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This heat has pushed us to the brink. Those of you not having 'real-feels' of 105F, consider yourselves sitting pretty! All rosés aside, white wines from Austria and Germany are some of the best possible options to cool down and refresh with after a day (or even just 5 minutes) out in this sweltering summer weather. We have a great mix of new arrivals and old faithfuls on offer, ranging from super-dry to off-dry, there's nothing too sweet here. And even though some Kabinetts are on this list, they show enough acidity to really lift and balance any residual sugar. If you've never tried a slightly off-dry Riesling, now's a great time to start: aside from being refreshing and lively, these wines clock in at lower levels of alcohol, which also makes them an ideal beverage for days you're sweating everything out (whether you want to or not). And we can't stress enough how delightful these wines can be with a wide range of food, whether it's Korean BBQ, fried chicken, crudos, or just with a bag of chips enjoyed in front of the nearest A/C unit. Stay hydrated! Cari Bernard
Delightfully fruity but balanced with refreshing acidity, this year's Hirschvergnügen comes from all estate fruit, hand-harvested, ambient fermentation and aging occurs in stainless steel. Bursting with tropical citrus fruits, green apples, and the slightest touch of herbal spice. This is a great Grüner to pair with lighter fare. Cari Bernard
Nikolaihof is the oldest winery in Austria, with the cellar dating back about 2,000 years. The Saahs family took the reins in 1894 and went biodynamic in the early 1970s. 'Zwickl' is a reference to the unfiltered beers of Germany (Zwickelbier), and this is the unfiltered version of the Nikolaihof Hefeabzug. Although it won't be quite as cloudy as its beer counterpart, the texture is present just enough to give depth and delight to the fresh floral, peachy, and pollen notes. Serve with spring vegetable salads, asparagus tart, roasted chicken and herbed new potatoes. Cari Bernard
Leave it to Biodynamic farming pioneers Nikolaihof to make a Neuburger that's actually complex and compelling; to turn our attention back to this often overlooked variety, commonly lost to blends or diluted by over-producing vines. Floral tea and tropical white fruit glides softly along the palate lifted by some Fuji apple acidity on the lengthy finish. So good! Cari Bernard
Andreas Durst currently farms just shy of a hectare of vines, and works out of his garage in the town of Bockenheim, fairly close to the Rheinhessen border. His 'Alte Reben' bottling is from 50-year-old Sylvaner vines planted on limestone, fermented and aged in a mix of stone and steel tanks, and bottled with a low amount of sulfur. Tasted just a week ago (July 2019), the wine was showing its chalky terroir, clean and bright mineral salinity, white fruit (apples, pears), and shimmering stoniness. Cari Bernard
‘1,000L’ is a reference to the capacity of the traditional barrels (Fuder) of the Mosel. Year in and year out, this wine is dangerously easy to drink, and even in the warm 2018 vintage, Julian has managed to preserve the signature freshness and verve of this 'dry-tasting' wine. Peach blossoms on the nose, the palate is crispy and angular with notes of green apricot and green apple skin, fresh herbs and stone. Delicious! Cari Bernard
When first opened, the energy in the Haart Piesporter (declassified Goldtröpfchen) was practically vibrating on the palate, and only subsided to reveal a dense and beautiful silky core of fruit: just-ripe apricots and nectarine skin mixed with salted green apple slices; lemon ice and florals peeking out on the nose with time in the glass. An interesting play between weight and acidity giving structure and poise, looking forward to revisiting this in at least 7-10 years. Cari Bernard
C.A.I. stands for Carl August Immich, owner of the estate in the 19th century, who used gunpowder charges to blast out part of the mountainside in order to plant vines. Grapes from vineyards in the Mosel and Saar valleys, vinified in stainless steel. Although we enjoy this every year, 2017 has been a great vintage of the C.A.I. following the leaner cut of 2016. Notes from right after bottling, last year: blue cheese and stone, vibrant and fruity with notes of Fuji apple, peach, and nectarine, such great texture, good weight but stays lively on the palate. Cari Bernard
Thorsten Melsheimer has been farming organically in the Mosel since 1995 (certified ECOVIN) and became Demeter (biodynamic) certified in 2013. The 2016 'Handwerk' is actually a blend of three different barrels: a QBA trocken, Kabinett, and Spätlese, and the sum of these parts is a delightful slightly off-dry Riesling. Just a touch reductive upon opening, the herbaceous and cooler qualities of the vintage come through on the nose and the palate along with green apple, peach, nectarine, and tart apricot. This would be fantastic paired with spicy cuisine, fried foods, or brunch (it is only 10% ABV, after all). Cari Bernard
Schimbock is a west-facing, slightly cooler, tiny parcel of gray and blue slate terraces with ungrafted, old vines with smaller, looser bunches (less-prone to botrytis). The grapes are pressed in a basket press over the span of 18 hours, and the wine ages in old fuder (1000L), whereas Daniel's other wines age in stainless tank. Three and a half days of skin contact gives beautiful structure and balance to the notes of soft white cherry, nectarine, and underripe pineapple--delicious! Cari Bernard
A new offering this vintage, from vines in the historically renowned Trarbacher Schlossberg vineyard. Tasting notes forthcoming!
The cherubic, young Bacchus is a nod to an old, carved-front barrel, lovingly drawn for the label by Daniel & Jonas Brand's Oma (grandmother) without color to delineate the series from other projects at the winery. The main difference being that all 'Pur' wines have absolutely no sulfur added during winemaking. 2018 is a blend of Kerner, Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau, Chardonnay, Weissburgunder, Riesling and Auxerrois with just the right amount of texture to balance the flavors of salty yellow apricot, juicy apple, white blossoms, and sour orange zest. Cari Bernard
The Loewen family's parcel is higher up on the Longuicher Herrenberg, here the slope is Devonian slate, with some volcanic elements and home to some ungrafted vines planted in 1902. A fantastic Kabinett, with gardenias and other white flowers on the nose, the palate is brisk and saline, with ripe mango, apricot, tangerine, and tart green plum on the finish. Cari Bernard