Thursday, January 13, 2011

Canada’s Favorite German Budget Wines - Wine Diva Best Buys of 2010 List

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Nik Weis from Weingut St. Urbans-Hof in Berlin

Canada’s Wine Diva just issued her annual TOP 100 Best Buy List; in fact, in 2010 the Top 100 Best Buy List comprises 110 wines. These 110 are wines from around the world, available in the Canadian market, and under CAN$20, that have scored at least 89/100 points the Wine Diva’ sister site These wines have been chosen because they represent value and quality.

The Wine Diva is Daenna Van Mulligen, a Vancouver based wine writer and publisher of and She has a weekly wine segment on Terry David Mulligan’s radio show The Tasting Room Radio and contributes to Taste Magazine and as well as making regular appearances on City TV.

Five German wines are on the Wine Diva’s 2010 Top 100 Best Buy List. In the following, I have compiled Daenna Van Mulligen’s tasting notes of these wines and have supplemented them by my own observations on the winemaker.

St. Urbans-Hof Riesling, Mosel Germany, 2008

Wine Diva: This estate Riesling is a fragrant bouquet of meyer lemon, honey, spring blossoms and slate. Nicely weighted and lively on the palate with flavours of green apples, lemon drops and honey. It is off-dry but with nicely balanced acidity and has a sweet, juicy finish.


©copyright 2010 Daenna Van Mulligen, Wine Diva reviewed - July 26th, 2010

Christian G.E. Schiller: A rather young wine estate that was established about 50 years ago. It is now owned and run by the founder’s grandson, Nik Weis. In the 2010 Feinschmecker ranking, one of Germany’s 16 five star wine estates. Most of the elegant, fine and light wines are exported. 30 hectares.

Schloss Reinhartshausen Dry Riesling Rheingau Germany, 2008

Wine Diva: A mouth-watering Riesling, any time of the year and certainly one of my picks during the 2010 Vancouver Wine Festival!

Green apple peel and peach stone aromas, slate and brisk citric notes rounded out with honey and spring blossoms. The palate is crisp - zingy lemondrops, white fruit and steely minerality. This is not your grandmother's Riesling!

A great summer sipper, perfect with creamy potato salad or sushi, hollandaise and aioli sauces.

©copyright 2010 Daenna Van Mulligen, Wine Diva reviewed - April 23rd, 2010

Picture: Schloss Reinhartshausen

Christian G.E.Schiller: At the Castle’s present location stood in the 12th century the ancestral seat of the knights of Erbach. Princess Marianne of Prussia from the Royal House Oranien-Nassau bought the Castle and the estate in 1855. In 1957, Schloss Reinhartshausen – at the time still in Prussian ownership - was transformed into a hotel. Today, hundreds of years of tradition in craftsmanship combined with modern techniques of wine-making lay the foundation of Schloss Reinhartshausen high quality standards. 80 hectares.

Gunderloch Fritz's Riesling, Rheinhessen Germany, 2009

Wine Diva: Alluring aromas of peach and tart green apples, citrus blossoms and slate with hints of tangerine. The plate is vibrant, sweet and tart with plenty of honey, minerality and crisp white fruit. It's off-dry but has lovely balance between sweetness and acidity with a silky texture, the finish is long and mouth-watering.

Pair with spicy, chilled noodles, sushi or rich, creamy dips.

Good value!

©copyright 2010 Daenna Van Mulligen, Wine Diva reviewed - April 27th, 2010

Picture: Christian G.E.Schiller with Fritz Hasselbach from Weingut Gunderloch in Nackenheim

Christian G.E.Schiller: In 1890, the banker Carl Gunderloch purchased the Gunderloch manor house in Nackenheim in the Rhine valley. As the story goes, he used to trek from Gundersblum, his place of birth, to his bank in Mainz. On these journeys he carefully observed how the sun played off the hills along the Rhein Terrace. Based on these observations he purchased vineyard property that appeared to collect sunlight most efficiently and founded the Gunderloch Estate. Today, the Estate is still in the hands of the Gunderloch family, with Agnes Hasselbach-Usinger, a descendent of Carl Gunderloch, and her winemaker husband Fritz Hasselbach in charge. My wife and I used to go by bike from Mainz to the Gunderloch Tavern on Sunday afternoon to eat a "Spundekaes" (a regional speciality) with a couple of glasses delicious Gunderloch wines. 14 hectares.

Loosen Bros. "Dr L" Riesling, Mosel Germany, 2009

Wine Diva: A favorite of many Riesling drinkers the Dr L has appealing notes of crisp green apple and lemondrops, honey blossoms and slate. It walks the fine balance between sweetness and balanced acidity - it's crisp and engaging with plenty of citrus and bright white fruit flavours.

A wine that will pair with a multitude of dishes: Asian cuisines, potato salad, holiday turkey or ham and creamy cheese and quince crostini.

©copyright 2010 Daenna Van Mulligen, Wine Diva reviewed - November 11th, 2010

Christian G.E.Schiller with Ernst Loosen in New York City

Christian G.E.Schiller: Weingut Dr. Loosen, in the Mosel valley, is run and owned by one of the most entrepreneurial German winemakers, Ernst Loosen. In the 2010 Feinschmecker ranking, it is one of Germany’s 16 five star wine estates. Dr. L is Weingut Dr. Loosen’s entry level wine, one of the best sold, if not the best sold German wine in the world. In addition to producing outstanding wines in Germany, Ernst Loosen makes the famous Eroica in Washington State. 22 hectares.

Balthasar Ress Rheingau Riesling, Germany, 2009

Wine Diva: Great Value. You can expect delicate floral notes, lemon drops, apple peel and hints of stone fruit and slate. On the palate it is juicy, it has a kiss of sweetness offset by lively acidity. Crisp apple and citrusy flavors dominate the palate with a clean, zesty finish.

Pair with your holiday ham or turkey dinners or year round with spicy Asian-inspired dishes.

©copyright 2010 Daenna Van Mulligen, Wine Diva reviewed - October 8th, 2010

Christian G.E.Schiller with Christian Ress in Berlin

Christian G.E.Schiller: In 1870, Balthasar Ress set up a restaurant with its own wine business on the main street of the village of Hattenheim in the Rheingau. Within five generations, the Ress family business has developed into one of the leading wine estates of the region and a global player in the wine trade. A considerable portion of its wines are exported to markets around the world, including Canada. Today, Christian Ress is at the helm of the estate. 46 hectares.

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