Spätburgunderstudy at Vinegar Hill House Brooklyn

Disclaimer source | material sold four of the 22 wines here.

You all know how excited I am about Germany. I curated what I think will be the largest tasting of Spätburgunder in the U.S. since the Seasonal dinner Stephen Bitterolf organized along with Klaus Peter Keller and Caroline Diel written up by Eric Asimov. Lineup below. I will report back post dinner.

"12 years ago Stephen Bitterolf organized a now legendary tasting of Spätburgunders at Seasonal (R.I.P.) and Eric Asimov wrote a wonderfully accurate article that described the state of Spätburgunder at the time with just the right amount of enthusiasm for the future! Here we are 12 years later and 10 serious tasters are about to embark on a deep dive into the current state of Spätburgunder in 2022.

A few observations…

Several of the winemakers that will be presented were not even making wine in 2010.

Many of the winemakers have trained in Burgundy and elsewhere and are exploring new techniques, different clones, new sites - everything is on the table. Personally I think it is a major oversimplification to give all the credit simply to global warming. I would give more credit to passion - to make great Spätburgunder you have to be passionate💥

I would also note the emergence of the Mosel, we will be hearing much more about this in the future.

Lastly I would like to highlight there are a number of winery omissions here simply due to availability and tasting capacity so consider this part 1

Germany is simply the most exciting wine region in the world and as Charles Dufour said while drinking some Wasenhaus in the end the Germans will win!"


Oh wow!
Jonas Dostert and Möbitz! There couldn’t have been many bottles of those present?!
Waiting to read some tasting notes, PROST! :wine_glass:

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Sounds great. I cannot wait for the notes :slightly_smiling_face:

Looks like a fun tasting and exciting to hear more in detail how the different wines showed!

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The dinner was an absolute huge success. My overarching goal was to show where Spätburgunder is today. I curated a group of a couple of long-time German importers/retailers, a few long-time German collectors and a few youngerish collectors to help guide an interesting discussion.

Three of us were at the 2010 tasting and we all noted how this tasing was significantly better in terms of overall quality. There was not a single bottle that I would not want in my cellar and many that I really want in my cellar. The newer producers showed extremely well, there is a great future for Pinot in Germany.

Some overall observations:

The old guard Molitor, Dr. Heger and Furst still show just a tad too much oak young but it was not that bad and should integrate in time. Of this group most liked the Molitor and Furst.

The Mosel had a very strong showing with Jonas Dostert and Daniel Twardoski really impressing the group. And when factoring in price the Ulli Stein wines were also charming and well received.

For me Baden is definitely the epicenter for Pinot in Germany - the 2018 Wasenhaus Möhlin was the wine of the night followed by the 2006 Mobitz Kapelle.

The J Walter wines also showed really well. I have been buying them from Fass for awhile but have not really drunk many.

My top wines were as follows:

2018 Wasenhaus Möhlin
2006 Mobitz Kapelle
2019 Jonas Dostert
2020 Lukas Hammelmann Roter Berg Rose

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Need to try a Jonas Dostert. My local wineshop has a few of the whites, but no Spätburgunder it seems. So need to hunt it down!

Thanks Robert!

Very interesting, and I’m glad to see the Möbitz showed well, especially with your remark in the Spätburgunder thread. Also that the younger generation is doing seem to be doing really well too!

Did you get around to try the wine without food before the dinner started?

I opened all wines about 30 minutes before the dinner started to check for TCA and overall soundness. I was the MC so did not have time to really focus on them but I was immediately struck with how well every wine was showing.

It was a very experienced and studious group so we had a decent amount of time to focus on the wines over a five hour stretch.

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I know you and and was quite sure the rest attending have plenty of experience, so no doubt about the general impression (aligns with my experience as well for those wines I have tried).

Sometimes cheese (other things as well of course) can have quite a different impact on the perception on various wines, that’s why I thought I asked if something stood out in that sense and you felt might have impacted to more or less extent. Regardless, the menu sounds excellent (for the wines)!

Forgot to mention but that tasting and Eric’s write up of it was terrific. Really an eye opener and what draw my attention to German PN/Spätburgunder.

Eric is a really a great wine writer - love most of what he pens down. Not sure he gets the recognition he deserves always. Whenever he makes a recommendation it will be something seriously we’ll worth your time. He’s the only reason I (as a European) subscribed to NY times.

Eric was in attendance last night.

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Robert - Thanks for a fascinating set of posts. Are any of these available in the NYC market?

The majority of the producers are imported by Vom Boden and Fass Selections. Most of the recent vintages are sold out but more will be on the way. I picked up the Furst, Molitor and Dr. Heger at Woodland Hills, which has the best Spatburgunder selection in the U.S.

Interestingly, I learned at the tasting that Becky Wasserman & Co ) has picked up Furst, and is expanding into Germany - to me that is a huge vote of confidence for Spatburgunder!

Great news.

Was Furst without a US importer when Rudi Wiest/Wine Cellars International folded?

I know they have been without a U.S. importer for some time. Lyle had direct imported small amounts.