Showing 1–12 of 14 results

  • Albert Mann Gewurztraminer Furstentum Grand Cru Vieilles Vignes 2017

    £33.75

    “Luminous golden-tinged straw-yellow. Very refined yet intense aromas and flavors of sweet spices, lemon curd, and smoke. Classy, archetypal Gewürz, with an extremely long and silky yet vibrant finish. The violet note is typical of the Furstentum; the vieilles vignes moniker refers to the fact that these vines are at least 45 years old. This is another big Gewürz but still comes across as relatively light on its feet (13.5% alcohol, 32 g/L r.s. and 4.5 g/L total acidity; curiously, the last two numbers are identical to those of the 2016 Furstentum Vieilles Vignes). The Furstentum is a magical site for Gewürz. Drinking window: 2020-2028. 94+ points

    Over the course of just two nights at the end of April 2017 on which frost hit hard, the estate lost about 45% of its crop. Marie-Thèrese Barthelmy told me that she remembers budbreak taking place on March 25, and that on March 31 their cherry tree was already in bloom; then, on April 21, the roof fell and frost wiped out entire vineyards. Harvest began earlier than usual and was also finished fast, over just three weeks. What wines the estate did manage to produce are, as always, superb”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (01/19)

    In Stock

  • Albert Mann Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2018

    £55.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

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    Dirler-Cade Riesling Spiegel Grand Cru 2014

    £31.75

    “From vines planted in 1977 on the deep but stony soils of the Stein plot, the 2014 Riesling Grand Cru Spiegel opens with a clear, well-defined and elegant nose of crushed stones, herbs and white ripe fruit; but it is also a bit closed two years after the harvest. On the palate, this is a full-bodied, intense and tightly woven Riesling with a pronounced acidity and a pretty coolish, but discreet character at the moment. The finish is intense and concentrated, stimulatingly salty and firm. This is a blue-chip Riesling, a powerful king that is still preparing its regency. Drinking window: 2025-2035. 94 points

    Once more, this 18-hectare domaine in Bergholtz has produced two stunning vintages. The 2015 harvest was very short and went from September 7th to October 1st, respectively to the 13th for the Gewurztraminer Vendanges Tardives. The wines are rich and opulent and partly sweet. There was no Riesling Grand Cru Kitterlé bottled from the 2015 vintage, because the wine was simply too rich and sweet, so the vat was finally sold in bulk. However, the Kessler from the hot Heisse Wanne plot is an age-worthy, world-class Riesling not just in 2014, but also in 2015. Due to my weakening condition, I couldn’t taste any of the 2015 Gewurztraminers so far, of which five have been produced: the Alsace Gewurztraminer, the two Grands Crus Spiegel and Kitterlé, as well as two Vendanges Tardives Saering and Kessler. I will include the quintet in my second part of this year’s Alsace report that will be published in late spring.

    Jean Dirler’s 2014 Rieslings are just fabulous: ripe, fresh and elegant, full of tension and complexity. Even the drosophila-damaged Muscat and Gewurztraminer crus are – due to strict selections – much more than just respectable in 2014.”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (229)

    In Stock

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    Marc Tempe Riesling Schoenenbourg Grand Cru 2017

    £42.75

    Review to follow

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  • Martin Schaetzel by Kirrenbourg Gewurztraminer Schlossberg Grand Cru 2015

    £44.99

    “The 2015 Gewurztraminer Grand Cru Schlossberg is deep and mineral on the pure and flinty nose, and the classic fruit flavors are still discreet, whereas the Schlossberg terroir plays the first fiddle. There are even fresh and leafy flavors on the nose. On the palate this is a very finesse-full, pure and mineral Gewurz with a lovely tannin grip and tension. This is a rather filigreed and finesse-full Gewurz that has been bottled with 39 grams of residual sugar and 13.5% of alcohol. The grapes have been picked on the 28th of September, the very last days of the harvest. Drink: 2017-2035. 93 points

    Since 2014 Marc Rinaldi, who made his money with structural silicone glazing for building facades, luxury cars and a race course, is the new owner of the well renowned Domaine Martin Schaetzel in Kientzheim and, since February 2016, of the Domaine Armand Hurst in Turckheim, too. Driven by his goal to bring Alsace in the altitudes of Burgundy in terms of wine quality and international reputation, Rinaldi already founded the biannual wine fair Millésime d’Alsace in 2012 (together with Humbrecht, Trimbach, Faller/Weinbach and the Barthelmés from Albert Mann) and, in 2016, the producer association Alsace Crus et Terroirs (ACT). Like the VDP in Germany, ACT is communicating Alsatian terroirs and presenting its finest wines in France and in the most important export markets. Currently the group counts 19 of the region’s top wine producers and will show up in Paris in April and in New York in May this year.

    “Alsace is a land brimming with underrated talent. The region isn’t where it needs to be with all its great and diverse terroirs,” Rinaldi said when he welcomed me in the stylish, sharp gabled, wood-revetted winery. There was a mirrored double K at the glass front—K like Kaysersberg/Kientzheim and like Kirrenbourg, the name of the Rinaldi company that runs the Domaine, but also of the lieu-dit in the east-facing part of the Schlossberg, which is Alsace’s very first vineyard classified Grand Cru in 1975.

    So Marc Rinaldi, always a doer, took his gloves off and has tried to push things forward himself now, with his own Domaines and a clear business plan: Producing exceptional wines, mainly Rieslings but also Pinot Noir from some of Alsace’s most prestigious vineyards. Before I introduce the team, here are some facts.

    Currently Kirrenbourg’s Domaine Martin Schaetzel processes the grapes from eleven hectares of vines, of which eight hectares are located in Grand Cru sites. All the vineyards have been converted to organic and biodynamic viticulture since 2015. Kirrenbourg/Schaetzel itself cultivates six hectares of vines, of which four are located in both parts of the Grand Cru Schlossberg, the south- and east-facing slope. Another 3.5 hectares, which are cultivated by Armand Hurst, are situated in the Grand Cru Brand and another .4 hectare are in the Grand Cru Hengst. Since 2016, a Riesling Vendange Tardive in the Grand Cru Rangen de Thann has been produced from purchased grapes, but this project won’t be continued. So eight of almost 11 hectares of vineyards are located in Grand Cru sites, of which currently 50% are planted with Riesling. However, according to Rinaldi, this number will grow in the next years.

    Even though not every handpicked grape will end up in a Grand Cru, these figures are still impressive. I don’t know any other Domaine in Alsace that produces as many Grands Crus as Alsace AOC/AOP wines. About 27,000 of a total of 51,000 wines of the 2016 vintage will be sold as either Alsace Grand Cru or as Alsace “Terroir” wine, which is Rinaldi’s private category for the “second wines” from the Grands Crus vineyards. These are sourced from younger vines or lesser parcels and are sold as Alsace AC Terroir S (like Schlossberg), Terroir B (Brand) or Terroir H (Hengst).

    To achieve his goals, Marc Rinaldi hired two top guns: Christophe Ehrhart, well-reputed consultant for biodynamic viticulture for more than 20 years and who, for many years, worked for Domaine Josmeyer. Ehrhart is from Wettolsheim and his own vineyards (among others in the Grand Cru Hengst which has beem farmed biodynamic since 1998), also source the new project. Besides this, Ehrhart is the other shareholder of the Domaine Armand Hurst.

    The winemaking of the Martin Schaetzel by Kirrenbourg wines lies in the hands of Ludovico Merieau. He was cellar master at the Domaine Albert Mann until 2014 and this experience produced not only with great white wines, but also some of the finest Pinot Noir in Alsace so far. Keep in mind that the Hengst will probably become a Grand Cru vineyard also for Pinot Noir and that the Schaetzel Pinot Noir Premier is from the Les Clarisses plot in Kientzheim; like Albert Mann’s famous red, you can imagine where the Kirrenbourg road is leading.

    Jean Schaetzel, who sold the brand name and vineyards of the family to Rinaldi, is also part of the enterprise that gathers pace in a top modern boutique winery with 30 small and temperature-controlled stainless steel vats, which enable the team to vinify each plot separately in order to end up with the top cuvée (Grand Cru) and its second wine (Terroir). The Pinot Noirs are aged in small barrels and in traditional oak foudres.

    Both parts of the cellar, as well as the terraced Schlossberg, can be seen from the stylish tasting room, whose center is a long tasting table made from staves of a former foudre. I have tasted an excellent series of 2015 wines here—complex and mineral wines with an attractive, clearly articulated fruit and a charming roundness. I also got a promising preview of the 2016s.”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (229)

    In Stock

  • Martin Schaetzel by Kirrenbourg Pinot Gris Schlossberg Grand Cru 2015

    £46.99

    “Tasted from the casks, the 2015 Pinot Gris Grand Cru Schlossberg opens with a very clear and herbal/flinty bouquet of ripe seed fruits. On the palate this is a full-bodied, round and slightly sweet, yet very elegant Pinot Schlossberg; it has good mineral tension, grip and salinity. However, the sweetness is a bit too prominent for my personal taste here, but the wine is remarkably elegant and finessed. Drink: 2017-2030. 90-91 points

    Since 2014 Marc Rinaldi, who made his money with structural silicone glazing for building facades, luxury cars and a race course, is the new owner of the well renowned Domaine Martin Schaetzel in Kientzheim and, since February 2016, of the Domaine Armand Hurst in Turckheim, too. Driven by his goal to bring Alsace in the altitudes of Burgundy in terms of wine quality and international reputation, Rinaldi already founded the biannual wine fair Millésime d’Alsace in 2012 (together with Humbrecht, Trimbach, Faller/Weinbach and the Barthelmés from Albert Mann) and, in 2016, the producer association Alsace Crus et Terroirs (ACT). Like the VDP in Germany, ACT is communicating Alsatian terroirs and presenting its finest wines in France and in the most important export markets. Currently the group counts 19 of the region’s top wine producers and will show up in Paris in April and in New York in May this year.

    “Alsace is a land brimming with underrated talent. The region isn’t where it needs to be with all its great and diverse terroirs,” Rinaldi said when he welcomed me in the stylish, sharp gabled, wood-revetted winery. There was a mirrored double K at the glass front—K like Kaysersberg/Kientzheim and like Kirrenbourg, the name of the Rinaldi company that runs the Domaine, but also of the lieu-dit in the east-facing part of the Schlossberg, which is Alsace’s very first vineyard classified Grand Cru in 1975.

    So Marc Rinaldi, always a doer, took his gloves off and has tried to push things forward himself now, with his own Domaines and a clear business plan: Producing exceptional wines, mainly Rieslings but also Pinot Noir from some of Alsace’s most prestigious vineyards. Before I introduce the team, here are some facts.

    Currently Kirrenbourg’s Domaine Martin Schaetzel processes the grapes from eleven hectares of vines, of which eight hectares are located in Grand Cru sites. All the vineyards have been converted to organic and biodynamic viticulture since 2015. Kirrenbourg/Schaetzel itself cultivates six hectares of vines, of which four are located in both parts of the Grand Cru Schlossberg, the south- and east-facing slope. Another 3.5 hectares, which are cultivated by Armand Hurst, are situated in the Grand Cru Brand and another .4 hectare are in the Grand Cru Hengst. Since 2016, a Riesling Vendange Tardive in the Grand Cru Rangen de Thann has been produced from purchased grapes, but this project won’t be continued. So eight of almost 11 hectares of vineyards are located in Grand Cru sites, of which currently 50% are planted with Riesling. However, according to Rinaldi, this number will grow in the next years.

    Even though not every handpicked grape will end up in a Grand Cru, these figures are still impressive. I don’t know any other Domaine in Alsace that produces as many Grands Crus as Alsace AOC/AOP wines. About 27,000 of a total of 51,000 wines of the 2016 vintage will be sold as either Alsace Grand Cru or as Alsace “Terroir” wine, which is Rinaldi’s private category for the “second wines” from the Grands Crus vineyards. These are sourced from younger vines or lesser parcels and are sold as Alsace AC Terroir S (like Schlossberg), Terroir B (Brand) or Terroir H (Hengst).

    To achieve his goals, Marc Rinaldi hired two top guns: Christophe Ehrhart, well-reputed consultant for biodynamic viticulture for more than 20 years and who, for many years, worked for Domaine Josmeyer. Ehrhart is from Wettolsheim and his own vineyards (among others in the Grand Cru Hengst which has beem farmed biodynamic since 1998), also source the new project. Besides this, Ehrhart is the other shareholder of the Domaine Armand Hurst.

    The winemaking of the Martin Schaetzel by Kirrenbourg wines lies in the hands of Ludovico Merieau. He was cellar master at the Domaine Albert Mann until 2014 and this experience produced not only with great white wines, but also some of the finest Pinot Noir in Alsace so far. Keep in mind that the Hengst will probably become a Grand Cru vineyard also for Pinot Noir and that the Schaetzel Pinot Noir Premier is from the Les Clarisses plot in Kientzheim; like Albert Mann’s famous red, you can imagine where the Kirrenbourg road is leading.

    Jean Schaetzel, who sold the brand name and vineyards of the family to Rinaldi, is also part of the enterprise that gathers pace in a top modern boutique winery with 30 small and temperature-controlled stainless steel vats, which enable the team to vinify each plot separately in order to end up with the top cuvée (Grand Cru) and its second wine (Terroir). The Pinot Noirs are aged in small barrels and in traditional oak foudres.

    Both parts of the cellar, as well as the terraced Schlossberg, can be seen from the stylish tasting room, whose center is a long tasting table made from staves of a former foudre. I have tasted an excellent series of 2015 wines here—complex and mineral wines with an attractive, clearly articulated fruit and a charming roundness. I also got a promising preview of the 2016s.”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (229)

    In Stock

  • Martin Schaetzel by Kirrenbourg Riesling Brand Grand Cru 2016

    £41.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Martin Schaetzel by Kirrenbourg Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2015

    £44.99

    “Fifty percent of the grapes for the 2015 Riesling Grand Cru Schlossberg are sourced in the east-facing Kirrenbourg parcel, where the granite soils is deeper and the grapes ripen earlier. The wine opens with a very clear and precise bouquet with stony and herbal lemon flavors flanking the white fruit aromas. Nicely reductive! On the palate this is a full-bodied, elegant, very firm and mineral Schlossberg with a straight, vertical character and a lingering saltiness and tension. This is an impressive Schlossberg with a charming roundness on the palate due to the long lees aging until June. The wine was bottled in July 2016. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. Drink: 2017-2029. 93 points

    Since 2014 Marc Rinaldi, who made his money with structural silicone glazing for building facades, luxury cars and a race course, is the new owner of the well renowned Domaine Martin Schaetzel in Kientzheim and, since February 2016, of the Domaine Armand Hurst in Turckheim, too. Driven by his goal to bring Alsace in the altitudes of Burgundy in terms of wine quality and international reputation, Rinaldi already founded the biannual wine fair Millésime d’Alsace in 2012 (together with Humbrecht, Trimbach, Faller/Weinbach and the Barthelmés from Albert Mann) and, in 2016, the producer association Alsace Crus et Terroirs (ACT). Like the VDP in Germany, ACT is communicating Alsatian terroirs and presenting its finest wines in France and in the most important export markets. Currently the group counts 19 of the region’s top wine producers and will show up in Paris in April and in New York in May this year.

    “Alsace is a land brimming with underrated talent. The region isn’t where it needs to be with all its great and diverse terroirs,” Rinaldi said when he welcomed me in the stylish, sharp gabled, wood-revetted winery. There was a mirrored double K at the glass front—K like Kaysersberg/Kientzheim and like Kirrenbourg, the name of the Rinaldi company that runs the Domaine, but also of the lieu-dit in the east-facing part of the Schlossberg, which is Alsace’s very first vineyard classified Grand Cru in 1975.

    So Marc Rinaldi, always a doer, took his gloves off and has tried to push things forward himself now, with his own Domaines and a clear business plan: Producing exceptional wines, mainly Rieslings but also Pinot Noir from some of Alsace’s most prestigious vineyards. Before I introduce the team, here are some facts.

    Currently Kirrenbourg’s Domaine Martin Schaetzel processes the grapes from eleven hectares of vines, of which eight hectares are located in Grand Cru sites. All the vineyards have been converted to organic and biodynamic viticulture since 2015. Kirrenbourg/Schaetzel itself cultivates six hectares of vines, of which four are located in both parts of the Grand Cru Schlossberg, the south- and east-facing slope. Another 3.5 hectares, which are cultivated by Armand Hurst, are situated in the Grand Cru Brand and another .4 hectare are in the Grand Cru Hengst. Since 2016, a Riesling Vendange Tardive in the Grand Cru Rangen de Thann has been produced from purchased grapes, but this project won’t be continued. So eight of almost 11 hectares of vineyards are located in Grand Cru sites, of which currently 50% are planted with Riesling. However, according to Rinaldi, this number will grow in the next years.

    Even though not every handpicked grape will end up in a Grand Cru, these figures are still impressive. I don’t know any other Domaine in Alsace that produces as many Grands Crus as Alsace AOC/AOP wines. About 27,000 of a total of 51,000 wines of the 2016 vintage will be sold as either Alsace Grand Cru or as Alsace “Terroir” wine, which is Rinaldi’s private category for the “second wines” from the Grands Crus vineyards. These are sourced from younger vines or lesser parcels and are sold as Alsace AC Terroir S (like Schlossberg), Terroir B (Brand) or Terroir H (Hengst).

    To achieve his goals, Marc Rinaldi hired two top guns: Christophe Ehrhart, well-reputed consultant for biodynamic viticulture for more than 20 years and who, for many years, worked for Domaine Josmeyer. Ehrhart is from Wettolsheim and his own vineyards (among others in the Grand Cru Hengst which has beem farmed biodynamic since 1998), also source the new project. Besides this, Ehrhart is the other shareholder of the Domaine Armand Hurst.

    The winemaking of the Martin Schaetzel by Kirrenbourg wines lies in the hands of Ludovico Merieau. He was cellar master at the Domaine Albert Mann until 2014 and this experience produced not only with great white wines, but also some of the finest Pinot Noir in Alsace so far. Keep in mind that the Hengst will probably become a Grand Cru vineyard also for Pinot Noir and that the Schaetzel Pinot Noir Premier is from the Les Clarisses plot in Kientzheim; like Albert Mann’s famous red, you can imagine where the Kirrenbourg road is leading.

    Jean Schaetzel, who sold the brand name and vineyards of the family to Rinaldi, is also part of the enterprise that gathers pace in a top modern boutique winery with 30 small and temperature-controlled stainless steel vats, which enable the team to vinify each plot separately in order to end up with the top cuvée (Grand Cru) and its second wine (Terroir). The Pinot Noirs are aged in small barrels and in traditional oak foudres.

    Both parts of the cellar, as well as the terraced Schlossberg, can be seen from the stylish tasting room, whose center is a long tasting table made from staves of a former foudre. I have tasted an excellent series of 2015 wines here—complex and mineral wines with an attractive, clearly articulated fruit and a charming roundness. I also got a promising preview of the 2016s.”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (229)

    In Stock

  • Sale!

    Ostertag Pinot Gris Muenchberg Grand Cru A360P 2017

    £49.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Sale!

    Ostertag Pinot Gris Zellberg 2018

    £32.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Ostertag Riesling Muenchberg Grand Cru 2018

    £49.99

    Review to follow

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  • Trimbach Riesling Cuvee Frederic Emile 2013

    £46.99

    “From the south and south-east facing Ribeauvillé grands crus Geisberg and Osterberg with low-yielding vines averaging 45 years old, the 2013 Riesling Cuvée Frédéric Emile displays a deep, complex and very elegant bouquet of ripe, rather tropical fruit aromas along with some floral flavors. Full-bodied, juicy, round and elegant on the palate, this mineral-laced and well-structured wine indicates a firm but ripe acidity and a lingering salinity as well as an impressively pure and mineral length. Powerful and with great aging potential. In the market is still the 2009 vintage whereas the earliest date of release of the 2013 is 2018. Drink: 2018-2035. 92+ points

    Pierre Trimbach was in a hurry when he presented me the 2013 range along with some of the 2012s, which are still in the markets. However, 90 minutes wewa enough to learn that 2013 as well as 2014 were small vintages in terms of quantity, but at least the 2013s have an extraordinary good quality; namely, the age worthy Rieslings (with the world class Clos Sainte Hune on the top and the remarkably good Geisberg Grand Cru), but also the dry Gewurztraminers, especially the Réserve and the rarely produced Cuvée des Seigneurs Ribeaupierre, are impressively good. Pierre Trimbach calls 2012 “a classic vintage.” The sugar levels were “good though not exceptional.” Also, the acidity was “good — not as high as in 2010, 2013 and 2014, but better than in 2011.” Last but not least, the quantity is better than in 2010, 2013 and 2014. Some of the vines suffered from drought, but the Rieslings (which were mainly sourced in the southern part of the region) are of excellent quality and provided with a very good aging potential (which is important for a domaine that sells more than 50% Rieslings or 350,000 bottles).

    For Trimbach fans, it is important to know that the family has launched the first-ever terroir named wine, the 2009 Riesling Grand Cru Geisberg. Although I did not taste the 2009, I was impressed by the quality of the 2013 and rated it even higher than the iconic Cuvée Frédéric Emile (yet not so from the 2012 vintage). The grapes from the 2.6 ha plot on the Geisberg have always been part of the famous Cuvée, which has always been (and will remain) a blend of the Osterberg and Geisberg grands crus of Ribeauvillé. But since the nuns of the Couvent de Ribeauvillé, from whom the grapes have always being bought, insisted that the quality of the grapes were worth to be used for an exclusive Geisberg Grand Cru (“otherwise…”), Trimbach had to accept and so the domaine’s first declared Grand Cru was born.

    Most likely there will be a second Grand Cru soon. In 2012 the Trimbach family purchased a plot in the Kientzheim Grand Cru Schlossberg. Whereas the vintages 2012 and 2013 were finally blended with the classic Trimbach Riesling, the 2014 seems good enough to become Trimbach’s second Grand Cru. Pierre Trimbach: “We had to restore the vineyard first and force the roots to go deeper into the shallow granite soil, otherwise we would have big stress problems in dry vintages.”

    The Clos Sainte Hune, however, sourced from a 1.67 hectare small plot within the Rosacker Grand Cru that has been family-owned for more than 200 years, will remain what it is is — a brand wine. Consumers think it is a terroir wine anyway, and even when not, they will consider it as one of the finest dry Rieslings on planet wine.

    Trimbach fans should also include the domaine when it comes to detecting Alsace’s potential for great Pinot Noir. Trimbach’s Réserve Personelle (or Réserve Cuve 7 in France) is on a good way in any case.”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (221)

    In Stock