This offer is available from Friday, November 11th at 3:00 pm to Sunday, November 13th at 3:00 pm, or as supplies last. First come, first served on all wines.
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Hi everyone –
Congrats to those that snagged some of the über-limited Selbach-Oster wines from last week’s offer. Those are some of the best (and most limited) wines we’re offering in 2022. Truth be told, they are off the radar for almost all wine drinkers in America, so while some of the wines sold out there is still bit left of a few of the wines (at regular price, not our special offer price). Swing by Solo Vino for more info.
This week: another big time rarity from Germany, the wines of Müller-Catoir. Like last week’s wines, these are gems I first became familiar with during my time at Surdyk’s in the late 1990s. They are some of the most expressive, dynamic, and intelligent wines I’ve ever had.
Let’s get to it!
(Many thanks to Joel Nelson and Doug Weber of local importer The Wine Company for helping to compile these tasting notes. We tasted through all the wines a number of months ago, but Joel and Doug were good enough to share their tasting notes with me.)
Overview of Müller-Catoir
The Müller-Catoir winery has been a family-owned business since 1744 (let that sink in). Now in its ninth generation, the winery’s philosophy remains clear: Invest time in the wine. The numerous tasks associated with the rhythm of the seasons are carefully carried out in the vineyards by hand. Selective harvesting follows and soon begins the process of slow fermentation and careful cellaring. That’s how the wines, made 100% from the harvest of their own vineyards, are born at Müller-Catoir.
Stylistically the wines are highly refined, mineral forward and boast a very high ‘deliciousness per ounce’ ratio.
Currently operated by 9th generation owner, Johan Wilhem Catoir, this 25 hectare estate farms Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Scheurebe, Muskatellter, Sauvignon Blanc and Rieslaner; 90% of the production is white wines. The Haart is home to sandstone and loamy soils with a good gravel component that allows for ample drainage. This estate is an EU-organic winery and produces roughly 10,000 cs of wine per year.
*Fun fact: Long time friend of TCWE and Solo Vino, Bill Hooper (who owns and operates PAETRA Wines in the Willamette Valley … our Friday offer a few weeks ago), studied viticulture and winemaking at Muller-Catoir on his journey to becoming a rising star producer of top-quality Riesling in Oregon!
Müller-Catoir “MC” Sheurebe Trocken 2020
Pronounced “ Shoy- RAY- bah”, this rare grape reads to me like somewhat of a cross between Riesling and Gewurztraminer. By that I mean, it is a pungent floral wine aromatically (like Gewurz) but especially in this instance, manifesting on the palate as a dry (trocken) and focused wine with ample acidity (like Riesling). When I tasted this vintage, I was struck by the tropicality of this wine… think Lychee, Papaya and spice. Drink now, do not cellar. Drink alongside a Niçoise salad.
Müller-Catoir “MC” Riesling Trocken 2020
Trocken wine, meaning dry. Yes, bone dry Riesling. No perceivable sugar in this linear flinty and precise stunner. Rieslings possess naturally high acidity and this is a prime example of how electric good dry Riesling can be.
The trend in Germany, for the wines consumed there, has been running toward drier styles. While most German wines available in America are lumped into a sweet wine category mindset, wines like this buck that trend. If you’ve ever had some of the stunning dry Rieslings from the Clare Valley in Australia, you know what you’re in for here.
Drink now or hold for up to 5 years. Drink alongside a bratwurst. A great bratwurst.
Müller-Catoir “Gimmeldingen” Riesling Kabinett 2020
I cannot go any further when discussing German white wines without mentioning that 2020 was a truly perfect growing season. Undisrupted bud break and fruit set turned to long, hot summer days and finished with a dry autumn… a vintage that produced ripe fruits full of nerve and tension. You can see this tension between a delicate sweetness and keen acid snap in this bottle.
This single vineyard Riesling can be drunk now but can also evolve beautifully in the cellar for up to 20 years. Drink this all yourself. On a Tuesday. When you need it. STUNNING WINE.
Müller-Catoir “Herzog” Rieslaner Auslese 2020 375ml
This something truly rare. Super special. Legendarily good. And only 11 bottles (375ml) are available.
This is the nectar of the gods.
First question- What is Rieslaner? Is it different than Riesling? Yes indeed: Rieslaner is a cross between Sylvaner and Riesling first bred in 1921 in Germany…. And yes, it tastes like Riesling, but with a satiny texture and playful tropicality in the fruit department.
So then you ask, what does Herzog and Auslese mean? Well, ‘Herzog’ is a grand cru vineyard in the Pfalz and ‘Auslese’ indicates that the grapes in this wine were picked during the 3rd pass of hand-picking that occurs well into the autumn. These grapes are partially infected by the ‘Noble Rot’ (botrytis cinerea) which is a wonderful little creature that helps concentrate the acid and sugar within the grape, making for a powerhouse of flavor on your palate.
When I tasted this wine, I was met by a huge wave of candied apple and baking spice, followed by poached palm fruits and a textural component that reminded me of beeswax. The sweetness was impressive, as was the mouthwatering acidity. This wine is enjoyable now, in it’s infancy… but will likely cellar well for decades. Drink with a cave aged Bleu cheese, apples and assorted nuts.
Like the Selbach-Oster wines of last week, the wines of Müller-Catoir are ONLY available in Minnesota in 2022 through this offer (and anything not sold will be on the shelf at Solo Vino at regular price).
This lineup is varied enough that my buying advice is pretty simple.
If you want dry wines, the two Trocken offerings are for you.
If you appreciate a wee touch of sweetness to balance out the acidity of a great Riesling (which in my opinion is the best way to express this grape), then go for the Gimmeldingen Riesling Kabinett. (For Thanksgiving, this is the best pick.)
Lastly, if you appreciate super special INCREDIBLY RARE liquid gold-style dessert wines: The 375ml Auslese is like finding a gold coin in your pockets before throwing the trousers in the laundry.
Thank you, everyone! We couldn’t do this without you!
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education
NEW! Your payment to Solo Vino for the Friday offer is contained on the order form. No more back-and-forth emailed invoices and payments. Yay!!
This offer has closed. Thank you for your interest.