Tuesday, January 9, 2018

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

Picture: Top 3 BerlinRieslingCup 2017, Germany - Diel "Pittermännchen" GG, van Volxem "Volz" GG, Heymann-Loewenstein Uhlen „Laubach“

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.

Pictures: Martin Zwick, Berlin Cups, with Guiseppe Lauria, Editor-in-Chief of Weinwisser

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.

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 2017

The BerlinRieslingCup 2017 included 33 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 33 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 2016 vintage. 2 bottles came on the table. It is a blind tasting.

The Jury

Michael Quentel/ WEINWISSER
Paul Truszkowski/ Wine in Black
Matthias Brandweiner/ Sommelier Sofitel
Marc Hanke/ Sommelier Bar Raval
Göran van den Brink
Michael Rauscher
Nikolai Lassmann
Charlie Gierling/ Weinlagen-info
Marc Herold
Carlo Andersen
Roman Niewodniczanski/ Weingut Van Volxem

Ranking - BerlinRieslingCup 2017

93 Points

1 Diel "Pittermännchen" GG 93
2 van Volxem "Volz" GG 93
3 Heymann-Löwenstein Uhlen „Laubach“ 93
4 van Volxem "Altenberg" GG 93

Diel



Pictures: Christian Schiller with Armin, Caroline and Anouk Diel at Schlossgut Diel in Germany. See: Tasting with Sylvain Taurisson Diel at Schlossgut Diel, Nahe – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Pictures: Annette Schiller with Caroline Diel and Armin Diel at the 2017 Schlossgut Diel Christmas Market

van Volxem

Pictures: Vineyard Walk at Weingut Van Volxem with Van Volxem Roman Niewodniczansk. See: Lunch, Tasting and Vineyard Walk at Weingut Van Volxem with Owner Roman Niewodniczanski – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Heymann-Löwenstein

Pictures: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Heymann-Löwenstein in Winningen, Mosel, with Reinhard Löwenstein - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

92 Points

5 Schäfer-Fröhlich Monzinger "Frühlingsplätzchen" GG 92
6 Thörle "Hölle" 92
7 Emrich-Schönleber "Halenberg" GG 92
8 Gunderloch "Pettenthal GG" 92
9 Schloss Lieser "Goldtröpfchen" GG 92

Schäfer-Fröhlich

Picture: Christian Schiller and Tim Fröhlich in Wiesbaden

Pictures: Tasting at Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich in Bockenau, Nahe - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Thörle

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

Emrich-Schönleber

Picture: Christian Schiller and Werner Schönleber, Weingut Emrich-Schönleber at the 2013 Riesling Gala at Kloster Eberbach, Germany

Pictures: Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Gunderloch

Picture: Owner Johannes Hasselbach, Weingut Gunderloch, with Annette and Christian Schiller at 9. K&M Gutsweine Hausmesse, Frankfurt, Germany. See: Wine Tasting at Weingut Gunderloch in Nackenheim, with Owners and Winemaker Fritz Hasselbach and Agnes Hasselbach-Usinger – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Schloss Lieser - Thomas Haag

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

91 Points

10 Braunewell "Teufelspfad" 91
11 Wittmann "Morstein" GG 91
12 Hofgut Falkenstein Krettnacher Ober Schäfershaus Spätlese trocken 91
13 Schwedthelm "Schwarzer Herrgott" 91
14 Carl Loewen 1896 91

Hofgut Falkenstein

Picture: Hofgut Falkenstein Table - The Annual "Slaughterhouse" Riesling Feast in New York: Rieslingfeier 2017, USA

Wittmann

Pictures: Philipp Wittmann and Eva Clüsserath-Wittmann, Weingut Wittmann, with Annette and Christian Schiller at Prowein 2015 in Düsseldorf

Pictures: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Philipp Wittmann and Eva Clüsserath-Wittmann at Weingut Wittmann in Westhofen – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

90 Points

15 Phillipp Kuhn "Schwarzer Herrgott" GG 90
16 Flick Morstein 90
17 Schäfer-Fröhlich "Stromberg" GG 90
18 Wagner-Stempel "Scharlachberg" GG 90

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

89 Points

19 Breuer "Schlossberg" 89
20 F.E. Huff Pettenthal 89
21 Maximin Grünhaus "Abtsberg" GG 89
22 RR von Buhl Kieselberg GG 89
23 v. Othegraven "Altenberg" GG 89
24 P. Lauer "Schonfels" GG89
25 Keller Hubacker GG 89

Maximin Grünhaus

Pictures: Visiting Maximin Grünhaus. See: Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Keller

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

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

P. Lauer

Pictures: Florian Lauer, Weingut Peter Lauer, and Christian Schiller in Mainz. See: Germany’s Best Winemakers and Wines – Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2016 Awards: The Awards Ceremony in Mainz, Germany

Pictures: Florian Lauer, Weingut Peter Lauer, at the 2016 Rieslingfeier in New York. See: A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2016, USA

88/ 87/ 86/ 85/ Without Points

26 Kühling-Gillot Pettenthal GG 88
27 P. Lauer Feils 88
28 Battenfeld-Spanier "Frauenberg" GG 88
29 Hofgut Falkenstein Krettnacher Altenberg Spätlese trocken 87
30 Katharina Wechsler "Benn" 85
31 St. Antony Pettenthal GG
32 Dautel "Steingrüben" GG
33 Säckinger Kieselberg

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 2017 (2016), 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 2017: Germany's Best 2016 Riesling Kabinett Wines
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

schiller-wine - Related Postings

Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Tasting with Sylvain Taurisson Diel at Schlossgut Diel, Nahe – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Tasting at Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich in Bockenau, Nahe - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Lunch, Tasting and Vineyard Walk at Weingut Van Volxem with Owner Roman Niewodniczanski – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Heymann-Löwenstein in Winningen, Mosel, with Reinhard Löwenstein - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Thomas Haag, Weingut Schloss Lieser, Germany’s Winemaker of the Year, Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2015

Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Philipp Wittmann and Eva Clüsserath-Wittmann at Weingut Wittmann in Westhofen – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Germany’s Best Winemakers and Wines – Vinum WeinGuide Deutschland 2018 Awards: The Award Ceremony in Mainz, Germany

Tasting at Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich in Bockenau, Nahe - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

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

Wine Tasting at Weingut Gunderloch in Nackenheim, with Owners and Winemaker Fritz Hasselbach and Agnes Hasselbach-Usinger – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

The Annual "Slaughterhouse" Riesling Feast in New York: Rieslingfeier 2017, USA

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

A German Riesling Feast in New York City: Rieslingfeier 2016, USA

Germany’s Best Winemakers and Wines – Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2016 Awards: The Awards Ceremony in Mainz, Germany

Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Philipp Wittmann and Eva Clüsserath-Wittmann at Weingut Wittmann in Westhofen – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

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



2 comments:

  1. Christian, I see two out of the top four wines came from Van Volxem, and the owner was on the Jury!!

    ReplyDelete