Showing 649–660 of 690 results

  • Ostertag Pinot Noir Fronholz 2018


    Review to follow

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  • Ostertag Riesling Heissenberg 2020


    “2016 is the first vintage after André Ostertag’s great 2015 and the second since his son Arthur has been involved more deeply. André has just announced that he will step back a bit to fight against his Parkinson disease, which he has been living with for ten years. In August this year, right before the harvest, his treatment proved insufficient and required André to stay in hospital for several weeks. For the first time since 1980, he wasn’t able to harvest at the domaine, and his son had to replace him overnight. However, during our meeting in late October, André said that “from a picker’s perspective, no harvest had ever been as calm and serene than this 2018 harvest.”

    In his typical calm and quiet way, André said, “Arthur’s influence is growing more and more, and his mark on the 2017s is already very obvious.” He added that “the next generation is terrific and will keep writing the history of the domaine in its own way.” In his letter to friends and partners a few days later, he asked us all to “prepare to be surprised by this new wave blossoming at the domaine with contagious energy!”

    The whole team of The Wine Advocate—and surely all of our readers who have been lucky enough to drink the wines from Domaine Ostertag for so many years—are wishing André Ostertag good luck and success to what he calls cultivating his “inner hillsides in order to come back as soon as possible with renewed energy, ready to support the domaine’s third generation without pushing too hard.” André’s spirit, will and energy has always been great. We don’t have any doubts that we will taste with him again soon. Until then, take care André, and take our very best and warmest wishes.

    Ostertag’s 2016s are formidable! They are not as rich and massively structured as the great and age-worthy 2015s, but in terms of freshness, mineral expression, elegance and finesse, they are absolutely fabulous and by no means lesser wines compared to the prestigious 2015 vintage. Namely, the Pinots Gris wines are coming out great this year. They are not only dry but also full of freshness and tension, so perfect wines to have with food. The Grand Cru Muenchberg is a great wine and worth cellaring for many years. This is also the Riesling from the same terroir that is, once again, one of the finest I have tasted from the 2016 vintage in Alsace this far. I had it again in London a couple of days ago and enjoyed it during the whole evening. This wine took me on a journey, telling me about mirabelles, weathered stones and dried herbs. It is a gorgeous wine that I had to buy immediately. However, the 2016 Heissenberg from a “hot” gneiss and sandstone terroir, is also a great Riesling with unrivaled elegance, finesse and subtleness. If you can’t manage to get a Munechberg or would like to compare it with another great terroir wine, this is the one to buy. As I told you last year, Ostertag is also becoming one of Alsace’s finest red wine producers. Keep the 2015 for many years, and try the 2016, which is even finer and fresher. As a Pinot lover, I couldn’t resist it here as well…”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (239)

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  • Ostertag Riesling Muenchberg Grand Cru 2019


    “Things will never be the same for me at Ostertag. This year, André Ostertag decided to step back and let his son Arthur take over the main winemaking duties while he heals from Parkinson’s. I first met André in 1992, and he is one of the nicest people in Alsace wine. I wish him well and hope to see him back and active at the estate before long. Today, the Ostertag estate farms 15 hectares divided over more than 100 plots of vines. Arthur spent his first full year back at the winery in 2016 and was entrusted with two plots of Riesling (less than 0.1 hectares), the grapes from which were usually part of the Riesling Les Jardins. This became Arthur’s pet project; he made about 400 bottles in 2016, following winemaking methods similar to his father’s (though he prefers not to make, at least for now, a pied de cuve from the indigenous yeasts). The lineup of wines I tried this year at the estate was extremely impressive.”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (01/19)

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  • Pierre Moncuit Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru 2008


    “The 2008 Brut Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru is a fabulous wine from this great Champagne vintage. Given the extended time on the lees (more than ten years) the 2008 shows quite a bit of complexity that has developed in bottle. Baked apple tart, spice, apricot, orange peel, spice, hazelnut and coffee are some of the many aromas and flavors that shape this wonderfully complex Champagne from Moncuit. The 2008 is in an ideal place for drinking now, as it offers a great deal of complexity. Dosage is 7 grams per liter. Disgorged November 2020. Drinking window: 2020-2030. 94 points

    The Moncuit family makes consistently outstanding Champagnes but doesn’t seem to get much attention, and that’s really a shame. The core of the domaine’s holdings are in Mesnil. Readers will find terrific expressions of this Grand Cru village in the Delos and Vintage cuvées. The wines are all done in steel, with full malolactic fermentation, yet preserve tremendous cut, energy, and, most importantly, personality.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (11/20)

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  • Pierre Peters Brut Cuvee Speciale Les Chetillons 2014


    “The 2014 Cuvée Spéciale Les Chétillons is fabulous. The 2014 is not as obvious as years like 2012 or 2013, but it presents a youthfully austere, classic personality that is absolutely beguiling. Readers will have to be patient here. There is certainly a lot to look forward to. The 2014 Les Chétillons is a Blanc de Blancs that sizzles with Mesnil tension and energy. Dosage is 3.5-4.5 grams per liter. Disgorged: May, 2021. Drink: 2024-2034. 97 points

    Pierre Péters is reference point for the Côtes des Blancs and Le Mesnil-sur-Oger. Much of the attention naturally goes to the flagship Les Chétillons and some of the newer bottlings, like the L’Étonnant Monsieur Victor and Réserve Oubliée, but I find myself often reaching for the L’Esprit, which always conveys the essence of a vintage, but at a more approachable price. Rodolphe Péters’ Champagnes are distinguished by their combination of Mesnil tension and fruit depth. A recent magnum of the 2008 Les Chétillons showed that interplay to great effect.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (11/21)

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  • Prager Gruner Veltliner Hinter der Burg Federspiel 2018


    “From gravelly soils brought by the Danube, the 2018 Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Ried Hinter der Burg is incredibly pure, bright and fresh on the white-fruit and flinty nose. From vines planted in 1961, this is a rich and intense yet pure, vibrantly fresh and mineral Grüner that is outstanding for this vintage. Bodenstein’s 2018 combines finesse and crystallinity with elegance, intensity and power on the finish. All this at 12.5% alcohol. Highly recommend. Tasted at the domain in September 2019. Drink: 2019-2040. 93 points

    “The 2018 vintage is more or less like the 2015 and also the 2017 vintage,” thinks Toni Bodenstein, from Weingut Prager in Weissenkirchen, the western part of the Wachau. Bodenstein presented me a sensational series of Grüner Veltliners, against which the Rieslings were strangely without a chance, although still excellent. “We had rainfall in 2018, though not much, but always at the right time.” According to Bodenstein, photosynthesis functioned continuously until October. “There is virtually no malic acid, but the tartaric acid content of the 2018s is unusually high. Fortunately, there was no assimilation stop during the day in 2018 like [there was] in August 2015; that vintage just barely turned the corner.”

    The 2018 vintage was nevertheless quite stressful. There was little moisture in winter and flowering at the end of May and beginning of June was extremely early and finished within a few days, a good two weeks earlier than the average. Pruning the leaf wall is of course an important, albeit very costly, cultural intervention. The later it was cut, the better it was; after all, the aim was to use as little water as possible. The harvest began early and was finished by the end of October instead of mid-November as usual. “The Grüner Veltliner then had hardly any malic acid left, but 90% tartaric acid,” says Bodenstein, “yet with pH levels that were in the upper range due to the stress situations during the summer.” For Grüner Veltliner in 2018, Prager measured 3.3-3.4 pH instead of the usual 3.1. “High pH levels, however, have hardly any reduction potential, so that one has to sulfur more at higher pH values than at low ones.” The Riesling was more like 3.2 instead of 3.1 pH, and it maintained its acidity in 2018, which is about 1-1.5 grams per liter above the Veltliners.

    The processing of the grapes in 2018 was also different than usual. “It was important not to harvest at 30 degrees Celsius [86 degrees Fahrenheit], because otherwise the fermentation would have already started in the harvest boxes. We went to the vines early in the morning and stopped picking when it got too hot.” Normally, the grapes at Prager receive a maceration time of up to seven hours. “But in 2018, we preferred a whole-bunch pressing to preserve the acidity. This is reduced by about 1.5 grams per liter during maceration, which could lead to premature oxidation at high pH values. Therefore, we pressed immediately but slowly over four hours and at low pressure (maximum 0.8-0.9 bar). The shortcoming was, of course, that we had less extract. We compensated for this with longer aging on the fine lees. But we had to be careful here too because of the still-high pH levels and possible malolactic fermentation.” Bodenstein kept the Smaragd wines on the fine lees until the third week of April, which is considerably longer than usual.

    His 2018s are less characterized by exuberant fruit aromas and pure opulence than they are by depth, structure and complexity. This becomes clearer with the Veltliners, for which I initially had little use when I tasted them from a normal wine glass. Bodenstein offered me a number of alternatives. I chose the huge Zalto Burgundy glass—suddenly, I had completely new wines in the glass, which completely captivated me and had little to do with what is otherwise known from the Wachau. They could have been wines from the Côte Rôtie, so full and complex, so fine and elegant. I did not taste any better Veltliners on the Danube last year than Prager’s brilliant 2018s Wachstum Bodenstein and the two selections from the Ried Achleiten. So intoxicated, I asked for older vintages and promptly tasted a whole series of older Veltliners, which I will have to rethink from now on, at least if they come from Prager, whose Rieslings I have always found great anyway. The vertical of the Wachstum Bodenstein showed impressively how terrific this wine, whose mixture of genetics grows on top of the Achleiten in a rather cooler spot, can be in warm years such as 2018, 2015, 2011 and 2007. In this decade, the wines from vines planted in 1997 have reached a level that is rivaled only by the very best wines in the Wachau and along the Danube River.”

    Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate (03/20)

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  • Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012


    “The Quintarelli Giuseppe 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico pours from its heavy glass bottle to reveal a dark ruby and shiny garnet appearance. The bouquet takes a few moments before it comes into focus, and even then, this wine holds back a bit, especially at this young stage in what promises to be a very long cellar life. It’s in no rush. The mouthfeel is especially impressive, and it brings a heightened level of texture and life to the wine. Black fruit and dried plum segue to spice, campfire ash, camphor and grilled herb. A silky and polished mouthfeel is capped by a powerful 16.5% alcohol content. This vintage will appeal to Quintarelli purists who have plenty of time to wait. Drink: 2025-2050. 96+ points

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (12/21)

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  • Quintarelli Bianco Secco 2020


    “The 2020 Bianco Secco is spicy and floral with lemon-tinged orchard fruits and hints of kiwi. This is soft and soothing on the palate, with citrus-tinged apples and spice motivated by zippy acid-driven excellent depth of fruit. It’s long and spicy through the finish, also a bit tropical, while pinching at the cheeks with residual tension. The 2020 Bianco Secco over delivers in every way. This is a blend of 80% Garganega, 10% Trebbiano Toscano, 5% Sauvignon Blanc, 3% Chardonnay and 2% Saorin. Drinking window: 2022-2026. 91 points”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (04/22)

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  • Quintarelli Primofiore 2019


    “Like a freshly opened jar of raspberry preserves complemented by spiced citrus, cloves and minty herbs, the 2019 Primofiore blossoms in the glass. This soothes with its silky textures that coat the palate in mineral-tinged red berries and spices. It seems almost weighty at times, yet the lift of acidity is perfectly inserted. This tapers off amazingly long with rosy inner florals, hints of pepper and autumnal spices, yet is only lightly structured. The 2019 is full of balanced pleasure. This was tasted from both a fresh bottle and a bottle opened three days earlier. In my opinion, Primofiore is the hidden gem of the Quintarelli portfolio. Drinking window: 2022-2028. 92 points”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (04/22)

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  • Quintarelli Rosso del Bepi 2008


    “In 2008, Quintarelli did not bottle Amarone, but instead chose to declassify the juice into Rosso del Bepi. Fragrant and expressive, with a good deal of aromatic nuance, the Rosso is a terrific choice for readers who want to explore the Quintarelli style, without splurging for one of the flagship Amarones. Drinking window: 2017-2027. 93 points

    Quintarelli has essentially been a construction site for the last few years. During my most recent visit I was able to get a good look at the new facilities in a nearly finished state. I have to say the latest incarnation of the winery is stunning. The design is daring and modern – almost shockingly so – yet it also pays homage to Giuseppe Quintarelli’s legacy in a deep and touching way. As for the wines, this set of new releases will delight Quintarelli fans. Even more importantly, the estate appears to be in very good hands under the stewardship of Francesco Quintarelli, Giuseppe’s grandson.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (05/17)

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  • Racines Santa Rita Hills Cuvee Chardonnay 2018


    “The 2018 Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills Cuvée is bright, airy and wonderfully perfumed. Ethereal and gracious, the 2018 lifts out of the glass with striking aromatic presence to match its chiseled, mid-weight personality. This is one of the more nervy, taut Chardonnays readers will come across in 2018, and yet there is lovely breadth that emerges with a bit of time in the glass. Hints of lemon confit, white flower and marzipan linger nicely on the close. Drinking window: 2020-2026. 91 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (08/20)

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  • Racines Santa Rita Hills Cuvee Pinot Noir 2018


    “The 2018 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills Cuvee is a gorgeous appellation-level wine. Crushed flowers, mint, sage, cedar, tobacco, star anise and rose petal give the 2018 a striking aromatic upper register. Savory, deep and yet light on its feet, the 2018 has so much to offer. This is such a pretty wine, and a terrific introduction to both the vintage and the Racines lineup. Vineyard sites are Domaine de la Côte, Encantada and a few barrels from S&B. Drink: 2020-2030. 92 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (08/20)

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