Oberhäuser Leistenberg Riesling Kabinett 2018

(Nahe, Germany) $30

Dönnhoff is, without question, the greatest estate in the Nahe. A visit with Helmut and Cornelius Dönnhoff a few years ago left me convinced that their wines are masterpieces of laser-like precision and quivering energy. The minerality in the wines comes across with near atomic density. This kabinett, from the Leistenberg vineyard in the town of Oberhausen, is one of their simplest, least expensive wines, and yet it moves on the palate in long wavelengths of deliciousness. If you like taut, fresh wines that are light in body but massive in flavor, this is for you. (9% abv)

92 points KM

Available at K&L Wine Merchants

The WineSpeed Blog

A. Balthazar

B. Methuselah

C. Jeroboam

D. Hezekiah


Hezekiah, a Judean king, is not one of the Biblical kings for which large-format Champagne bottles are named. Balthazar, Methuselah, and Jeroboam—which hold 16 bottles, 8 bottles, and 4 bottles, respectively—are real designations. No one quite knows why large Champagne bottles are named after these ancient kings.

Answer: False.

While I love blue cheese, I usually don’t pair it with red wine. Extremely salty and pungent, blue cheese’s aggressive, palate-coating flavors strip the flavor of virtually all dry red wines, making them taste insipid and washed-out. Just about the only wine that has the intensity and body to counterbalance a blue cheese’s forceful character is a powerhouse like Port, because it is both sweet and fortified. The combination has been considered a European classic for centuries. (For more on pairing cheeses with wines, watch my video on wine and cheese parings here).


The Spanish term for a single estate considered exceptional, roughly equal to a “Grand Cru” in France. Three official denominations of origin exist in Spain. In ascending reputation for quality, they are: DO (Denominación de Origen), DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada) and DO Pago. As of 2018, there were about 17 DO Pago estates in Spain.

Canned Wine

  By Amanda McCrossin Canned Wine has absolutely exploded in the last few years and with it has come an array of options.  What was once a category filled with low-quality and often manipulated wine… Continue reading

Yum or Yuck?

Yesterday was National Caviar Day (although why the organizers didn’t choose New Year’s Eve beats me). Anyway, 87 people responded to our poll about caviar and Champagne. We asked if it’s a good pairing or a bad one. Sixty one of you gave the thumbs up, witth some friends like Thomas Houseman suggesting low (or no) dosage Champagne in particular, and “Wisequark” suggesting oxidative-styled Champagnes like Krug and Selosse. The naysayers were in the minority but they had the most vociferous and detailed reasons. The saltiness of the caviar fights with the acidity of the Champagne, said Dan Michael.  And then there was this gem from our friend the chef David Katz: “People love the idea for the same reason they love chocolate and cabernet—the mistaken assumption that two sexy opulent things should be even sexier together. A “Brangelina” pairing. I’ll enjoy mine separately unless you pick up the tab…”


Number of millions of trees that died during California’s recent mega drought, according to the journal Nature Geosciences. The drought began in 2011 and officially ended this year. Lack of rain, extreme heat, and overcrowding lead to the mass die-offs that have been labelled a tree-mageddon. Added to 150 million tree deaths from drought are millions more that have resulted from catastrophic wildfires.


Cost (in U.S. dollars) of a single bottle of 2015 Liber Pater Bordeaux which, when it is released in September, will make it the most expensive in the world, according to The Drinks Business. The wine was made in clay amphora from ungrafted varieties native to Bordeaux but virtually extinct there now, including castets, tarney-coulant and pardotte. 550 bottles of the wine were produced from the Graves-based estate.


Debut vintage of Château Lafite Rothschild’s long-awaited Chinese luxury wine Long Dai. (The name means “chiseled mountain.”) The wine—a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and marselan from the relatively humid eastern province of Shandong–will be released for the first time this September for about $159. Some 2,500 cases were made.

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