About Schmitt

Selbach-Oster, Mosel, Zeltinger Schlossberg, Schmitt, Riesling Auslese, 2015

From a single plot (Schmitt) in the Schlossberg vineyard picked in a single pass. Focused, youthful hedonism. Lemon pie, fresh apple juice, steely acidity, frozen slate. I’ve been using “frozen slate” as a descriptor for year and I might as well admit, I have never actually smelled frozen slate, but there’s a very specific mineral aroma shared among Mosel Rieslings and “frozen slate” is the term everyone uses. This is a prime sample.

Lewinsohn, Garage de Papa, Rose, 2020

A lovely rose, with a complex, chalk-scented nose, wonderful acidity and an angular, finely sculpted body.

Niepoort, Dao, Conciso Branco, 2018

The white wines of Portugal hit their sweet spot at four years of age. This was one of my first lessons when I started exploring them. This is my third bottle since Eyal brought the wine in fall and they have gotten better each time. There’s still a trace of oak on the nose, but the floral, exotic perfume is showing up in great form. Lovely acidity on the palate, which sadly doesn’t quite deliver the intensity the nose promises.

Sphera, Chardonnay, 2020

Slight guilt about not waiting with my last bottle another year, but it’s quite good now, precisely sculpting pungent green apples, chalk and chalk.

Giacomo Fenocchio, Barolo, 2016

This might be the last 2016 Barolo I will touch in the next 5 years, even though I am continually surprised by how well the Barolo and Barbersco normales I've drunk have been drinking, showing no sign of shutting down. It's as though the 2016 fruit is so pure and balanced that it cuts through Nebbiolo's iron glove. Or maybe I'm just a hopeless optimist. Anyway, this is quite expressive on the nose (red cherries, iron and earth, a hint of rose petals), and the tannins don't clamp down hard on the fruit. Fencchio's crus have always been stellar (and inexpensive for the quality) but the basic Barolo has always been plumper and sweeter than the crus (and also compared to some of its imported peers). This, however, is more savory than any of its predecessors that I've drunk.

Chateau Haut-Bergey, Passac-Leognan, 2009

Haut-Bergey never struck me as a wine that begged long aging. On one level, it is very well made and at a lovely spot right now: modern, yet not too smooth, black cherries and iron in excellent balance. On another level, it’s not too complex or interesting, so aging might well transform a slightly dull adult into a slightly dull geriatric.