Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Judging at Wine Competitions in Virginia (USA), Pfalz (Germany) and Rheinhessen (Germany)

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller with Fellow Judges Dagmar Ehrlich in Hamburg, Germany (A New, Very Useful Wine Book: Dagmar Ehrlich’s “Rebsorten ABC”) and Frank Morgan in Brescia, Italy (Blogging, Wining and Dining at the European Wine Bloggers Conference (#EWBC) October 2011 in Brescia, Italy – A Tour D’ Horizont)

In the next couple of weeks, I will be a judge at 3 Wine Competitions in the USA and Germany. In the first one, Suffolk, in the south of Virginia in the USA, we will rate Virginia wines from the last vintage; in the second one, in Bad Duerkheim in the Pfalz in Germany, we will rate Rieslings from all over the world from the last couple of vintages and in the third one, in Oppenheim in Rheinhessen in Germany, we will rate German organic wines from the last vintage.

Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic on May 21, 2012


The blind judging will take place in Suffolk, in the south of Virginia during the day of Monday, 21 May.  It is the fifth Virginia Wine Lover Magazine Wine Classic,  organized by the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine. The results will be released in the following issue of the Virginia Wine Lover Magazine.

Wines will be judged, double-blind, using the modified Davis 20-Point system by a panel evaluating each on their relative merits within their category. There will be platinum, gold, silver and bronze medal awards. There will be multiple winners in each category.

Wine Producer Virginia

Virginia is the 5th largest wine industry in the US, with nearly 200 wineries and 2,500 acres of vineyards.

For more on Virginia, see:

TasteCamp 2012 in Virginia, USA – A Tour d’Horizont

Touring Virginia Wineries - Fabbioli Cellars, 8 Chains North and Breaux Vineyards - with Virginia Wine Expert Allan Liska

In the original charter of the thirteen colonies was a royal commission to pursue three luxury items that England was unable to provide for itself: wine, silk, and olive oil. Every colony made attempts to satisfy the requirements of its charter. Despite many years of failure, the early Americans persisted in their efforts. A big step forward was made in 1740 when a natural cross pollination occurred between a native American grape and a European vitis vinifera. Other successful crossings followed.

In 1762, John Carter, who had 1,800 vines growing at Cleve Plantation, sent 12 bottles to the Royal Society of Encouragement of the Arts, Manufacture and Commerce in London for their evaluation. Minutes of their meeting on the 20th of October 1762 declared Carter’s wines to be “excellent” and a decision was taken to reward Carter’s efforts with a gold medal for his wines. These were the first internationally recognized fine wines produced in America.

Over the past 30 years or so, Virginia wines have experienced a tremendous development - to elegant and balanced, mostly European vinifera-based wines. Recently, Donald Trump as well as AOL founder Steve Case bought a Virginia winery.

Today, the vitis vinifera grapes Chardonnay and Viognier are the leading white varieties.Increasingly they are made without any or with neutral oak, to retain natural acidity and freshness. It appears Viognier is on its way to becoming Virginia’s official “signature grape”.

For French-American hybrid varieties, Seyval Blanc is still popular, but resembles now the fresh and crisp wines from France’s South West. Vidal has become the backbone of the artificially frozen (cryoextraction), ice wine which I am not a great fan of.  Cryoextraction is an approach, developed by the French, which kind of simulates the frost in the vineyard in the wine cellar.

As far as red wines are concerned, there has been a shift from straight varietal wines to blends, with the blends now being dominated by Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Mirroring the Virginia white wines, there is an increasing focus on neutral oak and clean, vibrant fruit.

Tannat, Uruguay’ signature grape from the South West of France, is showing up in more Virginia wines, usually as a blend. The only red French American hybrid which has performed consistently well in Virginia is Chambourcin, which resembles the Gamay grape of Beaujolais.

Finally, Claude Thibault, a native from France, has taken Virginia sparkling wines to a new level. His NV Thibault-Janisson Brut, made from 100 percent Chardonnay, which President Obama offered his guests at his first state dinner, is as close as you can get to Champagne outside of France. See more: "As Close as You Can Get to (French) Champagne at the US East Coast – Claude Thibaut and His Virginia Thibaut Janisson Sparklers at screwtop Wine Bar"

Best of Riesling 2012 on May 30 in Germany

Every other year, the Best of Riesling competition takes place in Germany, organized by the Ministry of Wine of the Land Rheinland Pfalz. Note that the Land Rheinland Pfalz has a Ministry of Wine! In 2012, it is being held for the seventh time.

For more on Best of Riesling, see:

Best of Riesling Awards 2010

“Hoffest” (Winery Party) at Weingut Heinrich Baison in Hochheim, Rheingau - Best of Riesling 2010 Award Winner

Best of Riesling Awards 2008

Riesling

Worldwide, there are about 34.000 hectares planted with Riesling. Germany – with 22.400 hectares – accounts for 2/3 of the total. The second largest Riesling producer is Australia, with 4500 hectares. But this is only about 1/10 of the total. Nevertheless, Australia was a bit underrepresented at the 1st International Riesling Symposium. Alsace follows with 3500 hectares. Austria, the US with Washington State and New York State as well as New Zealand make up the remainder. But overall Riesling is really a niche wine, accounting for only less than 1 percent of total wine production in the world - but a very special niche wine.

Here are the various categories.

Kategorie 1: Trockene deutsche Rieslinge – Category 1: Dry German Rieslings - Up to 4 grams per liter residual sugar.

Kategorie 2: Halbtrockene deutsche Rieslinge – Category 2: Semi-dry German Rieslings - Up to 12 grams per liter residual sugar.

Kategorie 3: Fruchtig-süße deutsche Rieslinge – Category 3: Fruity-sweet German Rieslings - From 12 to 90 grams per liter residual sugar.

Kategorie 4: Edelsüße deutsche Rieslinge - Category 4: Noble-sweet German Rieslings - With more than 90 grams residual sugar per liter.

Kategorie 5: Bester europäischer Riesling – Category 5: Best European Riesling

Kategorie 6: Bester Riesling aus der Neuen Welt – Category 6: Best New World Riesling

Ecowinner of ECOVIN on June 5 in Oppenheim, Germany

ECOVIN is an association of winegrowers in Germany whose nearly 200 members with 1.000 ha vineyards are practicing organic viticulture and organic winemaking according to ECOVIN-guidelines. To date about one percent of viticulturists in Germany produce wine according ECOVIN-guidelines. Importantly, the Econvin certification covers the whole process of wine making, comprising grape growing in the vineyard and wine making in the cellar.

Lotte Pfeiffer Mueller is the current President of Ecovin. I have visited her and her Weingut Brueder Dr. Becker and written about the wines of Weingut Brueder Dr. Becker: "Excellency and Ecology: Weingut Brueder Dr. Becker, Rheinhessen, Germany"

See also:

Blogging for Organic Wine – New Ways of Wine Experience: The Organic Wines of Oekoweingut Hubertushof at Prowein 2012 in Germany

The Categories

Kategorie 1 | Sekt - Sparkler

Kategorie 2 | Secco

Kategorie 3 | Rosé | Weißherbst

Kategorie 4 | Riesling trocken, bis inkl. 12,5 Vol. %

Kategorie 5 | Burgunderfamilie trocken, bis inkl. 12,5 Vol. % - Pinot family (white)

Kategorie 6 | alle anderen Rebsorten trocken, bis inkl. 12,5 Vol. % - all other grape varieties

Kategorie 7 | Riesling trocken größer 12,5 Vol. %

Kategorie 8 | Burgunderfamilie und alle anderen Rebsorten trocken größer 12,5 Vol. %

Kategorie 9 | Riesling Restsüße 10-24g/l

Kategorie 10 | übrige Rebsorten Restsüße 10-24g/l – all other grape varieties with remaining sugar 10 – 24 g/l

Kategorie 11 | alle Rebsorten Restsüße größer 25g/l und Dessertweine

Kategorie 12 | leichte Rotweine bis 12,5% - light red wines

Kategorie 13 | Spätburgunder, ohne Barrique größer 12,5 Vol. % - Pinot Noir without oak

Kategorie 14 | alle anderen Rotweine, ohne Barrique größer 12,5 Vol. % - all other grape varieties without oak

Kategorie 15 | Rotweine aus dem Barrique, alle Rebsorten größer 12,5 Vol. % - red wines aged in barrique

Kategorie 16 | Weiße PIWI – white fungus resistant grape varieties

Kategorie 17 | Rote PIWI – red fungus resistant grape varieties



schiller-wine: Related Postings

TasteCamp 2012 in Virginia, USA – A Tour d’Horizont

Touring Virginia Wineries - Fabbioli Cellars, 8 Chains North and Breaux Vineyards - with Virginia Wine Expert Allan Liska

A New, Very Useful Wine Book: Dagmar Ehrlich’s “Rebsorten ABC”

Best of Riesling Awards 2010

“Hoffest” (Winery Party) at Weingut Heinrich Baison in Hochheim, Rheingau - Best of Riesling 2010 Award Winner

Best of Riesling Awards 2008

"Excellency and Ecology: Weingut Brueder Dr. Becker, Rheinhessen, Germany"

Blogging for Organic Wine – New Ways of Wine Experience: The Organic Wines of Oekoweingut Hubertushof at Prowein 2012 in Germany

Blogging, Wining and Dining at the European Wine Bloggers Conference (#EWBC) October 2011 in Brescia, Italy – A Tour D’ Horizont

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