As I was thinking all day about what to write about on my visit to Thörle in the beautiful, picturesque

village of Saulheim in the Rheinhessen so many thoughts raced through my head. There were so many great moments during this visit I did not know what to focus on. As I was recalling the tasting and all the conversation we had, what struck me was when Johannes Thörle told me about a tasting of the '14 Grosses Gewachs/Grand Cru wines. All the big shots in the Rheinhessen were there. It was a VDP tasting but the VDP also invited some non up and coming VDP estates and Thörle made quite an impression on one enthusiastic winemaker, none other than Wittman.

I just had a client, who enjoys high acid vintages as much as I do, had a tasting and tagged me on

Instagram. I noticed a 2005 Yann Alexander Brut 1er Cru amongst the bottles. That was the one I commented on as it is a mind-blowing wine despite 2005 being a a not super high acid vintage. Well, the client commented that he loved the wine and was very surprised how vibrant the wine was despite being from not a 1996 or 2008 type of vintage.

Loire Reds, consisting mostly of Cabernet Franc, but also Cot, Pinot Noir and Pineau d'Aunis were another one of those categories that I drank as a young wine retailer.  They were cheap, interesting and some of them were great values.  You could also source old stuff with some effort, which was fun. Winebid was a goldmine back in 1999-2005.

Looking back on it, many of them were tinged with Brett and were often somewhat underripe.
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Most of these are in Burgundy and to a lesser degree Champagne but all are exclusively owned by one estate. Usually in Burgundy a number of estates have vines in 1er Cru and Grand Cru vineyards but a monopole is exactly that, a monopoly of one vineyard by only one estate. That does not necessarily mean all monopoles are great but in general they tend to be very good to great to profound once in a lifetime wine experiences.

For those of you who have not read my blog post "God, Science and Sweat: The Three Ways to Make

Wine, "I encourage you to give it a perusal.  The basic point is that it is possible for great winemakers, through incredibly hard work, to make stunning, even world class wines, in humble appellations.  I have always known this, but I've never seen anyone make wine this good from ordinary terroir.

If there is one thing about 2015 certain producers certainly did make once in a generation wines, but the German public knows and have been snapping them up like I've never seen before. And now Rheinhardt has written about Nahe/Rheinhessen/Baden/Pfalz which has only added kindling to the already raging wildfire of excitement surrounding this vintage. Dry wines from top 15 producers are such a hot commodity now and perhaps the last most undervalued great white wine category in the world.

Tenuta Grillo is destined to be the Fass Selections wine geek winery of Italy. The wines are delicious

so everyone will like them but they are so darned well made they are really master classes in winemaking in a bottle. Our winemaker clients have already snapped up the early offers and this will be no different, I'm sure. The winemaker sells most of his production in bulk to pay his bills and as such can afford to hold his best wines until they are ready to drink.

So the theme of this list is very focused on me and my personal cellar but I think many long time

customers can relate. What do you buy enough of and what don't you? It's like looking back at a football season at your picks before and then who actually made it and won the Super Bowl. It's been almost 4 years we've been in business and these below are the the top 10 wines I had unlimited access to but just didn't buy enough of.

The Outrageous Complexity of a Geek Wine

Combined with Luscious 2015 Fruit

From One of the Great Winemakers of Europe, Battenfeld Spanier

(Plus a Delicious, Affordable Silvaner) 

"HO Spanier's 2015s are simply great and vitalizing wines.

Every year when I go to the Mosel, I always look forward to my visit at the estate of Gunther Today I can proudly offer the 1994 Licht-Bergweiler Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Auslese (375 ml) for $23.99 a half bottle on 3-pack. You will never, ever find a better deal for a well stored half bottle of Aged Mosel Auslese. It s not and will never be possible. And in the quantities I have. A half bottle Stefan opened 2 weeks ago blew me away.
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