Monday, August 1, 2011

Meeting Michael Fleischer - Fleischer und Weingut der Stadt Mainz, Germany

Pictures: Christian G.E.Schiller with Michael Fleischer in Mainz and the Cathedral of Mainz

I met Michael Fleischer, the junior boss and winemaker of Weingut Fleischer recently at the Weinfest im Kirchenstueck. We tasted a few wines, focusing on his award-winning red wines. The Fleischer family also leases Weingut der Stadt Mainz.

Fleischer und Weingut der Stadt Mainz – as the venture is usually called, is without any doubt the top winery in Mainz, one of the leading wine cities in Germany, if not the unofficial wine capital of Germany. Mainz has about 30 winemakers.

The Fleischer Family

The history of winemaking in the Fleischer family dates back to the 1740s. In 1968 a new winery was built. Since 1994 the Fleischer family has also operated the Weingut der Stadt Mainz –owned by the city of Mainz - on a long-term lease basis.

Pictures: At the Weinfest im Kirchenstueck with Michael Fleischer (left)

Hans W. Fleischer and his son Michael are in charge of winemaking, although father Hans W. had to step back a bit recently due to an illness. They own 20ha of the best locations around the city of Mainz. Annual production is 170.000 bottles.

Fleischer und Weingut der Stadt Mainz and the German Red Wine Revolution

Michael Fleischer is part of the German red wine revolution. Outside of Germany, it is hard to find a German red wine. The shelves in London, New York and Hong Kong are filled with white wine. When the world thinks of German wine, it thinks of white wine. But there has been a red wine boom in Germany over the past 30 years. The share of red wines in terms of production has increased from 10 percent in the 1980s to about 35 percent now in Germany. Of course, given its location, the German red wines tend to be not like the fruity red wines we know from warmer countries, but lean and more elegant, with a lot of finesse. 30 years ago, in the international scene, people would not talk about German red wine. But this has changed. Germany now produces red wines that can compete with the best of the world.

Pictures: Michael Fleischer

One prominent member of the German red wine revolution is Michael Fleischer. Without doubt, he figures among Germany’s elite of red wine makers. Michael’s 2007 Syrah Edition Michael Fleischer was the runner-up of the Deutscher Rotweinpreis der Zeitschrift Vinum in the category “International Classics”. With the 2007 Cabernet Doro, Michael Fleischer was the winner in the category “Neuzuechtungen” (New Varities).

The Fleischer Portfolio

The wine portfolio is quite extensive and comprises about 50 wines.

Pictures: The Fleischer Wines we had at the Weinfest im Kirchenstueck

Roseweine (rose): 3 items with an entry-level rose for Euro 3.75 in the 1 liter bottle.

Rotweine (red wines): unoaked Portugieser and Dornfelder for around Euro 4 the 0.75 liter bottle.

Rotweine im Holzfass gereift (barrel aged red wines): aged for 12 months in a large barrel; the 2009 Pinot Noir sells for Euro 8.

Unsere Barrique Rotweine (our barrique red wines): these are the top red wines of Michael Fleischer; there are 6 of them; the 2007 Syrah Edition Michael Fleischer costs Euro 38 and was the runner-up of the Deutscher Rotweinpreis der Zeitschrift Vinum (German red wine award/Vinum).

Rieslingweine (Riesling): dry and sweet-style Rieslings ranging from Euro 5 to Euro 10.

Qualitaetsweine in Literflasche (table wines in the liter bottle): both dry and sweet-style below Euro 4 in the liter bottle.

Fruchtbetone Klassiker (fruit-driven classic wines): sweet-style entry level wines.

Burgunder Weine (white burgundy varieties): dry Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay wines in the Euro 5 to Euro 9 price range.

Premium Weine (premium wines): dry Silvaner, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc around Euro 6.

Sekte (sparklers): Half a dozen sparklers; they age for up to 3 years “sur lie” and are in the Euro 5 to 10 range; the 2008 Riesling brut costs Euro 8.

Fruchtig, frische Weine mit feiner Restsuesse (sweet-style wines): Mostly Spaetlese wines for around Euro 5.

Besondere, edelsuesse Raritaeten (noble sweet wines): 2007 Riesling Auslese, 2007 Grauer Burgunder Beerenauslese and 2007 Merlot Eiswein; the Merlot Eiswein goes for Euro 40 in the 0.375 bottle.

Magnum (Magnum): 1.5 liter bottles of Dornfelder, Merlot and Moguntiacum, all dry; the Moguntiacum costs Euro 38.

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