• Nahe Shimmer: 2020 Emrich-Schönleber Riesling

    Nahe Shimmer: 2020 Emrich-Schönleber Riesling

    Emrich-Schönleber joins Keller, Dönnhoff, and Schäfer-Fröhlich as Germany's most noble estates. The Grosses Gewachs (GG) wines come from undisputedly come from "Grand Cru" sites, but within the "villages" category, my obsession continues to be with the "Mineral" bottling, which is among the most reliable and completely dry Rieslings around. Sourced from young vines within Halenberg and Auf der Lay, the value cannot be overstated!

    The Emrich family began growing Riesling on the treacherously steep slopes along the Nahe River in the mid-1700s. In the 1960s, the family began to focus entirely on viticulture and winemaking. Up until then, it was a risky proposition to have their livelihood be at the will of nature so directly. From 1965 to 1985, the estate steadily grew from two to ten hectares.

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    Posted by Max Kogod
  • Gevrey Chambertin Comeback: 2019 Claude Dugat

    Gevrey Chambertin Comeback: 2019 Claude Dugat

    In 2011, Claude Dugat was one of the first great tastings that tipped off that my year in Burgundy would be a fruitful one. Visting Burgundy this past December, it was clear this domaine has captured the interest of Burg-purists. I came across the cuvée at top restaurants and even natural-leaning wine shops. The wines are a towering example of Gevrey Chambertin terroir from old vines.

    In the 90s and into the aughts, the knock on Dugat (and neighbor Dugat-Py) was that extraction and new oak were obtrusive. Thankfully, they've made a comeback since Claude passed the reigns to his children. "Picking is earlier, the wines are no longer chaptalized, and the use of new oak is a touch more restrained," according to William Kelley, "but above all, simply better integrated, with François Frères supplying barrels that seem to harmonize much more discreetly with the wines raised in them than was sometimes the case in yesteryear."

    Vine yields are kept low, of course, but the secret formula might be the very tiny berries that provide an excellent skin-to-juice ratio. What stands out first and foremost is the sheer concentration of fruit, plus the harmony of tannins and acidity—this kind of Gevrey showcases just how good villages Red Burgundy can be. Tasting the 2019 Gevrey Chambertin on its home turf drove home that I'm hard-pressed to find a better villages cuvée there outside of Rousseau and Bachelet.

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    Posted by Max Kogod