12 German Wines You Must Try

From the German exporter and producer P.J. Valckenberg, the 2013 releases of beloved German wines

P.J. Valckenberg is a well-established German producer and exporter of wines, many of which wind up in the U.S. Each year I get a case of current releases. By and large, it was a very nice year for new releases.

2012 Castell-Castell Franken silvaner trocken ($18). Lightly sweet with bright floral notes and apricot flavors, the wine is very viscous and full, spicy, long on the palate. A satisfying wine, if not an elegant one.

2012 P.J. Valckenberg Deutscher pinot blanc ($13). Another full-bodied wine, a little "heavy" in its flavors. Yet, it has pleasant notes of citrus and ripe tropical fruits.

2012 Liebfrauenstift Rheinhessen dry riesling ($18). Smells like a fresh, floral meadow. A little ponderous in weight, it nevertheless has complex citrus, apricot, and mineral flavors and a pleasant, raspy finish.

2012 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Mosel riesling ($31). Very lush fruit with well-defined flavors of orange, lemon, and tangerine and good acidity.

2012 Baron Knyphausen Keidricher Rheingau riesling kabinett ($21). Crisp and clean, with juicy citrus and citrus peel and a minerally under layer.

2012 Schloss Saarstein Mosel riesling kabinett ($27). Characteristic varietal flavors with ripe fruits — lush and full with a touch of candied-fruit sweetness.

2012 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt "Josephshöfer" riesling kabinett ($31). Not very fresh, more on the savory side of riesling with a touch of spritz.

2012 Johannishof "Charta" Rheingau riesling ($24). A compact wine that is a little short on the finish but with pleasant violet and citrus flavors.

2012 Prinz Salm Berg Roxheim riesling spatlese ($49). Very nice, sweet but balanced wine with apricot, figs, and fresh orange flavors.

2012 Graff Graacher Himmelreich Mosel riesling spatlese ($17). Lots of lush fruits, including apricots and plums — with some woodsy notes. More ripe than juicy.

2012 Undone Rheinhessen pinot noir ($11). A savory style pinot, and a simple but enjoyable one. Dark cherry flavors with a hint of carbony ash in the finish.

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2011 Neipperg Württemberg lemberger trocken ($24). Lemberger isn’t often seen in the U.S. Pleasant dark cherry flavors with savory edges and a vinous finish.