We believe that German Riesling from the best terroir is among the world’s greatest wine, and so we continue to make a place for it in our portfolio. We found the producer Franz Dahm by way of a recommendation from a famous producer in the Mosel.
Bernkastel is perhaps the most famous village along the storied Mosel wine route, where vines grow on intensely steep, slate covered slopes that could give Côte Rôtie a run for its money. This is a very cool climate, but one that sees much sun over the course of a long growing season. The result is wine with low alcohol levels and plenty of backbone — great wines for gastronomy with extraordinarily long lives.
Herr Dahm has vines in the Bernkasteler Badstube vineyard — one that adjoins Bernkasteler Doktor, one of Germany’s most storied. The fruit is exceptionally clean and pure, with the underlying acidity providing freshness but not harshness. We have also found his wines from other vineyards very attractive: Schlossberg seems to produce wines in a style similar to Badstube, and from Bratenhöfchen we have seen some softer wines with yellower fruit.
With German wines, it’s useful to bear in mind that apparent dryness is a function not just of residual sugar, but of acidity and alcohol levels as well. Thus a German Riesling with high levels of acidity and low levels of alcohol can seem dry even though its levels of residual sugar are substantial. A gorgeous, fruit-filled Auslese can seem barely sweet with 60 or more grams of residual sugar. All of Dahm’s wines are beautifully made, and there is a dryness level for every palate.