CellarHand has had the privilege working with a range of wonderful European producers for so long that we’re all pretty much family. But for newcomers to navigate these far-flung climes and foreign names, we thought a few landmarks might be helpful.
Enter the CellarHand import quaffer offer.
This is a list of super-value wines from family-owned estates across France, Germany and Austria that are great to drink and offer a clear sense of place – all under $33, and every single one under screwcap.
We hope you’ll find plenty here to scratch that travel itch while we’re all grounded here at home.
From soils of gravel, sand and south-facing clay and limestone. Airbag-pressed as whole bunches before slow, natural fermentation in stainless steel. The nose shows apricot, brioche and a touch of fresh lemon. On the palate it shows pleasant acidity with apricot, honeysuckle and mineral tones, then a nice long stony finish. – Freddy Blanck
Some fresh-nut character, as well as a wide range of white-fruit aromas, making this a rather elegant, medium-bodied Pinot Blanc that gives a lot of pleasure right now. 91 points.Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com September 2019
This typical Veltliner is tangy and light thanks to the good loess soil and ideal climate along the Danube River terraces. It has fresh, fruity aromas of pear, rosy apple, pineapple and grapefruit that stream through a fresh shapely, taut palate with a dash of white pepper spice chiming in towards the finish. – Stadt Krems
Subtle notes of green pear have an appetizing, creamy edge on the nose. The palate is marked by a wonderful lemon zestiness and a light juicy and fruity, but dry body — very moreish indeed. 89 points.Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2019
The nose speaks subtly of green pear, lemon zest and peppery green leaves. A slender, crisp palate unites all these notions, with fine freshness and a lovely herbal zing on the dry, appetizing finish. The lemon zestiness rings long. 91 points.Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast June 2020
White pepper, crushed sage and a touch of citrus promise savoriness. The palate delivers with full-on white pepper spiciness, slender freshness and lovely, pithy, salty, yeasty texture. This is a little pepper bomb full of life and verve. The finish is dry and appetizing. 92 points.Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2019
Incredible DNA in this everyday Riesling from Gunderloch. This wine is grown on the Rhine-hugging red-slate slopes of the Roter Hang by one of Germany’s standout producers. The Rheinhessen region produces Riesling with wonderfully soft acidity that lends the wines a calm, fresh length, while the relatively warm climate nudges the fruit into the nectarine, lime and ruby grapefruit zone, while the crumbly slate seems to confer an earthy tone and dusting of sweet spice. – Ed Merrison, CellarHand
The fruit for the Wachenheimer Riesling comes from a single vineyard called Königswingert (“King’s Vineyard”), though it’s labelled only with the village name. This excellent site lies just to the north of the village and is rated as a premier cru vineyard. The Wachenheimer Riesling has an elegant mineral purity and good intensity of lemons and nectarine on the palate. It is a refreshing wine with a distinctive stony character that reflects this site. – Villa Wolf
Candied tangerine peel and lime cordial perfume this pert dry Riesling. Fresh grapefruit and lemon flavors are pristine, lingering on a nervy strike of steel. This is a bright and fruity yet effortlessly elegant wine that’s approachable for every day. Drink now through 2023. 88 points.Anna Lee C. Iijima, Wine Enthusiast March 2020
Lovely smoky herbal note of the ferment, fruity, smoky and cool. Not particularly long but precise, bright with grapefruit. A great introduction to off-dry Riesling. 16/20Julia Harding MW, jancisrobinson.com May 2019
Aromatic, offering elderflower and pine notes, with hints of orange blossom honey, spearmint and apricot on the palate. This is elegant and focused, featuring a long, mineral-infused finish. Drink now through 2027. 90 points.Aleks Zecevic, Wine Spectator September 2019
The fruit comes from vineyards with sand and gravel soils around the village of Kientzheim. Whole-bunch pressed and wild fermented in stainless steel. The nose shows light floral and citrus notes. The palate has pineapple, lemon and mineral notes, as well as an evocation of sweet-scented flowers. – Freddy Blanck
The clearly discernible pastry notes set this apart on the nose; dried daffodils, buttercups and dried honeysuckle follow. Only lightly off-dry with some good density and body and a slightly nutty finish. 91 points.Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com December 2019
This amazing-value Gris has aromas of lemon zest, green apple and honeycomb. It’s dry and medium-bodied with fresh intensity of crisp pear and apricot with citrus zest. Easy-drinking with an earthy, stony character and a nice hint of spice and grip on the finish. – Villa Wolf
Fruit for the Blanck Pinot Gris was sourced from gravel, sand and south-facing clay and limestone vineyards. It was gently whole-bunch pressed before natural ferment in stainless steel. A gentle nose, giving off a subtle aromatic mix of fruit flesh (peaches, nectarines) and oatmeal. The attack is both delicate with a fleshed-out and sappy body. Exquisite feel, reminiscent of angora wool, with the flavours developing into a smooth balsamic style. – Freddy Blanck
This is a tremendously popular Gewürztraminer, and no wonder when it expresses the aromatic idiosyncrasies of this grape variety with such balance and freshness. Perfume of rosewater, lychee and grapefruit introduces a sweetly juicy, medium-bodied wine with fruit-driven purity and a stony structure. – Ed Merrison, CellarHand
This fragrant and fruity wine is made from old-vine Clairette and Grenache blanc grapes offers aromas of peach and white flowers on the nose. On the palate it has roundness and good weight of stone fruits and jasmine, leading to a lingering, lively finish. – Pierre Amadieu
Fresh green apple, green pear and crushed yarrow on the nose promise vivid flavors. The palate obliges with slender, clean-cut freshness, assisted by some slight spritz and lots of yellow apple fruitiness. This is bright, easy, slender and entirely appetizing. 91 points.Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2019
Strawberry and redcurrant, a slight smokiness, and green herb. Fresh style, all about acid drive, crunch and juicy blood orange tang. Chalkiness on a tart and lively finish. More a white wine style of Rosé, but good energy here. 91 points.Gary Walsh, The Wine Front September 2019
Tart red currant and fresh strawberry on the nose continue with a little spritz on the bright, fresh and citrusy palate. A lovely, pristine, light, dry and appetizing rosé just calling for summer! Look at the pretty label and guess the song? 90 points.Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2019
Pinot Noir, or Spätburgunder as it’s known in Germany, has come on in leaps and bounds, and the dry, relatively warm Pfalz climate is well placed to deliver balanced wines with juicy Pinot fruit. This is pure and medium-bodied, with a firm acid structure. Its bright black-cherry fruit is juicy, ripe, and forward, with a spicy mid-palate. Twelve months of aging in used barriques gives the wine a smoky depth and a nice touch of earthy tannins. It’s an excellent, approachable red wine for everyday dining. – Villa Wolf
Bunches of Grenache and Syrah grown on chalk and clay soils are strictly sorted to produce this cuvée. Hand harvests and traditional winemaking processes give a wine with red and black fruits aromas (blackberry and plum). A sweet touch of liquorice plus spice add layers to the sumptuous palate. A mouth-filling wine in a pure Rhône style. – Pierre Amadieu
They seem to have had a string of good vintages in Beaujolais, and I think I like the playful and fruity 2018s quite a lot. Fresh, raspberry and cherry, floral perfume. It’s light and juicy, but sports a bit of ‘mineral’ stuff and fine dusty tannin to keep it on the straight and narrow. Finish is fresh. It’s easy to like. 90 points.Gary Walsh, The Wine Front October 2019
Yes, it sounds exotic and does more than enough to tick the “unusual” box, but the sheer guzzlability of this fresh, fruit-forward wine is what makes it such a perennial winner. Made from indigenous Austrian red grapes Zweigelt and Blaufränkisch with a dash of Merlot, it’s a medium-bodied, chillable red with blackberry, red cherry rosemary and fennel notes. – Ed Merrison, CellarHand
Very ripe, almost overripe black cherry on the nose promises generosity. The palate dials this back to present ripe, fresh, aromatic and juicy black and red cherry in a lovely, light, juicy and smooth package. 89 points.Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2019
The nose gives little away but the palate comes in with a juicy easy aromatic freshness that sweeps plum, plum skin, crushed blackberry and a little tar in its lively wake. This is sinuous, light but full of life and fruit. Drink soon. 91 points.Anne Krebiehl MW, Wine Enthusiast July 2019