Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tour and Tasting at Weingut von Oetinger, Rheingau, with Achim von Oetinger – Germany-North 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Tasting with Achim von Oetinger, Weingut von Oetinger, Erbach, Rheingau

The first stop on the Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours was an old buddy of Annette and me: Achim von Oetinger. Based in Erbach in the Rheingau, which is 45 minutes away from Frankfurt by car, we see him regularly at events when we are in Germany.

Pictures: Welcome

Achim von Oetinger is one of the new stars of the Rheingau. It is not without reason that he was Stuart Pigott’s Discovery of the Year 2015. See: Best German Wines and Winemakers – Stuart Pigott’s Favorites (December 2014)

Weingut von Oetinger is undergoing a major transformation, as Achim is in the process of re-integrating the winery of his cousin into Weingut von Oetinger. Both wineries used to be one winery 3 generations ago.

Achim showed us around and poured some wine for us. We walked over to what is left of the former winery of his cousin and then back to Weingut von Oetinger, where we visited the cellar and tried half a dozen of wines on the terrace.

Picture: Achim von Oetinger with Annette and Christian Schiller at the 2015 Wine Week in Wiesbaden, Germany. See: Schiller’s Impressions from the 2015 Wine Week in Wiesbaden, Germany

Weingut von Oetinger

The von Oetinger family can look back on a viticultural tradition dating from 1828. Achim von Oetinger, the third generation of the founding family, and his wife Julia run the Erbach estate today. Achim sees the estate as a successful blend of traditional Rheingau conventions and a modern enterprise. Or, as Achim puts it, this is where the traditional and contemporary worlds meet. In 1958 the estate was divided between the brothers Eberhard and Robert. Recently, the two estates have become one again. 11 hectares of vineyards now belong to the estate, of which 90% are planted with Riesling, the rest with the Burgundy grapes: Pinot-Noir, Pinot-Blanc, Pinot-Gris.

Pictures: Walking over to the Former Estate of Achim's Cousin

Stuart Pigott on Achim von Oetinger

Stuart Pigott: Achim von Oetinger is not a Berliner, at least not normally. After looking very carefully at this photograph of the winegrower from Erbach, Rheingau I took the other evening at Berlin wine merchant Planet Wine I’m not sure how to describe him, except to say that obviously, he isn’t smiling. Not being able to smile would certainly be some kind of problem, and might well indicate some deeper psychological issues, but blindly insisting on smiling come what may would surely be no less strange and inappropriate. Likewise, when it comes to wine what makes the taste fascinating isn’t the bright, ripe fruit flavors, rather the less obviously attractive characteristics that set up a tension with the immediately appealing elements. At least, this seems to me to be a good description of what his new wines are like. My gut feeling is that we’ll be hearing a lot more about Achim von Oetinger and his Rheingau Rieslings that are both attractive and fascinating.

US Exports

Until very recently, Achim’s wines were not available in the USA. This has changed. Arrowine, a leading wine store in the Washington DC area, is importing them as is Sacred Thirst Selections in California.

Picture: Annette and Christian Schiller at Arrowine in Arlington, Virginia, with the Wines of Achim von Oetinger, Weingut von Oetinger

Arrowine on Weingut von Oetinger

Arrowine: Though misconceptions about Riesling abound, it remains a noble and extremely high quality white wine grape that makes some of the world greatest, highest rated, most collected, most cherished, most complex, most expensive and most age worthy white wines. Styles range from bone-dry to nectar-sweet. Please come to Arrowine this weekend to experience a taste of an exceptionally good, very dry Riesling from terrific old vines, the 2013 Von Oetinger "Alte Reben" Riesling Trocken from Rheingau, Germany.
This excellent 2013 dry Riesling comes from the terrific von Oetinger estate in the Rheingau's fabulous Erbach region. It is 100% Riesling from a small estate-owned hillside vineyard of very low yielding old vines. It shows the remarkably vivid and focused flavors, concentration, complexity and length that define high-quality Rieslings. It will age beautifully for at least 5-7 more years.

Pictures: Back at Weingut von Oetinger

The exemplary von Oetinger estate is a prestigious 3rd generation estate founded by a family that's been growing wine grapes around Erbach since 1828. In recent years the estate's quality has skyrocketed under Achim Von Oetinger (the 3rd generation of the family wine business). This jump in quality was noted by the important Gault Millau wine publication which recently wrote: "This has been a recent climber, and the shape of the curve continues further upward as the wines show ever higher quality and individuality." This estate was also named the "Discovery of the Year" by FAZ Magazine.

This beautiful white wine is very dry ("trocken") and comes from a distinguished vineyard in the great Hohenrain vineyard area, with vines over 50 years old ("Alte Reben" means "Old Vines"). This vineyard is near the village of Erbach, a renowned wine village in Germany's famed Rheingau region. According to Achim von Oetinger, this old vine dry Riesling is "his answer to Spätlese."

The von Oetinger estate is a top producer of the region that has been accepted as a member of the Association of German Prädikat Wine Estates, a group of about 200 estates that includes most (but not all) of Germany's greatest wine producers as members. This association of top growers strictly monitors quality and voluntarily imposes stricter standards on members than under the (already very strict) German wine laws. Their membership in this important group is indicated by the letters "VDP" on the capsule.

Pictures: Tasting with Achim von Oetinger

Sacred Thirst Selections on Weingut Achim von Oetinger

Sacred Thirst Selections: Achim von Oetinger’s family has been growing grapes around Erbach in the Rheingau since 1828. The estate was divided between brothers Robert and Eberhard in 1958 and has since been reunited and Achim, Robert’s grandson, took over winemaking. Quality has been on the rise consistently with Achim and his wife Julia steering the ship as the winery is one of the rising stars in the Rheingau, and a member of the prestigious VDP which holds their members to strict quality standards. The estate holds 11 hectares of vines including the world famous Erbacher Marcobrunn site.

The domaine is focused on Riesling, with the noble variety comprising 90% of the vineyards and production. The remaining varieties include Spatburgunder, Grauburgunder and Weissburgunder. The vineyards are all picked by hand and all styles of wine are produced from sparkling, dry and sweet. Respecting the land by using natural fertilization and allowing suitable plants to grow between the vines are practiced at von Oetinger. White wines are fermented and aged in stainless steel tanks while the Spatburgunder is raised in traditional oak barrels. All of the wines show off Achim’s winemaking skill with the attention to detail in every wine. Powerful, focused, and cut like a diamond are all superlatives that have been used to categorize the qualities of the current releases.

The Wines Achim Poured for us

2014 Weingut von Oetinger, Pinot Blanc de Noir, VDP Gutswein trocken (Light, fine, floral. In general, all of Achim's wines have a floral note).

2014 Weingut von Oetinger, JOTT, VDP Gutswein trocken, aus 55 Jahre alten Rebstöcken. (Müller-Thurgau).

2014 Weingut von Oetinger, Riesling “Lösslehm”, VDP Gutswein trocken. (Achim: This wine shows very well my idea of Riesling. Rounder, more charming than the wines before).

2014 Weingut von Oetinger, Riesling “Mineral”, VDP Gutswein trocken. (very mineral, very pure, minimalistic).

2013 Weingut von Oetinger, Riesling GG trocken, Hohenrain. (this wine has a lot of substance. Is very dry. Achim was one of the first to make very dry GGs in the Rheingau).


Thanks Achim for a great event and hope to see you soon in Washington DC.

Pictures: Bye-bye

Postings: Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir (Posted and Forthcoming)

Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Visit and Tasting at Weingut von Oetinger in Erbach, Rheingau, with Achim von Oetinger

Lunch and Tour: Eberbach Abbey

Tasting at Weingut Chat Sauvage in Johannisberg, Rheingau, with Winemaker Michael Städter

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber in Östrich-Winkel, Rheingau, with Bernd and Ralph Schönleber

Vineyard tour, Cellar tour and Tasting at Weingut Leitz in Rüdesheim, with Johannes Leitz

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut August Kesseler in Assmanshausen, with Winemaker Simon Batarseh

Cruise on the Rhine River from Lorch to Boppard

Tasting at Weingut Matthias Müller in Spay, Mittelrhein, with Matthias Müller and son Johannes Müller

Visit and Tasting at Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss in Mayschoss, Ahr

Tasting Pinot Noir at Weingut Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr with Owners/ Winemakers Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten

Tasting at Weingut Markus Molitor in Haus Klosterberg, Mosel

Tasting at Weingut Jos. Jos. Prüm in Bernkastel-Wehlen, Mosel, with Frau Prüm

The Wines of the Berncasteler Doctor, Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley, Germany

Wining in Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley: Wine Tavern “Spitzhaeuschen”, Germany

Tasting at Weingut Schloss Lieser in Lieser, Mosel, with Thomas Haag

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Forstmeister Geltz-Zilliken in Saarburg, Saar with Hanno Zilliken

Lunch at Landgasthof Zur Traube in Meddersheim, Nahe: Remembering Klaus Peter Wodartz' Ente in Wiesbaden

Tasting at Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich in Bockenau, Nahe

Dinner with Wine Pairing at the new Wine Tavern of Weingut Kruger-Rumpf in Bingen, Rheinhessen, with Stefan Rumpf

Tasting at Weingut Tesch in Langenlonsheim, Nahe, with Martin Tesch

Cellar Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Hans Lang in Hattenheim, Rheingau, with Urban Kaufmann and Eva Raps

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