Not only are the Germans keeping the EU afloat and making kick-ass cars, but it seems as though they have Californian wines pretty much figured out.
Germany’s leading wine magazine, Der Fein Schmecker International Gourmet Journal, opened its “Top 10 US Wines” article with the following quote:
“California wines are in the middle of an image change. All of the cheaper, branded products from the US failed in the German market. Now is the time for independent wine makers, who count on individuality, to bring along the big wines.”
It appears from this introduction that the Germans have booted out the mega wineries cleanly and efficiently, a feat sure to take much longer in the USA, where they have entrenched themselves with powerful liquor distributor allies.
We at Stolpman would be totally unaware of the swift German wine coup if it hadn’t been for a gentleman named Michael Grimm showing up at our doorstep in Los Olivos a couple years ago. Michael worked for a large wine importer before branching out independently, in search of small, family owned estates to introduce to Deutscheland.
Michael pounced on the combination of the strong Euro and the turning tide within the German wine world to launch Stolpman Vineyards in 2011. A year later, 3 of the top 10 US Wines are from his company, Bacchus Vinothek, including the 2009 Syrah Originals awarded the “Best Buy”. Keller Estate Sonoma Pinot Noir and World’s End Napa Cabernet Franc rounded out Michael’s trifecta.
2009 Stolpman Originals
“A rising star, that offers a lot for the price. The wine will enhance with age with a complex scent of balsamic and herbal notes, and immediate presence of powerful and ripe tannin. The arc ends in a juicy full-bodied finish. Well thought out – intense and dense, but not over the top.”
The article was published in the Top 100 Wines of 2012 issue in which the editors selected the 10 best wines from each major wine region from around the world, with only one “Best Buy” award granted per region. The fact that this critical review took place so far from home; removed from any hint of Stolpman’s reputation or brand image; makes us especially proud. Syrah Originals was thrown in with thousands of wines from all over the world and came out on top!
While Germany remains a small market for us and this award didn’t cause order stampedes relative to Connoisseur’s Guide “Best Red of the Year Award” for 2010 La Croce and Stephen Tanzer’s 95 point score on 2010 Angeli; the worldwide ranking gives us even more resolve that if we continue to produce terroir-driven Syrahs, the wine world will take note.