Clemens Busch, Knebel, Steinmetz
Special "Futures" Pricing on Some of the Most Fascinating Rieslings in Germany
"The presence of these growers in the U.S. market will add to Americans' appreciation of the stylistic diversity of Mosel Riesling as well as the restoration that so many unjustly forgotten vineyards are undergoing at the hands of a fanatically dedicated few." - David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate
The Mosel Wine Merchant continues to represent a truly great - and perhaps more importantly, a truly unique - collection of German growers and wines.
We first met Lars Carlberg about three years ago and it's with more than a bit of pride that we were the first in the U.S. to support this portfolio - introducing NYC and the U.S. to some now fairly well known names: Clemens Busch, Knebel and Steinmetz. In a few short years the Mosel Wine Merchant has gone from a geeky little niche importer (and we mean that in the best way!) to a well known and very respected player in the German wine market.
Many of the growers in this portfolio are farming some of the most intriguing (not to mention overlooked) sites in the Mosel. If expressing the truth of a vineyard is the obvious focus, just as important in many of these cases is simply giving these unique vineyards a voice, a stage on which to speak. Diversity is lost everyday and often when a site is allowed to go fallow, it is essentially lost forever.
As good as J.J. Prüm is, let us coin a new turn of phrase today: "Man cannot live on Wehlener Sonnenuhr alone." We for one need a little Winninger Röttgen and Pundericher Marienburg in our lives.
The wines of CLEMENS BUSCH are mighty and focus largely on dry Riesling. There is almost a Rheingau-like size and amplitude to the wines (think Weil), yet the Mosel stamp is there, in spades, with a strong acidity. Fans of the dry wines of the Nahe (Schäfer-Fröhlich, Dönnhoff) and even some Saar producers (Van Volxem) should give Clemens Busch a try. The 2007 GG (just released in the U.S.) will be a tour-de-force.
KNEBEL is another dry-wine specialist. Their neighbor is the jovial Heymann-Löwenstein, though the wines have a more intricate fruit structure, perhaps more clarity. Again, those fans of the dry wines of the Nahe would be well advised to experience Knebel.
STEINMETZ is the rebel of Brauneberg - there is the minerality of this great site with more force and texture. This is the wildest side of the Jüffer and the 2008s are just incredible. You like Schloss Lieser and Haag? Try Steinmetz.
Want to talk more about these wines? We know Pundericher doesn't roll off the tongue with quite as much familiarity as Goldtröpchen (not yet at least), so give us a ring. We're happy to mix you up a package that makes sense for you. Special futures pricing ends August 31st. Call the store at (212) 980-9463 to order.
Clemens Busch: (Organic!) Force and Amplitude
Clemens Busch commands the respect of just about everyone. In the formidably humid Mosel he farms organically, which is nothing short of a Herculean accomplishment. Clemens himself is a formidable figure, a strong man with a sort of Dagueneau "wild man" look going on. That said, he smiles a lot and is incredibly thoughtful. Forgive me for making this clichéd jump, but the winemaker and his wines are very similar indeed: Broad-shouldered with an obvious force and power. Yet don't let the dazzling weight of these wines fool you - they show incredible depth and a diversity of terroir with a sort of scary complexity. Utterly distinctive and unforgettable. For you Grosses Gewächs fans, do not miss the mammoth 2007 Marienburg.
Knebel: Depth and Definition
There isn't a more impressive backdrop in "Winedom" than the vineyard's of Knebel's Winnigen - and the wines of Knebel do these massive, fortress-like vineyards justice. Steep ancient terraces, old vines, chunks of slate literally brick-like in size and weight - this is a ruthless landscape and so it's surprising how elegant and detailed the wines of Knebel are. Never quite as forceful as Clemens Busch, yet they seem to show endless niches and corners of flavor, extreme detail and nuance. Superb values in Riesling.
Steinmetz: Brauneberg Unleashed
Stefan Steinmetz is bringing his family estate into the spotlight because he is crafting some seriously soulful Middle Mosel Riesling for pennies on the dollar. This is one of those estates where the pricing almost undermines the considerable ambition of the wines. (This will not be the case forever, believe me.) Stefan Steinmetz is a kid with a *serious* instinct. If you believe in reincarnation then Stefan has been a winemaker in every life he's ever lived. The 2008 collection here is very likely the best Stefan has ever made (yes, that means better than 2007). He has absolutely nailed it and it couldn't be more obvious. The best of the wines are forceful as all get out, with a rich texture though there is a fierce acidity that powers through the wines ruthlessly, with shocking clarity. While they share a style with Haag (think clarity, cut), they are cut from a meaner cloth with more drive and impact. The 2008 Steinmetz wines are going to shock you.