Friday, February 26, 2016
Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Müller Catoir – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
This outstanding, castle-like impressive estate - visible on the Haardt hill from afar - in the Neustadt suburb of Haardt, the so called balcony of the Pfalz with a very favorable microclimate, has been in the Müller-Catoir family since 1744. For more than a century the winery was managed by women who left a pronounced mark on the estate. Today ninth generation Philipp David Catoir is running the winery.
This was a “walking tasting”. We tasted the wines during the vineyard tour and the cellar tour. Andrea Müller was our host.
Weingut Müller Catoir is in the Theise/ Skurnik portfolio of German wines.
Weingut Müller Catoir
Theise/ Skurnik: Family owned since 1774 with 9 generations tending the vines, the winery is now run by Philipp David Catoir. Martin Franzen, hailing from the Mosel, with experience as head of operations at Schlossgut Diel in the Nahe and Gut Nagelsforst in Baden, took over winemaking responsibility from Hans-Günther Schwarz in 2001. In an effort to showcase terroir and varietal character, Müller-Catoir has adopted the following philosophy of winegrowing: “Vines were grown by natural methods with organic fertilization, permanent green cutting that gets more and more radical every summer, and ever-greater selective harvesting with hand-picking of grapes for even the most “basic” kabinett wine – all these measures cannot help but produce only a small yield of wines with a mineral note, a filigree acidity structure and exotic fruit aromas.” The estate began an organic conversion in 2007 and completed their first organic vintage in 2009. The vineyards in Haardt are composed of primary rock (urgestein) and sandstone, with an increasing proportion of gravel lower on the slopes. Vineyards of Gimmeldingen contain more loess and sand, while the vineyards of Mussbach are the most gravelly. Müller-Catoir also bottles several “micro parcels”; one of which, the Breumel in den Mauern, is a monopole inside the Burgergarten which was first planted 700 years ago, and is also one of the oldest vineyards in the Pfalz.
Müller-Catoir was a pioneer of reductive winemaking in Germany. The estate implements a gentle crush, a long skin contact, slow gentle pressing, and then ferments at warmer than customary fermentation temperatures in stainless steel. The wine is racked only once and very late. Müller-Catoir produces wines of outstanding transparency and density, and remains emblematic of Riesling at its most sophisticated.
Vineyard area: 21 hectares
Annual production: 12,500 cases
Vineyard holdings: Haardt – Bürgergarten, Herzog (both sandstone) and Herrenletten (loam, limestone); Gimmeldingen – Mandelgarten (weathered sandstone and löss): Mußbach – Eselshaut (gravel)
Farming Practice: Certified Organic
Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2016
Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2016: Man darf mit Fug und Recht sagen, dass das Weingut Müller-Catoir wie ein Fels in der Brandung steht. Um es herum ist Aktion, Alarm, Mode hier, Trend dort – und Müller-Catoir in aller Ruhe mittendrin, unbeirrt seinen eigenen Stil verfolgend. Der drückt sich etwa darin aus, sich niemandem anzubiedern durch ein möglichst breit aufgestelltes Sortiment – etwas mehr als eine Handvoll Rebsorten genügen hier. Auch die Anzahl der trockenen Rieslinge ist überschaubar: vom Gutswein „MC geht es über Haardt, Bürgergarten und Herrenletten schnurstracks zum Großen Gewächs Im Breumel. Alles fein und klar definiert, durchaus aristokratisch zu nennen. Unglaublich strahlend erneut der trockene Muskateller, den man in dieser Art so nicht mehr findet in der Pfalz. Das gilt ebenso für die Linie an edelsüßen Gewächsen mit ihrer faszinierenden Klarheit, Opulenz und Fülle.
The Wines we Tasted
We tasted mainly vintage 2014 wines. Stephan Reinhardt (Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate | Germany: Vintage 2014: All Along the Rhine River | Dec 31 2015) wrote about the vintage 2014 wines in Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate: "[..]The 2014s Rieslings are simply excellent and the noble sweet Rieslaners are outstanding. Indeed, the wines of MC have become deeper and even more precise and elegant in recent years. I already liked the 2013s, but I was really impressed by the quality and intensity of the 2014s. These are concentrated and well balanced, and come along with moderate alcohol levels which Martin Franzen compares to those of the 1990s. They are true individuals in a very noble and balanced style, although they don't lack tension or expression.[..]"
2014 Weingut Müller-Catoir Scheurebe VDP.Gutswein
2014 Weingut Müller-Catoir Haardt Riesling VDP.Ortswein (89+ Parker)
2014 Weingut Müller-Catoir Bürgergarten Riesling VDP.Erste Lage (92 Parker)
2012 Weingut Müller-Catoir Herrenletten Grauburgunder (im Holzfass gereift) VDP.ErsteLage
2011 Weingut Müller-Catoir Gimmeldinger Riesling Kabinett VDP.Ortswein
2014 Weingut Müller-Catoir Bürgergarten Im Breumel Riesling Spätlese VDP.GrosseLage (93 Parker)
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