Most Excellent German Dry Riesling from Dautel and this week's menu at the Wine Bar

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A German wine label is one of the things life's too short for, a daunting testimony to that peculiar nation's love of detail and organization.

Kingsley Amis Everyday Drinking

We must be organized at the Wine Watch as we are drinking at a very high level and were on par to host 150 wine drinking events this year at the Wine Bar.  This week we have four reasons to come out and drink with us as were taking down some incredible wines this week- check out the Wine Bar menu at the end of this e-mail, we are open for regular service in addition to hosting wine tasting events on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night this week.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - 7:30 PM

We start the week off with our Ramey Wine Dinner at Wine Watch with special guests Alan Ramey and George Staikos.  There are only 4 spaces for this event available and we have three older vintage wines sent out from the winery for this tasting along with the A5 Japanese Waygu NY on the table as one of the course for dinner.  Check out the menu and list of wines at under the Wine Events section.

Thursday, July 18, 2019 - 7:30 PM

We have one of the greatest producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with our Kistler Vineyards wine tasting which we still have a few seats left for this “Once in a Lifetime” California wine tasting event.

Friday, July 19, 2019 - 7:30 PM

The ultimate northern Rhone tasting is (SOLD OUT)!  It wasn’t hard to sell this “Once in a Lifetime” Northern Rhone tasting, we have two flights of Guigal’s La La’s on the table- that’s worth the price of admission all by itself!!

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Saturday, July 20, 2019 - 7:30 PM

Summer Rose and Riesling Tasting – This is a walk around tasting in the wine cave and we will have 30+ wines on the table this evening and speaking of Riesling we had one of Germany’s finest on this offering today!!

Today’s offering is on one of the best wineries that I have discovered this year from anywhere and its appropriate sending this out the week of our Riesling and Rose tasting this Saturday night.  Dautel has a family history that goes back 500 years in the southern wine region of Wurttemberg.  The GG or Grand Cru designation is the latest and greatest thing for Germany even though their great vineyard sites have been mapped out for over 100 years they are just now getting around to making it a part of the labeling nomenclature in this land of Riesling, dry not sweet is the craze in Germany today.  The wines below are German but there is not a sweet bone in their body- these are all bone dry.

MOST EXCELLENT German wines from Dautel

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2017 Dautel Weissburgunder Wurttemberg

Price: $27.50    Your Price: $24.20               Quantity in Stock: 32

No destemming, crushed and pressed, with some skin contact, but depends on the vintage. In 2017 it was minimal. Naturally fermented in stainless steel and in steel on the full lees for 5-6 months before racking and bottling. There is no lees stirring here “I want to do as little as possible to disturb the lees. I love to work with yeast, but you must be gentle.” Says Christian.

40% from Cleebronner Michelsberg –  a section of the hill with gypsum soils, 60% from Bönnigheimer Sonnenberg – a section of the hill with reed sandstone soils

Wine Watch Review:  A light fusil quality, they own 16 hectares and they focus on four varietals and this is the estate version of this varietal, very fresh and with green pear and lime citrus hints of white flowers.  Bright and fresh on the tongue with a nice creamy texture on the finish, good minerality lengthening the finish.  Finish 40+    Excellent +

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2017 Dautel Estate Riesling Wurttemberg

Price: $25.00    Your Price: $22.00               Quantity in Stock: 39

No destemming, crushed and pressed, with some skin contact, but depends on the vintage. In 2017 it was minimal. Naturally fermented in stainless steel and in steel on the full lees for 5-6 months before racking and bottling. There is no lees stirring here “I want to do as little as possible to disturb the lees. I love to work with yeast, but you must be gentle” says Christian.

50% from Bönnigheimer Sonnenberg – a section of the hill with reed sandstone soils and 50% from Katzenohrle

“A characteristic ’17 and a Riesling inside-the-lines, i.e., if you approach it looking for something Other, you’ll be let down because it’s actually quite classical, vigorous and tasty. ” Terry Theise

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2016 Dautel Riesling Besigheimer Wurmberg Wurttemberg

Price: $40.00    Your Price: $35.20               Quantity in Stock: 50

“From near-50-yr-old Riesling vines planted in steep limestone-soil terraces overlooking the Enz River (ta David), it’s smoky yet with the twiggy sleek lyric qualities of both the soil and the vintage; and how do you poise herbs and oolong teas and salts with such a gentle demeanor? This wine is definitely original.” Terry Theise

Wine Watch Tasting Notes:  Pear and apple fruit light aromas lemon blossom and they have calcareous soils limestone higher PH soils everything is harvested by hand.   Bright and zesty on the tongue with excellent concentration a creamy texture and a long mineral laced finish, even better on the second day.  Finish 50+    Excellent +

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2016 Dautel Riesling Steingruben Bonnigheim GG Wurttemberg

Price: $69.00    Your Price: $60.72               Quantity in Stock: 48

Wine Watch Review:  This is Grand Cru with a bit higher in altitude, the Dautel family has been making wine for 500 years.  This wine has a good amount of minerality crushed rock and bright fresh green apple and lemon lime citrus fruit with wonderful intensity on the nose.  Naturally fermented and in big oak barrels this wine is expansive on the palate with excellent intensity of fruit along with a firm hand of acidity and a long-layered finish very rich creamy texture.  Finish 50+    Most Excellent

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Though Württemberg is not yet well known in the states, the Dautel family is a leading producer with grape growing history going back 500 years. Like many estates, the previous story was one of mixed agriculture. The region is protestant and reformation dictated that property be divided between all children; individual parcels of vineyard land got smaller and smaller with each passing generation. Co-ops were founded and came to dominate the area, the idea being that the smaller plots of land could be reunited through production rather than ownership. The region itself is marked by ancient, very steep terraced vineyards, among the most beautiful and forbidding you’ll see in Germany, including the Mosel-terrasen. These steep vineyards hug the Neckar and Ahr rivers while the rest of the region, similar to Austria’s Weinvertel region, consists of a rolling landscape with isolated steeper hillsides. Soils range from calcareous marl, Gipskeuper (deeper clay with a high gypsum content, which is common in Franken), a rare soil called Schilfsandstein (reed sandstone) which is a hard yellow-ish sandstone often used in building construction, and our old pal Muschelkalk which, as you know, means “fossil-bearing limestone.” “In the 1970s, Württemberg was known for Blue Nun and all that sweet shit and thermo-vinification. It was more or less a bulk production. It was not quality focused. This is more or less the story of German wine after WWII – take Rheinhessen for example. All the wines were sweet, you had to go to Alsace if you wanted dry wines .” says Christian Dautel. Ernst Dautel, Christian’s father, was the first generation in his family to attend winemaking school in Geisenheim in the 1970s. When he returned home he decided to stop working with the coop, though his father was one of the founding members of the coop in Meimsheim. Ernst didn’t want to “throw his fruit in with all the rest and get some bad quality wine out of it.” Ernst is an iconoclast and one of the first producers in the Württemberg to estate bottle wines. His wife Hannalore was from Bönnigheim, where the winery is located now and; they were married in the late 1970s. Their eldest son, Christian, was exposed to wine at a very young age, recounting picnics in the vineyards and family vacations that always included visits to great estates. “There were only two countries we always went to on holidays – one is called Italy and the other is called France. This was it. My whole childhood I was all the time in wine regions. I was a meter tall and I already saw Cos d’Estournel, La Tour, blah blah blah. My father was – well if you want to put it in a bad way you could say he was a ‘copy and paste’ man. Everywhere he traveled he saw things and got new experiences. He saw new things and realized ‘why can’t I do things like this here in my region as well? I have the potential from the vineyards, so why can’t I also use why can’t I also use oak? Why can’t I work in this way, more quality minded? And this is how things started.” Says Christian. Ernst became well known, in part for challenging the status quo in the region but also for making excellent wines, though they were not always regionally accepted. He joined the VDP in 1999 and the estate remains one of the very best in Württemberg, now under the guidance of Christian, who returned home in 2010. Christian attended Geisenheimm like his father, with Andreas Huetwohl (von Winning) and Georg Rumpf (Kurger-Rumpf). During his studies, Dautel worked with a winemaker named Chris Burke who worked for Laurel Ridge in Oregon, but made his own wines under the label “Roots” in the Willamette Valley. “Roots” was made at a custom crush facility where Dominique Lafon was making the Seven Springs wines at this time. There, Christian met Lafon and Christophe Vial, the cellar master for Lafon since 1999. After Oregon, Christian worked at Mount Langi Ghiran in Austrialia, Saronsberg in South Africa and Weninger in Austria before moving to Mersault in 2009 to work with his friend Christophe at Lafon in Mersault. In 2010 Christian finished his studies and returned home. 2010 was the first vintage that Christian was in charge, though he notes, “It wasn’t that I wasn’t a part of the winery before. I was always part of the winery, just like my father is still a part of the winery; it’s just that the balance was has changed.” Christian is a thoughtful winemaker repeating the refrain we always hear from quality minded growers – “the wines are made in the vineyards”. Like other top winemakers from his generationm taking over successful wineries from their parents, he has a huge amount of respect for what his father accomplished and sees no need to tear down the work that has been done by making abrupt changes. Today, Christian farms four Grand Cru (Grosse Lage) sites, Michaelsberg Grosse Lage (colored marl), Steingrüben Grosse Lage (Schilfsandstein), Schupen Grosse Lage (Gipskeuper, weathered limestone) and Forstberg Grosse Lage (colored marl and stony clay with limestone inclusions), and two 1er Cru (Erste Lage) sites Sonnenberg Erste Lage (Schilfsandstein, Gipskeuper) and Wurmberg Erste Lage (Muschelkalk). Christian’s goal is to continue to bring out the specific character of each terroirs without losing the inherent flavor of the grape variety planted to each vineyard. Wines are not made by formula, but by taking in to account the feeling for each site and variety. These are singular wines, unlike anything we’ve come across in Germany.

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This Week’s Menu at the Wine Bar

White Truffle Oil & Parmesan Dusted Shoestring Fries


Shutty Fries - Montreal Seasoned Steak Fries


Veggie Pizza: Charred Corn Red Onion Arugula Pesto Shaved Manchego Cilantro


Buffalo Chicken  Pizza: Caramelized Onion Avocado Blue Cheese Crumble


Beef Sliders Maple-Bacon Jam Sharp Cheddar Onion Confit Brioche Buns


Grilled Peach & Buratta Stack on Spinach & Arugula Balsamic-Dark Cherry Vinaigrette


Dani’s French Onion Soup: Bacon Fat Brioche Croutons Gruyere finished with Poached Quail Egg


Coconut-Ginger Sauteed Shrimp Rice Bowl with Grilled Baby Bok Choy


Lobster-Tomato-Avocado Tower Meyer Lemon & Tarragon Aioli Wonton Crisps


Tuna Ceviche Avocado Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Wonton Crisps


Duck Confit & Smoked Mozzarella Ravioli Sundried Tomato Brown Butter Shredded Parmesan


Seared Sea Scallops Potato Puree Vanilla Rum Sauce Citrus-Basil Chiffonade


Kurabuta Pork Loin Pinot Demi Crispy Pancetta Crumble Minty Crème Fraiche Mash


Braised Beef  Short , Wild Mushroom & Dolce Gorgonzola Mac N Cheese


Goat Cheese & Pistachio Crusted New Zealand Lamb Chops Crème Fraiche Mash Sauteed Green Beans


6oz Bacon Fat Seared A5 Japanese Wagyu Strip Loin  Currant Natural Sauce Pomme Frits


Dark Chocolate Crème Brulee with Blackberry Coulis


White Chocolate Mousse Pie with Amarena Cherries


Peach Cobbler with French Vanilla Gelato


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Charcuterie and Cheese

Meat Selections

$6/1 ounce serving

Prosciutto di San Daniele

Speck-Smoked Prosciutto



Coppa- Mild

Sopressata- Picante-

Bresaola- Italian Dried Beef

Tartufo-Black Truffle Salami

NDUJA-Spicy Spreadable Salami

Manzo Salumi-Wagyu

Venison-Jalapeno Salami

Cheese Selections

$6/1 ounce serving

Gorgonzola Dolce-Super Soft


Turtle Creek Chevre Goat


Saint Andre-Triple Cream


Port Salut-Soft Mild Wash Rind


Weybridge- Camembert


Harbison Brie-Spruce Wrapped


Winey Goat- Creamy & Mild Goats Milk Bathed in Red Wine


Bayley Haven Blue-Cloth Wrapped


ALPS Blossom-Herb & Flower Crusted Ripe Cheddar


Barely Buzzed-Lavender & Cocoa Rubbed Cheddar


Manchego- Raw 12 Month Aged-Sheep’s Milk


Reggiano Parmesan Aged 24 Months


Beemster Gouda-24 Month Aged




Wine By the Glass

Pommery POP Extra Dry Champagne 187ml

Price: $12.00

NV Roederer Estate Brut Anderson Valley

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $10.00

2017 Domaine De Pallus Messanges Rose Cabernet Franc Rose Loire Valley

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $8.75

----White Wines-----

2015 Halter Ranch Grenache Blanc Paso Robles Adelaida

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $8.50

2018 King Estate Sauvignon Blanc Oregon

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $7.00

2017 Sidebar Kerner Mokelumne River

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $9.75

2015 Three Sticks Chardonnay Durell Vineyard

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $20.00

----Red Wines----

2017 Soter North Valley Pinot Noir Willamette

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $10.50

2010 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard Occidental Station Cuvee Catherine

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $55.00

2016 Tenuta San Giusto a Rentennano Chianti Classico

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $13.50

2010 Guigal Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $29.00

2016 Schrader Double Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Napa

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $23.00

2007 Ramey Cabernet Sauvignon Annum Napa

(7 Ounce Pour) Price: $65.00

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