Monday, September 2, 2013

Report from ... Riesling & Co World Tour 2013 - May 28, 2013

Seminar introduces Germany's next big grape
Today we're here to taste German wines ... now Germany has a similar dilemma to New Zealand: they are known for one grape, Riesling (in the case of New Zealand it's Sauvignon Blanc); and like New Zealand the Germans are focused on Pinot Noir as something else they would like to be known for ... and it seems to be working:  in the 2011 Tasting of London 6 of the top 10 Pinots were of German origin.

The Grape Varieties ...
But Riesling is still the main grape of Germany making up 57.9% of all their plantings - that makes it the number one grape with 22,636 hectares in the ground.  Followed by Rivaner (13,374 ha), Spatburgunder (or Pinot Noir, 11,756 ha), Dornfelder (8,009 ha) and Silvaner (5,185 ha) ... Grauburgunder or Pinot Gris is the 6th grape on that list with 4,859 hectares.

The Push for Dry Wines ...
Germany's biggest problem in the past (and sometimes today) has been the perception that all they make is sweet wines; but the truth is the move to drier wines has been long in the making.  In 1985 only 36% of German Rieslings were dry, in 2011 it was 64%.  The other move is to modernize the German labeling system to make them move friendly to consumers; and terms like Kabinett and Spatlese are following out of favour.

Where Canada Sits in the Export Market ...
The number one market for German wines is the United States, Canada sits in 5th.

The room where the rest of the tasting took place
The Wines ... 
(surprisingly they are not all Riesling ... even more surprising are some of the grapes we do see)
 a well balanced wine with nice sweetness (****)
One of those newer more consumer friendly labels ...
Gunderloch 2012 Fritz's Riesling: good acidity and nice sweetness (*** 1/2+)
Introducing a nicely spiced, well made German Pinot Noir (****+)

This Heitlinger 2011 Pinot Gris is crisp and fruity with lovely balanced acidity (*** 1/2+)
This 2012 Dragonstone is a true delight - modern in style and label (****)
The Loosen Slate series are some of my favourite wines,
this 2012 Blue Slate has killer acidity and great finish (****+)
coats the mouth with flavour (****)
Moselland 2012 Goldschild shows this new simplicity in labeling:
sweet yet with balanced acidity and even shows hints of a dry finish (****)
Pfeffingen 2012 Scheurebe Spatlese - if you haven't tried a Scheurebe you're missing something:
fun little sweeties (*** 1/2)
This Terra Rossa (red soil) wine has nice minerality (*** 1/2+)
Chardonnay is not even on the list of top 15 grape varieties in Germany -
this unoaked version is clean, dry and quite fruity (*** 1/2+)
M Runkel does it again, another variety not on the top 15 recognized grape varieties:
2010 Merlot has nice aromatics and is lightly fruit driven; easy drinking with a touch of spice (****)
Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt 2011 Graacher Domprobst - floral and fruity (****+)
Salwey 2010 "GG" Grosses Gewachs (Grand Cru) Spatburgunder (Pinot Noir) -
good flavour profile, nice spiced cranberry and spiced raspberry with a great finish (****)
nice full mouth-feel with nice apricot and peach (*** 1/2+)
Ya gotta like the 'Hof and this Leiwener Laurentiuslay 2011:
nice mix of mineral with sweet and dry finish (****)
The misunderstood Auxerrois grape, this one is delicious (*** 1/2+)
a surprising addition to the room that showed real character (*** 1/2)
A select parcel of Pinot Noir vines:
good spice, fruit and plenty of flavour, nice mineral on the long finish (****)
Delicate with good mineral and citrus notes (****)
Tri-Fecta of Delicious Pinot Noir (Meyer-Nakel) ...
Another "Grosses Gewachs" (Grand Cru) wine - this one is delicious (****+)
Violets and spice with good dark fruit (****)
Deep, rich and intense - real tasty with spice and white pepper (****)

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