Friday, April 4, 2014

Weingut von Hoevel – The New Generation: Max von Kunow in Washington DC, USA/Germany

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Max von Kunow, Weingut von Hoevel, Saar, at BToo in Washington DC

Winemaker Max von Kunow from the famous Weingut von Hoevel in the Saar Valley in Germany was in town (Washington DC). He came with Johannes Hasselbach, Weingut Gunderloch, Germany and Alwin Jurtschitsch, Weingut Jurtschitsch, Kamptal, Austria, to (1) present his Weingut and wines to a small group of sommeliers and wine writers over lunch and (2) to present with Johannes and Max their Wurzelwerk project. The lunch took place at BToo, the up and coming restaurant of Bart.

Picture: BToo in Washington DC

Both events were organized by Rudi Wiest Selections and Annette Schiller, ombiasy PR and WineTours. The upcoming Germany North Tour by ombiasy will include a visit ofMax von Kunow and Weingut von Hoevel. For more information, see:

3 Wine Tours by ombiasy Coming up in 2014: Germany-North, Germany-South and Bordeaux
ombiasy Public Relations

Picture: Annette Schiller, Ombiasy PR and WineTours, Max von Kunow and Johannes Hasselbach

This posting is the last posting in a mini-series covering Wurzelwerk and the 3 contributing wineries:

Special Wine Event on March 18, 2014, in Washington DC with "Wurzelwerk": 3 Terroirs, 3 Winemakers and 9 Wines
"Wurzelwerk" Goes America: 3 Vineyards, 3 Winemakers and 9 Wines
Weingut Gunderloch – The New Generation: Owner Johannes Hasselbach in Washington DC, US
The Wines of Stefanie and Alwin Jurtschitsch, Weingut Jurtschitsch, Kamptal, Austria
Weingut von Hoevel – The New Generation: Max von Kunow in Washington DC, US

Max von Kunow and Weingut von Hoevel

Rudi Wiest (US Importer of Weingut von Hoevel): Eberhard von Kunow was the proprietor of the von Hövel estate from 1973 until 2010 when his son Maximilian von Kunow (the 7th generation) took charge. Already in the first year, Max achieved great success in the Gault-Millau/German Wine Guide producing one of the top three Kabinetts (Oberemmeler Hütte) and the top Feinherb Riesling from the Scharzhofberg both from the 2010 vintage. He also started the estate on the road of organic production. While his father produced mostly fruity style wines, Max wants to produce more dry styled Rieslings. His 2011 Scharzhofberger Grosses Gewächs, (93 points), was one of the highest scored dry wines in the Wein-Plus, a German newsletter.

Pictures: Max von Kunow Explaining

Johannes E. Grach, an ancestor, purchased the estate in 1806 after secularization forced the church to give up the property. He also, at the same time, acquired the Kanzemer Hörecker (also under the control of the estate) and Wawerner Herrenberg, (both monopoles), and the latter under the direction of Günther Jauch (also 7th generation). Mr. Jauch is a well known TV personality in Germany moderating “The Millionaire” show. The manor house, completed in the 12th century, was initially an abbey retreat for the famous wine monastery of St. Maximin in Trier. The old cellar is today as it was over 800 years ago.

Picture: Andrew Myers, Sommelier, CityZen and Kathy Morgan, MS, Consultant

The von Hövel estate has ownership in the following vineyards; all planted 100% to Riesling:

Oberemmeler Hütte – (17.5 Acres) a monopole of the estate – very light soil, weathered slate, it produces some of the most delicate, subtle, yet steely Rieslings in Germany.

Scharzhofberg – (7.5 acres) deeper, heavier soil, strong weathered grey slate with high proportion of rocks and gravel (70%), it produces more masculine wines.

Picture: Todd M. Godbout (Wine Compass Blog), Wine Writer (I Drink on the Job) and Event Organizer (TasteDC) Charlie Adler, Max von Kunow, Weingut von Hoevel and Annette Schiller, ombiasy PR and WineTours

Oberemmeler Rosenberg – the estate owns over 6 acres of the “filet” piece also known as the Rosenkamm, which has many old vine scattered throughout. For example, the 2011 Riesling Estate Spätlese “R” was selected from only those old vines with a yield of only 10hl/ha!

Kanzemer Hörecker – (barely 1 acre) monopole – one of the smallest yet greatest vineyards in the Saar, grey green slate with a proportion clay and red soil.

The estate also owns small portions of the heavy soiled Oberemmeler Karlsberg.

The von Hövel estate produces 5,000 cs and is a founding member of the Mosel VDP. Max’s father Eberhard was for many years the auctioneer for the annual VDP auction in Trier.

Picture: Alwin Jurtschitsch, Weingut Jurtschitsch, Todd M. Godbout (Wine Compass Blog), Chef Bart M. Vandaele and Max von Kunow

Chef Bart M. Vandaele, Belga Café and B Too

With his European flare, Belgium native Bart M. Vandaele has taken Washington DC by storm since opening his Belga Café in the historical Barracks Row area near the Capitol a few years ago. Now he has opened a second restaurant, B Too on 14th Street NW. It is much larger and bit more casual than the Belga Café, but the food is also excellent and the set-up also very appealing.

Picture: Chef Bart M. Vandaele

What We Ate

Oyster on the Half-Shell

Lobster Waffle
Bisque oil/ arugula/ tomato


Steak Tartare
Capers/ crispy onions/ frisee

Josper Grilled Hanger Steak
Roasted vegetables/ Belgian frites/ garlic butter


Potato Crusted Salmon Filet
Quince puree/ yoghurt/ lime/ salsify

Cheese Plate

What we Tasted

Kabinett Scharzhofberger 2008
Spätlese Oberemmeler Huette, 2011
Spätlese Dry "R" 2012

Kabinett Scharzhofberger 2008 - David Bowler: Heavier soils than found in the Hutte make von Hovel’s Scharzhofberg bottlings typically more fruity and rounded with a flashier style. That works out great in a cool, acid-driven year like 2008—the wine is really showing beautifully now that it has shed some of its baby fat. The minerality here is subtle but layered clearly beneath the fruit. A beautiful lobster wine or pairing for any intense, buttery, flavorsome fish.

Spätlese Oberemmeler Huette, 2011 - Max von Hoevel: The aromatics reveal classic Saar pear and apple fruit. This Spätlese was selected from 35 year old vines, and has been fermented with wild yeast. The palate offers fine slate details which mix nicely with the wine’s vivid acid structure, helping delineate the ripe white peach, pear, and hint of red raspberry fruit. Great to enjoy on its own, but also great with salads and spicy dishes including fusion cuisine.

Picture: Tasting Weingut von Hoevel Wines

Spätlese Dry "R" 2012 - David Bowler: A connoisseur’s choice. One risks sounding pompous saying that, but the fact is, this is a big, crunchy, bone-dry wine in a developing stage, teeming with perfumey aromatics like rose hips and talcum, and structured in a clean and refreshing style like cold mineral water with a slice of lemon. The giveaway of the terroir is the incredibly dense, almost tactile sense of slate that coats the mouth at the finish—and JUST WON’T LET GO! An attention-grabbing wine that displays Max von Kunow’s promise as a young winemaker who wants to explore the potential of dry wines at his estate. There are only 7cs of this wine total for New York and New Jersey.

Picture: Annette Schiller, Ombiasy PR and WineTours, Max von Kunow, Johannes Hasselbach, Alwin Jurtschitsch and Christian G.E. Schiller at BToo

Todd M. Godbout (Wine Compass Blog):  The final presentation was given by Max von Kunow who brought along one von Hövel produced by his father and a second of his. The von Hovel estate was a acquired from Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 (a mini Louisiana Mosel Purchase) and Max is the 7th generation wine maker. Before Bonaparte confiscated the land, the manor house and cellar was the retreat for St. Maximin and are over 800 years old. The elder Kunow's wine was the 2008 von Hoevel Riesling Kabinett, Scharzhofberger ($15) and has a peachy-apricot flavor, followed by a creamy mid and a refreshing acidic finish. The younger Kunow's 2012 von Hoevel Riesling Spatlese Dry, Estate ($35) is all tropical fruit, again a creamy mid, with balanced acidity. Pretty amazing.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

3 Wine Tours by ombiasy Coming up in 2014: Germany-North, Germany-South and Bordeaux

German Wine and Culture Tour by ombiasy, 2013

Special Wine Event on March 18, 2014, in Washington DC with "Wurzelwerk": 3 Terroirs, 3 Winemakers and 9 Wines 

Visiting Agnes and Fritz Hasselbach at their Weingut Gunderloch in Nackenheim, Rheinhessen, German

Weingut Pawis in the Saale Unstrut Region - A Profile, Germany

Tasting at Weingut Balthasar Ress, Hattenheim, Rheingau, with Stefan Ress, Germany

Impromptu Winetasting with Alexander Jung, Weingut Jakob Jung, Erbach, Rheingau, Germany

A Tasting at Weingut Peter Jakob Kühn, Rheingau, with Angela and Peter Jakob Kühn, Germany

Tasting with Rita Busch at Weingut Clemens Busch in the Mosel Valley, Germany

Ernst Loosen Presented his Wines at Weingut Dr. Loosen, Bernkastel-Kues, Mosel Valley, Germany

Cellar Tour, Vineyard Tour, Tasting and Lunch with Georg Rumpf, Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Nahe Valley, Germany

An Afternoon with Riesling Star Winemaker Helmut Doennhoff at Weingut Doennhoff in Oberhausen in the Nahe Valley, Germany

The World Meets at Weingut Weegmueller, Pfalz, Germany

Tasting with Johannes and Christoph Thoerle, Weingut Thoerle in Saulheim, Rheinhessen, Germany

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