Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Tasting at Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr, with Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016
From Thursday, May 05, 2016 to Wednesday, May 11, 2016, we spent 7 days on the Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours, touring 5 German wine regions (Rheingau, Mittelrhein, Ahr, Mosel and Nahe), tasting fabulous wines, meeting world-renowned wine makers, visiting a top notch Sekt house, and delving deep into German history and culture. The group was small - there were 5 of us, including Annette and Christian Schiller.
I have provided aon overview here: Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir
We stayed 1 night in the Ahr region - at the beautiful Steigenberger Hotel in Bad Neuenahr – and visited 2 producers: Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss in Mayschoss and Weingut Kreuzberg in Dernau. In addition, we had lunch at the Gutsschänke of the Meyer-Näkel, one of the best if not the best producer in the Ahr.
With red wines accounting for 90% of the output in the Ahr, these visits were dominated by delicious Spätburgunder wines, in contrast to the white wine domination before (in the Mittelrhein and the Rheingau) and after (in the Mosel). The Ahr valley north of the 50 °latitude is unquestionable the northernmost region for producing top Pinot-Noirs. The secret lies in an ideal micro-climate found in the narrow canyons along the river with their very special geological conditions, and south-facing slopes. Wine making along the tiny Ahr river goes back to Roman times. There is no other wine region in the world with such a high concentration of Pinot Noir (86%).
I have already reported about our visit of the Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss. This posting covers the visit of Weingut Kreuzberg.
Owners/ winemakers Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten were our hosts.
Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg
This winery has long been recognized as one of the top estates for producing great Pinot-Noirs in Germany. It is a young estate by German standards.
Weingut Kreuzberg was founded in 1953 by the grandfather of the current co-owner, Ludwig Kreuzberg. In the estate’s second generation, “Jupp” headed the business for over 40 years together with his wife, Maria, his sister, Angela and his brother-in-law, Johannes. During this time they expanded the vineyards to an area of 3.5 hectares.
In 1994, “Jupp” passed the business on to his son Ludwig. His brother remained the cellar master for 10 years until he left and started to produce his own wine. In 2007, Albert Schauman, while making the wines at Weingut Jean Stodden, started to consult with Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg. In 2013 Frank Josten joined the team.
Today Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten co-manage the estate, which has grown to cover 12 hectares (9 hectares owned and 3 hectares leased). Since 2013, Albert Schauman is the head winemaker.
Frank Josten: In the vineyard, we practice integrated wine growing. Organic soil cultivation (fertilisation with animal dung, straw covering, bark mulch or covering with vegetation) plays a vital role in this. Cutting back the vines in the premium positions leads to a limitation of yield which may be lower than 35 hl/ha. Partial leaf removal from the vines in late summer and thinning of the grapes, as well as selective hand-picking are important aspects of the work in our vineyards.
2/3s of the vineyards are on steep slopes with a high proportion of Devonian slate; soils that give the Ahr wines their typical character.
In the cellar, all dry red wines are produced in a traditional manner, i.e. with open mash fermentation and in old or new oak casks (Barriques). Malolactic fermentation and gentle filtration are also important elements of our philosophy.
Germany’s Collection of the Year 2011 (Gault Millau)
Gault Millau: A pleasing upwards trend in Dernau. The Wine-growing estate belonging to Ludwig Kreuzberg has been on the up for several years and has been one of the Ahr’s best estates for a long time. However, the Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir Précoce from 2008 has been a great success for the family business.
The wines are wonderfully structured, showing clean and lasting fruity aromas and posess class and elegance thanks to their perfectly integrated acidity and fine tannins.
The Pinot Noir from the Devonian slate stands out from this most harmonious collection as an example of elegant Burgundy style. [...]”
The Wines we Tasted
Frank Josten led the tasting in the beginning. Midway through the tasting, Ludwig Kreuzberg took over.
NV, Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Blanc de Noir Sekt
2015 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Blance de Noir
2014 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Spätburgunder
2014 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Spätburgunder Unplugged
2014 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Frühburgunder C
2013 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Devonschiefer Spätburgunder
2013 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Ahrweiler Silberberg, Spätburgunder GG
2012 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Dernauer Hardtberg Frühburgunder GG
Pictures: Thanks Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten for a great tasting.
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
Tour and Tasting at Weingut von Oetinger, Rheingau, with Achim von Oetinger – Germany-North 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Lunch and Tour: Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Bourgogne in Riesling Land: Tasting at Chat Sauvage in Johannisberg, Rheingau, with Winemaker Michael Städter – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
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Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Leitz in Rüdesheim, with Johannes Leitz – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut August Kesseler in Assmanshausen, with Winemaker Simon Batarseh – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Rhine River Cruise in the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Tasting at Weingut Matthias Müller in Spay, Mittelrhein, with Johannes and Matthias Müller - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours
Visit and Tasting at Winzergenossenschaft Mayschoss in Mayschoss, Ahr – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016
Tasting Pinot Noir at Weingut Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr with Owners/ Winemakers Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten
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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
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Cellar Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Hans Lang in Hattenheim, Rheingau, with Urban Kaufmann and Eva Raps