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The June 2021 Auction: Part 2

Auction # 662 | View Auction Schedule and Details
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Auction Ends: 6/10/2021 6:00:00 PM PDT

Lot #668. Ziereisen Badischer Landwein Chardonnay Hard 2015

Description: Consists of 4 Bottles, 0.75L
Region: Germany, Baden, Badisch.
Score: 91 WA.
"Ziereisen's 2015 Hard, vinified in small oak barrels of which 10% were new, is a clear, fresh and buttery Chardonnay with intense, ripe and concentrated fruit aromas intertwined with sur lie notes on the nose. Bottled after almost two years on the lees with 4.3 grams of residual sugar, this is a full-bodied, round, elegant and fresh white with good mineral tension, enormous power and lingering salinity. This is a very elegant and refined 2015 with a firm, still very young structure. Although this is a massive wine, it has the vitality and finesse for long aging. 14% alcohol. Tasted from lot L1517. A few years ago, Hanspeter and Edeltraud Ziereisen introduced a new Pinot Noir from Feuerbach: Talrain. I tasted the 2014 from the barrel in summer 2016 and I liked it. It was very different from the other Ziereisen Pinots but doubtlessly impressive: warm, ripe, generous and fiery. I had the 2014 from the bottle today, and I liked it again. Then came the 2015, and guess what? I loved it! Don't get nervous about the price, which is ridiculously low and doesn't indicate the quality at all. I had to order a case immediately. Twenty-three U.S. dollars might have been okay for the rather weak first release (vintage 2013), but it's already more than fair for the excellent 2014, whereas the 2015 is more of a present than a purchase. There are no excuses for not buying the 2015 Talrain. Take as much as you can get, and you'll have great divertisement for more than a decade. Like Bernhard Huber’s best plots, the red soil of the Talrain is full of iron-rich limestone, which gives this contradictory spot (500 meters above sea level and surrounded by forest but very well protected and thus having a warm microclimate) its vibrant-nervous, if not racy and ferrous-edged soul. The finish is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. So long, so vital, so pure, fresh and tensioned! Since this vineyard had been farmed by a co-op member who added lots of nutrients to the soil for many years until 2012, the soil is now getting better and better with every single year. The growth of the plants has become less vigorous and the crop less generous, as Hanspeter Ziereisen reports. I cannot really imagine where this wine is going to be in five or more years, just approximately. In any case, I remain prepared to one day name Ziereisen's Talrain among the greatest Pinot Noirs from outside Burgundy. Hanspeter and his wife Edel were just doubling their holdings in Feuerbach when I discussed the talents of this obviously great Pinot terroir with them. The Ziereisens now own 1.5 hectares here, and they just can’t get enough. For many years, Rhini had been my favorite among the single-plot Pinot Noirs, but the Talrain is even challenging the two Jaspis selections. The wine has enormous vitality, length and tension and is not built on power or density, even though it's concentrated in a more subtle, vertical way. Zierreisen's 2015 reds are great wines indeed, whereas the whites lack the vibrancy and transparent finesse of a cooler vintage. I find them very concentrated and massive, with good freshness, yes, but lacking finesse and stimulating purity. The threat from the suzukii fruit fly led the Ziereisens to harvest earlier, "perhaps a few days too early," as Hanspeter says today. The Pinots are rather lean and fresh, but I like their transparency and delicate character. As two different lots of the Tschuppen demonstrate impressively, a difficult vintage like 2014 needs longer aging on the lees. The early bottling from 2016 is terribly fresh and almost sour, and unless you don't like a Vinho Verde Tinto, you might have some trouble with this style. The latter bottling spent an extra 18 months on the fine lees and comes across with more texture, concentration and depth, although it is based on the same wine. Élevage matters a lot in cooler vintages and is a more reliable indicator of quality and style than is a prominent name that releases the new vintage as soon as the predecessor is sold out. Unfortunately, the aging time is almost never indicated on the back label." Wine Advocate Interim, Jan 2020
Provenance: The Jupiter Cellar
Lot Location: Orange County
Estimate: $225

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