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offer 098

Peter Leipold
Silvaner Grand Crus
the soil speaks

{ "Peter's wines touch my heart." - Klaus Peter Keller }
sold out

2021 Leipold Silvaner Gässberg "Grand Cru" 
2021 Leipold Silvaner Schilfsandstein "Grand Cru" 

Klaus Peter Keller writes: "For me, Peter Leipold is on the way to becoming a young genius... He worked for two years here at our winery before leaving for Liger-Belair. He has a special feeling for wine, something you don't learn at school. His Silvaners are great, soil-driven wines that evaporate in the glass... What Peter does with Pinot and Silvaner in Franconia reminds me of what Julian Haart is doing in the Mosel... Peter's wines touch my heart."

We're going to basically re-use offer 068, for Leipold's 2020 Grand Crus... the words feel even more poignant now than they did in 2023.

As for the Keller quote, you'll have to forgive the blatantly salesy move here, using one of the most famous winemakers in the world to provide a hook into a new, younger grower. But the region of Franconia and the grape Silvaner are just so little understood in the U.S. - we needed a way to convey, quickly, the true greatness of these wines.

But the truth is you don't have to know anything about the region or the grape (though if you do want to learn more about the grape, see our note below about the Silvaner Summit in Chicago). If you care about deep, mineral white wines with form and rigor - Chablis being the easiest comparative reference, though honestly Peter's wines are more delicate and linear than most modern Chablis - these wines may be a game changer for you AND buying both of Peter's wines will cost you less than a single bottle of serious village-level Burgundy.

In short: If you're going to recklessly jump into one of our offers, this is the one.

Leipold's wines were featured in our second offer, Keller's "Golden Generation." They were among the most talked about wines of the collection. People - including myself and @soilpimp - literally freaked out. It's just rare to have a grower, so young, emerge with such a developed style, with such mature and self-confident wines.

This is a bit embarrassing but here is my tasting note on the 2018 Silvaner Gässberg, back in the winter of 2021, doing R&D while the world was still in lockdown. Keep in mind I write these notes for myself, not only to remember the wine and the traits, but also to remember the emotion and feeling when I was tasting the wine.

"The palate is so clear and fine and precise… it’s like the weight is only in the phenolics on the finish, not at all on the palate. Wow. This was just the first sip. This is just stunning – airy, crystalline nose of salt and lemon, fresh greens (Boston bib lettuce), garden notes – so integrated, unified. Beautifully mineral and rocky wowowowow. Lime zest woven into this – such a delicate fruit spectrum, fine weaves of so much various citrus woven together. A beautiful play of extract, glazed but sharp and refreshing, balance, energy, clarity, vigor. This is just a beautiful Silvaner. Has the energy and lightness of Keller’s basic Silvaner with something of the depth and power of his Feuervogl. Stunning."

The 2021ers on this offer are absolutely crazy-good. These are giants that will stand the test of time: Silvaner cellar-candy.

Keller's reference to Julian Haart is interesting because, like Julian, part of the fascination here is the clear development of a style, a signature, at such a young age. These feel like the wines of someone who has been working in the vineyards for many, many years and knows exactly what they want to do, what they want to say. Yet Peter has only recently taken over the reins at the family estate.

I have no doubt that a line I wrote about Julian - many years before he became the cult darling he is today - will prove true with Peter as well: "These will be wines of consequence."

Here's your chance: The wines are available and fairly priced, right now.

If you do want to learn more about Silvaner, the first-ever "Silvaner Summit" is being organized in Chicago, Saturday May 11th, 2024. Guest speaker Eric Asimov, the chief wine critic of the New York Times, will be present to lead a masterclass and dinner featuring a selection of Silvaners from Peter Leipold, Stefan Vetter, Jochen Beurer and more. All events benefit the Trotter Project; for more information and to purchase tickets, please visit @silvanerkenner on Instagram.

Maybe the "Silvaner Revolution" that we've been talking about for many years, only half-jokingly, is beginning to happen?

As for Leipold's Grand Crus -  they are RARE. If you are interested please don't delay.

More information on both the wines provided below.

Thank you so much for the support!

2021 Leipold Silvaner Gässberg "Grand Cru" 
I was introduced to Peter's wines through KP during the pandemic. It's a strange way to learn about anything, let alone wine, removed from the person, the place... just tasting the wine(s) alone in your kitchen. During the height of the pandemic I had cases of samples stacked in my cellar - it was work every night to get through two to four bottles. But I still remember tasting Peter's wines for the first time - the tasting note from above is from one of these sessions. Two words echoed in my head: saturation and evaporation. Peter's Silvaners especially are incisive; they are like a thousand nano-arrows of limestone fired into your palate, the sensation is deep and bracing. The wines are immediate, tactile. There are a thousand explosions of flavor, from yellow fruit to flower and mineral - yet the best of his wines are airy too. They seem to levitate. If the energy of the wine reverberates for quite some time - the weight does not. The 2021 Gässberg Silvaner is Peter's most mineral, most linear Silvaner; the soils here are largely limestone and you can feel that structure and grip. The tension, the contrast, is what makes this wine so beguiling - Baroque minimalism. This wine is just superb and will cellar nicely, the vintage especially providing tons of structure.

2021 Leipold Silvaner Schilfsandstein "Grand Cru" 
The Schilfsandstein is sourced from a different site with a very specific type of sandstone. And this is the genius of Silvaner, how sensitive it is to soil, how transparent. This wine is a completely different animal than the Gässberg - it is fuller and more floral. It isn't heavier per se, but it feels more expansive and textural, there is more momentum and push. And this is often the profile you get when comparing limestone to sandstone: tension and cut versus an expansive power. Yet what makes Leipold's Silvaner Schilfsandstein so good is the buoyancy and lift. This is a richer wine, yet it has so much energy and bounce - saturation and then, quickly, evaporation. Damn these wines are so good it's silly.

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