Friday, July 15, 2016

Cellar Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber in Östrich-Winkel, Rheingau, with Ralph and Bernd Schönleber - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Dinner with Ralf Schönleber, Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber in Östrich-Winkel, Rheingau

Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber is the youngest member of the VDP, the association of about 200 elite winemakers, in the Rheingau.

Picture: Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber in Östrich-Winkel, Rheingau

With the highest per capita ratio, the Germans are world champions in sparkling wine (called “Sekt” in Germany) consumption and also top Sekt producers. It was against this background that we visit a top Sekt House, which focuses on quality and produces Sekt, made only in the traditional bottle fermentation method. But Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber is not only a producer of world class Sekt, but also has an impressive portfolio of still wines. In addition, the Wein- and Sektgut F.B. Schönleber is part of a larger complex, which also includes a hotel and a restaurant.

Owners/ winemakers Bernd and Ralf Schönleber were our hosts. Bernd and Ralf’s parents are operating the hotel and the restaurant.

Pictures: Bernd and Ralf Schönleber Welcoming us

While we were there, there was a big wine festival in the Rheingau Region in which Wein- and Sektgut F.B. Schönleber was participating (as was Weingut Chat Sauvage).

We started with a visit of the Sekt-producing facilities, followed by a wine tasting in the tasting room of Wein- and Sektgut F.B. Schönleber. After checking into our rooms at the hotel, we had a lovely dinner at the restaurant of Wein- and Sektgut F.B. Schönleber. Bernd, Ralf and their father joint us for part of the dinner. I had Steak Tartare.

Pictures: Dinner after the Tour and Tasting

Picture: My Dinner - Steak Tartare

Wein- und Sektgut F.B. Schönleber

The Schönleber family can trace its viticulture tradition back to the year 1783. Today, the winery is managed by winemaker brothers Bernd and Ralf Schönleber. They own 11 hectares of vineyards of which 94% are planted with Riesling and 6 % with Pinot Noir, and they produce 80,000 bottles of Riesling and 20,000 bottles of Sekt.

Pictures: Ralf Schönleber Shares with us his Secrets of Sekt-making

The quote of the GaultMillau wineguide for Germany says it all: “This is one of the most reliable wine estates of the Rheingau and it thoroughly understands how to produce top dry Rieslings and excellent sparkling wines.”

Pictures: Tasting with Ralf and Bernd Schönleber

Justin Christoph: FB Schoenleber Rheingau

The wines of Weingut F.B. Schönleber are imported in the USA by New York-based Justin Christoph.

Picture: Ralf Kaiser, Kai Schaetzel, Katharina Wechsler, Justin Christoph, Danielle King and Christian Schiller, see: Weinhaus Bluhm in Mainz: A Cosy and Basic Wine Tavern Serving World Class Wines from Germany

Justin Christoph: Before World War I, the best Rheingau wines had garnered the quality, price and renown of the top Champagne, Bordeaux and Burgundy. We were delighted to discover the small estate of FB Schoenleber gently nestled among several larger Rheingau estates resting on their laurels. In recognition of their rise in quality, FB Schoenleber was one of a handful of growers recently elevated to Germany’s VDP association of top growers. These crystalline wines combine the richness of the Rheingau with a precision usually only found in the Mosel, resulting in great purity and balance.

A rising star of the Rheingau; their wines have a linear, elegant style with all stainless steel elevage with natural yeasts. The family has been growing vines in the area of Oestrich since 1783 and with brothers Bernd and Ralph working in the winery and vineyards respectively the estate has risen to new heights. FB. Schoenleber excels at making dry wines at all different quality levels and they have embraced the new VDP quality pyramid of Gutswein(Estate), Ortswein(Village), Erste Lage(Premier Cru), and Grosse Lage(Grand Cru). Their Sekts, sparkling wines, are their special pride, and undergo secondary fermentation in the bottle with extended lees aging as well as hand riddling and hand disgorgement.

Picture. Justin Christoph and Danielle King from New York at Weinbörse 2016 in Mainz. See: 2016 VDP Trade Fair Weinbörse - Vintage 2015 - in Mainz: Schiller’s Report

2012 FB Schoenleber Riesling Sekt Extra Brut SRP $22.99

This Sekt has very fine bead of small bubbles and a beautiful nose of citrus fruits yeasty complexity from 24 months of aging on lees.The perfect wine for summer, it is a refreshing aperitif that has the stuffing to go onto dinner as well.

2014 FB Schoenleber Riesling Erbacher Trocken SRP: $24.99

2015 FB Schoenleber Riesling Trocken Liter SRP: $18.99

2012 FB Schoenleber Riesling Doosberg GG SRP: $49.99

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