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Although it's been a few years since we've been able to visit Sven Enderle and Florian Moll, and (truth be told) we rarely get to taste through their whole line-up since a scant amount comes over to the States; the arrival of their wines is always exciting, because we trust implicitly that they will do the right thing.
By right thing, we mean careful stewardship of their vineyards through organic and biodynamic farming (some parcels with vines more than 60 years old), and hand-harvesting tiny yields of high-quality grapes. In the cellar the right things continue: use of foot-treading and basket press, spontaneous fermentation, neutral Burgundy barrels, bottling without fining/filtration, and low amounts of sulfur. Their white wines have been gaining traction, but their Pinot Noirs are what truly put them on the map.
Enderle & Moll's 5.5 hectares of vineyards are mostly on colored sandstone and limestone: two terroirs that impart distinct characteristics on the finished wine. In theory, Buntsandstein gives power and structure, Muschelkalk gives focus and lift. Aside from the separate bottlings of 'Buntsandstein' and 'Muschelkalk', we also have* their Pinot Noir 'a Trois' and 'Ida', along with perennial store favorite 'Liaison' (a mix of both soil types, also available in Magnum). Their entry-level Pinot Noir, 'Basis', should arrive on the shelves in May.
German Pinot Noir is still an under-appreciated category in the US, and we are incredibly lucky that we've had the privilege to follow these two talented and truly intuitive winemakers for many vintages now. While we would love to have tasting notes available, we haven't had a chance to try more than the 'Liaison', as the other wines are so limited. That being said the 'Liaison' was showing a spectacular energy and jewel-toned purity of fruit. We cannot wait to try the rest!! Cari Bernard
*All orders are pre-sale, wines arrive by Friday, April 19th.
Note from importer website (thanks Stephen!) : This is sourced from vines 70+ years old, planted on solid limestone (Muschelkalk). This is one of the oldest parcels of Pinot Noir in Germany. Right out of the bottle there is a dark, compact black cherry nose; it quickly begins to show the soil, a sandy, iron-rich nose, earth and dried spice. You feel the energy and freshness and structure of the limestone, unquestionably. The palate is very compact as well, bound up and full of energy: a tense red cherry core, very sharp and energetic, really super-fine with an almost meaty edge to it. The freshness is accentuated by a sappy dark green pine needle. Really fine, drying tannins, very grippy and incisive. Spicy long finish. But wow this is structured. - (Stephen Bitterolf)
'Liaison' is from 45 to 50-year-old vines planted on both Muschelkalk (shell limestone) and Buntsandstein (colored sandstone) and is a beautiful example of the elegant coupling of these two terroirs. A beguiling nose of stone, crushed strawberries and red florals, the palate is radiant with red cherries, strawberries, blood orange, and a hint of tart red currant. This makes us very excited for the rest of the line-up of this vintage! Cari Bernard
'Liaison' is from 45 to 50-year-old vines planted on both Muschelkalk (shell limestone) and Buntsandstein (colored sandstone) and is a beautiful example of the elegant coupling of these two terroirs. A beguiling nose of stone, crushed strawberries and red florals, the palate is radiant with red cherries, strawberries, blood orange, and a hint of tart red currant. This makes us very excited for the rest of the line-up of this vintage! I can't remember if I've ever seen Enderle & Moll en Magnum, so this was a no-brainer. Cari Bernard
Also old vines (some up to 60ish years in age) planted on the other predominate soil type of Baden, colored sandstone (red/brown). Buntsandstein can often lead to a bolder type of structure and intensity, in contrast to the Muschelkalk. Cari Bernard
Named after the woman who previously owned the tiny parcel (50 square meters tiny), with Pinot Noir vines planted in the late 70s/early 80s on colored sandstone (Buntsandstein). Cari Bernard
As the name would suggest, this cuvée is a blend of their three 'Grand Cru' sites: Ida, Muschelkalk, and Buntsandstein. Very limited production and in past vintages, a wine to cellar. Cari Bernard