Tim Frohlich, the 30-something ultra-cool winemaker, may well be a genius. He has what Rudi Wiest calls "the touch." Unlike most winemakers in Germany, he did not study at Geisenheim; instead, at the tender age of 21, after only an an internship, he simply told his parents (his mother was making the wines at the time) that he was ready to take over the estate. And so he did.
I can't quite explain it, but when Tim says something to you, it's said in such a frank and even tone that it's hard to resist. It's as if he can only recite god-given facts. In my imagination, Tim wakes up one morning, realizes he is now going to make the wines at the estate, and calmly tells his mother and father. They, in turn, nod silently in agreement and then everyone goes back to work without another word.
However it went down, it was a wise move. Tim's first vintage was 1995 and in the decade plus since, Schafer-Frohlich has risen to an elite status in the Nahe. Donnhoff beware. Emrich-Schonleber watch out! Indeed, after the mind-blowing strengths of his lineup of wines from 2005, 2006 and now 2007, I really don't think there are many people who could argue that this estate is not on paar with Donnhoff and Emrich-Schonleber.