Monday, May 22, 2017

Germany’s Best Ultra-premium Dry Riesling Wines - BerlinRieslingCup 2017, Germany

Pictures: VDP.Grosse Lage Tasting - Annette Schiller with Daniel Wagner, Weingut Wagner-Stempel, Sam Hofschuster, weinplus.de, Klaus Peter Keller, Weingut Keller. See: VDP.Rheinhessen Invited to a Gala Dinner: The World Class Wines of the VDP.Rheinhessen Winemakers and the World Class Food of Philipp Stein (1 Star Michelin, Favorite), with Klaus Peter Keller, Philipp Wittmann, H.O.Spanier, Caroline Gillot-Spanier and Other Rheinhessen Stars

Martin Zwick from Berlin is rapidly building up a reputation as being a mover and shaker in the German wine scene. This is due to the various Berlin Cups that he is organizing.

It all started with the Berlin Riesling Cup a few years ago, a blind tasting and ranking in November of what Martin Zwick considered the leading Grosses Gewächs wines - the ultra-premium dry wines of the VDP producers, Germany’s elite wine makers - that were released on September 1 of the same year. Initially, people did not pay much attention to the BerlinRieslingCup, but this has clearly changed over the years.

Today, the BerlinCup is no longer just about Grosses Gewächs wines. Martin added a (1) BerlinGutsweinCup – ranking entry level dry Riesling wines, a (2) BerlinKabinettCup – ranking lightly sweet Riesling wines at the Kabinett level and (3) BerlinSpätburgunderCup – ranking German Pinot Noir wines. For more, see below.

BerlinRieslingCup

The Berlin RieslingCup is a very special annual ranking of German wines, at least for 2 reasons. First, it includes only dry ultra-premium Rieslings, mainly Grosses Gewächs wines. So, (1) the segment of fruity-sweet and noble-sweet ultra-premium wines, which are so popular in the German export markets, is excluded as is the (2) dry ultra-premium non-Riesling white wine segment, which is being pushed by many in the German wine industry. Second, and what makes this ranking so interesting, it is a very early ranking, basically the first one after the release of the wines in September.

Grosses Gewächs (GG)

What is a Grosses Gewächs wine? There is currently a bit of confusion (and there will be even more confusion in the years to come) as (1) Grosses Gewächs was a term that was created by the VDP only a few years ago and (2) the VDP has created a new classification for German wines that differs radically from the German standard classification (and is still in the process of refining and implementing it). The latest revisions were those that came into effect with the vintage 2012.

Grosses Gewächs and the new German Wine Classification

Although many people think that there is only one wine classification system in Germany – the classification system of the Law of 1971 – this is not correct. True, the classification system of the Law of 1971 is the standard classification system in Germany and the vast majority of winemakers in Germany use this approach. A large number of winemakers, however, have moved away from the standard, in particular the VDP producers.

Pictures: Christian Schiller at the 2016 GG Pre-release Tasting in Wiesbaden, Germany. See: Germany’s Grosses Gewächs GG Wines Released (2015 White and 2014 Red) - Notes from the Pre-release Tasting in Wiesbaden, Germany

In a nutshell, the VDP is moving to a classification system that resembles very much the classification system in the Bourgogne. The classification of the VDP puts the terroir principle at the center of its classification approach.

With the latest modifications, the absolutely finest vineyards are called Grosse Lage and dry wines from these super top vineyards are called Grosses Gewächs. Grosses Gewächs wines are the finest dry wines from Germany’s finest vineyards. For legal reasons, the VDP producers use the terms VDP.Grosses Gewächs and VDP.Grosse Lage, instead of just Grosses Gewächs and Grosse Lage.

To qualify for the Grosses Gewächs label, a number of criteria need to be respected. (i) The fruit has to come from a Grosse Lage vineyard. (ii) At harvest, the grapes need to be at least at Spätlese level in terms of the sugar content. (iii) Only certain – typical - grape varieties are allowed, including Riesling and Spätburgunder. Riesling is the only varietal allowed for Grosse Lage wines in the Mosel, Nahe, and Mittelrhein, but grapes like Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Lemberger, Frühburgunder, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Gewürztraminer, and Silvaner are included in other regions. (iv) Further restrictions apply: there are yield restrictions; only hand picking of grapes is permitted and harvest must be late in the autumn.

BerlinRieslingCup 2016/17

The last BerlinRieslingCup did not take place shortly after the release of the 2016 GGs in late 2016, but was shifted into 2017. We will have to wait and see if this was a temporary or permantent shift.

The BerlinRieslingCup 2016/17 included 48 wines. The overwhelming majority of the wines were GGs from VDP members. There were a few non-GG ultra-premium dry wines from non-VDP members.

By definition, the 48 wines represented a subjective selection, but I think it probably included a substantial share of the ultra-premium Rieslings that could be the grand cru top wines of the 2015 vintage. 2 bottles came on the table. It is a blind tasting.

schiller-wine: Related Postings (Berlin Cups)

Germany’s Best Ultra-premium Dry Riesling Wines - BerlinRieslingCup 2017, Germany 
Germany’s Best Ultra-premium Dry Riesling Wines - BerlinRieslingCup 2015, Germany
Germany’s Best Ultra-premium Dry Riesling Wines - BerlinRieslingCup 2014, Germany
Germany’s Best Ultra-premium Dry Riesling Wines - BerlinRieslingCup 2013, Germany
Germany’s Ultra Premium Dry Riesling Wines – The Berlin Riesling Cup 2012
Germany’s Top Wines – The Berlin Riesling Cup 2011 Ranking

Martin Zwick’s BerlinGutsrieslingCup 2016 - Rating Dry Entry-level Rieslings from Germany's Best Producers
Martin Zwick’s BerlinGutsrieslingCup 2015 - Rating Dry Entry-level Rieslings from Germany's Best Producers
Martin Zwick’s BerlinGutsrieslingCup 2014 - Rating Entry-level Rieslings from Germany's Best Producers
BerlinGutsrieslingCup 2013 – Rating Entry-level Rieslings from Germany
Berlin Gutsriesling Cup 2012, Germany

Martin Zwick's BerlinKabinettCup 2016: Germany's Best 2015 Riesling Kabinett Wines
Martin Zwick's BerlinKabinettCup 2015: Germany's Best 2014 Riesling Kabinett Wines
Martin Zwick's BerlinKabinettCup 2014, Germany
BerlinKabinettCup 2013 - Kabinett 2012, Germany

Germany's Best Pinot Noir Wines - BerlinSpätburgunderCup 2013/2015
Germany's Best Pinot Noir Wines - BerlinSpätburgunderCup 2012/2014
BerlinSpaetburgunderCup 2011/2013, Germany

Ranking - BerlinRieslingCup 2016/17

94.00 - 94.50 Points

01 Keller Westhofener 94,50
02 Wagner Stempel Heerkretz 94,30
03 Thörle Hölle 94,20

The winner, interestingly, was not a GG of a VDP producer and was not an ultra-premium wine of a non-VDP producer, but an Ortswein (village wine) of a VDP producer, Klaus Peter Keller. #2 was a GG of a VDP member. #3 was the ultra-premium single vineyard wine of the non-VDP producer Weingut Thörle  All 3 of them were from Rheinhessen.

Keller

Pictures: Congratulations Klaus Peter and Julia Keller for #1 in the BerlinRieslingCup 2016/17 - Here: Annette Schiller with Julia and Klaus Peter Keller in New York. See: A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2015, USA

Wagner Stempel

Picture: Annette Schiller with Daniel Wagner, Weingut Wagner-Stempel. See: VDP.Rheinhessen Invited to a Gala Dinner: The World Class Wines of the VDP.Rheinhessen Winemakers and the World Class Food of Philipp Stein (1 Star Michelin, Favorite), with Klaus Peter Keller, Philipp Wittmann, H.O.Spanier, Caroline Gillot-Spanier and Other Rheinhessen Stars

Thörle

Picture: Tasting with Johannes and Christoph Thoerle, Weingut Thoerle in Saulheim, Rheinhessen

93.00 - 93.90 Points

04 Emrich-Schönleber Halenberg 93,50
05 Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden 93,30

Schloss Lieser - Thomas Haag

Pictures: Tasting at Weingut Schloss Lieser in Lieser with Owner/ Winemaker Thomas Haag – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016

92.00 - 92.90 Points

06 Keller Kirchspiel 92,60
07 Schäfer Fröhlich Felseneck 92,20
08 Dönnhoff Felsenberg 92,10
09 Kühling Gillot Pettenthal 92,10

Dönnhoff

Pictures: An Afternoon with Riesling Star Winemaker Helmut Doennhoff at Weingut Doennhoff in Oberhausen in the Nahe Valley, Germany

Kühling-Gillot

Picture: Carolin Spanier Gillot and Christian Schiller in Bodenheim at Weingut Kühling-Gillot

Pictures: Annette and Christian Schiller with H.O. Spanier, Weingut Battenfeld-Spanier and Weingut Kühling Gillot at Prowein 2015 in Düsseldorf. See: Wine Tasting at Weingut Kühling-Gillot in Bodenheim: Kühling-Gillot and Battenfeld-Spanier Wines – Germany-North Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

91.00 - 91.90 Points

10 Gunderloch Rothenberg 91,90
11 Van Volxem Scharzhofberg 91,80
12 Breuer Rottland 91,70
13 Wageck Im Schützenhaus 91,60
14 Molitor Zeltinger Sonnenuhr AL *** 91,50
15 Huff Rabenturm 91,40
16 Diel Burgberg 91,40
17 Schloss Johannisberg Silberlack 91,30
18 Weil Gräfenberg 91,20
19 von Oettinger Hohnenrain 91,10
20 Gold Halbstück 91,10
21 Rings Saumagen 91,10

90.00 - 90.90 Points

22 Rebholz Ganzhorn 90,80
23 Buhl Pechstein 90,70
24 Fußer Reiterpfad 90,40
25 Schätzel Hipping 90,40
26 Lauer Schonfels 90,30
27 Bassermann Jordan Kirchenstück 90,30
28 von Winning Kalkofen 90,20
29 Tesch St. Remigiusberg 90,10
30 Weingut am Nil Saumagen 90,10
31 St. Antony Pettenthal 90,10
32 Fritz Haag Juffer 90,00
33 Battenfeld Spanier Frauenberg 90,00
34 Bürklin Wolf Pechstein 90,00

89.00 - 89.90 Points

35 Sauer Eschendorfer Lump 89,90
36 Hermannsberg Steinberg 89,80
37 Kuhn Saumagen 89,80
38 Fußer Ruppertsberger 89,60
39 Materne Schmitt Lehmerlay 89,60
40 Clemens Busch Marienburg Falkenlay 89,50
41 Bürklin Wolf Gaisböhl 89,30
42 Heymann Loewenstein Uhlen L 89,30
43 Siener Kastanienbusch 89,30
44 Schwedhelm Schwarzer Herrgott 89,00

 88.00 - 88.90 Points

45 Nick Weis Bockstein 88,90
46 Fürst Centgrafenberg 88,80
47 Immrich Batterieberg Ellergrub 88,80

85.00 - 87.90 Points

48 Dalgaard Jordan Fürstenberg 85,70

schiller-wine: Related Postings

Heads up for the 2017 Tours - to Germany and France - by ombiasy WineTours  

Burgundy (and Champagne) 2016 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: From Lyon to Reims - Wine, Food, Culture and History

Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France

Germany-East Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History

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

Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

VDP.Rheinhessen Invited to a Gala Dinner: The World Class Wines of the VDP.Rheinhessen Winemakers and the World Class Food of Philipp Stein (1 Star Michelin, Favorite), with Klaus Peter Keller, Philipp Wittmann, H.O.Spanier, Caroline Gillot-Spanier and Other Rheinhessen Stars

Germany’s Grosses Gewächs GG Wines Released (2015 White and 2014 Red) - Notes from the Pre-release Tasting in Wiesbaden, Germany

A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2015, USA

Tasting with Johannes and Christoph Thoerle, Weingut Thoerle in Saulheim, Rheinhessen

 

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