Through the Cool-Climate Looking Glass:
2015 Vetter Sylvaner Muschelkalk GK

Posted by Joe Salamone

For fans of unapologetically mineral wines, of spring-garden florality and of mountain water salinity, we cannot recommend these wines enough.

That said, the U.S. allocation here is five cases, so maybe we shouldn't recommend them that much.

In the last few years, Stefan Vetter has quietly become one of the more important growers in Germany's misunderstood Franken. Despite the minuscule quantities Vetter produces, in a recent article on Sylvaner in the New York Times, Asimov mentioned Vetter along with only a handful of producers.

More than one serious taster has blinded Vetter's top Sylvaners and sworn that they were Grand Cru Chablis. Yet the style at Vetter is singular. Forget about the grape - Sylvaner - for a moment because what is so impactful about Vetter's wines is the sheer clarity of the wines, of the soil.

The "GK" in Vetter's top bottles stands simply for the village and vineyard (Gambacher Kalbenstein) and does not denote “Gold Kapsule” or any level of sweetness. Indeed, the “Muschelkalk” (limestone) GK unleashes a pure, tactile acidity and is breathtakingly sharp, pulsating with mineral, dried flowers and saline notes.

Stefan Vetter believes Sylvaner is a grape of extreme sensitivity and real nobility. The reputation of Sylvaner, as Asimov noted in the Times, has been watered down by oceans of cheap versions.

Yet the greatest expressions of Sylvaner are among the most pure white wines out there. Catch the Sylvaner grape in prime form and you'll encounter a wild earth and stone driven complexity that seems to capture something absolutely elemental.

It's been exciting to watch Vetter's wine improve markedly with each vintage. The 2015 GK Muschelkalk represents another high-water mark for Vetter. The 2015 is simultaneously more intense, more clear and more refined.

The level of detail that Vetter achieves does not come easily. He farms just a few hectares of old-vine Sylvaner on choice steep, terraced sites. Everything is done by hand. The results are singular and undeniable. Vetter’s profound Sylvaners offer a glimpse into the promise of the region. Yet the quantities are paltry. These will disappear.

To order, reply to or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone

Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits