J. J. Christoffel

With Schaefer and Selbach-Oster, the “big three” among the Mosels I offer, Christoffel has been constantly stellar, not just “often” or “regularly,” but EVERY SINGLE TIME, EVERY SINGLE WINE stellar since the 1992 vintage. Everything one can wish from great wine is lavished on these: depth, clarity, complexity, buoyancy, purity and ineffable beauty. The more I get, the more you want; sorry, but I still must allocate. The estate is tiny, and has been discovered!

Dashingly aromatic, brilliant luster of flavor, inchoate depth which begs for study. The kinds of wines you keep adding to your notes on; each sip reveals another facet, the second glass differs from the first, the very last sip is still saying fresh new things. There’s a jewel-like firmness here; these aren’t leesy or plush. In general, the Erdeners are thicker and more thrusting; they show better younger. The Ürzigers are refined, fastidious and sleek.  ~Terry Theise

GJC196 Generic

Available Wines

J.J. Christoffel 2011 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese

J.J. Christoffel 2011 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese

Like their two Kabinetts, this is less taut but is actually just differently coiled; lavender and wisteria, a real séance of herbs and spices, darker flavors.

J.J. Christoffel 2012 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese

Now this is explosively expressive. If I say “apple and slate” yet again, it’s boring but true. It’s the combo of hi-def clarity and torque, firmness and brilliance yet many-layered density, and this goose-flesh tingle threaded through it all—that makes it uncanny. Treppchen is named after the stone staircase that was built into the vineyard many years ago for the farmers to work it. It is a 36 ha vineyard most of which has been replanted, excluding parcels owned by Meulenhof and J.J. Christoffel Erben. The red slate contains a high level of iron translating into very mineral expressive wines.

J.J. Christoffel 2013 Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese

Curiously, though this is sweeter now, it also seems cooler and shadier than the two Kabinetts. (This sometimes happens at Diel too.) Another salty wine but not a beast; it’s ultra-refined and crystalline. ~Terry Theise

J.J. Christoffel 2013 Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese

CORE-LIST WINE. Now we really do taste botrytis, which is curiously reassuring. It has the semi-solid construction of ’13, and all sorts of lime zest and lime blossom and if you could concentrate lime juice and strain it through pulverized slate, it would also taste like that. The complexity unfolds tart and salty but in a basic matrix of sweetness. It unfolds deliberately, like an opening rose. A wine with secrets, and plenty of time to tell them. ~Terry Theise

J.J. Christoffel 2014 Riesling

Yay! A zippy frisky wine, cleaner than a hound’s tooth and buoyant with acidity; the wine is in the best sense ‘simple:’ as in refreshing and open-armed and unpretentious, and it only asks that we appreciate and be glad. If you’re interested: rs 32g/l, acidity 9 g/l and extract—for a QbA!—27.5g/l. ~Terry Theise

J.J. Christoffel 2014 Urziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese (3-star) Kranklay [6/750]

This recalls a young 1976—remember those? Of course not; you’d need to be a geezer like me! They were hard-candied and minty in their infancy. This one’s high-pitched and lemon-candied, a highly refined sassafras liqueur that’s tremendously impressive especially among ‘14s; pointed, influenced but not shrouded by botrytis. Potentially grand. ~Terry Theise

J.J. Christoffel 2014 Urziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett

Core List Wine
More reticent and lacy; almost delicate, but with air it grows articulate and pixilated; fresh, aristocratic in an unfussy way; all the classic flavors (kiwi, sassafras, strawberry) and really recalls the 2008s—which is high praise.  ~Terry Theise

J.J. Christoffel 2014 Urziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese

Core List Wine
Pure spice essence here. Garrigue, char, kiwi, even wasabi or ginger; the finish is positively drenched with extract, which joins with acidity to just sizzle away any sweetness. Perhaps the best wine I tasted from Uerzig vineyards.  ~Terry Theise