• Mosel Lace at its Finest:  Willi Schaefer Domprobst & Himmelreich

    Mosel Lace at its Finest: Willi Schaefer Domprobst & Himmelreich

    Visiting with Christoph Schaefer seven years ago at his family's cellar at the foot of the wickedly steep Domprobst vineyard of Graach (pictured above) was an unforgettable experience. The wines have long impressed me for their featherweight lightness and mineral spring purity of fruit. The balance found throughout the wines coming from the Mosel River Valley captivate us at every turn, but, for me, those from Willi Schaefer sit in a select category. Along with J.J. Prüm, this is where the Mosel reaches its crescendo.

    Today, I'm happy to offer the full range of in-stock Willi Schaefer Rieslings. 

    The list covers current releases as well as extreme rarities. Value can be found with age, now at 15 years the 2004 Riesling QBA at $34/btl is a great example of the magic capable of developing in bottle. And, several Auction (Grosser Ring) bottlings with a big emphasis on the epic 2001 vintage certainly marks the highlight of this group.

    Schaefer's minute holding of 4.2 hectares almost exclusively focuses on two vineyards in the village of Graach, the Himmelreich and Domprobst - both comprised of Devonian slate soils. 

    The Himmelreich, in its youth, is the more approachable, fruity, and silky. Lots of citrus and white peach tend to dominate. There's an agility and sense of weightlessness to Himmelreich that personifies the magic of the Mosel.

    The Domprobst is the more deep, spicy, and powerful. Earthy characteristics reveal themselves here in wines with slightly higher acidity. Flavor profile tends to push further away from the citrus register and into yellow and red orchard fruit notes.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • Summer of Riesling:  Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Edition!

    Summer of Riesling: Mosel-Saar-Ruwer Edition!

    While Summer of Riesling always pulls me towards this noble variety from corners of France, Germany, and Austria, there's just something extra clarifying about the diamonds from the former Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. Last night was the first of the year at home where the open windows and doors didn't quite do the trick, so I reached for a 2013 A.J. Adam Dhroner to pour alongside the local San Diego sea bass, and all was right in the world.

    These three zones in western Germany are where Riesling is endowed with the most cut and precision. Residual sugar often provides the ideal balance to counter the wicked high acidity. Though, warming temperatures have meant the dry and more off-dry styles are far more charming today than the teeth-chattering dry wines from decades past.

    The list is Mosel-heavy today, with superb value gems like the beautiful clarity found in all of the Weiser-Kunstler and Julian Haart bottlings. And, the greatest dry Riesling you've never heard of, Ulli Stein's 
    Alfer Hölle "1900", from both 2015 and 2016 - and, yes, those vines were planted in 1900! Saar's lineup is comprised of only two names. The legendary Egon Müller and today's younger rockstar, Florian Lauer. Chopin-to-Brahms, as I see it.

    And per usual, our Willi Schaefer lineup is so deep I thought it easier to embed a link to direct you to that list of dozens of wines.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen