Whites from Germany; Reds from Australia

Classy Whites from Dr. Loosen
We’ve carried the “Dr L” Riesling from Dr. Loosen for many years, and it is many customers’ “go to” white with a little sweetness. A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure to meet with Dr. Loosen’s East Coast sales rep and taste some more of their wines. Here are two that I think are a fine addition to our store.
As far as introduction to the Dr. Loosen winery, no one says it better than they do on their website:
The Dr. Loosen estate has been in the same family for over 200 years. When Ernst Loosen (pronounced loh-zen) assumed ownership in 1988, he realized that with ungrafted vines averaging 60 years old in some of Germany’s best-rated vineyards, he had the raw materials to create stunningly intense, world-class wines. To achieve this, Ernst dramatically reduced his crop size and stopped all chemical fertilization, preferring only moderate use of organic fertilizers. And, most importantly, he turned to gentler cellar practices that allow the wine to develop its full potential with a minimum of handling and technological meddling.
Villa Wolf Pinot Gris (Pfalz, Germany) Regular $15.95/ Feature $13.56
Pfalz (falts) is in southwestern Germany, right on the border with Alsace. The mountains here protect the region from cold northern winds, and the wines are traditionally richer and fruitier than those of the classic Rhine valley wines. In 1996 Ernst Loosen bought the historic J.L. Wolf winery in Pfalz in order to supplement Dr. Loosen’s lighter Mosel wines with the fuller-bodied styles of Pfalz.
Call it by its Italian name - Pinot Grigio - or use the French term - Pinot Gris - either way you’ve got a white wine grape that’s taking the world by storm. At Wine & Words...& Gourmet, wines from this grape grown in Oregon, Italy, Argentina and California are pleasing customers with their soft fruit and delicious flavors. This one from Dr. Loosen, via Villa Wolf, is another one you’ll have to try. My comment on the tasting sheet was “nice mouth feel,” and with a moderate alcohol level of 13%, you can pair the wine with lighter foods or just drink it on its own. Very nicely done.
Dr. Loosen “Red Slate” Dry Riesling (Mosel Valley, Germany) Regular $20.75/ Feature $17.64
How many times have I offered dry Riesling to someone and theyRed slate vineyardsRed slate vineyards respond, “No; I don’t like Riesling. It’s too sweet.” We’ve come to think of Riesling as sweet because in Germany, the home of the best Rieslings in the world, the grapes used to have very high acidity (that had to be balanced by a little sweetness) and very little sugar to do the balancing.  So they made a lot of low alcohol, sweet wines Now, thanks to warmer temperatures (one good thing about global warming) and better vinification techniques, German winemakers can make a Riesling that is rich, balanced and full-bodied...and dry.
This one is from the “red slate” area of the Mosel valley, where the iron-rich soil that gives the hillsides their color also imparts a rich mineral note to the wine. This is a wine that will pair marvelously with a wide range of foods...a great addition to our list, and just in time for the holiday feasts season.
Big Tasty Reds from the Chocolate Box
Last spring I introduced the Chocolate Box “Chocolate Cherry” Sparkling Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Australia. I’ve had to put “No chocolate; no cherries” on the label to convince serious wine drinkers it’s not some kind of sweet wine beverage. Those who tried it, found that it is an elegant, rich Shiraz that the Aussies make in a bubbly style for their Christmas holiday (which occurs in the heat of summertime). Anyway, when I read on the distributor’s list that they also carried the non-sparkling wines from Rocland Vineyard’s “Chocolate Box” series, I asked for a sample. Oh...yummy! These are big, rich, full-bodied wines that will be great for sipping in front of the fireplace when the weather turns cool.
Chocolate Box “Chocolate Truffle” Cabernet 2008 (Barossa Valley, Australia) Regular $20.20/ Feature $17.17
Chocolate Box “Dark Chocolate” Shiraz 2008 (Barossa Valley, Australia) Regular $20.20/ Feature $17.17