Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wine ratings: German wine --- Eichelmann 2010

There are three influential wine guides in Germany, the Eichelmann and the Gault Millau, followed by the Feinschmecker

The 2010 Eichelmann was presented this month (November 2009) for the 10th time. 949 wine estates and 10,081 wines are rated and described. It addition, there are 4 special awards.

1. Best wine collection of the year: Weingut Wittmann in Westhofen in Rheinhessen. Since the 1980s, the Wittmanns have grown their grapes organically. Already 5 years ago, Guenther Wittmann and his son Philip got the best wine collection of the year award. "Pure Riesling!" said Eichelmann in presenting his choice.

2. Best red wine collection of the year: Weingut Franz Keller in Oberbergen in the Kaiserstuhl area in Baden. Great "Burgundy" from the Kaiserstuhl by Fritz Keller. His exemplary Pinot Noir combines power and concentration with finesse and elegance.

For decades Franz Keller Senior has led the way for German viticulture, fiercely opposing large scale land consolidation and plot realignment. Often ahead of his time, he vehemently advocated fully fermented wines and the use of barriques at a time when quantity was more important than quality in many German cellars. His son, Fritz Keller, who now runs the estate, shares his father's preference for French-inspired wines. Franz Keller was also one of the leaders of the German food revolution in the 1970s and his restaurant Schwarzer Adler was a must for every German Feinschmecker at that time and still is.

3. Best collection of noble-sweet wine of the year: Weingut Horst Sauer in Escherndorf in Franken. Few wineries in Germany produce outstanding noble-sweet wines with such a consistency as Weingut Sauer, feels Eichelmann. "Without Horst Sauer we would not know what noble-sweet Silvaner can be”.

4. Discovery of the year: Raumland in Florsheim-Dalsheim in Rheinhessen. Raumland is a Sekt Estate and this is the first time an Eichelmann award goes to a Sekt Estate. Volker and Rose Raumland have been making impressive sparklers over a number of years and each year is a step forward in terms of finesse and elegance. The Raumland Sekts are like Champagnes, without copying them.

There is a number of winemakers in Germany, who make first class Sekt. One of those Sekt makers is Volker Raumland, who produces only sparkling wines. He bottle-ferments for himself and for others. He keeps the bottle sur lie up to 12 years before corking and labeling the bottle for sale. There is a large and growing number of winemakers who have started to produce world class Sekts. Unfortunately, their production is very limited and they are difficult to find in the US. Volker Raumland's Sekts are imported by Rudi Wiest.

5. Wine Classic. In addition, Gerhard Eichelmann presented a wine classic award. This is for him a wine that is of high quality and that can be regarded as a prototype of its grape variety and its region. He chose a Riesling from the Rheingau, Ruedesheim Berg Schlossberg Riesling trocken from Weingut Georg Breuer in Ruedesheim with wealth and power, fruit and complexity, minerality and sustainability.

6. Best Red Wine of 1998. On the occasion of the tenth edition of the guide, a special prize for the best red wine of the vintage 1998, the red wine vintage, was awarded to a Pinot Noir from Weingut Siegrist in Leinsweiler in the Pfalz region.

Picture: the Siegrist couple and Gerhard Eichelmann (source: Siegrist web site)

Schiller Wine --- Related Postings

Wine ratings: Gault Millau Germany 2010
Wine ratings: Top 100 wines f the Wine Spectator includes Wittmann and Loosen

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