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By Lisa Airy, thewinekey@aol.com | December 6, 2012
German wine. It's one of the most magical wines on earth. It is delicate yet full-flavored. Aromatic, yet firmly chiseled. Like scrimshaw, it is etched. Unfortunately, so many of its low-end offerings still give the entire category a bad name. German wine is not sugar water. Far from it. And the good stuff is not coming at you at $10 a bottle. Take the Donnhoff Estate Riesling Trocken 2011, Pfalz ($23) The nose is all talc, delicate and slightly pollen. On the palate there is jasmine.
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By Lisa Airy, thewinekey@aol.com | December 6, 2012
German wine. It's one of the most magical wines on earth. It is delicate yet full-flavored. Aromatic, yet firmly chiseled. Like scrimshaw, it is etched. Unfortunately, so many of its low-end offerings still give the entire category a bad name. German wine is not sugar water. Far from it. And the good stuff is not coming at you at $10 a bottle. Take the Donnhoff Estate Riesling Trocken 2011, Pfalz ($23) The nose is all talc, delicate and slightly pollen. On the palate there is jasmine.
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By Michael Dresser | August 18, 1991
Terry Theise, America's finest importer of German wines, is not known for hyping vintages.When the 1988 vintage came along many devotees of German wine hailed it as a classic. No, said Mr. Theise, too many of the wines are coarse and unstructured.Then 1989 too was ballyhooed as an extraordinary year. And when I tasted Mr. Theise's wines of that vintage, I certainly thought it was. No, he said, it's a good year, but too spotty to be considered truly superb.Now the 1990s are coming into the market, and this time Mr. Theise says yes. The year, he says, is "unparalleled in the story of German wine," producing the greatest vintage since 1953, or maybe even 1949.
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By Lisa Aireythewinekey@aol.com | September 29, 2011
Just one sip is all it takes. That first swallow explodes with flavors not usually attributed to the grape: Arugula, sugar snap peas, moss, heather, lentils. There is a bracing and refreshing minerality, plus a weight on the palate that belies its flavor profile. The wine is surprisingly dense and chewy for an unoaked white wine. Just one sip will take you by surprise, but so will its name: gruner veltliner (grooner-velt-leaner). It's a struggle to verbalize, but not to internalize.
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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Staff Writer | November 8, 1992
Two days before the big wine-tasting, Terry Theise called with important advice: Go out and buy some Sensodyne toothpaste and start preparing your teeth to play with pain.He should know.Mr. Theise is the country's leading importer of German wine -- only 39 years old, he has tasted his way up the Mosel River and down the Rhine dozens of times.He loves it. German wine is his passion. But even he will admit that tasting 220 young, highly acidic German wines over a two-day period would be a form of torture -- albeit a most exquisite one. Mr. Theise says that before a big round of wine-tasting he starts using the desensitizing toothpaste five days in advance.
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By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | March 16, 1997
When you're trying to grow a warmth-loving crop such as grapes in a location on the same parallel as Winnipeg, Manitoba, you learn to roll with the punches.And there were plenty of punches for wine growers to roll with during Germany's 1995 vintage. After a warm summer, things were looking mighty good at the end of August. Then, pfffft! On came five weeks of what wine importer Terry Theise calls "utterly oogy weather."Rot ran rampant, and we're not talking about the noble kind. Bunches of healthy, ripening grapes all of a sudden looked like something found in the back of a college fraternity's refrigerator.
NEWS
By [Michael Dresser] | March 5, 2008
2006 Clean Slate Riesling From: Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany Price: $11 Serve with: Asian cuisine, pork and sauerkraut Years ago, you had this choice with German wines: incomprehensible label and potentially fine wine or simple label and assuredly awful wine. This wine offers both simplicity and exciting quality. It's a dry riesling - nothing cloying about it, with intense flavors of slate, pears, sweet peas and peach. And it's topped off with a sophisticated, freshness-preserving screw cap.
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By New York Times | November 21, 1991
In a new effort to stem sliding sales of German wines in the United States, six major German producers have turned to smaller bottles in hopes of appealing to America's concerns about health.The producers have shipped to the East Coast seven white winesfrom the highly touted 1990 vintage in 500-milliliter bottles. These bottles hold nearly 17 ounces of wine as against the 25.4 in standard 750-milliliter bottles, and are being sold at reduced prices. They give two people two glasses of wine each.
EXPLORE
By Lisa Aireythewinekey@aol.com | September 29, 2011
Just one sip is all it takes. That first swallow explodes with flavors not usually attributed to the grape: Arugula, sugar snap peas, moss, heather, lentils. There is a bracing and refreshing minerality, plus a weight on the palate that belies its flavor profile. The wine is surprisingly dense and chewy for an unoaked white wine. Just one sip will take you by surprise, but so will its name: gruner veltliner (grooner-velt-leaner). It's a struggle to verbalize, but not to internalize.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | November 15, 1995
Over the decades, much has been written about fine German wines by some of the finest minds in the business.It's too bad so much of it is nonsense.Consider the words of Hugh Johnson, perhaps our finest living wine writer, on the subjects of German wine and food in the 1974 edition of his book "Wine.""The immediate and most noticeable difference between German and French wines is that German wine tastes weaker. . . ."Wine like this -- delicate in body, fresh and balanced and scented like a garden of flowers -- is a different matter from the savoury and appetizing white wine of, say, Burgundy, which goes so well with food.
NEWS
By [Michael Dresser] | March 5, 2008
2006 Clean Slate Riesling From: Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Germany Price: $11 Serve with: Asian cuisine, pork and sauerkraut Years ago, you had this choice with German wines: incomprehensible label and potentially fine wine or simple label and assuredly awful wine. This wine offers both simplicity and exciting quality. It's a dry riesling - nothing cloying about it, with intense flavors of slate, pears, sweet peas and peach. And it's topped off with a sophisticated, freshness-preserving screw cap.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | May 14, 2003
Each great wine region has a defining vintage every decade or so. In Bordeaux, the most recent was 2000; in the Napa Valley 1997. For Germany, 2001 is in the same class. The fruit is dramatic, the clarity is crystalline and the wines grip the palate without putting it in an acidic stranglehold. No serious wine enthusiast should miss a chance to sample these wines. Unfortunately, Maryland's enjoyment of the 2001 vintage has been hampered by distribution problems experienced by Terry Theise, the nation's premier importer of German wines.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | March 16, 1997
When you're trying to grow a warmth-loving crop such as grapes in a location on the same parallel as Winnipeg, Manitoba, you learn to roll with the punches.And there were plenty of punches for wine growers to roll with during Germany's 1995 vintage. After a warm summer, things were looking mighty good at the end of August. Then, pfffft! On came five weeks of what wine importer Terry Theise calls "utterly oogy weather."Rot ran rampant, and we're not talking about the noble kind. Bunches of healthy, ripening grapes all of a sudden looked like something found in the back of a college fraternity's refrigerator.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF | November 15, 1995
Over the decades, much has been written about fine German wines by some of the finest minds in the business.It's too bad so much of it is nonsense.Consider the words of Hugh Johnson, perhaps our finest living wine writer, on the subjects of German wine and food in the 1974 edition of his book "Wine.""The immediate and most noticeable difference between German and French wines is that German wine tastes weaker. . . ."Wine like this -- delicate in body, fresh and balanced and scented like a garden of flowers -- is a different matter from the savoury and appetizing white wine of, say, Burgundy, which goes so well with food.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | March 27, 1994
Pity the poor fellow whose job it is to sell Alsace wines to Americans.It's a tough racket. Maybe not as difficult as selling dirt bikes in a retirement colony, but close.Maybe it's the elongated bottles that look so German while the wine inside tastes so French. Maybe it's that American palates go into shock upon tasting a white wine that hasn't absorbed a wallop of oak. Maybe it's just that they don't grow chardonnay there.Whatever it is, American consumers have shown remarkable restraint whenever given the opportunity to buy the wines of this picturesque region on the French side of the Rhine.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Staff Writer | November 8, 1992
Two days before the big wine-tasting, Terry Theise called with important advice: Go out and buy some Sensodyne toothpaste and start preparing your teeth to play with pain.He should know.Mr. Theise is the country's leading importer of German wine -- only 39 years old, he has tasted his way up the Mosel River and down the Rhine dozens of times.He loves it. German wine is his passion. But even he will admit that tasting 220 young, highly acidic German wines over a two-day period would be a form of torture -- albeit a most exquisite one. Mr. Theise says that before a big round of wine-tasting he starts using the desensitizing toothpaste five days in advance.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | November 25, 1990
The 1980s were a decade of decadennce. Greed was good -- and the wines were even better.Region after region enjoyed delightful streaks of good luck. Bordeaux bloomed and Burgundy blossomed. California coasted through four consecutive vintages of exceptional cabernet, 1984 to 1987. The Rhone and Alsace emerged from obscurity. And all the while, the thirsty throng grew -- flush with profits of honest entrepreneurship (in some cases, at least).Still, with all its riches, there was one vinous experience the 1980s lacked -- a truly decadent vintage of German wines.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,SUN WINE CRITIC | May 14, 2003
Each great wine region has a defining vintage every decade or so. In Bordeaux, the most recent was 2000; in the Napa Valley 1997. For Germany, 2001 is in the same class. The fruit is dramatic, the clarity is crystalline and the wines grip the palate without putting it in an acidic stranglehold. No serious wine enthusiast should miss a chance to sample these wines. Unfortunately, Maryland's enjoyment of the 2001 vintage has been hampered by distribution problems experienced by Terry Theise, the nation's premier importer of German wines.
FEATURES
By Michael Dresser | November 8, 1992
The 1991 vintage of German wines will never be famous for an abundance of highly prized sweet wines, but it produced very fine wines in the qualitatswein (QbA), kabinett and spatlese classifications.Among the top performers (with region) in the Terry Theise portfolio in the 1991 vintage were Muller-Catoir (Pfalz); Hermann Donnhoff (Nahe); Kurt Darting (Pfalz); Adolf Weingart (Mittelrhein); Selbach-Oster (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer); Heribert Kerpen (Mosel-Saar-Ruwer); Weingut Merz (Rheinhessen); K. Neckerauer (Pfalz)
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By New York Times | November 21, 1991
In a new effort to stem sliding sales of German wines in the United States, six major German producers have turned to smaller bottles in hopes of appealing to America's concerns about health.The producers have shipped to the East Coast seven white winesfrom the highly touted 1990 vintage in 500-milliliter bottles. These bottles hold nearly 17 ounces of wine as against the 25.4 in standard 750-milliliter bottles, and are being sold at reduced prices. They give two people two glasses of wine each.
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