Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Riesling Cup 2009 - Germany's Top Dry 2007 Rieslings

Der Feinschmecker is the leading German Gourmet and Wine Journal.

Every year the Feinschmecker awards the Riesling Cup for the best dry German Rieslings. In 2009, 460 wineries from all over Germany took part in the competition and submitted their best dry Rieslings from the vintage 2007.

Die 13 best dry German Rieslings of the vintage 2007 are:

01. Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Münster-Sarmsheim (Anbaugebiet Nahe)
für den 2007er Münsterer Pittersberg Riesling QbA trocken
"Großes Gewächs"

02. Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff, Oberhausen (Anbaugebiet Nahe)
für den 2007er Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling QbA trocken
"Großes Gewächs"

03. Weingut Klaus Keller, Flörsheim-Dalsheim (Anbaugebiet
Rheinhessen) für den 2007er "Von der Fels" Riesling QbA trocken

04. Weingut Gebrüder Kauer, Windesheim (Anbaugebiet Nahe)
für den 2007er "Vom roten Sandstein" Riesling QbA trocken

05. Weingut Wittmann, Westhofen (Anbaugebiet Rheinhessen)
für den 2007er Westhofener Morstein Riesling QbA trocken
"Großes Gewächs"

06. Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich, Bockenau (Anbaugebiet Nahe)
für den 2007er Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling QbA trocken
"Großes Gewächs"

07. Weingut Kanzlerhof, Pölich (Anbaugebiet Mosel) für die
2007er Pölicher Held Riesling Spätlese trocken "S"

08. Weingut Fritz Haag, Brauneberg (Anbaugebiet Mosel)
für die 2007er Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr
Riesling Spätlese trocken

09. Klosterweingut Abtei Sankt Hildegard, Rüdesheim
(Anbaugebiet Rheingau) für die 2007er "Domus Domini"
Riesling Spätlese trocken

10. Weingut Emrich-Schönleber, Monzingen (Anbaugebiet Nahe)
für den 2007er Halenberg Riesling QbA trocken "Großes Gewächs"

11. Weingut Erik Sommer, Siefersheim (Anbaugebiet Rheinhessen)
für den 2007er Siefersheimer Heerkretz "Max" Riesling QbA trocken

12. Weingut Josef Biffar, Deidesheim (Anbaugebiet Pfalz)
für den Deidesheimer Kieselberg "Große Hohl" Riesling QbA
trocken "Großes Gewächs"

13. Weingut F. B. Schönleber, Oestrich-Winkel (Rheingau)
für die 2007er Erbacher Steinmorgen Riesling Spätlese trocken

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller

The strong showing of the Nahe and Rheinhessen regions is impressive. The Nahe is a very small wine region between the Mosel in the North and Rheinhessen and the Rheingau in the South. By contrast, Rheinhessen is the largest viticultural region in Germany. Every fourth bottle of German wine comes from Rheinhessen. The high-yielder Mueller-Thurgau accounts for about 1/5 of the vineyards, and Silvaner and Dornfelder both for 1/10. Rheinhessen also has the rather dubious honor of being considered the birthplace of Liebfraumilch. At the same time, Rheinhessen is among Germany’s most interesting wine regions. A lot is happening there. This is not because of the terroir, but because of the people. There is an increasing group of young, ambitious and dynamic winemakers who want to produce and indeed do produce outstanding wine and not wines in large quantities. Three of them made it to the Riesling Cup list.

Almost half of the wines are Grosses Gewaechs wines. More than half of the wines, including all Grosses Gewaechs wines, were classified as QbA and thus were potentially chaptalized. The purpose of the chaptalization, however, is not to add sweetness to the wine, but to increase the alcohol level. As a rule, a Grosses Gewaechs wine needs to be a least Spaetlese level at harvest, but is always declassified as a QbA wine.

The concept of Grosses Gewaechs was introduced by the wine estates that belong to the exclusive club of VDP wine estates a few years ago. In order to be able to use the Grosses Gewaechs label, a wine maker needs to be a member of the VDP association. It excludes VDP winemakers from the Rheingau region, which went on a separate route and uses the “Erstes Gewaechs” label instead. In the Rheingau, any, and not only VDP winemakers, can produce Erstes Gewaechs wines.

The Grosses/Erstes Gewaechse lable is thought to resemble the Grand/Premier Cru designation in neighboring France. Here and there, these wines are dry and refer to a wine from a top vineyard. See more here.

Weingut Wittmann, 5th place, one of the Rheinhessen stars, is also one of the two German wine makers that made it to this year’s Top 100 Wine Spectator list.

Weingut Schaefer-Froehlich, 6th place, is this year’s Gault Millau winemaker of the year.

Tim Froehlich, from Schaefer-Froehlich, and Hermann Doenhoff, 2nd place, a grandmaster of German wine, also from the Nahe, were interviewed recently by Hendrik Thoma and I had posted the interview on my Blog. It can be viewed here.

Schiller Wine – Related Postings

Wine ratings: Top 100 of the Wine Spectator 2009 include Wittmann and Loosen Rieslings

Wine Ratings: Gault Millau Wine Guide Germany 2010

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