On Wednesday, April 4th we were lucky to host dear friend and German grower importer Stephen Bitterolf of vom Boden for a deeply illuminating exploration of his portfolio. If you have been following the German program here, you already know the vom Boden’s portfolio is one of our favorites. Chock full with an All-Star lineup of tiny but stellar growers from some of the best appellations in Germany, this is a portfolio that commands respect from anyone serious about fine German wine.
Stephen showed us the full spectrum, beginning with casual (but insane) values to one of the rarest wines on the market today (Keller’s sublime Abtserde GG).
For many in the audience, this was their first experience with German Riesling. This is not surprising. As a category, interest in the German wine program has exploded. Not only for grandmothers and wine nerds anymore (though we welcome all), the general public has awakened to the fact that German Riesling’s quality to dollar ratio simply cannot be beat. Everyone who was new to the category that tasted these wines first-hand walked away changed.
Needless to say, but the evening was a complete success. “My current Riesling total in my wine cellar equals zero,” one customer wrote to me after the event. He continued, “That is about to change.”
Lauer Riesling Sekt NV
2016 Stein Blauschiefer Riesling trocken
2016 Seehof Riesling trocken
2016 Lauer Riesling Barrel X
2016 Julian Haart Moselle
2016 Lauer Senior
2016 Keller Von der fels
2016 Julian Haart Piesporter
2016 Lauer Saarfeilser GG
2016 Keller Riesling Abtserde GG
2016 Seehof Morstein Scheurebe Auslese
More About the Wine:
There are several main storylines going on for the night. I’ll try to condense them as best as I can.
Storyline # 1: Germany is not always what you think it is.
Florian Lauer’s Sekt is about as good as it gets for sparkling wine under $40. 100% Riesling and dangerously addictive. Dry, thirst quenching, with perfect fruit to mineral ratio. And everything isn’t always Riesling either. We ended the night with the only sweet wine, the charming 2016 Seehof Morstein Scheurebe Auslese, which is basically strawberry peach lemonade and delightful as hell.
Storyline #2: Germany = AIV (Absolute Insane Value)
Though all the wines presented, dollar to quality, were great values, there were three specifically that closed in on insanity. All are dry. Ulli Stein’s 2016 Blauschiefer Riesling trocken, which comes from 90 YEAR OLD UNGRAFTED VINES from insanely old steep vineyards. Ulli may indeed have a screw loose for marketing the wine so cheap, but we’ll take advantage of it while we can. Florian Lauer’s 2016 Senior is DECLASSIFIED GRAND CRU, also from ungrafted old vines, from one of Germany’s most talented growers. Keller, without a doubt, Germany’s most famous grower of his generation, also declassifies young vine juice from his GRAND CRU vineyards to make his sublime 2016 Von der fels. All three are required experiences for anyone who enjoys dry white wine.
Storyline #3: Julian Haart—The Prodigy
Julian Haart has been trained by Germany’s most prestigious growers. His wines are extremely sought after already. The two bottlings we opened, Moselle and Piesporter were remarkable and clearly demonstrated that Haart is s once-in-a-generation talent.
Storyline #4: The Gems
We were lucky enough to open two very insanely precious and rare bottles: the Lauer GG and Keller Absterde, and both in their own way were sublime. Keller for its opulence, Lauer Saarfeilser for its clarity and purity.
I can’t say enough about these wines. You can’t miss here. Load up.