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offer 103

Jonas Dostert
new releases
spirituality in the Obermosel

{ ”Jonas Dostert is one of the finest and most exciting talents we have 'discovered' in our now 12-year tenure at Mosel Fine Wines..." }
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Jonas Dostert 2022/2018 4-pack 
1 bottle 2022 "Karambolage"
1 bottle 2022 Chardonnay
1 bottle 2018 Elbling Cremant Brut Nature
1 bottle 2018 Chardonnay Cremant Brut Nature

This is our fourth offer for the lightning-in-a-bottle wines of Jonas Dostert. As we've written before, our obsession with these wines has only increased over the years.

Based on the amount of requests we get (and the rapidity at which these offers sell out), it seems that your obsession has increased as well. Now and again I see Instagram posts of the wines, obviously opened with reverence and awe, which is honestly an amazing and beautiful thing to see.

It gives one a renewed belief in humanity, in our ability to see, to taste, beauty, and to respond, regardless of regional prestige or price.

Maybe it is something about Jonas himself - his unflinching self-criticism, the standards he holds himself to, his introspection - or perhaps it is the beautiful, almost heartrending austerity of the wines, but I do find these to be spiritual wines in a way. They shimmer and achieve something... special.

Yes, the wines have struck a real nerve with people. We're so happy, for the region, for Jonas.

I've written this before, but for me it is the key to understanding these wines: They represent something of a bridge from the Saar to Burgundy.

This is a lot to wrap one's head around, I understand, but stick with me. As with the best Saar wines, Dostert's bottles have a rawness. The great, mid-twentieth century importer Frank Schoonmaker famously described Saar wines as “indescribable: austerity coupled with delicacy and extreme finesse… an attractive hardness.”

Dostert’s wines flaunt these traits. Drinking directly from a mountain stream is thrilling, but it might hurt too. Things so essential, so distilled, are simply not for everyone.

From the experience and practices of Burgundy the wines receive a most sensitive and delicate élevage. It is subtle, to be sure, but the use of neutral barrels on these wines, the gentle oxidation, is simply masterful. The blend of this raw essential quality, with a tapered finesse reminiscent of Burgundy, is just magical.

It’s both trite and instructive, I think, to point out that Dostert did spend some time in Burgundy, mostly in the cellars of Leflaive working with the barrels (indeed this is where he gets most of his barrels). It’s trite because pointing out something like this seems to imply a very simplistic recipe: “Go to Burgundy, work with Leflaive for a few months and voilà you can make Leflaive!”

Clearly this idea is inane and insulting. These wines have little to no obvious relationship with Leflaive’s wines.

But pointing out this Burgundian perspective is instructive, I think, because as Dostert has told me over and over again, growing up in the Obermosel was a confusing affair. This is essentially a forgotten place, seemingly without a present moment or a history. I have tried to challenge this. I have written extensively about the Obermosel, this limestone-riddled region tucked between the Mosel and Luxembourg. Maybe you've already read the vom Boden Journal 008: The Obermosel: No Story is Told until Someone Tells It. Maybe not? 

While the Obermosel is only minutes, a few kilometers away from the Mosel, from the Saar, it has nothing in common with these more famous places. The Mosel and the Saar are a landscape of slate and a temple to Riesling. The Obermosel is the final, profound crescendo of Kimmeridgian limestone as it pours through France and runs into this wall of slate. The Obermosel, because of this limestone, is a culture based on an ancient grape Elbling, and more and more on Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and the other Burgundian varieties. 

The deep, deep potential here is obvious to anyone who can stand still long enough to really look at the place. I do not know exactly what the promise of this very special place holds, though I am fairly confident that Jonas Dostert will prove to be one of the most important voices in articulating this greatness. It's already happening.

For today's four-pack we focus on fresh releases, including his *rare* sparkling wines (both Brut Natures are from 2018) and two 2022ers - the "basic" Karambolage and the just stunning Chardonnay. Vintage 2022 was much different than vintage 2021 - we go into this below - yet the signature of the wines, the extreme focus, is still there.

Please note Dostert is only farming around two hectares; this offer is one of the only places you are going to see the Chardonnay Cremant or, frankly, most of these wines. 

Jonas Dostert 2022/2018 4-Pack

2022 Dostert "Karambolage"
I'm told the French word "Karambolage" means "collision" in English; Google translate confirms this to be the case. This is Dostert's calling card wine and for him one of the most important wines he makes. For 2022 it is roughly a third Elbling, a third Chardonnay and a third Pinot Gris. Because of the extreme dryness of the vintage, Dostert did more skin contact than normal, hoping to pull from the skins more nutrients to help the fermentation. In the end, this is one of the more structured and "funky" Karambolages he has made. With ten days of maceration, the wine is structured and chewy and bracing. Because he wanted to make sure this wine had density, the vines that normally produce the Elbling "Alte Reben" are in this wine; there is no Elbling "Alte Reben" in 2022, which almost makes me want to cry.

2022 Dostert Chardonnay
This is perhaps the most direct wine in the entire lineup. Sourced from vines planted in the "Filz" parcel (coming from the word "Fels," which means "rocks"), this is an extremely stony part of the vineyard. The wine was direct-pressed and is beautiful. Classic Dostert.

2018 Dostert Crémant Elbling Brut Nature
This is made from the "old vine" parcel of Elbling. In 2018 it reached high levels of ripeness, but the wine was given a very long time on the lees. It was bottled in the spring of 2019 and disgorged only this January, 2024. Powerful and textural yet with that Dostert zing.

2018 Dostert Crémant Chardonnay Brut Nature
This is made from a younger-vine parcel of Chardonnay planted in 2014. It should be noted that these will be the final single-varietal crémants that Jonas will make, for philosophical reasons I don't 100% understand. Going forward Dostert plans on making only one sparkling wine per year and it will include all of his grapes. So there you go. Only a few cases for the U.S. Sad emoji here. Same bottling and disgorgement as the Elbling: bottled in the spring of 2019 and disgorged January 2024.

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