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K&L Staff Recommendations
Extraordinarily aromatic, vigorous wines from a vintner who grows more commanding each vintage. This is the wine that once was called Rüdesheimer Drachenstein, and it’s the wine David Schildknecht said was the best Riesling value in the world, which is because Johannes sells it to us for much less than it’s worth. For a large-production wine this receives the same care in the vineyards and cellar that every Leitz wine receives.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Rheingau Riesling trocken Eins Zwei Dry is very clear, fresh and stony on the nose, a classic Rheingau Riesling with bright, fine and citric fruit aromas intertwined with crushed stone flavors. The racy attack on the palate is followed by a pure and salty taste, and a pretty intense and aromatic finish with a very nice phenolic grip. This Rheingau Riesling is refreshingly pure, straight and dry, and its acidity is mercilessly Riesling-like." (10/2016) K&L Notes: A wonderfully dry, but not mouth-searing, style of Riesling for those who love the delicate attri... Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Riesling Trocken has a clear, fresh and open bouquet followed by a refreshingly pure and piquant, nicely juicy and charmingly fruity palate. This wine was bottled at the end of September with 58 milligrams of sulfur (total) and just 10.4% alcohol. (SR)" (3/2017) K&L Notes: From Mosel Fine Wines: "The 2015er Estate Riesling Trocken comes from the Estate’s secondary vineyards (Pündericher Goldberg, Rosenberg and the east-facing part of the Pündericher Marienburg) as well as declassified fruit from its 'Grand Cru' vineyards. It offers a gorgeous nose of grapefr... Read More »
92 points Wine Enthusiast: "While initially a bit earthy and savory on the nose, this ethereal kabinett abounds in fruity, floral complexities. Cutting and spry, its sweet, tangy citrus and stone-fruit flavors seem to dance nervously on the palate. It's nuanced and minerally, with a deliciously salty finish. (AI)" 91 points Wine Spectator: "Racy and rich, with concentrated green peach and grapefruit flavors accented by notes of wet stone. Tropical details emerge on the minerally finish alongside hints of smoke. (KM)" (11/2016)
Vinous: "Sourced from gentler, deeper-soiled sites east of Forst, in Ruppertsberg, Friedelsheim and Niederkirchen, this generic bottling is for some reason labeled 'Riesling Trocken Rural' in its home market. Salt-tinged bright citrus and apple are complemented by levity from just under 12% alcohol, leading to a mouthwatering and refreshing if simple and only modestly sustained finish. Ever since secularization under Napoleon, there have been three prominent Spindler wineries in the tiny village but terroir powerhouse Forst, the legacy of a generation spent under ...Read More »
91 points Wine Spectator: "Rich and intense, with well-spiced flavors of ripe melon, apple, pear and white berries, backed by crunchy acidity. Hints of smoke show on the minerally finish. Drink now through 2021. 800 cases made." (3/2017)
Stephan Reinhardt writes: "Von Winning's 2015 Rieslings from Deidesheim are round, luscious and fruit intense, quite powerful and already accessible. The Forster, however, take their time—as usual. They are coolish and discreet on the nose, but really complex on the palate and demanding for longer bottle aging."
This is an extraordinarily unique blend of Portugeiser, Dornfelder and Pinot Noir. It has a bright, fragrant nose, super creamy mousse with pretty strawberry fruit flavors accented by a hint of lemon zest and a dry, refreshing finish. It is great on its own, but has the body to complement a variety of foods, making it an excellent and versatile choice for entertaining. Try it with grilled pork sausages!
Inventory: San Francisco
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Weisser Burgunder Trocken is clear, pure and fresh on the nose, quite mineral and a bit flinty. On the palate, this is a juicy-piquant and grippy Pinot Blanc; it has a round and juicy palate with a grippy finish. Enormously attractive in its ripeness, intensity and grippy raciness. (SR)" (8/2016) K&L Notes: Quiet, focused, precise, and passionate. These words describe Hanjörg Rebholz and his wines perfectly. He reminds us a lot of Franconian vintner Paul Fürst, and both men are revered highly by winemaking colleagues throughout Germany. Each has a self assur... Read More »
Jancis Robinson: "Bottled early April. Very intense floral nose and good balance on the palate - not too austere. Lots to enjoy here. Very fluid and flavourful." (4/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "Wittmann's 2015 Riesling Trocken displays clear, warm and super-ripe. white fruit aromas along with sweet blossom and floral flavors on the nose. Round and quite powerful on the palate, but also pure and mineral, this is a rich and fruit-intense wine. This is a good indicator what to expect from Wittmann's 2015 range. (SR)" (8/2016)
Karl Erbes and his son Stefan run this estate that was established in 1967. The estate consists of five hecatres of land in Ürziger Würzgarten and Erdener Treppchen. All of their vines are ungrafted and the oldest are 70-80 years old. The wines are vinified traditionally in neutral oak barrels.
Located in the heart of Trier, this is a winery with a social mission--since 1804, thanks to Napoleon. Originally founded to help fund St. Jakobs Hospital, the winery still partly finances nursing home and hospital care. The sekt brut is a bottle-fermented sparkling Riesling. From Mosel Fine Wines: "90 points. The 2014er Riesling Sekt Extra Brut was kept on its lees for 15-18 months and bottled without any dosage. A gorgeous nose of spices, pineapple, mint, anise and herbs leads to a superb playful Sekt on the palate with nice fresh fruits including yell... Read More »
91 points Wine Enthusiast: "A kaleidoscope of sweet, sun-kissed fruit, this dazzling kabinett offers an array of glazed grapefruit, tangerine and stone fruit flavors. It's exceptionally light and airy in texture but penetrates deeply. Spry acidity and a sheen of crushed minerals freshens the midpalate, guiding a clean, citrusy finish. Drink now through 2021 to enjoy its youthful exuberance." K&L Notes: Schloss Vollrads is one of the oldest wine estates in the world, with documented wine records going back to 1211.
Johannes and his wife Julia are among the rising stars of the Rheinhessen and members of the "message in a bottle" group of young growers out to show the German wine world that the Rheinhessen is capable of producing world class wines. Located in Gau-Odernheim, the German equivalent of the middle of nowhere, the winery focuses on old vineyards with very mineral soils, mostly chalk.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Riesling Trocken opens with a clear, ripe, fascinating and aromatic stone fruit aroma along with remarkably spicy, flinty and herbal flavors. Bottled with 11.5% alcohol, this is a rather light but intensely aromatic and salty Riesling with a charming roundness and stimulating piquancy. It is very enjoyable already today. (SR)" (12/2016)
91 points Vinous: "Exuberant aromas of ripe apricot, pine nuts, wild herbs and sweet lime. Crisp nectarine fruit and succulent texture are juxtaposed here with refreshing clarity. A touch austere but bright and pleasingly spicy on the clean finish. (JP)" (1/2014)
92 points Wine & Spirits: "This is Martin Kerpen’s most prized vineyard, a fact he highlights with the artist’s label that graces this bottling. Vinified in füder, the 2015 is rich and full bodied, although it’s not particularly sweet. Rather, it’s almost tannic in its lemon-pith power, with mineral spunk and intense acidity. Give it a couple years to relax, or serve with richer dishes, like monkfish in brown butter." (12/2016)
94 points Wine Enthusiast: "*Cellar Selection* Exotic spice and cedar notes mingle amidst plump red cherries and raspberries on the nose of this perfumed Pinot Noir. Firm tannins form a taut foundation to crisp, tart raspberry and currant flavors and savory nuances of dried herb and crushed granite. It's a remarkably elegant, squarely structured wine that should meld beautifully over the next decade. (AI)" Jancis Robinson: "The Salwey estate has always been an absolute specialist in Pinot, be it Blanc, Gris or Noir. The style has changed somewhat in recent years, replacing an emphasis on power and opu ...Read More »
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "From the upper part in the Drachenstein and grown on quartzite, the 2014 Rheingau Riesling Dragonstone has a clear bouquet with mushroom and discreet pineapple aromas, as well as a piquant, juicy, lovely, mineral taste. Light to medium-bodied this is quite long and tension-filled Riesling with just a touch of sweetness. (SR)" (12/2015) Vinous: "We’re down to 32 grams of residual sugar here. I write “down” because the level has kept decreasing annually for more than a decade now, and even so, the wine’s naturally high acidity – especially striking in this vintage – ...Read More »
Among the oldest in the Rheingau, the Spreitzer estate was founded in 1641. Today, it's sustainably farmed by Andreas and Bernd Spreitzer and wines are made with natural settling and one filtration before bottling.
A single-vineyard Pinot Noir from the Baden region in Germany. Earthy red cherry fruit on the nose. Lighter bodied with good lift through the finish. Rustic and old world in style. Back label typo: 2013. Should read 2012
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The white-golden 2014 Riesling Zeltlinger Sonnenuhr Spätlese (Golden Capsule) offers an intense and deep, yet still discreet bouquet of ripe and overripe, yellow-skinned apples, along with flinty and yeasty aromas, and just a hint of new oak. Lush and salty-piquant on the palate, this is a very elegant, relatively round, smooth-textured Spätlese with a delicate tannin structure and banana flavors in the finish. Still very young, this wine reveals good complexity and tension, and should be cellared for at least another five or seven years, but should age ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
Located in the heart of Trier, this is a winery with a social mission--since 1804, thanks to Napoleon. Originally founded to help fund St. Jakobs Hospital, the winery still partly finances nursing home and hospital care. "Feinherb" denotes an off-dry Kabinett wine. From Mosel Fine Wines: "This offers rather elegant even if somewhat powerful scents of pear, herb and spices on the nose. The wine is elegant and nicely zesty on the palate and leaves a long feel in the pleasing finish. This is very easy to enjoy in a light style. Now-2023."
Residual sugar: 45.8 g/l ABV: 9.5%
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2015 Rheingau Riesling Tradition is a demi-sec that has been bottled with 28 grams of residual sugar in March/April 2016. The wine has a lovely, clear, bright and aromatic nose with ripe apple and citrus aromas a long with reductive flinty flavors. Medium-bodied, light and filigreed, this is Kabinett-styled wine in the classic sense: racy, piquant and straight, with just charming sweetness and a stimulating finish. (SR)" (10/2016)
Inventory: San Francisco
94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The 2014 Riesling Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese (White Capsule) displays ripe and intense yellow apple, as well as concentrated quince and apricot confiture on the nose. Rich and intense, concentrated, sweet and tart on the palate, this is a very elegant yet concentrated, round and fruity Spätlese that develops a stunning purity, finesse and elegance in the stimulatingly salty finish. This is a stunning Riesling with two faces at the moment: the one is ultra-ripe and reveals pink grapes and a bit of good botrytis, the other has the salinity, puri ...Read More »
Inventory: Main Warehouse
The Wirsching family has been producing wine in this region since 1630. Home to Wirsching is the village of Iphofen, one of the most famous in Franconia and one which produces wines of unsurpassed regional quality from the steeply sloping vineyards. Today, Dr. Heinrich Wirsching serves as owner/proprietor of the estate and carries his family winemaking tradition of nearly 400 years. While the noble yet under-appreciated Silvaner is the estate's traditional focus, Wirsching also produces fine examples of Riesling and Scheurebe. The wines have a fine miner... Read More »
90 points Wine Enthusiast: "A squirt of fresh lemon extends from nose to finish on this bright, vivacious Weissburgunder, or Pinot Blanc. Dry and medium bodied, it's concentrated in crisp red apple flavor. The finish is refreshing, marked by a touch of bitter tea tannins. (AI)" (2/2016)
Jancis Robinson: "The shell limestone of Oestrich favours the fruitier side of Riesling and the Spreitzer brothers have managed to coax some alluring citrus-fruit aromas out of the 2015 vintage. Sweet grapefruit with animating acidity produces a delightfully refreshing character. Charming and seductive. (MS)" (5/2016)
Winery Notes: "A pure and bright bouquet of apricot, peach, litchi, ripe fruit aromas. Elegance and complexity on the palate, long flavors, well-balanced, rich and mineral. Weingut Gessinger joined the Bernkastel Ring in 1899 and for years their wines only appeared at their September auction. Gessinger is quite small, less than 2,000 cases and all his whites are 100% Riesling planted on Devon Slate which is considered to be best soil type of the area."
While the most famous of Germany's white wines is indoubtably Riesling, the terroir and climate of the Rheinhessen is also suited to the production of crisp, delicious Pinot Blanc ('Weissburgunder' in German). Husband and wife Julia and Johannes Landgraf are the winemaking team behind Becker-Landgraf, continuing in the tradition of two winemaking families but with an emphasis on natural, minimal intervention winemaking. This 100% Pinot Blanc is all hand-harvested from top vineyards around Petersberg in Gau-Odernheim. It is raised in wood and made in an e... Read More »
From the importer: "The Mosel estate of Weingut von Hövel has quite some history. It is housed in ancient monastic buildings that were once part of the St. Maximin Abbey, and includes cellars that were constructed in the 12th century. The estate has been family owned since 1803, and is now led by Eberhard von Kunow with Hermann Jäger filling the role of winemaker. They own three hectares of vines in the renowned Scharzhofberger vineyard in Wiltingen, although their reputation is based more on the wines produced from the Hütte vineyard in Oberemmel, whic... Read More »
From Johannes Leitz, the creative winemaker behind Dragonstone Riesling and EINS-ZWEI-DRY, a bubbly take on one of our favorite German rosés.
(Classified as a spirit. Do not ship to no spirits locations.) Launched in 2006 by two German bartenders, The Bitter Truth brings some classic yesteryear savor to today's cocktails. A spicy add to your next Manhatten, the Creole is "Bitter, sweet and spicy," the producers say. "According to the traditional Creole style, fruity and floral aromas unite with the flavors of anise, caraway and fennel." Producer notes: "Creole equals flavorful, and these bitters are as unique as the culture it encapsulates. With fruit scents of dried apricots, cherries and cr... Read More »