Something Special Soulful on the Mosel: Stefan Steinmetz

Something Special Soulful on the Mosel: Stefan Steinmetz

Grüße aus dem grünen zimmer wo die freaks zusammen strömen,
                           Based on the massive turnout from my first offer of Stefan Steinmetz‘s wines in April of this year (which are all now in stock!), i’d say that you guys are paying attention, as well you should, to the profound quality that he is producing from his little library of middle Mosel sites, both those that are quite famous and those which are fairly unknown.  Granted, the eye-popping superlative “scores” from Stuart Piggot and Mosel Fine Wines likely helped to support such confidence.  Weeellll……I visited with Stefan in June for two days where we methodically tasted through the entire range of his 2021s, as well as toured/walked every vineyard site to further concrete my understanding of their makeup.  Now, I know that I am an enthusiastic dude, and that whatever blowhard aspect exists with such frequent enthusiasm may leave you a bit numb.  But I am telling you this, and I am not wrong: Stefan’s 2021 Grand cru dry wines are absolutely incredible, quite likely the finest wines that he has ever made.  The awe inspiring, breathtakingly beautiful quality and consistency across the range is something that I was not prepared for, with each and every wine an idyllic example of its ilk.  Along with Tim Schäfer Fröhlich’s GG wines, Stefan’s wines were the pinnacle highlight of my 2021 tour, and I think that Stefan’s wines may perhaps be even more impressive….!?  When you factor in the question of cost for such quality, his address continues to present some of the most outrageously undervalued wines on the world stage that I can think of…..Looking forward, 2022 stands at the moment to be the worst drought in the Mosel in over 500 years, with catastrophic results on the horizon if something doesn’t change quickly, and we’re pretty much out of time……So it once again proves foolhardy to ever overlook the gifts in hand…..
                           I have some ideas as to how and why he was able to hit such heights in a long, wet, cool vintage that will definitely have peaks and valleys of variability among his dry wine growing colleagues.  Firstly and most importantly: crazy low yields.  Whereas it is quite common to crop Riesling as high as 60-70hl/ha+ for many wines, and maybe around 50hl/ha for many producers’ GG wines in any given year, Stefan’s yields were lower than anything that I have ever heard of for Riesling.  Stefan reported yields of around 10hl/ha to a maximum of 33hl/ha for his dry wines, even the “basic” village level dry wines.  This is what affords the wines such an astonishing sense of natural concentration in a vintage where almost everyone struggled to get ripeness.  À la the Schäfer Fröhlich wines, I found the wines to be like an incredibly crystalline liquified essence of their respective geology, yet with even more fruit concentration than Tim achieved, who had “typical” higher yields.  Please do trust me when I say that the sense of flavor intensity is just bonkers, something that needs to be tasted to be believed……Secondly, the wines are all pretty much bone dry, with 2-4 g/L of residual sugar, finishing their native yeast ferments fairly uniformly and easily; not only are they bone dry, but they are wonderfully moderate in alcohol, ranging between 12-13%.  This sense of alcoholic moderation and crystal clear, dry transparency helps make each wine come across as a naked essence, with a sense of levity and dancing lightness that is plain inspiring, delicious, and crazy expressive.  Thirdly, the acidity is relatively high, but not anything crazy, ranging between 8 and 9g/L.  I had some projected concerns before tasting the wines that there would be shrill, decoupled, through the roof acidity levels, which is not at all the case; for you not so freaky geeky technical folks out there, 8g/L acidity is a pretty common target for dry Riesling producers looking for dynamic refreshment but without tipping into acid dominance.  All of these elements combined to create an astonishing overall sense of harmonized fruit/acid balance, in a fashion that is some kind of Platonic ideal of dry Riesling perfection, to my taste…….Please trust me when I say this, and please remember when the press comes out saying exactly the same, with mind blower superlatives of their own….
                           Whilst his array of vineyard sites is chock full of singular character and substance, there are two that are of particular fascination to my rockhead-meets-heroic-viticulture sensibilities: the Neumagener Rosengartchen and the Piesporter Treppchen.  The Rosengartchen is a former slate quarry, replete with a few deep caves (see the picture below) that house stacks of slate rocks to this day, left that way from its former purposes for who knows how many decades.  Its upper portion is ridiculously steep, much of it terraced, with but one small access road, requiring all manual work.  This extreme labor intensiveness is why it has fallen from contemporary fame, as it has always been recognized as a Grand cru site, yet no one is really willing to work such difficult slopes these days.  The sense of minerality that emerges here has always blown my mind, since the very first vintage he made in 2016; Stefan, who feels that this just may be his personal favorite site that he works with, posits that its former status as a quarry has created an abundance of pulverized slate, which is a significant part of why its minerality is so remarkably intense.  In 2021, he made three different wines from it: two dry wines and, for the first time, a kabinett!  All three are simply phenomenal…..The Piesporter Treppchen is a site that is even more inaccessible and extreme.  Hailing from the opposite side of the river than the majority of what people know/associate with the village of Piesporter, it abuts the Wintricher vineyards, and requires any and everything required here to be carried up a small footpath to a narrow entrance.  It is a truly remarkable example of heroic viticulture, whose steep terraces and decomposed gray slate yield a wine of incredible mineral intensity and dimension.  Both of the Grand cru dry wines from these sites have scored 98-100 points in recent vintages, which they will do once again in 2021, I’m pretty convinced……I’ve got all of it on offer below, so….i’ve done my part, the rest it up to you……
 In addition to his Grand cru dry wines, the ONLY other Riesling wines he made in 2021 were five terrific kabinett wines, all of which are chock full of the dancing, featherweight sensibilities of the vintage, ranging from soul soothing silky harmonized weightlessness to searing electric high wire acidity.  As the popularity continues to grow for kabinett wines due to their inimitable charm, refreshment, and digestibility, I can’t encourage those of you who already enjoy or wish to better understand what great kabinett is all about to go wild, as the value and substance here is plain ridiculous.  Whereas the Wehelener Sonnenuhr and Juffer sites may be familiar Grand cru household names, his Piesporter Grafenberg and Neumagener Rosengartchen! kabinette are incredible wines of very different character that will thrill lovers of great kabinett wines.  As there is as of yet no press published for any of these wines, I’ve included my impressions of each and everything in the MENU section below…..
                           And lastly, and most certainly not to be ignored, Stefan is quite passionate about making world class Pinot Noir.  Historically, I have found the Pinot Noirs to be a mixed bag, often with a muddled sense of flavor precision and with an oak regimen that gave them a certain rustic/overworked quality that I often associate with many German Pinot Noirs.  I historically have loved his entry level basic Pinot Noir more than the single vineyard stuff, as it was aged in tank or completely neutral wood, and it was always so pure and lovely, on little red fruits and spice.  So when I inquired about the 2018 and 2019 Pinot Noirs, Stefan gave me samples of everything (as we ran out of time, even having spent two solid days together….!), which I took with me, staging a tasting on the rooftop of a hotel in Grindelwald, Switzerland the evening before my flight home (there is a picture of the scene below; subtly impressive…. ;0 ).  I took my dear time, quite methodically tasting the wines over 2.5 hours; my to-the-point take away is that the 2018 vintage is a breakthrough vintage for him in Pinot Noir, offering unheard of value-meets-substance with a sense of charm, spice, delicacy, and redder than black fruited personality that is unlike anything that I have tasted from him before.  When I asked him what had changed in his approach, he mentioned that nothing had really changed in his vinifications, but that starting with the 2018 vintage, he for the first time purchased used barrels from Domaine de la Romanée Conti of Vosne Romanée, a little upstart winery that people are starting to talk about ;0 .  His 2018s are just being released now, with the 2019s to be released next year; both vintages were quite low yielding, with the ’18s presenting a sense of fluid ease and generosity that is shockingly pretty, whereas the ’19s have a greater compact density that is in a similarly pretty if more compact vein.  To my personal sensibilities, I was surprised to find that I preferred the greater moderation and charming immediacy of his ’18s, a vintage that I am not a big fan of in Mosel Riesling.  This is a perfect case in point for the proof-being-in-the-pudding, regardless of projected expectations and over-intellectualization; wine clearly speaks for itself, if you are willing to listen…….
                                 And so there you have it, if in a long winded nutshell.  ;0  What follows is another head-spinning offering of truly remarkable beauty, outrageous substance, and incredible value all offered at the best no nonsense pricing one will encounter nationally.  The timing has been incredible for our first steps working together, as the past three vintages are the finest of Stefan’s career, clear-as-a-bell arguments for his work rising to a truly elite level of quality found only at the finest addresses in all of Germany.  I only appreciate his friendship and person more as the years roll on, and it is my honor and pleasure to fly the flag and shout it to the heavens/void: it doesn’t get any better than this………
                           In a surprising twist of fate, I am delighted to finally be able to stably fly the flag for the wines of Stefan Steinmetz, one of the Mosel’s most under heralded budding superstars, who farms many unique and compelling sites that are somewhat unfamiliar to all but the most rabid fans of the Middle Mosel.  This new development has been a looooong time in the making, as he and I have been friends since 2016, the first time that I visited and stayed in Brauneberg specifically to meet and spend time with him.  Some combination of a special raw talent and unquenchable passion drives him with an all consuming focus, as he continues to ferret out overlooked and seemingly forgotten old vine gems, yielding stunning wines from sites that most people have never heard of before…..Whereas I could go on and on about the quality of the wines, their gossamer textures, brilliant crystalline luminosity, and sense of avant-garde complexity, I feel that it is more important to first speak of his humanity, as Stefan is a remarkably dynamic human being, passionate about wine to the bone.  The kitchen at the Steinmetz house is known affectionately as “the Green Room”, its painted walls lending a certain atmosphere to what can feel like a timeless place of fellowship, endless conversation about everything imaginable, and lots and lots of wine…..The cliché of “if these walls could talk” would require endless volumes to recount the joys, pains, and laughter of the humanity that has poured into them.  I can’t tell you how many times Stefan and I would find ourselves looking up to see that it is well past midnight, our conversations effortlessly flowing, as we covered⁵ everything from the most twisted and tragic, to the cultural analytical, to the ridiculous/absurd/irreverent, to the most sublime and joyous.  Stefan embraces all of life, with a rigor and strength that is remarkable.  The physical toll of his work is unrelenting, yet he does not relent.  The number of heartbreaking challenges and set backs that he has faced never seem to let up, yet he has continued to excel, refining and honing his craft with an increasing regularity and evenness throughout the range.  There is a special spirit in him, one that I have always wanted to tell the world about, as both he and his work deserve such appreciative attention…….Fwiw, he speaks impeccable English, and is as likely to throw Beavis and Butthead references your way as he is to surprise you with sharp witted jokes in the most colorful of english slang ( ;0 ) .  Granted, his wife Sammie, a southern American military expat who owns the dubious distinction of being the only black woman working in wine in the entire Mosel!, has helped him continue to hone such skills, but he had already taught himself a ton from American media/movies, with a fluency that is, again, remarkable.  He has been longtime friends with Constantin Richter of Domaine Max Ferdinand Richter, and has seen the whole curve of Constantin blossoming from awkward youth to self assured shining star; they have partnered on a few projects over the years, including the very cool Alter Satz red wine offered below.  Just as with Constantin, I would say that our relationship has been rooted in friendship and shared passion first, which is how I personally prefer to build relationships of any kind in my life……
                             Right.  Back to wine……So Stefan has historically struggled with the shackles of working with a US National Importer and their requisite exclusivity, first with a NY based company called Grand cru, then more recently with Broadbent of VA.  Being a little independent guy from Delaware, I always told him that I thought that such “I own you” politics imposed by such big companies plain suck, serving only the Big Dog in question.  He always recognized the pros and cons of such arrangements with no illusions, but couldn’t let go of the ostensibly simple allure of one massive allocation to one company, clean and done.  As those relationships eventually soured and turned dysfunctional, ironically costing him a sizeable fortune in the name of trying to make him a very small one, he finally said ENOUGH, and has begun to build his relationships on his terms, free to choose his partnerships, and granting national exclusivity to no one……His first step was to begin working with his long time friend Lyle Fass based in CA, then a small NY based company created by a former Grand Cru employee.  I am now the third step in this new network, and I am plain delighted…..
                          As mentioned, Stefan has a knack for “discovering” overlooked gems, be it because they are a colossal pain in the ass to farm (read STEEEEP terraces), from incredibly low yielding old vines,  or a lack of prestige/market associated with those sites.  As he values great and dynamic wine above label licker appeal, he is willing to take on such market challenges, knowing full well that irreplaceable quality speaks for itself, and always has a place at the table……His wines from the Piesporter Treppchen, Neumagener Rosengärtchen, and now the Dhroner Hengelberg (a monopole site) stand as some of the most startling discoveries to me, but they are by no means the only…..Stefan’s quiver of sites is remarkably impressive, each and every one presenting distinct and compelling character that a terroir freak like myself (and so many of you, dear friends!!!) goes ape for.  My momentary focus on these more obscure sites doesn’t mean that this is Stefan’s shtick (find stuff that people have never heard of before), because he lives in Brauneberg and has gem holdings in both the broader Juffer and tenderloin Juffer-Sonnenuhr, Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, as well as the Wehelener Sonnenuhr.  His wines from the far lesser known villages of Kesten, Dhron, and Wintrich are all of reference point quality, even if they don’t enjoy the prestige of their direct neighbors (look at a map!).  No, novelty is not a focus; his only criteria is raw quality, by any name and color…..
                         As a winemaker, there is no question that he is incredibly talented.  Any German wine critic that you can think of, from David Schildknecht, Stuart Piggott, the folks at Mosel Fine Wines, Stephan Reinhardt, you name it, they are big big fans.  Honestly, if you love Riesling wine and spend even a small amount of time in Stefan’s company, it is impossible NOT to root for him; there is some kind of an infection of affection for the guy and his wines…maybe it is some kind of loving virus from the Green Room?  ;0  In Riesling, he excels at making both dry and off-dry styles, increasingly so with the passage of time/experience…..For our first step together, I am very very excited to start with a vintage like 2020, one of more filigree detail and finesse, with both dry and off-dry wines that dance more than they are powerfully heavy.  2020 may be his finest vintage yet in this regard, particularly in light of his across the board success.  He is also pretty damn good at making Pinot Noir, with his entry level wine consistently finding me blown away with how pretty and substantial it is for such a fair price; red Burgundy value hounds would do themselves a solid and check it out…..As you read over the embarrassment of riches on offer in the MENU, you will see…..soooo many good things on offer, at prices that are outrageously fair.  Whether you are looking for everyday value in dry/off-dry, or pinnacle Grand cru examples at their very best, or even to two different Eisweins picked a month apart during the same year, everything that you get here is chock full of character, substance, value, and the house touch special something.…I have no doubt, once you taste for yourself, if you haven’t already, you too will be fans for life……!!!! And so……
“Stefan Steinmetz underlines the surprisingly filigreed qualities of the 2020 vintage … against all odds: “Everything started early, both budbreak and flowering, and the summer was hot and dry … and then things turned out completely differently than one would have expected as sugar levels did remain comparatively modest through the Autumn. I started my Riesling harvest in mid-September and we were able to bring in a lot of Kabinett fruit at around 80° Oechsle for the first week, and even later. Thanks to pre-harvesting, we saw actually little botrytis so that I could leave a lot of fruit out to give the grapes time to develop more maturity. We were able to harvest a lot of great fruit with not exaggerated Oechsle degrees for my GGs. In between, I was able to harvest some fruit ideal for sweet Spätlese GK as I like them. My harvest lasted for a full 7 weeks, and the fruit remained, against all odds, I admit, clean right up to the end! The result is a great vintage with linear, mineral, deep but not as muscular wines as in some other recent vintages. I love the filigreed and almost backward structure of the wines!
The portfolio is more heavily tilted towards Kabinett in 2020. It includes no less than 5 fruity-styled wines as well as several dry ones (not yet tasted). The portfolio will only include four sweet wines, a Spätlese GK from the Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr, a Spätlese from the Dhroner Hofberg (sold exclusively to a local wine merchant), an Auslese GK from the Neumagener Rosengärtchen and a rarity, an Eiswein … picked in January 2021. The portfolio will also include 10 GGs from the Estates flagship vineyards (we will not list them all here!). It will also release its
2019er Pinot Noir as well as its 2019er Alter Satz, its first vintage of a red wine made from a field-blend of ancient red grape varieties.
Stefan Steinmetz dished up an amazing collection of deep yet subtle and filigreed fruity-styled and sweet wines in 2020. The kabinett wines are stunningly light-footed yet also deep and beautifully complex. The sweet wines are also incredibly pure and elegant. Clearly the highlights are the Wehlener Sonnenuhr, the Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett, the Mülheimer Sonnenlay Kabinett, and the Kestener Herrenberg Kabinett (a wine which he produced “in homage to his father” after he drank a stunning 1975, which underlined the huge potential of this vineyard for this style).  Among the sweet wines, the Neumagener Rosengärtchen Auslese GK clearly stands out this year. All in all, there is a lot to like in this collection.  We cannot wait to taste the dry and dry-tasting Riesling from 2020 from this Estate!” -Mosel Fine Wines on the 2020s
2021 Riesling Kabinett:
2021 Piesporter Domherr Kabinett 
“Lust for life! The ripe apricot aroma hits you full in the face, but the acidity is also very ripe in the 2021 context. Concentrated and energetic, this is dangerously fresh right through the super-long finish that’s almost dry thanks to the very vibrant acidity. Drink or hold.” 95 Stuart Piggott
2021 Piesporter Grafenberg Kabinett 
“So much tangerine, melon and fresh basil. Super bright and energetic, this shoots across the palate with almost lightening speed. It’s hard to believe this has such a substantial acidity. Almost bowls you over. Welcome to the freshest part of the known universe! Drink or hold.” 94 Stuart Piggott
2021 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Kabinett 
“A breathtaking Mosel Kabinett with a stunning nose of yellow apple, pink grapefruit and super-energetic acidity. Sleek palate with an electric acidity that makes this taste seriously dry, although it is not. Drink or hold.” 95 Stuart Piggott
“The 2021er Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett is made from fruit picked at 78° Oechsle and was fermented down to barely fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (40 g/l). It offers a superb nose of ginger, white flowers, smoke, and chalky minerals. The wine proves a delight on the palate, where it dances with zest and huge finesse. The finish is playful and incredibly racy. What a stunning effort! 2031-2051″ 94 Mosel Fine Wines
2021 Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett 
“A generous Kabinett with a ton of aromatic apple character. This remarkable Kabinett is extremely refreshing and animating. Super-crisp finish that jolts you out of your chair. Enormous aging potential. Drink or hold.” 94 Stuart Piggott
“The 2021er Brauneberger Juffer Riesling Kabinett is made from fruit picked at 80° Oechsle and was fermented down to barely fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (45 g/l). It offers a very nice nose of minty herbs, fine spices, and minerals, all immersed in citrusy fruits. The wine proves beautifully light-footed and precise on the palate and leaves a firm and delineated feel of fruits, ginger, and spices in the long finish. The aftertaste vibrates with energy. 2031-2051″ 93 Mosel Fine Wines
2020 Brauneberger Juffer Kabinett  – Stefan found 60 bottles of this 2020 Kabinett (his top scoring Kabi of ’20) that a customer never picked up, so he offered them to me…….yes please…..! ;0 The Magnums are in stock, the 750s will come with the rest of the ’21s.
“A very special Kabinett that’s so delicate and silky that, for a moment, you wonder why any other wine would be worth drinking. Exceptional slate minerality at the extremely long and almost perfectly balanced finish. Drink or hold. (9/23/21)” 97 Stuart Piggott
2021 Neumagener Rosengartchen Kabinett
“Extremely expressive and complex nose of orange blossom and fruit with tons of melon and fresh basil. It starts beautifully, but then it turns really evil and charges over your palate into the darkness. It’s hard to imagine how a wine of this kind could be more mineral. From 50-60 year old vines. Drink or hold.” 97 Stuart Piggott
“The 2021er Neumagener Rosengärtchen Riesling Kabinett is made from fruit picked early at 82° Oechsle and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (48 g/l). This yellow-green wine offers a superbly complex nose made of herbs, white peach, ginger, a hint of laurel, white flowers, some whipped cream, and slate. It is gorgeously playful and subtly creamy on the palate and leaves a beautifully multi layered feel in the long and lingering finish. The aftertaste is all about mint, chalk, and fine aniseed elements. The finish is splendid, with lightness and elegance. What a grand success! 2031-2051″ 94 Mosel Fine Wines
2021 Brauneberg Riesling 
“Plenty of ripe mirabelle and aromatic apple character. Generous fruit is married to a light body and crisp acidity to give a very satisfying balance. Long lemony finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap.” 90 Stuart Piggott
2021 Geierslay Sur Lie 
“This dry Mosel riesling is analytically light and also has a racy acidity, which tends to make wines feel lighter than they really are, but it also has a lot of mineral and herbal power plus licorice and lemon zest notes. Intense wet stone finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap.” 93 Stuart Piggott
“The 2021er Wintricher Geierslay Riesling “Sur Lie” is a barely off-dry wine (with 10 g/l of residual sugar) which was fermented in Fuder casks. It offers a superb nose made of white peach, green apple, citrusy elements, white flowers, and subtle smoky elements wrapped into a dash of whipped cream. The wine is beautifully light-footed yet packed with bright flavors of fruits and herbs on the palate and leaves a lively and hugely mouthwatering feel in the almost dry-tasting finish. The aftertaste is all about fruits and flowers. This is a huge success! 2024-2033″ 92 Mosel Fine Wines
2021 Dhroner Hofberg Kandel 
“This energetic young dry Mosel riesling has a slew of grapefruit, bergamot and fresh sage character. So much mineral power and energy plus citrusy acidity. Remarkably refreshing finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap.” 93 Stuart Piggott
2021 Wiltinger Rosenberg Alte Reben 
“The strikingly original nose of spring flowers and licorice pulls you into this remarkably ripe 2021. The very impressive concentration and really long, refined finish say everything about what the genetics of old vines on the Mosel can do for dry riesling. Drink or hold. Screw cap.” 94 Stuart Piggott
2021 Dhroner Hofberg Reserve 
“Here is all the sensuality of a perfectly ripe peach. Great concentration, plus an elegance, silkiness and purity that were anything but normal in this vintage. Lie back and enjoy! What finesse! Matured in a single new Stockinger cask so very limited production. Drink or hold.” 97 Stuart Piggott
“The 2021er Dhron Hofberger Riesling “Réserve” is a dry wine (with 9 g/l of residual sugar). It possesses a beautiful nose of grapefruit puree, minty herbs, fine spices, whipped cream, and slate. The wine is superbly balanced on the palate, where a creamy side is lifted by a refreshing kick of acidity and some fine herbs. The aftertaste is all about a subtly tart cocktail of mint, ginger, and chalk. This gorgeous dry Riesling has even some upside as it develops depth with age. 2026-2041″ 93+ Mosel Fine Wines
2021 Piesporter Goldtropfchen GP 
“Here the boldness and ripeness of the Goldtropfchen site are bonded with a stunning mineral acidity that electrifies this seriously structured wine. You’ll need some patience to experience this at its peak, but then all the jewels will be displayed! Limited production. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.” 95 Stuart Piggott
2021 Kestener Paulinshofberg GK 
“Astonishingly ripe peachy aromas for this challenging vintage are married to remarkable richness and an electric vibrancy. Bowls you over as it charges off into the far distance. As impressive as this is now, just wait what it will do with a few more years of bottle maturation! Limited production. Drink or hold.” 96 Stuart Piggott
2021 Wintricher Geierslay GW 
“Very flinty with a ton of grilled grapefruit this is a dangerously energetic dry Mosel riesling. The concentration and brilliance are both almost off the scale. The minerality is only just beginning to reveal itself, but what you get already says welcome to the geology museum! Every moment of extra patience will help this mind-bending wine lean back and relax. Limited production. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.” 97 Stuart Piggott
“The 2021er Wintricher Geierslay Riesling “GW” is a just off-dry wine (with 10 g/l of residual sugar). It offers a superbly fresh nose made of lime, vineyard peach, slate, whipped cream, and mint. The wine proves stunningly silky and beautifully intense on the palate and leaves a superb feel of ginger and fine herbs. It has a stunning feel of fresh herbs and spices in the long finish. The finesse and brightness paired with focus are truly remarkable. What a great success 2026-2041″ 94 Mosel Fine Wines
2021 Wintricher Oligsberg GW 
“An exceptionally ripe dry riesling for the 2021 vintage, but you need to like acidity to really go for this very original wine. Stunning peachy nose, then enormous dark minerality and expressive citrusy freshness on the compact palate. Lightning strike on a boulder of rock salt at the finish. Limited production. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.” 95 Stuart Piggott
2021 Zeltinger Sonnenuhr GZ 
“A scintillating whiff of smokiness runs through this rich and refined 2021 Mosel GG. Breathtaking interplay of pink grapefruit freshness and peachy ripeness to which a staggering vitality adds an extra dimension. Very compact and mineral finish. Very limited production. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.” 97 Stuart Piggott
2021 Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr GB 
“So much power and finesse are married to mandarin orange and persimmon aromas that suggests this underwent a very long fermentation. But the really astonishing stuff starts after the wine has landed on your palate, like an alien mother ship reaching earth. Super long and refined finish. Very limited production. Drink or hold.” 97 Stuart Piggott
2021 Neumagener Rosengartchen Am Fels 
“Super-flinty and very young, this is an incredibly concentrated and focused dry riesling. This has a minerally energy and purity that is right off the radar screen. Incredible spice at the super-long finish. Very limited production. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.” 98 Stuart Piggott
2021 Neumagener Rosengartchen Von den Terrassen 
“Stunning nose of melon, totally ripe peach and fresh basil with a net-like layer of slate aromas lying over it. This giant wine gives you a very clear idea of how small each of us really is, not only through its staggering concentration, but even more through the exceptional finesse. Breathtakingly long finish. Very limited production. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.” 98 Stuart Piggott
2021 Piesporter Treppchen Am Fels 
“Very complex nose of mandarin orange, smoke and flint that leaps out of the glass at you, but with every swirl of the glass more stone fruit aromas join the picture. Very concentrated and super-clean, this has massive slate aromas at the extremely tight finish. Very limited production. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.” 97 Stuart Piggott
“The 2021er Piesporter Treppchen Riesling “am Fels” is a just off-dry wine (with 10 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit picked on very old vines situated in the west-facing “am Berg” sector of the vineyard adjacent to the Wintricher Ohligsberg. The wine offers a superb nose made of pear, bitter lemon, aniseed herbs, ginger, yeasty elements, and smoke. It proves superbly silky and smooth on the palate where the acidity is beautifully integrated and adds depth to the experience. The finish is firm, multi-layered, and hugely impressive. This is a stunning off-dry wine! 2026-2041″ 95 Mosel Fine Wines
2021 Piesporter Treppchen Von den Terrassen 
“Super-ripe peach and apricot aromas. Very rich and structured on the imposing palate. It’s hard to imagine how dry Mosel riesling could be more powerful than this without becoming weighty and untypical for the region. So much fine tannin and slatey minerality. Very filigree at the super-long finish. Very limited production. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.” 98 Stuart Piggott
2021 Dhroner Hengelberg Monopollage Reserve 
“A nose of the ripest peach with a whiff of grapefruit pulls you into this dry riesling black hole that leads you to another universe of flavor. Unbelievable concentration is married to a body that’s at the upper edge of medium-bodied. Mind-blowing energy drives this over the palate at a staggering clip. The nervous system struggles to keep up with all this drama. Drinkable now, but best from 2024.” 99 Stuart Piggott
Rosé wine :
2020 Pinot Noir Rosé Schlummerfuchs $20 32 bottles available IN STOCK – This is a seriously good bone dry rosé, made to be a “serious” wine that just happens to be pink.  It is from his best Pinot Noir vineyard, and sounds damn tasty to me…..
“The 2020er Pinot Noir Rosé Schlummerfuchs is a bone-dry wine (with less than 2 g/l of residual sugar) fermented in used barrique from fruit picked in the Estate’s prime holdings in the Kestener Herrenberg. It offers beautifully subtle nose of plum, cooked strawberry, a hint of herbs, and smoky elements. The wine proves delicatele crisp on the palate and leaves a tart feel underlined with ripe fruits and spices in the long and quite focused finish. This is a superb Summer Rosé with enormous seriousness to it as well. Now-2024” 90 Mosel Fine Wines
Red wines:
2018 Kestener Paulinsberg Pinot Noir 
2018 Kestener Herrenberg Pinot Noir 
2018 Dhroner Hofberg Pinot Noir **
2018 Mülheimer Sonnenlay Pinot Noir 
2019 Pinot Noir  – I have always been a big big fan of his entry level Pinot Noir, moreso than his more “serious” single vineyard Pinots, as it has a digeste sense of moderation and red fruited prettiness that is my cup of tea and then some.  As an everyday Pinot Noir/house wine option, this is an outrageous value…..value hounds, you’ve been told!

“The red-cherry and dried lemon-zest nose leads you into a medium bodied and silky pinot noir that’s not a jot too ripe, in spite of the very

warm vintage. Only a touch of soft tannin. Everything fits neatly and in a blind tasting, you’d never guess it came from the Mosel. Drink now.” 90 Stuart Piggott for the 2018, NOT THE 2019 OFFERED HERE
2019 Alter Satz – This is a very cool project that Stefan and Constantin Richter partnered on, coplanting a vineyard at the edge of Müllheim with heirloom red wine varieties.  The vines are just becoming mature enough to show what they can give, and based on the description/review from MFW for this inaugural bottling, this sounds plain delicious….

“The 2019er Alter Satz is a red wine made from a field blend of old grape varieties including Hartblau, Süssschwarz, Fränkischer Burgunder,

Schwarzurban, and Schwarzblauer Affenthaler, which Stefan Steinmetz planted a few years ago to revive this old vineyard tradition in the Mosel. The wine was fermented and aged in a used Barrique from Burgundy for 12 months. This bright colored wine offers a fascinating nose of dark spices, juicy cherry, and fine spices much as one expects from a high-end Portugieser. The wine delivers the beautifully silky and fruity structure of a Burgundy on the palate and leaves a terrific feel of spices, ripe red berried fruits, and soy sauce. This debut vintage of this gorgeous red wine is a huge success! Now-2029″ 92 Mosel Fine Wines
White wines : Like everything here, the value quotient is off the charts……THESE ARE ALL IN STOCK.
2020 Dhroner Hofberg Riesling  – This is a ridiculous value proposition, sort of a 1er cru caliber wine at the price of an entry level critter.  This has everyday house white written all over it….sounds deeeelicious.
“The ripe and refined mirabelle nose pulls you inside, where you find beautifully proportioned dry riesling with very good concentration for 12% alcohol. Tons of minerality, but it sits in the medium-bodied palate so neatly. Fantastic freshness at the long finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap. (7/29/21)” 94 Stuart Piggott
“The 2020er Dhroner Hofberg Riesling is a dry wine (with 6 g/l of residual sugar) with a beautifully airy nose made of lemon, fine herbs, spices, a hint of smoke, pear, and minerals. The wine is driven by juicy fruits and fine mineral elements on the dry-tasting palate and leaves a nicely intense and complex feel of fruits, minerals, and a dash of citrusy whipped cream in the long and mouthwatering finish. This is a truly engaging and remarkably animating expression of dry Riesling. Now-2030” 90 Mosel Fine Wines
2020 Brauneberger Riesling  Again, positively outrageous value for an every day house white, with versatility for just about anything you want to throw at it…..
“The 2020er Brauneberger Riesling AP 12 is a barely off-dry wine (with 10 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit picked in the Estate’s holdings in the Mandelgraben. It offers a beautifully floral nose made of fresh citrusy fruits, fine spices, and smoky elements. The wine is beautifully light-footed and yet packed with flavors on the palate and leaves a gracious feel of fruits, spices, and more floral elements in the finish. A touch of smoke adds depth to the zesty and playful finish. This is a beautiful expression of dry-tasting Riesling. Now-2030” 91 MWF
“Here is all the lightness and freshness of the Mosel, in a dry wine with only 10.5% alcohol and lively, peachy fruit. Gentle and subtle finish. Drink now. Screw cap.” 91 Stuart Piggott
2020 Wintricher Geierslay Riesling Sur Lie 
“What a delight! At once light in body (just 10.5% alcohol) and very silky, this dry Mosel riesling is very appealing straight up. However, if you give it some time to open up there’s a wealth of white-peach, lemon blossom and passion-fruit character, plus plenty of wet-stone minerality at the long, graceful finish. Drink or hold.” 93 Stuart Piggott
Everything from here on out in the “dry wine” section is one of Stefan’s Grand cru dry styled wines. Stefan doesn’t use the popular GG label for his Grand cru wines.  He just puts two letters, so that he isn’t bound by the stringent limitations that such use would require. À la Markus Molitor, sometimes the wine isn’t legally dry even if its flavor impact is decidedly dry in the overall fruit/acid/dry extract balance…..there is some mention in the Mosel Fine Wines reviews about whether or not the wine is legally dry or off-dry, fwiw.  No matter how you slice it, this is a fantastic array of Grand cru dry wines, with the value quotient here being positively ridiculous, particularly after being “broken out of jail” from a national importer pricing structure…..
2020 Wintricher Geierslay Riesling GW 

“Such a beautifully ripe apricot nose! Stunning concentration and brilliance on the light-footed and extremely focused palate. Gigantic

energy and minerality at the breathtaking finish. Drink or hold.” 97 Stuart Piggott
2020 Wintricher Oligsberg GW 
“Very refined nose of ripe mirabelle and honeycomb with a slew of floral nuances. No less subtle and striking on the creamy and silky palate, where there’s impressive concentration without anything demonstrative. Long, cool finish, in spite of all the ripeness. Stunning polish at the properly dry finish, as well as abundant crushed-stone minerality. Drink or hold.” 95 Stuart Piggott
2020 Dhroner Hofberg Riesling GD 
“The 2020er Dhroner Hofberg “GD” (a wordplay on Grosser Dhroner) is a legally dry wine made from fruit picked in the classical part of the vineyard. It still proves massively reduced and only gradually reveals some scents of cassis, herbs, spices, a hint of apricot blossom, and minty elements, all wrapped into chalky minerals and residual elements of oak (the wine did see some fully used barrique). The wine is firm and structured yet also gorgeously light-footed and playful on the nicely dry-tasting rather than bode-dry palate and leaves a superb feel of fruits, minerals, and herbs in the long finish. This is a gorgeous Riesling with quite some cut, great delineation, and lots of presence in the making. 2025-2035” 93 Mosel Fine Wines
“Still very young, but so much power is pressed into this sleek frame. Medium body, married to very ripe mirabelle and apricot fruit. The richness and the freshness are exactly matched. Long, very clean wet-stone finish that’s so invigorating. Drink or hold. (9/23/21)” 94 Stuart Piggott
2019 Dhroner Hofberg Riesling GD 
“The 2019 Dhroner Hofberg Riesling GD opens pretty intense and floral on the multilayered, stony and flinty/herbal nose that also reveals some mirabelle aromas. Crystalline and silky on the palate, this is a very intense, concentrated, firmly structured and persistent Hofeberg Riesling with a long and dense finish. This is one of the finest 2019s form Stefan Steinmetz, and I recommend cellaring it for at least 5-7 years. Tasted at the domain in September 2020.” 94 Stefan Reinhardt

“The 2019er Dhroner Hofberg Riesling “GD” (standing for Grosser Dhroner) is a just off-dry wine (with 12 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit

picked in the classical part of the vineyard. It offers a gorgeous nose made of white peach, elderflower, ginger, smoky elements, a hint of mangoo and spices. The wine is nicely juicy and superbly playful on the fruity and spicy palate, and leaves a gorgeously chalky feel in the currently off-dry tasting finish. This gorgeous Riesling will be a cracker at maturity, in 6-8 years, once the sweetness will have melted away. 2026-2034″ 93 Mosel Fine Wines
“Brimming with Asian pear, this is simultaneously very succulent and very elegant, some fine tannins keeping the finish of this beauty dry and straight, so that the minerals can dance on your palate. Only moderate acidity and, for this reason, food-friendly without further aging. Drink or hold. (3/9/21)” 95 Stuart Piggott
2020 Kestener Paulinshofberg Riesling GK 
“The 2020er Kestener Paulinshofberg “GK” (a wordplay on Grosser Kestener) is a bone-dry wine (with less than 2 g/l of residual sugar) made from fruit picked on 50-year-old vines. It proves still slightly reduced at first and only gradually reveals its beautiful nose of gooseberry, pear, melon, mint, cassis, smoke, and wet stone. The wine is beautifully playful and subtly juicy on the nicely dry and filigreed palate. It leaves a gorgeous feel of fruits, flowers, mint, and minerals in the long finish. The aftertaste is airy, herbal, and quite frankly hugely alluring. This is a gorgeous dry wine with huge presence, delicacy, and freshness: What a great success. 2015-2035” 93 Mosel Fine Wines
“Strength in wine really has nothing to do with alcohol or any other analytical factor, as this Mosel masterpiece shows. Wonderful finesse on the finely nuanced, medium-bodied palate, then so much mineral freshness at the astonishingly long, lemon-curd finish. Drink or hold.” 95 Stuart Piggott
2020 Brauneberger Juffer GB 
“A deep and dark dry riesling with massive wet-earth minerality. Concentrated mirabelle fruit behind it and almost subliminal acidity that keeps it very fresh and clean. Excellent aging potential. Drink or hold. (9/23/21) ” 96 Stuart Piggott
2020 Dhroner Grosser Hengelberg Riesling Monopollage 
“Enormously concentrated, with a symphonic nose of exotic fruit and hibiscus that rolls over you in one great wave. Then comes the juicy, dense and extremely precise yet only medium-bodied palate. The deep minerality complements the rich fruit so beautifully. Drink or hold. (9/23/21)” 98 Stuart Piggott
“The 2020er Dhroner Grosser Hengelberg Riesling “Monopollage” is an off-dry wine (with 12 g/l of residual sugar) picked in this vineyard solely tended by the Estate. It offers a hugely backward but quite impressive nose made of quince, herbs, spices, apricot blossom, and smoky elements, all wrapped into firm residual scents from its spontaneous fermentation. The wine is gorgeously playful yet also not devoid of presence on the otherwise nicely focused palate and leaves a huge feel of wet stone, smoke, and herbs in the long and quite intense finish. The aftertaste is still not offering much at first. This wine currently takes a few days to reveal its inner core. It will be a cracker at maturity. 2030-2040″ 93 Mosel Fine Wines
2020 Dhroner Hengelberg Riesling Monopollage Reserve 
“Incredibly deep and complex nose with aromas ranging from the darkest spices through to the brightest citrus and the headiest floral notes. Then comes the mindbending concentration and wet-stone minerality on the super-focused, medium bodied palate. Primal intensity and a miraculous impression of lightness at the almost endless finish! Enormous aging potential! Drink or hold.” 98 Stuart Piggott
2020 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen GP 
“A very concentrated dry riesling with excellent structure for the 2020 vintage, this has a cornucopia of stone and citrus-fruit aromas, plus touches of melon and exotic floral notes. Very long finish that’s graceful, but also has powerful bass notes that echo way down the valleys. Drink or hold.” 96 Stuart Piggott
2016 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen GP 
“This “Grosser Piesporter” – another legally halbtrocken but decidedly dry-tasting Steinmetz offering – is made up of two small lots that had only recently been blended and were bottled the day before I tasted in late July 2017. Pungent scents and tangy juices of pineapple and grapefruit combine for a startlingly invigorating personality, if one that – for now at least – some tasters may perceive as downright edgy. A remarkable sense of density and stony suffusion informs the polished palate, impressions one is tempted (whether or not accurately) to associate with the tiny, peronospora affected yields in these vineyards. A gripping, vibratory finish delivers grapefruit peel piquancy, pineapple core tang and a shimmering sense of crystalline, stony impingements. The overall combination here of energy and density with alcoholic levity is stiiking, and bodes well for bottle development, in the course of which I suspect that the surreptitious influence of 13 grams of residual sugar will be even more positively felt.” 94 David Schildknecht
FRUITY (aka “sweet”) WINES: Stefan made gorgeous, dancing Kabinett wines in 2020…he is letting me offer some of them in Magnum, which will make for instant celebrations and joy, guaranteed!!!!  Go big and thank me later!!!  Once again, ridiculously good pricing …..
2020 Piesporter Grafenberg Riesling Kabinett 
“The 2020er Piesporter Grafenberg Riesling Kabinett was made from fruit picked at 82° Oechsle and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (47 g/l). It offers a subtle nose made of citrusy fruits, strawberry, smoke, and herbal elements. The wine is quite sharp and animating on the palate and leaves a beautiful=y electrifying feel of whipped cream and citrusy zest in the long and vibrant finish. The aftertaste is all about mouthwatering flavors of orchard fruits, tart chalky minerals, and fine spices. This is a gorgeous and extremely lively expression of Kabinett in the making. 2030-2050” 93 Mosel Fine Wines
“Is this the next super-cool Mosel Kabinett? Yes! Huge minerals and a sleek yet muscular personality make this a very strong wine for this theoretically light category. The vibrant and citrusy acidity drives this across the palate with almost supernatural energy. Drink or hold. (9/23/21)” 95 Stuart Piggott
2020 Kestener Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett 
“The 2020er Kestener Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett was made from fruit picked at 82° Oechsle and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (48 g/l). It offers a beautifully playful nose made of wet stone, citrusy fruits, herbs, a hint of apricot blossom, fine smoky elements, and spices. The wine is beautifully racy and animating on the intense and light-footed palate and leaves a subtly searing feel of citrusy fruits, chalky minerals, and floral elements in the focused and precise finish. The aftertaste is still slightly on the hard side at the moment, but the edgy side of the acidity will beautifully mellow away after a decade of bottle aging. This is truly made along the airy and enjoyable lines of a light Spätlese from the 1990s. 2030-2050” 93 Mosel Fine Wines
“So much nectarine, mandarin and mint at the front, then comes so much herbal freshness, but this is not one of the new-style, mega racy Kabinetts. Rather, it shows so much elegance and polish. Long, silky finish. Drink or hold.” 94 Stuart Piggott
2020 Müllheimer Sonnenlay Riesling Kabinett
“The 2020er Mülheimer Sonnenlay Riesling Kabinett was made from fruit picked at 80° Oechsle and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (48 g/l). This is still marked by some backward residual scents from its spontaneous fermentation and only gradually reveals its subtle yet animating nose made of citrusy fruits, white flowers, fine spices, and smoke. The wine comes over as almost sharp on the palate before some stunningly racy notes of citrusy fruits, a hint of whipped cream, wet stone, and fine herbal elements take over and make for a gorgeously yet finely chiseled feel in the long finish. Despite a subtle feel of whipped cream, the aftertaste is still a bit sharp but should develop beautifully well in a decade. 2030-2050” 94 Mosel Fine Wines
2020 Wintricher Oligsberg Spätlese 
“This Mosel is not only wonderfully light, yet concentrated and racy, it also has complex herbal and savory character, such that I have never encountered in a naturally sweet Spätlese before. Firmly structured and still very youthful, this really needs some time to relax. So much potential here! Drinkable now, but best from 2023.” 94 Stuart Piggott
2020 Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese GK 
“The 2020er Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese GK was made from partially shriveled fruit picked at 95° Oechsle and was fermented down to fully sweet levels of residual sugar (95 g/l). It offers a still rather backward nose made of pear, vineyard peach, a hint of almond, cassis, and herbs. The wine develops the suave creaminess of an Auslese GK on the palate but delivers this with great precision and a mouthwatering structure. The finish is subtly honeyed and incredibly persistent. This proves an immensely animating and playful sweet wine which shines through freshness, cut, and depth but also incredible airiness. What a great success! 2030-2050” 94 Mosel Fine Wines
2020 Neumagener Rosengartchen Riesling GKA 
“Since Stefan started working this pretty much abandoned site in Neumagen, a former slate quarry that contained a large cave with tons of slate stacked inside it still, I have been a huge fan.  It has quickly become one of his top wines, as the sense of minerality is often mind bogglingly intense.  In 2020, he only made one wine: this gold kapsule Auslese.  It is going to be a mindblower, and then some…..get what you can justify and thank me later…..


“An explosion of floral aromas that spans the spectrum, from lilacs to tropical orchids! So concentrated, yet so elegant, this has truly staggering finesse. Theoretically, this is a sweet wine, but the powerful minerality here is truly off the scale! Drink or hold.” 99 Stuart Piggott

“The 2020er Neumagener Rosengärtchen Riesling Auslese GK was made from shriveled fruit picked at 106° Oechsle and was fermented down to noble-sweet levels of residual sugar (115 g/l). It offers a stunning nose of pineapple, coconut, whipped cream, subtle minty elements, honey, and brown sugar. The wine is stunningly well balanced and incredibly multi-layered on the palate and leaves a great feel of pear, cassis, grapefruit puree, herbs, and spices in the long and zesty finish. This is a truly remarkable dessert wine in the making. 2030-2050” 97 Mosel Fine Wines

2020 Brauneberger Mandelgraben Riesling Eiswein – My parcel of this wine that has just arrived is all spoken for, but there is some of this still available at the winery… it will come with the ’21 load….
“The 2020er Brauneberger Mandelgraben Riesling Eiswein GK is a noble-sweet wine made from fruit picked at 140° Oechsle at -9.5°C on January 1st, 2021. It proves bright-yellow colored with a huge nose more akin to that of a BA as scents of almond paste, dried fruits, raisin, pear puree, pineapple, and coconut emerge from the glass.  The wine proves aromatically very precise on the slightly ample and soft-tasting palate. Dried exotic fruits and almond paste amplify the creamy side of the wine. The finish is still a bit driven by brown sugar, barbeque herbs, and fine spices. This dessert wine is beautiful but one needs to take into account that it behaves more like a Vin de Paille / Passito than your usual racy and zesty Eiswein packed with fruit sorbet flavors. The touch of softness would make us enjoy this dessert wine in the early part of its development. Now- 2035″ 94 Mosel Fine Wines
“Very fragrant with a ton of exotic floral and passion-fruit aromas. Seriously succulent, but neither heavy nor fat, the bright acidity carrying the long, elegant finish, which has a great deal of drive. Excellent aging potential. Drink or hold.” 94 Stuart Piggott
2020 Brauneberger Mandelgraben Riesling Eiswein “Limited Edition” – Apparently, a client special ordered six magnums of this, and then never picked up/paid….Stefan mentioned that, and I immediately said, HOLD UP! I’LL TAKE ‘EM!  This will make for some incredible nectar-of-the-gods fireworks down the road, and the price is (like everything here) remarkably good……
“The 2020er Brauneberger Mandelgraben Riesling Eiswein “Limited Edition” is made from fruit harvested with 161° Oechsle at -11°C (12°F) on February 10, 2021, and was fermented down to noble-sweet levels of residual sugar. It offers an absolutely stunning nose made of passion fruit sorbet, pear, almond cream, dried fruits, herbs, and fine spices. The wine is richly luscious and sweet on the palate. Layers upon layers of TBA-styled flavors (including dried fruits, almond, raisin, pear puree, etc.) add to the smoothness on the palate. This roundness is then superbly lifted up by some citrusy sorbet zest in the finish. The aftertaste is still dominated by sweetness at this stage but the potential of this TBA-Eiswein styled dessert wine is absolutely remarkable. The most difficult part will be to refrain from the urge to open a bottle in its youth. What a stunning success in a smoother than racy style of noble-sweet wine! 2035-2070.” 97 Mosel Fine Wines
It is wonderful to see the friendship seeds planted over the years blossom like this….Stefan is a remarkable person in every way, and I am so glad to be able to fly the flag!!!  I am also excited to see how Stefan’s reputation explodes among the US wine geek crowd as people can finally get their hands on his wines….If you aren’t already a fan, you will be, really really soon……!
As always, with any questions/interests:

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