This month I will be talking about two of my favorite producers from two of my favorite wine producing countries, Germany and Austria. Schlossgut Diel has been producing some of the Nahe’s finest wines for quite sometime now. The 2004 Schlossgut Diel Dorsheimer Pittermännchen Spätlese ($39.99) is a rich style of spätlese balanced out by a fantastic splash of red spices and tropical fruits with a cleansing acidity that lingers on the finish, most likely due to the slate, quartzite and gravel vineyard site. The 2004 Schlossgut Diel Riesling Classic ($23.99), a zippy wine with just a smidge more residual sugar than a trocken, reminds me of ripe green apples. A great match to lighter first course dishes for that next dinner party you are having. The wines of Leo Alzinger are everything the Wachau region of Austria should represent: power, grace and beauty. We are happy to have the 2004 Alzinger Grüner Veltliner Loibenberg Smaragd ($49.99). With its peppery aromas, surrounded by white stone fruit and earthy mint, and a full body richness that mingles around a juicy yet stony mineral backbone of love, this is one of the best ’04 Grüners I have had to date. There is also the 2004 Alzinger Riesling Steinertal Smaragd ($54.99), a true testament to what top notch Riesling from a great region and a great producer should be. This one has set the bar way up there! A bit of smokiness, a bit of tart apple, spicy peach and a juicy sense of a stone that has been dipped into a cold mountain stream, this wine is brilliance in a bottle!!! —Eric Story
2004 Bodegas Muga Rioja Blanco ($11.99) 90 points Robert Parker: “The finest white wine I have yet tasted from Muga is the 2004 Blanco, a value-priced blend of 90% Viura and 10% Malvasia. Spring flower garden notes intertwined with notions of honeyed pear and citrus soar from the glass of this perfumed white. It is well-textured, with terrific fruit, wonderful purity, and surprising body...” 2004 El Quintanal, Ribera del Duero ($10.99) Made from 100% tempranillo, El Quintanal is a red wine that is sure to please many a palate. The lush black cherry fruit is complemented by vanillin oak and a long round finish, showing all of the balance and depth of the 2004. Enjoy with grilled lamb chops with garlic mashed potatoes! 2004 Vina Y Tia De Lozar, Ribera del Duero ($10.99) 89 points Robert Parker: “Wow! What a super bargain ... A tasty, surprisingly textured, rich offering, it displays notes of melted licorice, creme de cassis, cigar smoke, cedar wood, and spice box. This fleshy, medium to full-bodied, pure, persistent, savory, unfiltered cuvee will provide immense pleasure over the next 2-3 years.” 2001 Bodegas Y Vinedos Pujanza Pujanza, Rioja ($24.99) 90 points Robert Parker: “...Precise notes of graphite, sweet currants and cherries, cigar tobacco, spice box, and subtle wood are present in both the aromas and flavors of this medium to full-bodied, supple-textured, spicy, well-knit offering.” 2001 Finca Villacreces Reserva, Ribera de Duero ($31.99) 91 points Robert Parker: “A blend of 75% Tempranillo, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot ... A complex nose of dried herbs, blueberries, black currants, licorice, and espresso is followed by a ripe, full-bodied, opulent, pure, elegant as well as nuanced wine.” —Anne Pickett
I had a small distributor stop by the San Francisco shop in late January to taste us on several wines, and were they fantastic. All of these wines are new to K&L Wine Merchants. Nothing is more fun and satisfying than finding a small production winery with exceptional wines. 2000 Galleron “Aves” Napa Valley Zinfandel ($17.99) Gary Galleron has made wine at places like Whitehall Lane, Grace Family, Hartwell and Vineyard 29. This wine made us all smile. This Zinfandel has six years of aging on it with fantastic fruit and excellent structure. It’s not a wine for you Turley fans, but if you want a hearty red for a nice steak, this is the one. 2002 Martin “Talty Vineyard” Dry Creek Zinfandel ($15.99) Michael Martin, the owner/winemaker, makes four Zinfandels. From the Talty Vineyard, near Martin’s estate, this wine is big and fruity with hints of spice and pepper. The wine finishes long and clean. 2003 Olabisi Knight’s Valley Syrah ($21.99) Olabisi means “joy multiplied.” Ted Osbourne is the owner/winemaker who was last at Storybook Mountain Vineyards and is now the winemaker at the super premium winery Pina Cellars. This one is big and bright with lovely pepper that explodes in the mouth with layers of flavor. It is a wine that is very quiet on the finish. Decant for best drinking. See you in the City… —Mike Jordan
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