TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

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TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#1 Post by Tom Reddick » June 22nd, 2019, 11:28 pm

On a quick day trip to Austin yesterday, I was surprised to find out at the last moment that Skurnik was presenting the 2018 Theise German portfolio for its one and only visit to Texas. Happily, still having some involvement ITB- and in particular promoting German wines locally- I was kindly allowed to attend.

The downside is that it was a travel day, and lacking advance notice I did not have time to make the appropriate physical preparations for such a tasting (which is a 2 day process for me.) So even with the customary tasting and spitting and the low alcohol content of the wines, to be completely and appropriately safe I needed to allow for a large meal and rest afterward. As a result, I had little time at the tasting itself and aside from a couple of one-offs, carefully tasted through the portfolio of one estate (Selbach-Oster) from which I routinely buy for my own cellar plus 1.5 portfolios of two other estates in close physical proximity at the tasting event. The wines of Muller-Catoir, Donnhoff and Schaefer were not presented, and my choices are in no way indicative of a lack in interest in the other producers present at the tasting, many of whose wines I know well and appreciate greatly.

Also, given that most of these were barrel samples- I am not presenting notes here where I just tasted a single wine from a given producer. That would be unfair I think- below are only where I tasted through all or most of a portfolio presented. With that said, here is my small snapshot in the hopes it is of use.

My initial reaction to the vintage after this tasting was that it was a welcome return to something very classic after the excesses of 2015, 2016 to some extent, and certainly 2017. But even so, on reflection 2018 is highly unique in its own way- and that is in the weight of the wines relative to the sweetness. I am not sure why- perhaps the lack of botrytis?- but these wines had much of the inherent sweetness of vintages like 2007 or 1989- but without the extra bit of weight that usually accompanies that sweetness. The 2018s are beautifully light in feel. They are peachy and floral. They are delightful and easy to love. The handful of 2017s present were a stark reminder of just how unwieldy and ponderous that vintage is, as well as how joyous and endearing the 2018s promise to be. The acids are moderate, perhaps a bit light, compared to the last 3 vintages- but in proper scale with the wines themselves which are also lighter than the prior 3 vintages. For the wines I tried, the acids were in proper balance- but if I were looking more broadly I would certainly have a care as I see the potential for wines out there with insufficient acids for my tastes. From what I tried- this seems a vintage that very much favors the Auslese category- but note that the lack of botrytis is translating into Auslesen that are wonderfully light in weight and feel.

Of particular note, this is a vintage where I really loved the Trocken and GG wines I tried. The ever so slight bit of sweetness they had, plus the reduced acid levels, left wines that I understand and appreciate more than usual from this end of the spectrum. I really enjoyed them and could foresee many great uses for them at table- and in ways distinct from the traditional Pradikats. And just as I had to have a 2006 Magdelaine (a very unusually precocious vintage for the wine) to finally really learn to love Magdelaine- so too may 2018 be the vintage that eases me into an appreciation of dry German Riesling. I think it safe to say I will not ever full come to enjoy some of the really big and screechy (to me) GGs that are auction darlings today, but in 2018 I plan to buy many Trocken and GG wines personally- and pay them more attention at future trade tastings.

Ratings in brackets and no parentheses to indicate maturity ranges as most of these were barrel samples. Same 5 star system I used otherwise.

A.J. Adam

2018 A.J. Adam Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Kabinett

intense nose, raw pineapple, edgy, oranges, on the palate sweetish, very tight, good length, quite promising but a rough ride today, the goods are there and this was rarely 2017ish in its unruliness, a wine I want to revisit in bottle after release as I might be greatly underestimating it [**]+

2018 A.J. Adam Dhron Hofberg Riesling Spatlese

sweet and primary nose, citrus, earth, excellent depth on the palate, pineapple, apple, orange, good racy finish with fruit nicely coating the acids [****]

2018 A.J. Adam Piesporter Goldtropfchen Riesling Spatlese

edgy and pungent nose, pineapple, on the palate a lighter wine but with a good persistent impact, citrus, good length [***]

2018 A.J. Adam Dhron Hofberg Riesling Auslese

a fine nose with a great breadth of fruits, citrus and orchard- the full spectrum, lively mineral notes, on the palate superb impact, citrus notes, lively, sleek and elegant in its way, no botrytis- confirmed with winemaker, as with many of the greater wines today the sweet fruit nicely coated the acids on the finish of excellent length, wonderful wine [****]+

Kunstler

2016 Kunstler Pinot Noir (Spatburgunder) Dry 'Tradition'

light red color, gamey nose- reminiscent of Gevrey-Chambertin, a little reduction, cherries, earth, on the palate a buttery fruit, red fruits and strong earth notes into a good long finish, light leather notes, tannins evident but in proper place, promising [***]+

2016 Kunstler Hochheimer Reichestal Pinot Noir

bright light red, cherry and plums, roasted note, walnuts, good firm tannins on the primary and undeveloped palate with a slightly buttery fruit, fine full length, quite good, not as showy as the 2017 but give it time [****]

2017 Kunstler Hochheimer Reichestal Pinot Noir

bright light red color, sensational nose, leather, dark berries, plums, firm earth, on the palate buttery with pronounced saddle and earth notes, ripe cherries, excellent length, love this [****]+

2018 Kunstler Estate Riesling Trocken

lively peach nose, inviting, hints of apple, same on the palate and lime acid notes leading into a good bright finish with moderately firm acids, a touch of sweetness [***]

2018 Kunstler Estate Riesling [Feinherb]

peach and sweet lemons, honeysuckle, on the palate a distinct note of ripe apples, quite attractive, good length with mild lime-driven acids [***]

2018 Kunstler Hochheimer Kirchenstuck Riesling Trocken

light nose, berries, orchard fruits, on the palate savory with light earth and slate notes, good long zesty lime finish, very open [***]

2018 Kunstler Hochheimer Herrnberg 1er Lage Riesling Trocken

limestone and hints of blueberry on the nose, hints of peach, good breadth and a fine balance more in the vein of the traditional Pradikats, vibrant note of white stones, good length [***]

2018 Kunstler Hochheimer Domdechaney 1er Lage Riesling Trocken

lovely ethereal nose, honeysuckle, washed pebbles, light white peach notes, fine depth and persistence, hints of blackberry, orchard fruits, very forward and again with more of a traditional Pradikat balance between the body and finish [***]+

2018 Kunstler Hochheimer Kirchenstuck Grosses Gewachs - tank sample, wine will be racked to stainless steel tanks

big step up here, orchard fruits, elegant and soft stone notes kissed with sweet fruit, on the mid-palate dark berry notes and persistent earth tones, grass notes, long and very fine finish, superb [****]+

2018 Kunstler Hochheimer Holle Grosses Gewachs

full and rich nose with noticeable sweetness, almost meaty, hints of dark berry, on the palate a huge wine, strong lemon acids leading into an intense finish, mineral and metal notes, magnificent potential and an unusually brooding and restless wine compared to other 2018s tasted today [****]+

Selbach-Oster

2018 Selbach-Oster Pinot Blanc

cat urine and violets on the nose, refreshing light wine on the palate, good length and a bit racy, great summer wine [***]

2018 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spatlese Trocken

light nose, peach and sweet limes, on the palate slightly sweet, deft lemon and lime acids, hints of orchard, good length [***]+

2018 Selbach-Oster Bomer Riesling Trocken

dark citrus, blood orange, gravel notes throughout, on the palate peaches, wonderfully inviting, earth notes, fine depth, good persistence on the fragrant finish, noteworthy [****]

2018 J&H Selbach Riesling 'Tradition' Kabinett Feinherb - from a new line (negociant I believe from how I read the catalogue)

sweetish nose, peaches and pears, on the palate a sweet but classically-styled fruit pounces quite nicely onto the palate, white cherries, peaches, stones, pear, very good length [***]+

2018 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett Halbtrocken

sweet peach and blueberry nose, limestone, lime and orchard fruits on the palate, good weight on the palate, classic finish with acids on the softer side [***]

2018 Selbach-Oster Graacher Domprobst 'Alte Reben' Riesling Spatlese Feinherb

peach and pear nose, classic beauty on the palate, peaches, white cherry, pears, fine length with good firm acids [***]+

2018 Selbach-Oster Riesling Kabinett

dark fruit tones on the nose, peaches, apples, good breadth, lovely cuddly fruit with a vivacious impact, fine depth, peaches, cherries, lime tones on the acids [***]+

2018 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett

sweet nose, keystone peaches, red cherry, berries, on the palate more Spatlese in feel than Kabinett, lovely and vibrant, a particularly elegant long finish with just a hint of honey over the finishing acids [***]+

2018 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spatlese

sweetish nose of apples, peaches and white cherry, beeswax, blueberry, marvelously good on the deft palate, sweet and ripe fruit- yet wonderfully light and elegant, great depth and fine length, and where the Kabinett presented was on the sweet side- this is comfortably and classically Spatlese, good firm acids lightly coated by the fruit [****]+

2018 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spatlese *

in a decidedly classic, genteel and inviting vintage this manages to be a real standout while retaining all of those qualities, soaring and undeveloped primary nose, beeswax, blood orange, on the palate nothing short of spectacular, ethereal and elegant in feel but with a remarkable persistence and depth of primary flavors just as primary and undeveloped as those on the beautiful aromatics, all delicately sweetened throughout, blueberry notes, acids more prominent here and in line with the great promise this wine holds for the future, in the fullness of time it will be the epitome of succulence I dare imagine, a magnificent Spatlese and- happily in my view- one that will be bottled under cork [*****]

2018 Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese

heavenly nose with blueberries and rounded stones, on the palate beautifully sweet while almost weightless, primary and undeveloped but overall very inviting, markedly floral, long and luscious finish- the sweet fruit burying the acid finish almost completely, early days for this and I have very high hopes [****]+

2018 Selbach-Oster Graacher Domprobst Riesling Auslese

peach stones and blueberry on the nose, red fruits, this one has a more traditionally honeyed and textured body to it as Auslesen go, but still the sweetness is in proper balance, very primary on the palate- deceptively approachable but with much yet to come, great length [****]+

2018 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich 'Anrecht" Riesling Auslese

fiery nose of orange and peaches, sunny, sweet, on the palate magnificent with a very pure essence of oranges, it is not an unusual quality in Riesling- but rare to see it so purely presented, joyous and almost hedonistic- yet with the light feel of the vintage to keep all in proper balance, honey tones but without the weight of what I would call "honeyed fruit" in most vintages at this level of sweetness, a truly beautiful wine [*****]
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#2 Post by T Klonoski » June 23rd, 2019, 5:08 am

Thanks for taking the time to put together these very helpful notes.
Kunstler GGs deserve more attention around here.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#3 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 23rd, 2019, 6:49 am

Nice notes Tom. Largely correlates with my thoughts on those three producers. I liked the Selbach Feinherb Alte Reben even more than you did. The Kunstler Domdechaney was a personal favorite. Regarding Adam, I really liked the wines, but not more than Selbach in any way, and Adam is notably more expensive. Makes it hard to pull the trigger.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#4 Post by Tom Reddick » June 23rd, 2019, 7:54 pm

T Klonoski wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 5:08 am
Thanks for taking the time to put together these very helpful notes.
Kunstler GGs deserve more attention around here.
Kunstler was hugely popular in Austin once upon a time, and the only reason I can think why that changed was the move to screwcaps. I do not mean to ignite that debate again here- but both having worked retail in Austin for several years during college and grad school, and being acquainted with most of the other Riesling hounds in town, I think that is a good guess. Certainly there are some who are very pro-screwcap, including some of the top collectors, but the preference for cork is strong. And even among more casual drinkers who are okay with $10-20 screwcap wines, when you start getting north of $30 many people scratch their heads.

FWIW, I did ask and was informed that the top end Pinot Noirs (and potentially the GGs- I did not ask about those) are bottled in both screwcap and cork. So you can request the latter. The winery reports being quite happy with the screwcaps however and told me that they monitor the aging process closely and have been satisfied with the long term results so far.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#5 Post by Tom Reddick » June 23rd, 2019, 7:59 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 23rd, 2019, 6:49 am
Nice notes Tom. Largely correlates with my thoughts on those three producers. I liked the Selbach Feinherb Alte Reben even more than you did. The Kunstler Domdechaney was a personal favorite. Regarding Adam, I really liked the wines, but not more than Selbach in any way, and Adam is notably more expensive. Makes it hard to pull the trigger.
When I first really got into Riesling with the 2007s, I was focused mostly on the Nahe and also still gathering up older Muller-Catoirs which were the only German wines I really knew (and I loved them) in my early tasting days in the 90s. Adam was high on my list then, but as I got into the Mosel- I found Adam and Schafer-Frohlich a bit bigger than I would normally like- certainly they seemed very sweet relative to their Pradikats. But always I admired their singular nature.

Whether I was wrong before, or they dialed things back- I really liked these 2018s a lot, and will probably lay a few down.

But as you say, pricing is getting pretty strong there and with others too. Hard to complain when you consider the price of other great wines of the world- and incidentally one producer at the tasting had some antique restaurant wine lists with him showing how German wines used to be the most expensive of all- but the movement is starting to get significant, just as it has been at the Trier Auctions.

EDITED- to replace accidental reference to Schaefer with intended reference to Shafer-Frohlich.
Last edited by Tom Reddick on June 24th, 2019, 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#6 Post by T Klonoski » June 24th, 2019, 7:38 am

Link to Theise catalog for those who are interested:
https://www.skurnik.com/wp-content/uplo ... OG-WEB.pdf
Last edited by T Klonoski on June 24th, 2019, 9:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#7 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 24th, 2019, 8:11 am

For what it's worth, 2007 was still the era of big sweetness that started several years earlier.

In general producers have dialed back in most cases, and there are more dry (trocken)/just off dry wines (e.g. feinherb) than there used to be.

I won't speak specifically to Willi Schaefer, as I can't fathom the opinions above.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#8 Post by Jay Miller » June 24th, 2019, 8:42 am

I don't see the Kunstler Stielweg listed here or in the linked catalog. Anyone know if Terry is just not importing it? It was one of my favorites back when it was still findable in the US.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#9 Post by Robert Dentice » June 24th, 2019, 9:08 am

AJ Adam was by far my favorite at the NY tasting. 2018 is a curious vintage for me given I love acid. I tasted some perfectly fine wines that were boring to me. Nailing the pick to preserve acids was crucial.

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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#10 Post by Tom Reddick » June 24th, 2019, 9:10 am

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 8:11 am
For what it's worth, 2007 was still the era of big sweetness that started several years earlier.

In general producers have dialed back in most cases, and there are more dry (trocken)/just off dry wines (e.g. feinherb) than there used to be.

I won't speak specifically to Willi Schaefer, as I can't fathom the opinions above.
I will fix it when I get home from work tonight and can access full BB features more easily- but I mean to say Shafer-Frohlich.

I love Willi Schaefer- that is the most plentiful producer in my cellar including a big Auction library. Sorry- did not mean to confuse the two.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#11 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 24th, 2019, 9:31 am

That makes a little more sense. I find the Shafer-Frohlich wines (especially the dry wines) big for my taste.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#12 Post by T Klonoski » June 24th, 2019, 9:36 am

Jay Miller wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 8:42 am
I don't see the Kunstler Stielweg listed here or in the linked catalog. Anyone know if Terry is just not importing it? It was one of my favorites back when it was still findable in the US.
Kunstler is a relatively recent addition to the Theise catalog, added about five years ago, I believe.
Theise has never offered the Stielweg.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#13 Post by g.colangelo » June 24th, 2019, 7:24 pm

Robert Dentice wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 9:08 am
AJ Adam was by far my favorite at the NY tasting. 2018 is a curious vintage for me given I love acid. I tasted some perfectly fine wines that were boring to me. Nailing the pick to preserve acids was crucial.
I love Adam's wines and look forward to tasting his 2018 when I will visit him in fall. I came to know him through the success and resonance he had in the US (which I get through this and other media), which I think is largely due to Terry Theise. But in his last couple of catalogs he's made some critical remarks and seems to have gotten out of tune with him, which I do not quite understand. I mean, I don't have a problem disagreeing with anybody on matters of taste, but what I am curious about is why somebody who raved about Adam's wines earlier is now (sort of) critical.
Does anybody have a clue?
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#14 Post by Tom Reddick » June 24th, 2019, 11:17 pm

g.colangelo wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 7:24 pm
Robert Dentice wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 9:08 am
AJ Adam was by far my favorite at the NY tasting. 2018 is a curious vintage for me given I love acid. I tasted some perfectly fine wines that were boring to me. Nailing the pick to preserve acids was crucial.
I love Adam's wines and look forward to tasting his 2018 when I will visit him in fall. I came to know him through the success and resonance he had in the US (which I get through this and other media), which I think is largely due to Terry Theise. But in his last couple of catalogs he's made some critical remarks and seems to have gotten out of tune with him, which I do not quite understand. I mean, I don't have a problem disagreeing with anybody on matters of taste, but what I am curious about is why somebody who raved about Adam's wines earlier is now (sort of) critical.
Does anybody have a clue?
I do not have a definitive answer, but as I alluded to above- the 2018 Adam wines were most definitely "dialed back" a bit from my recollection of the wines in the mid to late 2000s. It surprised me because I generally assumed a given Adam wine would have a level of sweetness and texture one step up Pradikat-wise from the label. Not so with these 2018s- while they have the inherent sweetness of the vintage, they are very much in line with their peers in terms of reflecting their labeled Pradikat levels.

That is the only change I noted. Otherwise they remain wonderfully unique, notably for that pineapple note which I seldom find elsewhere. I know this may sound a bit of a stretch as a comparison, but I have often thought Adam as sort of the DRC Montrachet of the Mosel in that the wines are very tropical and almost excessive relative to their peers, but still wonderfully balanced and with great breed.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#15 Post by g.colangelo » June 25th, 2019, 1:56 am

Tom Reddick wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 11:17 pm
I do not have a definitive answer, but as I alluded to above- the 2018 Adam wines were most definitely "dialed back" a bit from my recollection of the wines in the mid to late 2000s. It surprised me because I generally assumed a given Adam wine would have a level of sweetness and texture one step up Pradikat-wise from the label. Not so with these 2018s- while they have the inherent sweetness of the vintage, they are very much in line with their peers in terms of reflecting their labeled Pradikat levels.
But IIRC the skepticism by TT was expressed already for the 2016 and 17 vintages, it is not new for 2018.
Anyway, your comments make me even more curious to taste the wines!
Tom Reddick wrote:
June 24th, 2019, 11:17 pm
That is the only change I noted. Otherwise they remain wonderfully unique, notably for that pineapple note which I seldom find elsewhere. I know this may sound a bit of a stretch as a comparison, but I have often thought Adam as sort of the DRC Montrachet of the Mosel in that the wines are very tropical and almost excessive relative to their peers, but still wonderfully balanced and with great breed.
Wow! That's quite a comparison... Since Adam is not imported in Switzerland I never have a chance to compare him to others in a large tasting. It is a nice counterpart to Willi Schaefer, which is the other producer I visit regularly and who has a very different style.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#16 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » June 25th, 2019, 5:32 am

Terry's comments in the catalog are not terribly critical. From my perspective, having tasted through the Theise portfolio last week, I see the balance issue as wine by wine for many (though not all) growers. Timing may very well have been an issue. I know that over my 20 years of tasting the Theise portfolio in June there can be a lot of up and downs - largely due to recent bottling of wines/samples. Most of those are resolved by September. Time is a great ally to the wines in most vintages.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#17 Post by Marcus Goodfellow » June 25th, 2019, 7:12 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
June 25th, 2019, 5:32 am
Terry's comments in the catalog are not terribly critical. From my perspective, having tasted through the Theise portfolio last week, I see the balance issue as wine by wine for many (though not all) growers. Timing may very well have been an issue. I know that over my 20 years of tasting the Theise portfolio in June there can be a lot of up and downs - largely due to recent bottling of wines/samples. Most of those are resolved by September. Time is a great ally to the wines in most vintages.
+1

As much as “new” is something to be excited about, IMO, most of my favorite producers wines change dramatically in the first 6 months after release.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#18 Post by bob parsons alberta » June 26th, 2019, 9:44 am

Brilliant read here.

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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#19 Post by A.Gillette » June 28th, 2019, 5:39 pm

I’m drinking the ‘17 A.J. Adam hofberg Kabinett this evening. It’s my first Adam, and to me it’s surprisingly heavy for a ‘17, and I find the acidity too sharp. Among the ‘17 Kabinetts I’ve tried, it wouldn’t rank among the many successes. It’s got the nose of a dry wine (with quite a bit of sponti, which doesn’t bother me, and quite a bit of petrol, which does). For purposes of palate calibration, the Theise catalog for me begins and ends with Willi Schaefer, and I find the rest of his group to be relative underperformers, so it might just be a question of stylistic preference.

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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#20 Post by Jayson Cohen » July 6th, 2019, 6:46 am

Yesterday, deciding what I might want to buy from Theise’s 2018 catalog (probably limited to Schaefer) and weighing against my loose sense of overall wine budgeting, it popped into my head for the first time skipping 2018 Mosel altogether. It’s not like I *need* more German wine in the cellar.

I’m interested if anyone has had the same thought or has comments. Mistake?

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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#21 Post by A.Gillette » July 6th, 2019, 7:14 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 6:46 am
Yesterday, deciding what I might want to buy from Theise’s 2018 catalog (probably limited to Schaefer) and weighing against my loose sense of overall wine budgeting, it popped into my head for the first time skipping 2018 Mosel altogether. It’s not like I *need* more German wine in the cellar.

I’m interested if anyone has had the same thought or has comments. Mistake?
Sounds like you should skip it. There is an ocean of great wine out there. No reason to buy something you aren’t sure about, particularly if you are already well-stocked in the category. I bought heavily from the same German producers that I always do but haven’t tasted the wines and won’t until September.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#22 Post by Jayson Cohen » July 6th, 2019, 7:42 am

A.Gillette wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 7:14 am
Jayson Cohen wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 6:46 am
Yesterday, deciding what I might want to buy from Theise’s 2018 catalog (probably limited to Schaefer) and weighing against my loose sense of overall wine budgeting, it popped into my head for the first time skipping 2018 Mosel altogether. It’s not like I *need* more German wine in the cellar.

I’m interested if anyone has had the same thought or has comments. Mistake?
Sounds like you should skip it. There is an ocean of great wine out there. No reason to buy something you aren’t sure about, particularly if you are already well-stocked in the category. I bought heavily from the same German producers that I always do but haven’t tasted the wines and won’t until September.
A
It’s hard to pass on Schaefer’s GD Kab.... I have past regrets on that. Spat #5 is getting easier with the price bump every year.

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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#23 Post by Tom Reddick » July 6th, 2019, 9:23 pm

Jayson Cohen wrote:
July 6th, 2019, 6:46 am
Yesterday, deciding what I might want to buy from Theise’s 2018 catalog (probably limited to Schaefer) and weighing against my loose sense of overall wine budgeting, it popped into my head for the first time skipping 2018 Mosel altogether. It’s not like I *need* more German wine in the cellar.

I’m interested if anyone has had the same thought or has comments. Mistake?
Not necessarily a mistake. I think a lot depends on what you like German wines to be and how well stocked you are in ready to drink vintages. 2018 has some long term potential, but I see much value in enjoying a lot of them young.

The 2015-2017 run has been highly unusual. I see 2015 as a great and classic year of really huge wines. 2016s seem tame by comparison, but I am finding them more serious than I originally thought, and in need of more time than I had anticipated. 2017 is downright freakish. The wines are amazing, but they are huge and unruly- and it will be a very long time before we see what truly comes of them. I expect they will be great, but they will remain singular.

If you want a burgundy comparison, I would say 2015 Mosel is to 1999 red Burgundy as 2017 Mosel is to 2005 red Burgundy. I do not have a burgundy comparison for 2016 Mosel- but in Bordeaux that comparison might be 1985- another singular year that has behaved in a very unexpected manner, and wonderfully so.

With the 2018 German wines I tasted, as noted above, I felt as though I had come back to earth. While the vintage has its own unique characteristics- in the big picture they fit into the classic frame very well and are immensely charming. That said- in the realm of "greatness", I do not see this vintage at the level of 2015, 2016 or 2017.

For my part- my overall bottle purchase in the 2018 vintage will be about the same as it has been for 2015-2017, but I am buying a smaller number of individual wines, but each in greater quantity than usual. Where I would normally do 5-7 Kab/Spat and 3-4 Aus+ for a given wine, I am now doing 6s and 12s for almost everything I am after. And I do that wanting to be able to drink a large portion of them young, and have them repeatedly as trusted and uncomplicated choices for more casual settings.

Anyhow- that is the full tale from my perspective in the hopes it helps.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#24 Post by Ethan Abraham » July 7th, 2019, 12:57 pm

I'm doing the opposite! Trying a few "new" producers who I haven't bought in a while if ever (Adam, selbach) but smaller quantities even of Mainstays.

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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#25 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » July 7th, 2019, 1:59 pm

Selbach made some lovely wines. I am going long on their Graacher Domprobst bottlings. Had a long conversation about them with Johannes Selbach after the NYC tasting. He was pretty emotional about the Domprobst.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#26 Post by Tom Reddick » July 7th, 2019, 8:02 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
July 7th, 2019, 1:59 pm
Selbach made some lovely wines. I am going long on their Graacher Domprobst bottlings. Had a long conversation about them with Johannes Selbach after the NYC tasting. He was pretty emotional about the Domprobst.
Selbach is the biggest buy for me this year. It was #2 in 2017, but in 2018 it becomes my main focus. The quality of the wines was the main reason, but the extra push to the #1 spot had a lot to do with him taking the time to come here (for the second time this year!) and bring a lot of his best wines with him. At a time when German prices are starting to take a more serious uptick, even though thoroughly merited in most cases, that begins to matter a lot as many of us have to start making choices versus just buying whatever we might want.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#27 Post by Sc0tt F!tzger@ld » July 7th, 2019, 8:46 pm

Just requested the Selbach Anrecht and Rotlay again for this year.

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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#28 Post by Jayson Cohen » July 8th, 2019, 5:52 pm

Thanks for the comments. I wound up holding off on a Schaefer purchase for only the second time since skipping the 2009s. I have a lot of Riesling to work through, and I would frankly prefer to work on backfilling, e.g., certain 90s vintages, 2001-02, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2012-13, or even 2017 in Germany, if I’m buying anything at all.

The one thing I will buy however in 2018 is Falkenstein.

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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#29 Post by Nicos Neocleous » July 9th, 2019, 6:14 am

Jayson Cohen wrote:
July 8th, 2019, 5:52 pm
The one thing I will buy however in 2018 is Falkenstein.
Solid move. I tasted a selection a few weeks ago. Ended up buying a number of 6 packs.
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#30 Post by dvansteenderen » July 12th, 2019, 3:40 am

I have visited both Kai Schätzel and Schloss Lieser in April this year to taste their 2018's (those that were ready to taste) and they were stellar!
(Full disclosure: yes I import and sell them.)
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Re: TN- 2018 Theise German Portfolio - Adam, Kunstler and Selbach-Oster

#31 Post by dvansteenderen » July 12th, 2019, 3:50 am

dvansteenderen wrote:
July 12th, 2019, 3:40 am
I have visited both Kai Schätzel and Schloss Lieser in April this year to taste their 2018's (those that were ready to taste) and they were stellar!
(Full disclosure: yes I import and sell them.)
This should be in the general 2018 Germany topic, sorry!
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