In many opinions the leading estate of the Pfalz – certainly among the top five. Of those estates, these are the biggest, most massively scaled wines. Extraordinarily old-style approach to vinification: no stainless steel. On an incredible roll the past several vintages, and currently making some of the best dry Rieslings in Europe. They are uncompromisingly stony-gingery, dense, wine-y, not at all grapey. They tend to polarize tasters; if you love them they give you something you almost can’t get anywhere else: a warmly satisfying old-fashioned bigness of flavor that’s masculine and lusty. Other tasters just don’t “see” them, as they lack the modern steely brilliance. Bernd’s grudgingly willing to concede that the reductive style makes friends but in his heart he finds that type of wine too sterile and simple, and lacking the capacity to age. That being said, in recent vintages I sense a slow movement toward a more classical profile for many of Bernd’s wines, perhaps as his own palate becomes more demanding Bernd routinely makes elite-quality wines; in most tastings of Pfalz wines his are in the top group. I myself reach for them frequently and find they give that little extra that great wines give. If you don’t know these you owe it to yourself to check them out, ESPECIALLY IF YOU BUY FOR A RESTAURANT, as these are among the most food-friendly wines of any in this vast universe of possibility.

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