2018 German Grosse Gewächse & 2017 Pinot Noir
We are delighted to release our offer of 2018 Grosses Gewächs and 2017 German Pinot Noirs.
The 2018s are tasting better and better. They have settled down and are becoming smooth and integrated, revealing the great charm of youth as well as potential for long ageing. As befits a warm year, they are rich and muscular, but they possess a vibrant balancing acidity which keeps them fresh and true to their terroirs.
2017 is a brilliant vintage for reds. They are concentrated and pure, with delightful red berry fruit. They offer excellent early drinking, and the more serious ones will give pleasure for many years to come.
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2018 Saarfeilser Fass 13 GG [13 19] (LAUE36218A)
From the estate's warmest site, a steep west-facing slope directly on the river. A powerful ripe wine this year, with a gentle smoky note that tempers the juicy rich yellow fruit, green tea and spice flavours.
2018 Himmelspfad Silvaner GG [15 19] (MAYR40218A)
From the warmest part of the Langenberg vineyard, which is composed primarily of fossil-rich fine limestone. The soil is poor, and the vines are the estate's oldest, at fifty-five, which keeps yields correspondingly low. The only hint that it was a warm year is the smooth yellow fruit, the rest is pure terroir: this is an effortlessly elegant, lean, pure and floral wine, with a fine density. To balance the ripeness, there is a pronounced slightly bitter stoniness that builds to a crescendo on the finish, leaving a pleasant sensation of heat behind it.
2018 Rothlauf Silvaner GG [16 19] (MAYR42218A)
From the best parcel of a cooler vineyard in neighbouring Thüngersheim, the Johannisberg, which features the same fossil-rich limestone, but here mixed with multicoloured sandstone. The wine is aged in equal parts in steel, concrete egg and wood, and shows how this often under-rated varietal can be an excellent foil for terroir. It is smooth and ripe, with focussed yellow fruit, a hint of lychee, a touch of oak and a beautifully detailed stony mineral element that lasts to the very long juicy finish.
2018 Ungeheuer GG [44 19] (MOSB25218A)
Very old vines give a smooth vibrant wine with rounded grapefruit and ripe pear fruit, lots of zingy freshness and a very stony finish.
2018 Jesuitengarten GG [45 19] (MOSB27218A)
A very elegant, juicy rich wine, with bags of yellow fruit, pointed citrus acidity and a very fine mineral vein. There is a good deal of oak here, which will take time to be digested, but there is more than enough wine to do the job.
2018 Himmelreich GG [29 19] (SCLI04218A)
One of the last acquisitions to the Lieser portfolio. This is forward, floral and ripe, with vibrant, delicately wrought fruit and a fresh creamy saltiness on the long finish.
2018 Juffer GG [28 19] (SCLI06218A)
The floral fruit seems a little delicate at first, but you quickly realise that it is more than a match for the intense slaty mineral flavours; the tension between them drives through to a juicy, salty finish.
2018 Juffer-Sonnenuhr GG [31 19] (SCLI08218A)
There is pure floral and citrus fruit here, and what can only be described as liquid slate, an intense dark minerality of melting finesse that grows in richness and volume towards the very long finish.
2018 Stromberg GG (SFRO76218A)
The steep rocky volcanic soils of Stromberg are the site of the estate's oldest vines, half of them eighty-five years old. Not surprising then, that the wine is intense, with a dry, smoky stone core, but balanced by intense yellow fruit, vibrant citrus acidity and a long fine salty finish.
2018 Frühlingsplätzchen GG (SFRO77218A)
Hard red slate gives an elegant wine with pronounced dark earthy flavours, redcurrant fruits, a spicy note, vibrant lemony acidity and a firm salty finish.
2018 Kupfergrube GG (SFRO79218A)
Kupfergrube - on the site of an old copper mine - is a narrow strip of vineyard between the river and a steep volcanic cliff, and has correspondingly little airflow. The rocks reflect and store heat, and the grapes have riper flavours even when they have the same must weight as those in other vineyards. This year it has produced the most charming wine in the portfolio: it is flowing, effortless and elegant, with red fruits, clearly delineated vibrant citrus fruit and a steely, salty stony finish.
2018 Felsenberg GG [18 19] (SFRO80218A)
Felsenberg's position next to the river makes its vines reach maturity quickly. This also means the vineyard is susceptible to fog, and as the damp air softens the grapes, it is crucial to harvest at the right moment. Tim Fröhlich is all over it, with the result that his wine is less weighty than that of other growers. There is power here, of course, from the rich soils, but the racy citrus acidity keeps it light on its feet, and there are seductive herbal notes on the long fine saline finish.
2018 Himmelreich GG [12 19] (SHAE04218A)
Christoph Schaefer has not made a GG since 2012, mainly because in other years he feared there was too much acidity, but in 2018 the balance was just right, so the grapes normally destined for an Auslese were fermented dry. It is a typical Schaefer wine: pure, fine and mineral-driven. The nose is creamy and floral, and in the mouth there is very juicy crisp acidity, a lovely flowing texture to the yellow fruit and a very fine salty minerality framing ? and keeping in check ? the ripeness of the vintage. The finish is salty and extremely long.
2018 Aulerde GG [16 19] (WITT42218A)
The warmest site in the estate's portfolio, with rich marl soils on a sandy clay base. The vines were planted in 1951. This is forward, ripe, pure and accessible, with lovely lemony intensity and brightness, very juicy yellow fruit, smoky mineral flavours and long hot salty length.
2018 Kirchspiel GG [17 19] (WITT44218A)
Situated just above the Aulerde in a shallow east-facing amphitheatre which catches the first sun, the soil is mostly limestone with some loam. This is a wine of depth and power, with pure vibrant cool green fruit, a note of spice, brisk lemon flavours and good salty length.
2018 Gaispfad trocken [07 19] (WSEI74218A)
There is ripe yellow fruit here, but the pronounced wet slate note keeps it lean; the vibrant lemony acidity throws all elements into pure relief and the finish is juicy, stony and long.
2018 Ellergrub 'Grosse Eule' trocken [06 19] (WSEI80218A)
On our first visit last year, the estate's signature dry wine was still fermenting, so Konstantin offered us the dregs of a bottle of 2016, open for six weeks in the fridge. We feared a tired oxidised wine, but...it was stupendous: beautifully balanced, expressive and long. We learned there that the wines are built to last, and benefit from decanting well in advance. The 2018 is no exception. It has a powerful backbone of salty wet slate, supported by brisk lemony acidity, pure ripe yellow fruit and a very long smooth finish.
2016 Jaspis Gutedel 10 hoch 4 (ZIER26216A)
104 refers to the vine density - originally planted in 1968 - Hans-Peter doubled the amount of vines per hectare in the oldest part of the Steingrüble vineyard in 2001 to get closer to Burgundian models. The wine shows what Gutedel – known as Chasselas across the border in Switzerland – can do when challenged. This is a supremely fine wine in anyone’s book, up there with the best Burgundies, showing that Gutedel is not only a superb reflector of terroir, but can also produce something of extraordinary complexity and intensity. Overnight skin contact after picking gives freshness, structure and a hint of bruised apple, backed by bright citrus fruit, a dash of cream and a minerality that grows more persistent as it glides to an infinitely long, smooth finish.
2018 Rausch GG [19 19] (ZILL04218A)
A beautiful Saar GG: smoky, spicy, elegant and very fine, with a seamless silky minerality and a juicy yellow-fruit finish.
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