Has anyone tasted 21’s from Dr. Hermann? (Mosel). MFW rates them rather high.
Thanks Robert. I had never heard of Domestique. Subscribed to their newsletter. No Falkenstein on their website but I did find one picture in a multi-picture dump on their Instagram.
I hope their pricing for release offers isn’t like their website pricing for other wines, because I’m not paying 5-10% above three-tier distributor-suggested pricing just so people can have great pictures of their Europe travels and wine offers curated for their Instagram and a two-firm designed “space.”
They don’t have any yet because the Virginia distributor has not released the 21s. Not sure how familiar you are with Falkenstein but it sells out immediately. The first offer I got for 21s out of Massachusetts is already pre-sold before it even hits the store’s website.
I have always found Domestique to be fairly priced. But in all honestly I am not checking to see if they are 5% higher on a $35 wine.
Do folks know which stores in San Francisco carry Falkenstein? I’m on the K&L and Flatiron SF email lists, but I’m not sure if either carries Falkenstein (I’m assuming Flatiron more likely than K&L)
definitely Flatiron but they allocate. A lot shows up in LA if that is an option. DomainLA gets a decent amount.
I keep a spreadsheet because as Lars knows I buy from several states and each distributor buys a different selection. I love the wines!
Yeah, and they are basically useless. Last I bought from them was 2020 and I requested a couple of cases and they gave me 1 bottle of each cuvee. Not really worth the time.
WHWC has had a bunch of Falkenstein in the past (and carry a very large selection of German Riesling in general)
I am a big customer so not complaining but a lot is Gray market. Just explaining why their selection might be different.
Thank you everyone. I just signed up for the DomaineLA and WHWC lists. Much appreciated!
Thanks, Robert. You answered all the questions in regard to Hofgut Falkenstein.
In California, Hofgut Falkenstein is imported by Farm Wine Imports.
Meyer Nepal and Onkel Peter are both crowd- and geek pleasers
The 2021 Onkel Peter is really steely. It’s one of my favorite vintages from this parcel of ungrafted old vines.
I picked up a few bottles of 2021 Falkenstein Gisela and Palm today. I’m looking forward to trying them (some day).
Shhhhh!!! COULD YOU PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT THE SCHEU!!!
After some of the Hermann Ludes talk i biked down to my local wine store and bought a 2020 Kabinett “Monster”. Amazing wine. I will go deep on the 2021!!
Finally getting back to the producer writeups…
We drove directly from the airport to meet with Wolfram Stempel at his micro sized winery, it is essentially a small cellar in the first floor / basement area of his apartment. Wolfram is a shining example of what I refer to as the renaissance in the Mosel. A young winemaker who moved to the area from Japan who was attracted by the potential to make wine from affordable, steep, old vine vineyards. He is a fascinating person who is early on in his winemaking career whom questions everything and I mean everything. He spent some time at Dr. Loosen and recently accepted a ful-time position managing the old vine Pinot Vineyards for Daniel Twardowski. I first discoved him thanks to Mosel Finne Wines, I have included their most recent reviews below. For his own wines he utilizes oak barrels for fermentation and minimal S02 and it really works. His wines are incredibly herbal, spicey and aromatic and a fresh take on Riesling, that unlike most of the natural guys, works wonderfully for me. I get this fennel like smell in both his vineyard, Maringer Honigberg and in the wines that is just fascinating. His 2021s are beautiful and show the energy and tension of the vintage. He made three experimental wines, all of Kabinett Trocken, from three different vineyards for Soilpimp Selections in 2021.
Mosel Fine Wine Reviews
2019 MHT 19 / 92
The MHT19_R Riesling Mosel, as it is referred to on the front label (the vintage is only provided via the 19 on the label), with Lot L2021-02 is a bone-dry wine made from fruit picked in the Maringer Honigberg which underwent whole-bunch fermentation in stainless-steel tank before being matured on its gross lees in used barrique and was bottled unfiltered in November 2021. It offers an absolutely stunning and deeply complex nose of whipped almond and coconut cream, fine Christmas spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove), gingerbread, yellow flowers, bergamot, Tiare flower, and fine vanilla. The wine proves delicately juicy and almost velvety on the initially smooth and almost light-weighted palate. But where it really comes into its own is when the acidity comes through and brings a great lively and playful side to the wine. The finish proves hugely long and energetic with some riper and spicier notes more associated to great natural wines (especially from the Jura). This is a gorgeous expression of bone-dry Riesling. 2023-2034
2020 Riesling HFT / 92
The MHF20 Riesling Mosel, as it is referred to on the front label (the vintage is only provided via the 20 on the label), with Lot L2021-01 is an off-dry wine (with 16 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit picked in the Maringer Honigberg which underwent whole-bunch fermentation in stainless-steel tank before being matured on its gross lees in a mix of used barrique and tonneau and was bottled in November 2021. It is initially rather closed and non-saying but reveals after a few minutes in the glass a beautifully elegant and refined nose of candied lemon, bergamot, menthol, fresh herbs, dill, pear, rose, peach skin, and anise. The wine proves delicately smooth and velvety (whipped cream) on the off-dry and fruit-driven palate. The finish is still very youthful and beautifully fresh as some fine tartness brings in a kick of lively elements and more focus. The finish is already very long and layered. This graceful off-dry Riesling needs a few years to develop even more complexity and has clearly great upside potential. 2024-2035+
On day two, I decided to stop by without an appointment to Martin Müllen in Traben-Trarbach. I LOVE these wines and will be forever grateful to Lyle Fass for discovering them and filling my cellar. Luckily for us wunderkind Jonas Müllen opened the door at 10:00 on the dot and said he had a tasting scheduled with a small group and that we could join! Jonas apprenticed at none other than Egon Müller and is as committed to upholding the tradtions of the small family domain as his father. They farm just under 5 hectares of incredible sites and do everything in a traditional manner. We started with two 2021s, both entry-level, both stunning. Jonas mentioned that the farming and winemaking are identical for all of their wines including the “basic” wines. The domain focused primarily on Kabinett in 2021 because that is what the vintage gave them and it is rare to be able to make so many Kabinetts in a style they prefer. The Kabinetts are wonderful. Additionally, I was particulary impressed with the 2021 Hühnenberg Spätlese, a true Spätlese, that was one of the tops of the trip. We also tasted some 2020s that have settled in nicely. Jonas also poured us their incredible 2019 100 point Hühnerberg TBA that was just mindblowing. 10 grams of acidity!
This is a great estate that should be on your radar if you love traditional old school middle mosel.
Check out their truly old-school basket press:
Next up we hit Zeltinger Hof and enjoyed a 2001 Jos. Christoffel Jr. Urziger Würzgarten Spatlese Trocken and a 1953 Jos. Christoffel Jr. Urziger Würzgarten Feinst Auslese that was great but even better on day two.
We followed this with a stop at Dr. Thanisch, the VDP one, for a drink in their beautiful garden. They decided to open the garden on Saturday during the pandemic and it was a big hit with the locals and winemaker crowd so they are for now continuing. We had a lovely 2020 Doctor GG and a library 1992 Doctor Spätlese, the birth vintage of our host, Christina Thanisch. For those that don’t know Dr. Thanisch might be the only traditional estate in Germany run by women.
Next up the official Vom Boden tour starts at the legendary J.B. Becker estate in the Rheingau.
Good stuff, Rob! I don’t know the Mullen wines, I should try some…
Yeah, the Thanisch wines…what elegant class…Christina is on it…I think that the Cuvee Christina Lay spatlese '20 and Lay kabinett '21 are exceptionally good wines, archetypal examples of the Lay…
They are newly on board w me, with the 2021 offering later this Summer…there is even a Jubilee Doctor Spatlese, something they do every 5 years…
Great news on Thanisch.
Some teasers for the J.B. Becker writeup:
In the US the chances of getting a bottle unless already locked into a source is about 1/Avogodro’s number. Unfortunately I don’t have a source.