Sunday, December 13, 2015
Tasting at Weingut Dautel in Württemberg with Christian Dautel - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
More wine is consumed in Württemberg (per capita) than anywhere else in Germany - actually twice as much as in the rest of Germany. The German poet Friedrich von Schiller wrote already several centuries ago: “A Württemberger without wine--is that a real Württemberger?”
Yet, the wines of Württemberg are very difficult to find outside of Germany. This is changing slowly, as the world is discovering the outstanding German red wines.
On this tour, we visited 4 of Württemberg’s leading producers: von Neipperg, Dautel, Rainer Schnaitmann and Herzog von Württemberg.
This posting covers the visit of Weingut Dautel, where we enjoyed an outstanding tasting. Sita Oberdorf was our host. Christian Dautel joined us.
The German Wine Guide Eichelmann lists Weingut Dautel in the top group of 25 wineries with 5 stars. Since 2005, the Gault Millau WeinGuide lists Weingut Dautel in the group with 4 grapes (with 5 grapes being the maximum).
Wine Region Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 German states that make up Germany. Baden-Wuerttemberg is one of the growth centers of Germany due to its booming export industries. Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are prime examples. Baden-Württemberg comprises two wine growing areas, Baden and Württemberg.
Wine from Württemberg is mainly red wine. The main production area is along the Neckar River between Stuttgart and Heilbronn. There are also vineyards on Lake Constance that belong to Württemberg.
More wine is consumed here (per capita) than anywhere else in Germany - actually twice as much as in the rest of Germany. The German poet Friedrich von Schiller wrote already several centuries ago: “A Württemberger without wine--is that a real Württemberger?”
The Trollinger is the most popular variety, which is grown almost exclusively in Württemberg. It is a nice table wine that goes well with the local food. If you are looking for a premium wine, Lemberger (known as Blaufränkisch in Austria and Kékfrankos in its Hungarian homeland) is the grape variety to go for. The Lemberger made by Weingut Dautel and Weingut Wachstetter, which we had during the tour, can compete with the best red wines in the world.
With 11,000 hectares under vine, Württemberg is Germany's fourth largest wine region. Winemaking cooperatives are very common in Württemberg, number around 70, and are responsible for almost 75% of the region's production.
Wines from Württemberg are hard to find in the US. This is partly explained by the production structure, which is dominated by co-operatives. These co-operatives are known for producing top class wines. But they tend to be less aggressive in terms of penetrating new markets.
Weingut Dautel is in Bönnigheim and run by Christian Dautel, with the help of his father Ernst. Ernst Dautel is in his mid-60s. He just transferred formal ownership of the winery to his son Christian, who studied at Geisenheim Collegue and after a number of internships around the world is ready to take over. Ernst Dautel also studied at Geisenheim in the 1970s and then took over from his parents, who had previously delivered their grapes to the local cooperative. In the 1970s, it was a very small operation with just 1 hectare of vines. Since then, Ernst Dautel has expanded to 10.5 hectares of vineyards, all on the eastern extension of the Stromberg hill.
Right from the beginning, Ernst Dautel went his own way. He was one of the first in Germany to ferment and age his red wine in barriques. Also, in the 1990s, he was one of the first winemakers to produce premium blends in Germany, such as the „Kreation Rot“, while Württemberg was and still is dominated by single variety wines. Also, in 1988 he started to plant Chardonnay and other international grape varieties in Germany, which was very rare at the time.
Today, red grapes account for 60%, including Lemberger, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir and Samtrot, and white grapes account for 40%, including Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc. This represent - compared with the rest of Wuerttemberg - a high share of white wines.
The top vineyards are the Bönnigheim Sonnenberg and the Besigheim Wurmberg.
The Bönnigheim Sonnenberg: About 1200 years ago the vineyards of Bönnigheim were officially denoted for very nutrient trassic formations in the soil. The grounds are made up of pied clay, red sandstone, and gipsum trassic. Mainly grapes for fully developed vines are maturating here. These rich grapes guarantee great maturating capabilities with a long durability.
The Besigheim Wurmberg: The shell lime terrace grounds at the southern slope of the Wurberg lay at the shore of the river Enz. With dryly set off supporting walls it was possible to build nearly horizontally leveled terraces. They provide an advantageous microclimate, which saves up a lot of humidity for a long time and releases the heat absorbed during day in the night. The rich in minerals shell lime ground generates very finess enriched and filigree wines.
In the cellar, Weingut Dautel follows a minimal intervention approach. Pumping and filtrating is kept to a minimum. The wine is made in stainless steel tanks, large wood casks (“Stückfässer”) and small barrique barrels, depending on the wine.
Christian Dautel: “The basis for our strong and characterful red wines is a long, classic maceration. Because of their nice tannic structure, our red wines age very well. For our 4 star wines, the maceration is followed by barrel aging for almost two years, which contributes to a harmonious integration of the oak note. As for the white wines, preserving the flavors and the fine acidity are important for us. A long aging on the lees provides the finesse that characterizes our white wines. You can discover the art of "assemblage in our two white wine blends and their two red wine cuvée partners. A perfect combination of the individual notes of the different grape varieties in the blend is the secret of these great wines.”
2013 Weingut Dautel Riesling Sekt brut
2014 Weingut Dautel Riesling Gipskeuper VDP.Ortswein
2014 Weingut Dautel Riesling Wurmberg VDP.Erste Lage
2014 Weingut Dautel Weisburgunder Gipskeuper VDP.Ortswein
2013 Weingut Dautel Riesling Grübenstein GG VDP.Grosse Lage
2013 Weingut Dautel Trollinger Terrassenlage VDP.Gutswein
2013 Weingut Dautel Spätburgunder Schilfsandstein VDP.Ortswein
2011 Weingut Dautel Spätburgunder Sonnenberg VDP.Erste Lage
2011 Weingut Dautel Spätburgunder Kalkschupen GG VDP.Grosse Lage
2011 Weingut Dautel Lemberg Sonnenberg VDP.Erste Lage
2012 Weingut Dautel Lemberg St. Michaelsfeder GG VDP.Grosse Lage
2011 Weingut Dautel Kreation Rot S
Thanks Christian and Sita for an extraordinary line-up of wines.
Postings: Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015) (Published and Forthcoming)
Preview: Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
The Art Marketer: OMBIASY PR & WINE TOURS - Germany-East
Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Tasting at Weingut Lützkendorf with Uwe Lützkendorf – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Weingut Pawis (Saale Unstrut): Estate Tour and Wine Tasting with Markus Pawis – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Weingut Thürkind in Gröst, Saale-Unstrut: Tour, Tasting and Lunch – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in the Saale Unstrut Region, Germany
Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, Prinz zur Lippe, in Zadel, Sachsen: Tour and Tasting with Prinz zur Lippe – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Dining with Prinz zur Lippe, Owner of Weingut Schloss Proschwitz, at the Lippe’sches Gutshaus - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Weingut Karl Friedrich Aust in Radebeul, Sachsen: Tour and Lunch with Tasting – Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Visit of Weingut Klaus Zimmerling: The Wines of Klaus Zimmerling and the Art of his Wife Malgorzata Chodakoska - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany
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Visit and Tasting at Weingut Am Stein Ludwig Knoll in Würzburg, Franken - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Tasting and Tour with the Pinot Noir Legend Paul Fürst, Weingut Rudolf Fürst in Bürgstadt, Franken – Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Schiller’s Favorites: 2 Legendary Wine Taverns in Würzburg – Juliusspital and Bürgerspital
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Graf Neipperg in Schwaigern, Württemberg – Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Tasting at Weingut Dautel in Württemberg with Christian Dautel
Wine Pairing Dinner at Restaurant Friedrich von Schiller in Bietigheim-Bissingen in Württemberg
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Herzog von Württemberg at Schloss Monrepos with Owner F.R.H. Carl Duke of Württemberg
Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting with Rainer Schnaitmann at Weingut Rainer Schnaitmann in Fellbach, Württemberg
Wine Tasting at Weingut Simon-Bürkle in Zwingenberg, Hessische Bergstrasse