A.J. Adam, Riesling Dhron Hofberg Spetlese 2017Regular price $48.00 Save $-48.00
Andreas Adam is one of the top producers in the Middle Mosel. Many winemakers left this area during the 70’s and 80’s to move to the cities, leaving vineyards unattended. Many people would consider his work (which began in 2000) as the key reason that Dhron has been restored to its former status as one of the great regions of the Mosel. While all his sites are situated in the Mosel River Valley, the Piesport wines come from the Goldtropfen site, while the Dhron plantings come from the Hofberg site, named for the Dhron River, a tributary of the Mosel.
Brand, Pet-Nat 2018Regular price $38.00 Save $-38.00
Variety: Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau, Dornfelder, Pinot Noir
The brothers Brand, Daniel and Jonas, are defining growth of organic and little to no-intervention range of whites and reds. Hailing in the Pfalz region of Germany is a lesser known village, Bockenheim, known for its quiet, rugged and gritty agriculture. The Brand brothers are fifth generation winemakers and took over production from their father. The hand logo on many of their labels may look like the peace sign at first glance; however, it is an oath taken by the brothers representing their emotional relationship to their region and furthermore, a symbol for quality in the bottle and close connection with nature. The wines are all organic and have little to no sulphites added.
Hild, Elbling Sekt Brut NVRegular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
When you think about the Upper Mosel forget everything you think you know about it. In the Upper Mosel you won’t find any slate and you won’t find any Riesling. Matthias Hild is bucking the trends. Matthias Hild is pushing the envelope. He operates at his own pace and by his own terms. He marches to the beat of his own drum. Conventional wisdom would say he’s crazy for trying to single-handedly save the old, terraced parcels of Elbling, but its so charming. The returns on an investment like this are so slim they make no business sense, but its moves like this that make winemakers like Hild so intriguing.
Julian Haart, Riesling 1000L, Mosel Germany 2018Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Julian’s first vintage under his own label was in 2010 and people immediately took notice. Although none of the wine was released in the U.S., David Schildknecht, writing for Parker’s Wine Advocate at the time, penned the following: “Not many wine careers can have started off on a more superlative level than Haart’s, yet from my several conversations with him I am convinced that his perfectionism goes hand in
hand with rigorous self-criticism that should preclude success going to his head.”
For the record, since vintage 2010 the wines have only gotten better, and while few cases are released in the U.S. every year, Julian is earning a pretty serious following. And it hasn’t gone to his head – he’s still as cool as shit. It’s worth noting that there are few more serious winemakers. Even though Julian has made more than a few jaw-dropping wines, most of his tastings end with him telling you what he would have done differently, where he thinks he failed, how he could have done better. Schildknecht’s phrase about “rigorous self-criticism” begins to feel like a bit of an understatement.
The estate has grown to a little more than four hectares and this is, roughly, where Julian wants it to stay. Part of the joy of winemaking, for Julian, is doing everything, just he and his wife. This is vineyard work, and winemaking, at the most human scale. Nearly everything must be done by hand – most of the vineyards are steep as hell and most of them are terraced. Even walking through them is a bit hazardous.
Seehof, Pinot Noir Rose 2019Regular price $19.00 Save $-19.00
Variety: Pinot Noir
The area of Rheinhessen, tucked between Nahe, Pfaltz, and Rheingau regions, is so often misunderstood. This is mostly due to its production of Liebfraumilch, the sweet and cheap swill popularized after World War II, many considering “the armpit of German wine.” Bringing Rheinhessen out of its dark times has been a long uphill battle; Klaus Peter Keller is the primary factor of bringing about these changes. This brings us to the next “Keller,” a man by the name of Florian Fauth, who is coincidentally brother-in-law to Keller. Florian of Seehof is comfortable in his own skin, his wines sharing the same sentiments.
Seehof, Riesling Trocken 2018Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
The area of Rheinhessen, tucked between Nahe, Pfaltz, and Rheingau regions, is so often misunderstood. This is mostly due to its production of Liebfraumilch, the sweet and cheap swill popularized after World War II, many considering “the armpit of German wine.” Bringing Rheinhessen out of its dark times has been a long uphill battle; Klaus Peter Keller is the primary factor of bringing about these changes. This brings us to the next “Keller,” a man by the name of Florian Fauth, who is coincidentally brother-in-law to Keller. Florian of Seehof is comfortable in his own skin, his wines sharing the same sentiments. His Rieslings are clean pure examples of what can be done when grown in limestone soils, showcasing the rich marbly texture, contrasted by energetic acidity. To counter this excellent quality, the prices are gosh darn hard to beat, particularly for this competitively priced “basic” estate Riesling.
Stein, Pinot Noir Red Light 2018Regular price $43.00 Save $-43.00
Variety: Pinot Noir
Ulrich “Ulli” Stein is often referred to as a “joyful rebel” or a “charismatic activist.” Who would dare to plant red grapes in the Mosel, defying a 2,000-year-old tradition of white grapes? And who could make any money doing it? Stein led a brief battle in 2010, challenging the EU to permit planting of red grapes, and won! There aren’t many growers who have had the nerve (or purse) to follow in Stein’s footsteps, a rare gem.
Weingut Brand, Trocken Riesling 2018Regular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
Under the Brand brothers’ guiding hands, Weingut follows organic growing practices in their vineyards, which include Sylvaner, Riesling and Pinot Blanc, among others, and equally stringent organic practices in the winery, where no sulfur is added to the wines. Breezy and cool, their vineyards are ideally suited for these grapes and the energetic brothers have crafted wines of elegance and downright joy. The Riesling is flowery on the nose, but peach and citric fruit leap out of the glass. There is a distinct vein of minerality running through wine, which finishes bone dry and extremely refreshing.
Weiser Kuenstler, Trocken Riesling 2018Regular price $27.00 Save $-27.00
At the turn of the 20th century, Traben-Trarbach was one of the wealthiest towns in the Mosel. It was the beating heart of the trade in what were largely considered the greatest wines in the world: Mosel Rieslings. Much of the grand architecture of Traben-Trarbach was built during this period – the stunning Jugendstil (“Art Nouveau” in French) Hotel Bellevue is perhaps the most iconic building of the village.
Most importantly, however, the dawn of the 20th century was the height of fame for the vineyards that Weiser-Künstler now farm. This is a place, literally, where roots run very deep; you can taste that profundity in the wines. Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler are as soulful as the vineyards they farm; this is a micro-estate
with only around 4 hectares total. They very literally do everything by hand, working the sites both organically and bio-dynamically. They are in the vines daily and it’s immediately obvious that this is where they’re most comfortable – it’s obvious that they love their vineyards.