– Laser-Like Precision and Purity of Fruit
– Amazing Depth
– Terrific Energy to the Fruit
– Crunchy, Explosive Tiny Berry Fruit
– Very, Very Important German Pinot Noir Producer
– Classically Structured, Not “Red Riesling”
2019 Günther Steinmetz Muhlheimer Sonnenlay Pinot Noir***
– 95 Points (Pigott)
– An Iconic German Red in 2019
– Case Purchase Consideration
– His Grand Cru
– Nose: A Cascade of Nuances
– Crazy Complexity
– Rose Petals
– Forest Floor and Moss
– Deep, Penetrating Earthiness
– Huge Fruit
– Cassis and Coffee
– Huge Spice
– Mid Season Cherries
– Palate: Super Juicy, Pure and Deep
– Terrific, Bright Red Cherries
– Silky, Sweet and Elegant
– Elegant Structure
– Lovely Purity
– Finish Is Incredible
– So Long
– Gorgeous Cherry Spice
– Very Bright
“Stefan Steinmetz underlined his status as one of the finest producers of Mosel Pinot Noir with a set of 2019 bottlings which are arguably his finest to date. What a stunning collection by a grower which is now among the crème de la crème of the region!” – Mosel Fine Wines
The “400 Blows”
When the history of the Renaissance of German Pinot Noir is written, one of the most important winemakers will be Stefan Steinmetz. Let me give you a little background.
Stefan was, for Fass Selections our Francois Truffaut. Francois Truffaut was famously a film critic for the legendary Cahiers du Cinema magazine before he became a world class filmmaker. Stefan is like our Truffaut in that he’s always advised Fass Selections on German Pinot and is responsible for us getting two of our all star Pinot producers. Yes, he was making elite Pinot Noir but I couldn’t sell it. He was working with other distributors. But now I can introduce the United States to the brilliance of Stefan’s Pinot Noirs. Finally. We sold one 18 Pinot Noir but Stefan has arrived in 2019 and this is his vintage where he has made the leap! As evidenced by the wines and the MFW quote above.
The Long Waited Debut
The 400 Blows was Truffaut’s debut film and is considered with Citizen Kane and The Seven Samurai, one of the greatest films of all time. It is a defining film in the French New Wave which emerged in the 1950s and rejected the norms of standard filmmaking. It was highly experimental with regard to editing, visual style and narrative and was highly focused on social issues. “The 400 Blows” is semi-autobiographical and deals with the struggles of a troubled, misunderstood teenager.
This is Stefan’s and Fass Selections’ “The 400 Blows” moment. After a decade of relying on Stefan as a critic, advisor and confidante. We can finally sell his brilliant Pinot Noirs.
Stefan is a brilliant winemaker.
He may be an even better vineyard manager.
As a son of a great winemaker, he has been working the vineyards in the Mosel since he could walk. He assimilated decades of wisdom from his father by the time he was 20. Of course, he had a formal education in German wine school.
His pinot noirs are similar in style to his rieslings. There is just amazing energy and purity to the fruit with such beautiful site expression. The 18s are a breakout vintage as warm vintage/cool region is perfect for German Pinot Noir. His style is ultra refined and pure with laser-like precision and focus. Amazing depth and such fine and sweet tannins along with perfectly expressive ripe fruit that crunched and explodes with tiny berry fruit intensity. These are firmly in the Red Riesling camp. I’ve wanted to sell these wines for years and today I finally have the privilege. I also have an incredible red that is one of the most absurdly underpriced red wines I’ve ever sold from anywhere.
Today I’ve got Stefan’s Grand Cru as he calls it, the 2019 Günther Steinmetz Muhlheimer Sonnenlay Pinot Noir*** for $34.99 a bottle on a 4-pack. This is one of the best Mosel Pinots I have ever had. It is a remarkable accomplishment and I am so proud of Stefan for making a wine like this. This is as Grand Cru as Grand Cru gets and is an astonishing wine that has developed so much since the last time I tasted it. It’s remarkable actually how much it’s improved. It’s easily a 95/96 point wine and the structure, while still there is not as imposing as it was a year+ ago. It’s gotten so silky, sweet and velvety and has this Volnay 1er cru character about it but also its foot is firmly in the Mosel. I cannot tell you how silky and textured this wine is and it has the perfect sweet fruit in German Pinot which is juuuuust barely sweet but sweet enough where you can call it sweet. It’s just a wonderful wine.
Wow that’s a nose. Forest floor and moss and huge fruit. Love the wet moss that gives a gout de terroir as the forest soil is just so intense and authentic. Huge spice and crazy complexity. Leafy, dirty in the best way. Glorious aromas of cranberry bog, mid season cherries, spice, redcurrant and slate. Super aromas and also a light, lithe color. Wet earth and leaves and so very Pinot. Flowers. Rose petals. So so pretty. Precise and with unreal clarity Nose has the classic Burg/Mosel dirt, mid season cherries and I really smell a lot of slate, wet moss and wet earth. Really deep and really penetrating. Blind I’d say this is Burgundy. Volnay. This is a wine that keeps opening and opening aromatically and revealing nuance after nuance which is only something Grand Cru style wines do. Amazing stuff. Big pure cherry fruit. I mean the purity of this cherry fruit is so brilliant. Perfectly captures thoroughly ripe cherries. The best cherries in a bowl of hundreds. The ones you dig for. Huge spice, exotic spices after air, moss, tree bark, sweet sweet perfect cherries and a deep penetrating earthiness. It keeps adding nuance and layer hour after hour and lasts 48-59 hours open.
Just the right level of sweet fruit as I mentioned earlier. Lovey purity. Nice elegant structure and very very fine. Palate is super juicy, pure and deep but the tannins they are so fine and they are so ripe. Tannins are so sweet and sinewy but it is in perfect balance. Palate is so lithe and elegant with gorgeous sweet mineral inflected fruit and such an amazing Pinot texture. Wow is this super elegant and pretty. Gorgeous 4d texture and so enveloping and haunting. Reminds me of Volnay. Gorgeous velvety and sweet tannins and stunning purity. This is elite wine and really has opened a bunch since I had it last. Long, persistent finish. 9.5 for now but might go up. Finish keeps getting longer. This is so silky, sweet and elegant. So elegant and just floats on the palate a bit after 3-5 hours open. Wow. after many hours this is silky and sweet with tremendous minerality and sweet fruit. very very elegant. Big, deep cherry fruit with power and depth with so many layers and ripe, generous and refined tannins.
The finish energize bunnies its way to every nook and cranny of your palate. Especially the crannies. It’s very earthy and mineral as well on the finish with a ridiculous Grand Cru structure that really penetrates and persists. It’s a brilliant wine and one that is enormously complex, juicy and incredibly mineral with terrific fruit but my big takeaway is that in 4-5 years there will be even more fruit and this wine will enter levels of profundity few German Pinots do.
This wine definitely has the structure and acidity to age brilliantly. It’s certainly drinking wonderfully now but the complexity should improve with age.
Below is what Stefan says about this site.
“It’s with the oldest Pinot vines from 6 different clones (3 German,3 French) and it’s always the ripest material even with it being the latest Pinot picked. It also always has the highest acidity (same like the early picked basic Pinot Sites).” Stefan Steinmetz
Below is the 95 point score from Stuart Pigott.
“What a wonderful fragrance this superb Mosel pinot noir has. A cornucopia of red berry and sour cherry aromas are married to minty and savory complexity. Very bright and crisp with great mineral freshness on the medium-bodied and super-focused palate, the fruit first expanding on the simultaneously concentrated and delicate finish. Drinkable now, but best from 2025.” – 95 points, Stuart Pigott
As you know, we believe that strict recitations of tasting notes is only part of the story of a wine. We’ve always tried to include metaphors to try to give our readers a better understanding of how wines impact us. These metaphors have included architecture, painting, music and poetry.
We’re trying something new to help create visual metaphors using Midjourney, a generative artificial intelligence program that is by far the best image gneratour out there. I’ve messed around with a bunch and this is by far the best. We look forward to hearing your feedback.
Please call Cheryl at 949 378 5251 with your order if you are a first time customer (we prefer not to receive credit card numbers over E-Mail).
OFFICE HOURS 4-7 PM
I love drinking and selecting wines – but my passion for teaching people about wine is almost as big. I’m happy to announce a block of time each day where people can call me just to chat about wine in general. These blocks are NOT intended to sell wine (I do that all day). This is to talk to me about wine pairings or great producers or how long to age wines or styles of wine making or the latest wine controversy. My goal is to help people learn more about wine and enjoy it more. Call me at 917-912-4355 from 4-7EST Monday – Friday.
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