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"The Golden Generation"
the force of a wine
reflections on five young growers

{ the premise here is simple: in a world crowded with bottles, these stood out}
sold out

If you're not familiar with the six-pack we offered in the fall of 2020, a collection of wines from young growers never-before imported into the U.S. and curated by Klaus Peter Keller, you can read all about it here.  

For us - and from the feedback we've gotten, for many of you as well - this was an eye-opening experience. The interesting question isn't really the simple, "are the wines great?" But rather, the issue is do they add to the conversation - do they express something unique, singular, new? The answer, for us, is without question, yes.

Each grower was cool enough to send us, along with the specific bottlings that KP loved, a case of wines they wanted us to taste, bottles that they believe tell the story of where they were, where they are, and where they want to go.

What we present, below, is a very simply five wines that truly moved us. There is no filler here, nothing proper or polite. The motivation behind this offer is driven solely by the fact that there is more to tell here; there is more that we wanted to drink, again.

Sometimes the simplest reason is the best.

For those of you that missed the first offer (which is sold out), this is your chance to jump in for a five-pack, or more.

For those of you who got the first six pack but want more, as we did, go crazy.

Obviously we recommend trying one bottle of each, but you can order any combination you'd like. This is a la carte shopping and everything on the menu is delicious.

Our complete notes are below. Email us with the specific wines you are interested in and the quantities you would like. We will respond as quickly as we can.

This offer will close Friday, February 19th, 2021, at midnight.

2019 Müller-Ruprecht Riesling Trocken 

So here's a loaded first few lines, but I'll just cut and paste my notes on tasting the wine, with no editing because sometimes that first impression is the most honest:

 "The nose is lime-zest and sorta jumps out at you – very lively and green. Has that sweet tart thing; made me think of Wei-Kü almost instinctively, which is a compliment indeed. It’s super airy and clear with a nice candy mineral edge to it, has a very fresh salty edge to it, very impressive for basic wine... honestly I think this is a very impressive wine. Curious what this costs."

One of my favorite things in the entire universe is a "basic" wine that playfully flirts with being profound. It is a rare thing, honestly, to do something, even if it's a simple thing, perfectly. Yet that's how this wine struck me. The Weiser-Künstler reference, for any good German wine dork, will be seen as mildly ludicrous. Not only am I comparing a Pfalz wine with a Mosel wine, I am comparing a Pfalz wine with one of the most delicate Mosel wines made!

But that's what this wine reminded me of; angelic, crystalline with a perfect reduction. I would drink this all day long and would buy cases of it, personally. If you like great dry Riesling that doesn't cost that much. For real, BRAVO Philipp and Sabine. Wow.

2017 Sina Mertz Dornfelder "R" 

I was really impressed with all of Sina's wines: great Rieslings, a sharp and clean Scheurebe... but this wine grabbed my heart. This wine made me (makes me) want to pen an offer called "age your Dornfelder!"

If you've never heard of Dornfelder that's because normally it sucks. Let's be honest. But, as I've written before, if a grape, if a vine, if a vineyard is given love, it at least has the potential to produce something meaningful - a voice that deserves to be heard.

And so it is here. Sina had the idea that these older vines, planted in the 1980s so now nearing 40 years old, had something to say. So she worked the vineyard carefully, reducing yields dramatically and doing a long maceration time and an extended elevage. And the result is stunning: something like a cool-climate Beaujolais, direct, with high tones, spicy red fruit, mineral, sawdust and herbal notes around the edging, great acidity and lift and finesse. This proves that Dornfelder can be something, that it has a voice. It also proves that Sina Mertz isn't scared of a damn thing and follows her own, clearly very good, instincts.

2018 Leipold’s Silvaner Gassberg Trocken 

A forty dollar Silvaner is probably the last thing on earth I should be emailing about. The fact that I am, unapologetically, should tell you something. This is, quite simply, one of the greatest young Silvaners I've had. Or, put another way, it is what I search for but rarely find in Silvaner, and that is very simply: precision. Silvaner is unquestionably a grape with a profound potential for soil-transparency. But too often, for me, even the top wines are a bit too hefty, a bit too weighed down with lanolin and waxy fruit notes to show the razor-sharp, cut lines that Silvaner can have. Too many, and again I'm talking about my own preferences, not a universal good, are too much Cote d'Or when what I want is Chablis. (The Silvaners of Stefan Vetter, while very different from Leipold's, flaunt a similar cut and sharpness, something I crave.)

If you had the 2017 or 2018 Schilfsandstein Silvaner from the first pack and liked it, this will blow your mind because it is even finer, leaner, more transparent and cut. This is Franconia with the cut of a Saar Kabinett Trocken. If you had the sixer and didn't like this as much, that's also ok - then skip this.

I'll just quote my initial notes because, even if they are a bit embarrassing, they are honest (note I am literally smelling and tasting and just maniacally typing away - normally I will go back and edit to make it coherent English): "This might be superb. Very precise, clear, sharp nose - the nose is reticent, but the palate is staining, incisive, cuts and hurts, lemon zest, holy tactile and impressive. Jesus. Bitter on the finish it’s so incisive and staining. You do feel the alcohol in the finish, spirit-like and bitter, but I don’t mind it (feels phenolic) and the palate is so clear and fine and precise… it’s like the weight is only in the burn 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 fruit 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 the depth and power of the Feuervogl. Stunning. Def. lighter and more agile, more citrus-driven on the palate compared to the Schilfsandstein. I LOVE it. Salt and body odor, in a great way. Almost evaporative. Yet so damn long and persistent."

I can't wait to taste more Peter. Find him on IG @silvanerlover - that handle tells you a lot.

2019 Huff Pettenthal Trocken 

OK, here's an admission: Most wines I've had from the "Roterhang," this northwestern slope in the Rheinhessen, famous for its red soils (thus the name, "red slope"), have just been a bit too plush, a little bit too much body, fleshy folds hanging over the tightened belt, if you know what I mean. I had sort of resigned myself to my idea that the action was somewhere else.

Then someone came along and changed my basic outlook on this place, and his name is Keller. Those of you who have had his Hipping or Pettenthal, in any form, Kabinett, Spätlese, GG, well you know what I'm talking about.

Now I can add a second name to this list: Christine Huff. This is simply a revelatory dry Pettenthal, with the searing, wildly high-toned lemon-pith cut, salty and oceanic, yet saturating and, somehow, superfresh. This is so coiled up, so young and tense that it's both impressive and painful. Open this when it arrives this spring, for sure - but open it a few hours early, don't be afraid to decant it if you have to drink it sooner, and/or open it, try a glass, and then enjoy the bottle on days two and three, though you'll probably find the bottle gone soon before you see day three.

2018 Giegerich Pinot Noir Klingenberger "Steinterrassen" 

Franconia is a place you are going to be hearing a lot about in the near future. It represents, for me, a "perfect storm" of magic: very cold, wind-battered vineyards that will deal with the changing temperatures well, a vague and cloudy reputation, so in other words something of a blank slate (at least in the export markets), the relatively cheaper real estate that goes with such vague reputations and, finally, a cadre of young, ambitious growers who are ready to show the world what this place can do. It's already happening.

The Giegerich brothers will be leading this charge. This was the collection, maybe, where it was hardest to pick out one wine because they were all so damn good; full and ripe with potential holy hell. At the end, I remember finishing off this bottle first, and that's always a telling sign. It represents the middle of the collection: not the basic estate wines, though neither the top, top Grand Crus either. And it was that, the balance of the wine that made me come back again and again. It was the simple, clean freshness of the wine, the lively energy and clarity (hallmarks of a great basic wine, see the Müller-Ruprecht writeup above). And yet it was also the complexity, the satiny-fine layers of red fruit, the extreme perfume, and that wiley combination of delicacy and intensity. So well done.

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