Mia Van de Water's Sommelier Pack
Ökonomeirat Rebholz Weissburgunder Im Sonnenschein GG 2016
This is my favorite white wine in the entire world. I first experienced it at Eric Ziebold’s CityZen in Washington D.C. in 2014; at the time, I was a very young wine director at North End Grill (R.I.P.), and had just passed my Advanced Exam.
Hansjörg Rebholz is without question one of the finest producers in the Pfalz, which lies in southwest Germany along the Haardt Hills, just north of Alsace (crossing the border into France, the Haardt Hills become the Vosges Mountains). The Rebholz family has been making wine in the town of Siebeldingen in the southern Pfalz since at least 1632, and began bottling at the estate after World War II. They are certified organic and biodynamic, and have always been conscientious stewards of their land; the title Ökonomeirat on the label is an honorific bestowed on a deserving agriculturalist. The Pinot Blanc is planted in the Im Sonnenschein vineyard, which is a remarkable site of very old vines planted in limestone. The name means “in the sunshine,” a moniker than perfectly expresses the freshness and beauty of the wine.
Harmand-Geoffroy Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Champeaux 2013
The domaine as it exists today dates from when Gérard Harmand met and married Martine Geoffroy, taking over her family domaine in 1980. Their son, Philippe, now works hand in hand with Gerard. Most of their vines are over 50 years old, and produce beautiful wines with vivid fruit. Of their four premier crus, Champeaux is the finest, overshadowing both the more famous Lavaux-Saint-Jacques and the monopole Boissière. It is the northernmost premier cru in Gevrey, sitting right on the border with Brochon. While there are sexier premier crus out there on paper, in the glass, Harmard-Geoffroy’s Champeaux is noble, supple, and deep. It has phenomenal amplitude (one of my favorite tasting notes), meaning that no one aspect stands out above the rest - they all coalesce together in an addictively delicious harmony. It is gestalt.
Harmand-Geoffroy’s wines across the board are excellent - they are one of the most overlooked and underrated domaines in Burgundy. I recommend buying them whenever possible. Tell all of your friends.
Eraldo Viberti Barbera Vigna Clara 2005
Eraldo Viberti is a small, family-run domaine founded in 1960. They are the quintessential Barolo house: Eraldo and his children meticulously working the vineyards by hand, eschewing any chemicals or pesticides. They are unusual, however, in that they produce single-site bottlings of both Barbera and Dolcetto in addition to their two cru Barolos - most producers do not accord that kind of respect to Piedmont’s less exalted grapes! Barbera in particular is often left out in the cold, literally - because it thrives best in the same soils and aspects as the more prestigious Nebbiolo, but it is regularly cast off to less favorable plots, making it particularly difficult to produce its finest expressions. Viberti’s Vigna Clara is a rare exception - juicy, brambly, immensely pleasurable, but well-structured and superbly ageworthy.