Saturday, August 19, 2017

Joh. Jos. PRÜM (Mosel) 2015 Part II -- Noble Sweet Wines and a 2005 Trockenbeerenauslese

As you can see below, typical of the vintage, the noble sweet wines are outstanding, but not extraordinary for Prüm the way that the Kabinett and Spätlese wines are, in part because Prüm has had so many years of noble sweet wines at this level. The wines do very well show the character of the vintage with its lightness and clear yellow fruits. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Joh. Jos. PRÜM (Mosel) Part I -- 2015 Kabinett and Spätlese

In news, the estate has acquired the house and vineyards from its neighbor and cousin, Bert Selbach of Dr. F. Weins-Prüm, as Selbach and his sister had no successors to continue that outstanding estate’s operations.

Congratulations, also, to Dr. Katharina Prüm, who since my previous visit married Wilhelm Steifensand of Weingut Liebfrauenstift in the Rheinhessen.

The wines at Prüm are always topflight, but even for Prüm, this is a very great collection of Kabinett and Spätlese wines. Characteristic of the vintage, there’s plenty of yellow fruit expression here, and also wonderful weightlessness to many of the wines. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Egon MÜLLER (Mosel) -- 2015 Vintage

Egon Müller said that he began the 2015 harvest on 4 October and finished around 27-28 October. Normally, the wines are not yet bottled when I visit at the end of August the year following the harvest, but on this visit the wines were already in bottle for several months.

If you want to see the greatness of the 2015, you can’t do better than here. It’s sometimes said that in the greatest vintages, the greatest wines are from the Saar, and as for the greatest Saar estate . . . .  (Continue reading here.)

Corsican Wines Recently Tried: Jean-Baptiste Arena, Clos Canarelli, Fiumicicoli/Andreani, Giacometti, YL/Leccia, Lucciardi, Marquiliani/Amalric, Saint-Armettu/Seroin, Santa Giuletta

Coriscan wines are fascinating because they are so original. Not all are of top quality, but when they are, the provide excellent quality, often at attractive prices. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Schloss SAARSTEIN (Mosel) -- 2015 Wines

This Saar estate is a little under the radar, but for decades consistently has produced wines of quality. (Continue reading here.)

Villa WOLF (Pflaz) -- 2015 and a 2014 Pinot Noir

This is Ernie Loosen’s Pfalz négociant operation, a consistent source of very good value. All of these wines are from the Pfalz. Someone is doing an outstanding job here — some of these wines represent some of the better values you can find in today’s wine market. (Continue reading here.)

Reichsgraf von KESSELSTATT (Mosel) -- 2015 Wines

In early October 2016, Annegret Reh-Gartner, who had long done such an outstanding job of reviving this estate died tragically of cancer. She was but 61.

I can’t add much to what others have written in praise of her (see, for example, Jancis Robinson here: but to that in my encounters with her, she was always most kind and generous, and endlessly enthusiastic about her wines, as she had every right to be. Please note especially at the end of the link above the moving and beautiful letter that Annegret left to those of us still here.

These wines stand as a memorial, the last vintage that Annegret saw through bottling.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Dr. LOOSEN (Mosel) -- 2015 Wines

Although many Mid-Mosel producers have only recently begun to produce dry wines of quality, Loosen has been doing so for some time. 

What is interesting in this vintage is the consistency in quality across the board, from both the generics to the GG’s, each with its on qualities. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

MAXIMIN GRÜNHAUS/von SCHUBERT (Mosel) 2015 Part I: Dry and Off-Dry Wines, and 2014 Spätburgunder

Dr. Carl von Schubert said that at the beginning of October, he found the acidity still too high, so had to wait a week to begin harvesting. Overall yields for the estate were 45 hl/ha. 

Although in dry vintages, Herrenberg can actually be better in Abtsberg, in this vintage, for me, it is Abtsberg that has the slight advantage, although the Herrenbergs are outstanding in their own right.

Simply beautiful wines here. Note especially the first two GG wines that the estate, newly returned to the VDP, has produced. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, August 11, 2017

Fritz HAAG (Mosel) -- 2015

Wilhelm Haag, father of Olivier, compared the vintage with 1975, a great vintage for those who do not remember. There was rain in mid-September and then an Indian summer that permitted repeated trips in the vineyards. The grapes at harvest were very healthy, with botrytis where it was desired. Overall, the harvest here lasted 3-1/2 to 4 weeks.

There was no chaptalization and there were still two Trockenbeerenauslesen in the barrel when I visited that I could not taste.

In news of the estate, it bought what Wilhelm has called the best vineyard in Mühlheim (opposite the river from Lieser), and the grapes are already included in the 2015 estate Riesling. Wilhelm said that the vineyard is very steep.

Without a doubt, Olivier has hit a home run with this vintage. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Jura White Wines Recently Sampled: Champ Divin/Closset, Ganevat, Marnes Blanches/Fromont, Pélican/d'Angerville

Although one might have to hunt to find the wines, and there is some disparity in quality, at their best, Jura whites are some of the most interesting wines, across a variety of styles, available in the market today. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, August 4, 2017

Northern Rhônes Recently Tasted: Part X -- Combier, Curtat, Dard & Ribo, Darnaud, Faurie

As I stated in the previous post, there are some marvelous wines in 2015 in the Northern Rhône, but also some disappointments. Don't buy blindly and across the board.

All wines below are red unless otherwise specified.

Earlier reviews of Northern Rhônes are here, herehere, here, hereherehereherehere, and here.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Northern Rhône Wines Recently Tasted Part IX: Balthazar, Barge, Billon, Bonnefond, and Clape

As pointed out in my prior review, 2014 is a vintage that posed some problems, but good producers generally were able to handle them. 2015 has received great acclaim. It is a vintage of ripe, rich wines, sometimes a bit low in acidity. So far, I've found the whites more consistent than the reds, although there are some spectacular reds.

Earlier reviews of Northern Rhônes are here, here here,  here herehereherehere, and here 

All wines below are red, except as specifically noted otherwise. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, July 31, 2017

Miscellaneous Loire Reds Recently Tasted: Château de Brézé/Lambert, Janvier, Lemasson/Vins Contés, Sebile, Carroi Bon Air, Morantin

Some good wines here at prices that don't challenge the pocket book. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Recently Tasted Beaujolais from 2014, 2015, and 2016: Brun/Terres Dorées, Château Cambon, J. Chamonard, Chermette, Coutert, Dupeuble, Églantine/Grillet, Guiginer/Amethystes, Janin

I continue to be impressed by the majority of 2015 wines I taste from this region -- they are ripe, but they have a freshness and liveliness than the 2009s generally lacked. 

2014 is a fairly classic vintage, but often the wines lack generosity.

2016 is looking good for many of the wines, but because of the severely reduced crops in some areas due to hail and/or frost, some of the wines seem too concentrated. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, July 17, 2017

Domaine TORTOCHOT (Gevrey-Chambertin) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel Sample and Bottle

Tortochot is an estate with great holdings: Chambertin and three other grands crus; five well-sited premiers crus in Gevrey, Morey, and Chambolle; a number of village Gevrey and Morey vineyards that are well-sited; and a Bourgogne rouge. 

The wines were disappointing for a long time, so I’ve never bothered to visit and only come across the wines from time to time, but I had noticed a significant uptick in the wines I’d tried over the last ten years or so. This selection indicates that it is possible to get good wine here, but also that there remains more work to do. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Domaine HERESTZYN-MAZZINI (Gevrey-Chambertin) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel Samples

This estate springs out of Domaine Herestzyn in Gevrey-Chambertin (which also still exists). In 2012, Florence Herestzyn and her husband, Simon Mazzini, leased 5.5 hectares from her father (Stanislaus) and aunt to begin the domain.

Some whole clusters are used in the wines (usually about 30-40%). The aim is to get finesse (in Gevrey, that’s a relative term compared to some other terroirs) into the wines, and they succeed well. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Jérôme GALEYRAND (St-Philibert) -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel Samples

Jérôme Galeyrand is originally from the Loire region and has no family background in wine. He was a cheese wholesaler in northwest France when he happened to do an apprenticeship with Alain Burguet in Gevrey-Chambertin about twenty years ago. Captivated by wine, he set up his own estate about fifteen years ago. He has five hectares — only regional and village wines, but the quality is excellent and worthy of your investigation.

Galeyrand works without pesticides and does uses some whole clusters in his wines. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

RIDGE VINEYARDS -- Current National Releases

From not just one of California’s, but one of the world’s, iconic producers, this is a solid set of releases with a fabulous Geyserville. The other wines show a stronger oak signature than I recall for recent vintages, but with further bottle aging, they should come into better focus. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Domaine Henri RICHARD -- 2015 Tasted from Barrel Samples

This estate is one I previously have not sampled. It began conversion to organic methods in 2001 and received certification in 2005. Based on these three wines, there’s something of interest here should you come across the wines. (Continue reading here.)