Monday, October 18, 2021

The German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) Presented: 2019 German Vintage Tasting with Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages, Washington DC, USA

Picture:  The German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) Presented: 2019 German Vintage Tasting with Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages, Washington DC, USA

The annual “New German Vintage Tasting" of the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) is always a highlight for the German wine aficionados in the Washington DC area. 

This year, because of covid, this was the second  "New German Vintage Tasting". It covered the 2019 vintage. The 2018 vintage was reviewed a few months ago, after the event had been shifted from 2020 to 2021 due to covid. 

In earlier years, the “New German Vintage Tasting" was led by Terry Theise, the famous importer of German wines. In recent years, since Terry moved from the Washington DC area to the Boston arera, Phil Bernstein has led the tasting. He is very entertaining and knowledgeable about German wine. In addition to being the General Manager, he is in charge of German wines at MacArthur Beverages, one of the best German wine retailers in the country.

This year again, we had a full house, with 55 people having signed up and paid US56/ US$66 (members/ non-members) for the tasting. Thank you very much Phil for a great event.

In terms of covid rules, we were very strict. Only vaccinated people were allowed to participate and everybody had to show his or her CDC card before entering the venue. 








Pictures:  The German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) Presented: 2019 German Vintage Tasting with Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages, Washington DC, USA

Invitation

Every year we host a tasting to try German wines from the new vintage, with a focus on Riesling. Our host is Phil Bernstein, General Manager of MacArthur Beverages, one of the leading retailers of German Riesling in the country. Every year, Phil brings fabulous wines for us to try and this year will definitely be no exception.

The new vintage is 2019 which has been described as the the best vintage in Germany in 40 years, exceptional, potentially a 100 point vintage.   If you came to our New Vintage Plus tasting of Germany’s 2018 wines on September 17, this is your chance to compare these two great years.   If you were not at the previous tasting, this is your last chance to attend a New Vintage event this year, and order some of your favorites through Phil.  

Flight 1: A Pair from Clemens Busch

2019 Clemens Busch Riesling Trocken Mosel (WA 90)

2019 Clemens Busch Riesling Vom Roten Schiefer Mosel (WA 93)

Flight 2:  A Shootout of Hotshots

2019 Lauer Riesling Fass 9 Kern Grosse Lage Mosel

2019 AJ Adam Dhron Hofberg Kabinett

Flight 3:  Opening the Kabinett

2019 Dr. Wagner Ockfener Bockstein Kabinett Mosel

2019 Karl Erbes Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett Mosel (WA 92)

Flight 4: Delicious Vollenweider Spätlese

2019 Vollenweider Krover Steffensberg Spätlese Mosel

2019 Vollenweider Wolfer Goldgrube Spätlese Mosel

Flight 5: An Auslese - Spätlese Grand Finale

2019 Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Spätlese #5 Mosel (WA 95)

2019 JJ Prüm Wehlener Sonnenuhr Auslese Mosel

Most of these wines will still be available for purchase from MacArthur Beverages through Phil Bernstein.

Our wines will be accompanied by a tasty buffet of cheeses, breads, grapes, cold cuts and veggies.




Pictures: The German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) Presented: 2019 German Vintage Tasting with Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages, Washington DC, USA

German Wine and the Washington DC Market

The tasting was very well appreciated by the participants of the event. There was no red wine, only white, while red wine now accounts for 1/3 of German wine production. All the wines were Riesling. 8 of the 10 bottles were fruity-sweet. There was no GG, the ultra-premium dry grand cru wine. All wines were from the Mosel.  

The selection of Phil met very well with what the large majority of the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) members had expected to be presented at the "New Vintage Tasting" event: Fruity-sweet Riesling from the Mosel, moving up the sweetness level from Kabinett to Spätlese and finally Auslese. 

Thank you very much Phil.

German Wine and ombiasy WineTours of Annette Schiller
 
On her wine tours, Annette covers all 13 German wine regions. The Mosel is part of the Germany North Tour, along with the Rheingau, Mittelrhein, Nahe and the Ahr region. We have visited Weingut Clemens Busch, Weingut Lauer and Weingut JJ Prüm. We have met Christoph Schäfer, the owner of Weingut Willi Schäfer as well as Daniel Vollenweider of Weingut Vollenweider in New York.

Weingut Clemens Busch

 
Picture: Annette Schiller, Christian Schiller and Clemens Busch at Panda Gourmet, Washington DC. See: Wine-pairing Dinner with Clemens Busch, Weingut Clemens Busch, Mosel, at Panda Gourmet in Washington DC, USA

 
Picture: In the Pündericher Marienburg Vineyard with Rita Busch. See: Tasting with Rita Busch at Weingut Clemens Busch in the Mosel Valley, Germany (2014) 
 
Weingut Peter Lauer
 
 
 
Pictures: Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Peter Lauer in Ayl, Upper Mosel, Saar Valley, with Katharina Lauer and Peter Lauer - Germany-North Tour 2019 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential Riesling
 
 Weingut Vollenweider

 
Picture: Annette Schiller and Daniel Vollenweider of Weingut Vollenweider in New York. See: The Annual "Slaughterhouse" Riesling Feast in New York: Rieslingfeier 2017, USA
 
Weingut J.J. Prüm
 
 
Pictures: Tasting at Weingut Jos. Jos. Prüm in Bernkastel-Wehlen, Mosel, with Amei Prüm - Germany-North Tour 2019 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential Riesling
 
Weingut Willi Schäfer

 
Pictures: Christian Schiller, Christoph Schaefer and Annette Schiller. See: Rieslingfeier 2018 in New York City: Gränd Tasting and Gala Dinner  

Previous Years' “New German Vintage” Tastings of the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter)

For previous years, see: 

The German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) Presented: 2019 German Vintage Tasting with Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages, Washington DC, USA

The German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) Presented: 2017 German Vintage Tasting with Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages, Washington DC, USA

The German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) Presented: 2016 German Vintage Tasting with Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages, Washington DC, USA

The German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) Presented: 2015 German Vintage Tasting with Phil Bernstein, USA

Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages Presents the new Vintage (2014) to the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter), USA/ Germany

German Riesling - What the American Market Wants: Vintage 2013 Tasting with German Wine Expert Phil Bernstein, MacArthur Beverages, Washington DC

The Annual “New German Vintage” Tasting of the German Wine Society (Washington DC Chapter) led by Phil Bernstein - 2012 Vintage, Germany/USA

German Wine: Tasting with Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages the 2011 Vintage in Washington DC, USA

The 2010 Vintage Tasting of the German Wine Society (Aaron Nix-Gomez)

Phil Bernstein’s Third Annual German Riesling Tasting with the German Wine Society, Washington DC Chapter - Rieslings With a Touch of Sweetness

When Americans Drink German Wine - What They Choose

schiller-wine - Related Postings

Christian Schiller`s SCHILLER-WINE Blog on Corking Wines` Top 101 Wine Writers of 2020 List

German Wine Basics: Sugar in the Grape - Alcohol and Sweetness in the Wine

Wine-pairing Dinner with Clemens Busch, Weingut Clemens Busch, Mosel, at Panda Gourmet in Washington DC, USA

Tasting with Rita Busch at Weingut Clemens Busch in the Mosel Valley, Germany (2014)  

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Peter Lauer in Ayl, Upper Mosel, Saar Valley, with Katharina Lauer and Peter Lauer - Germany-North Tour 2019 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential Riesling

Tasting at Weingut Jos. Jos. Prüm in Bernkastel-Wehlen, Mosel, with Amei Prüm - Germany-North Tour 2019 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential Riesling

Rieslingfeier 2018 in New York City: Gränd Tasting and Gala Dinner  

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

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Wine Harvest 2021 in Germany (Derek Vinnicombe)


Picture: Derek Vinnicombe, Barbara Rundquist, (Former) Owner, Weingut Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch - Erben Mueller-Burggraef, and Christian Schiller at Lyon Hall, Washington DC/ Arlington
 
 
Picture: Annette Schiller and Derek Vinnicombe in Mainz/ Germany. See: Rheinhessen Cru Wines (Lagenweine) 2014 Tasting in Mainz, Germany 
 
Derek Vinnicombe is a wine broker and US importer of German wine, well known in the German wine cercles in the USA. He regularly comes to the USA with a group of winemakers belonging to his portfolio. The last time I met him in the Washington DC area was in early 2019 at a massive portfolio tasting that took place at Arrowine of Doug Rosen in Arlington/ Virginia.
 
 

A few days ago, Derek published an excellent 2021 harvest report, including pictures. I am grateful to Derek to be able to share his report on schiller-wine. 
 
Hope to see you and your winemakers soon in the Washington DC area.

Harvest 2021 in Germany (Derek Vinnicombe)
 
Despite Covid and many other unwelcome issues, the wonder of Mother Nature has blesssed us again, and the cellars are filling with the new 2021 crop. Everything was different this year compared to the past 3 vintages, from no rainfall to too much rainfall & moisture this year which confronted the producers with no end of vineyard work. 
 
Despite all problems, luck was on our side with a later than usual bud-break end of April so that the vines did not suffer from the coldest April weather on record over the past 40 years. Other parts of Europe were not so lucky....
 
Flowering started mid June under ideal conditions, thus allowing the grapes 100+ days of hang-time for growth, and thus able to attain physiological ripeness. Widespread mildew became the main problem, but no serious hail damage. 
 
Compared to the 2020 harvest with 100% healthy fully-ripened grapes, the 2021 crop is certainly “one notch down“, but nonetheless much better than expected, also thanks to ideal weather with cool nights these past 2 weeks. Harvesting along the Rhine, Nahe & Main river valleys has almost been completed, with the main harvest in the Mosel valley now “in full swing“, and the coolest Saar & Ruwer valleys only now starting to harvest Riesling. 
 
Perhaps the 2021 will even evolve to show similarities to the fine 2001 vintage. We can certainly expect wines with fine concentration of flavours, good aromatics, a solid structure with crisp acidity, and slightly lower in alcohol than previous powerful vintages. Wines which will certainly find new and old friends.
 
Here are Derek`s pictures, including comments.
 
Welcome to Riesling & friends along the Rhine valley, from Nackenheim towards Nierstein (4 April 2021).
 

No early bud-break, escaping the extremely cold April weather (9 April 2021) 
 

Bud-break 2 May 2021 in the Rhine valley
 

 
Good growth progress with the new shoots starting to grow (20 May 2021)
 

Flowering already successfully completed along the Rhine valley, berries starting to swell (27 June 2021) 
 

Riesling grapes making good progress (26 Aug. 2021)
 

The end.... physiologically ripe brown Riesling pips (seeds) after pressing (12 October 2021). Countless thousands after just one pressing, but not one single pip damaged thanks to gentle pressing.
 

schiller-wine - Related Postings

Christian Schiller`s SCHILLER-WINE Blog on Corking Wines` Top 101 Wine Writers of 2020 List

Riesling & Friends: Massive German Wine Tasting with the Derek Vinnicombe Group at Arrowine in Arlington, USA

When Americans Drink German Wine - What They Choose

German Wine Basics: Sugar in the Grape - Alcohol and Sweetness in the Wine

Rheinhessen Cru Wines (Lagenweine) 2014 Tasting in Mainz, Germany

Wine Caravan from Germany Visiting the US East Coast: Dr. Fischer, Fitz Ritter, Bollig-Lehnert, Schneider, Dr. Thanisch

Lighting and the Flavor of Wine - With Winemaker Ulrich Allendorf in his Aroma Vineyard and Color Room at Weingut Allendorf in Oestrich Winkel, Rheingau, Germany

Winemaker Dinner with the Wines of World Renowned Weingut Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch - Erben Mueller-Burggraef and the Food of Executive Chef Paul Stearman at Lyon Hall, Washington DC/ Arlington

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

Weingut Dr. H. Thanisch - Erben Mueller-Burggraef: Visit of the Doctorkeller and Tour and Tasting at the Winery, with Owner Matthias Willkomm - Germany-North Tour 2019 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential Riesling

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

Annual Riesling Party at the Schiller Residence in Washington DC, USA (2019) 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Dinner at 1-star Michelin Restaurant 360 Grad, Limburg, with Owner/ Chef Alexander Hohlwein, September 2020, Germany

Pictures: Dinner at 1-star Michelin Restaurant 360 Grad, Limburg, with Owner/ Chef Alexander Hohlwein, September 2020, Germany

In September 2020, shortly before the second corona lockdown in Germany, we ventured out with our "Frankfurt Gourmet Group", comprising, Annette, me as well as 5 other food and wine freaks, to the town of Limburg, 75 km north of Frankfurt, for our monthly dinner. 
 
We went to Restaurant 360 Grad, where Owner/ Chef Alexander Hohlwein impresses with a creative, world cuisine, supported by his wife Rebekka Weikert who makes you feel good in this spacious, modern restaurant overlooking Limburg. 
 
Most of the photos are mine. Some food photos are from Dirk Eisel.
 
Chef Alexander Hohlwein has 1 star in the Michelin and 17 points in the Gault/Millau. Overall, what Alexander Hohlwein cooked for us on Saturday exceeded the 1-star level and more than once touched the 2-star level.
 
The restaurant is located right next to the railway station. We went there by train and took the last train back to Frankfurt after midnight. The train ride was about an hour. 
 
The kitchen is adjacent to the restaurant, with large glass windows allowing the guests to follow what is happening in the kitchen. 
 
This was the second time that Annette and I enjoyed the food of Chef Alexander Hohlwein; the first time was a to-go dinner, see:
 
Dining with Friends in Times of the Coronavirus Lockdown using Zoom



 
There is one menu with 4 courses (plus several greetings from the chef) for Euro 85. You have the possibility to add up to four courses for a maximum of 8 courses for Euro 140. The seven of us took between 5 and 7 courses and had 10 bottles of wine.
 
Michelin: "360°"... Wer denkt da nicht an eine tolle Aussicht? Highlight in dem Restaurant beim Einkaufszentrum "WERKStadt" ist die Dachterrasse! Aber auch drinnen genießt man dank großer Fenster die Sicht - beliebt sind die Tische mit Blick auf den Dom. Außerdem kann man Alexander Hohlwein und seinem Team beim Kochen zusehen. Mit Partnerin Rebekka Weickert eröffnete er nach einigen gemeinsamen Stationen wie z. B. "La Belle Epoque" in Travemünde im März 2016 das "360°". Die herzliche Gastgeberin berät Sie auch kompetent in Sachen Wein. Dass es in dem hellen, geradlinig-modernen Restaurant wirklich Spaß macht zu essen, liegt nicht zuletzt an frischen kreativen Gerichten, die es auch noch zu einem sehr guten Preis-Leistungs-Verhältnis gibt! Tipp: Mittags kommt das zusätzliche Lunch-Menü richtig gut an. 

 
 


Snacks around the World



 
Hamachi (mariniert & Tatar), gepickelte Limone, Avocado, Kombucha Vinaigrette
 

 

 
Gänseleber (mariniert & pochiert), Zwetschge, Rauchmandel, Malz
 
 

Jakobsmuschel (gebraten), Heckelmann’s Hokkaido, Miso, Yuzu, Krustentier-Sud
 
 
 
Stör (von der Fischzucht Stähler), Rote Bete (auf Holzkohle gegrillt), Zwiebel, Brandade, Imperial Kaviar
 
 



 
Poltinger Lamm – Rogan Josh, Frikandeau, Biryani, Raita, Cashew Nuss
 

 Black Angus Beef, Rücken & Short Rib, Barbecue Jus, Parmesancreme, Cear Salat, Kräuterbutter
 
 
Kalb hoch 3 (Dim Sum, Bries & Zunge, Haxe, Ragout), Pfifferlinge, Petersilie
 
 




Käse - Rohmilchkäse vom Afineur Waltmann, Brot, Hausgemachter Senf

 
Bee Happy“: Ziegenkäse, Aprikose, Bienenwachs, Fichtensprossen



Süsses Finale
 


 
Good night

schiller-wine - Related Postings

Christian Schiller`s SCHILLER-WINE Blog on Corking Wines` Top 101 Wine Writers of 2020 List

Dining with Friends in Times of the Coronavirus Lockdown using Zoom

Total Immersion in Bordeaux: World Class Wines and Exquisite French Gourmet Cuisine - Bordeaux Tour 2019 by ombiasy WineTours, France

Tasting at Weingut Dönnhoff, Oberhausen, Nahe. with Anne Dönnhoff - Germany-North Tour 2019 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential Riesling

Dinner at the 3-star Michelin Restaurant Schwarzwaldstube at Hotel Traube Tonbach, with Chef Thorsten Michel, Baiersbronn, Germany

Annual Riesling Party at the Schiller Residence in Washington DC, USA (2019) 

Salon Tasting at Schiller‘s Home: Domaine Weinbach, Alsace, Vintage 2014 (2017)