of filigree and lovely complexity and balance...10% alc... 43g/l r.s... The bouquet is lovely, wafting from the glass in a blend of tart orange, pink grapefruit, plenty of smokiness, wild…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
93+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): The 2015 Ohligsberg GG is an excellent wine in the making, delivering a fine aromatic constellation of white cherries, tart pear, smoky overtones, a superb base of slate minerality, a touch of wild yeasts and a topnote of currant leaf. On the palate the… ...
JG 93
WA 93
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Haart/Reinhold Riesling Wintricher Ohligsberg Grosses Gewachs 2015  (#327959)

Riesling from Mosel, Germany

[ 93+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): The 2015 Ohligsberg GG is an excellent wine in the making, delivering a fine aromatic constellation of white cherries, tart pear, smoky overtones, a superb base of slate minerality, a touch of wild yeasts and a topnote of currant leaf. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and quite suave on the attack, with lovely elegance to its structural chassis, bright, ripe acids and excellent length and grip on the focused and youthful finish. Really a lovely wine. 2019-2040. (Mar/Apr 2016) ] 93+ points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): The 2015 Ohligsberg GG is an excellent wine in the making, delivering a fine aromatic constellation of white cherries, tart pear, smoky overtones, a superb base of slate minerality, a touch of wild…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
$44.88
$65.00
Save $20.12 (31%)65.00
Save $20.12 (31%)
91 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...pure and classy nose of apple, lime, a touch of cress, a beautiful base of slate and a gentle topnote of petrol. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure and vibrant, with lovely nascent complexity, bright, zesty acids and outstanding focus and grip on… ...
JG 91
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Muller/Egon Riesling QbA Scharzhof 2015  (#327163)

Riesling from Mosel, Germany

[ 91 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...pure and classy nose of apple, lime, a touch of cress, a beautiful base of slate and a gentle topnote of petrol. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure and vibrant, with lovely nascent complexity, bright, zesty acids and outstanding focus and grip on the very promising finish. This will need a few years in the cellar to develop some of its secondary layers of complexity and should age long and gracefully. 2019-2040. (Mar/Apr 2016) ] 91 points John Gilman (View From the Cellar): ...pure and classy nose of apple, lime, a touch of cress, a beautiful base of slate and a gentle topnote of petrol. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure and vibrant, with lovely nascent complexity,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
A wonderfully light, juicy Riesling for everyday drinking. Its varietally-typical acid, paired with a pleasant finish, gives this wine a unique energy and drinkability. ...
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Metzger Riesling Trocken 2015  (#330717)

Riesling from Pfalz, Germany

[ A wonderfully light, juicy Riesling for everyday drinking. Its varietally-typical acid, paired with a pleasant finish, gives this wine a unique energy and drinkability. ] A wonderfully light, juicy Riesling for everyday drinking. Its varietally-typical acid, paired with a pleasant finish, gives this wine a unique energy and drinkability.

1L Magnum | In stock, 4 available
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