Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Best German Dry Riesling - Weinwelt German Riesling Awards 2011 (2010 Vintage)

The Winners from left to right: Alexander Laible, Andreas Rings, Marc Weinreich, Horst und Sandra Sauer, Hans-Georg Schiller und Reiner Bucher (Felsengartenkellerei Besigheim), Ilka Lindemann and Richard Grosche (WEINWELT). Foto: WEINWELT/ Adlumina, Ralf Ziegler

Weinwelt German Riesling Awards 2011 (2010 Vintage)

Weinwelt is one of the half dozen or so German wine journals. Weinwelt is published by the Maininger Verlag in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in the Pfalz region. Once a year, the Meininger Verlag organizes the Weinwelt Riesling Award.

For the Weinwelt Riesling Award 2011 (the vintage 2010), 1100 dry Riesling wines were submitted and tasted during 3 days. These were blind tastings by a 70-member panel of experts, including sommeliers, oenologists, wine growers, wine makers, retailers and journalists. Each flight was tasted twice. In a final test, the 40 top Rieslings were tasted again by an eight member jury and the final ranking was determined.

See here and here for the Weinwelt Riesling Awards 2009 and 2010.

Riesling in the World

Worldwide, there are about 34.000 hectares planted with Riesling. Germany – with 22.400 hectares – accounts for 2/3 of the total. The second largest Riesling producer is Australia, with 4500 hectares. But this is only about 1/10 of the total. Alsace follows with 3500 hectares. Austria, the US with Washington State and New York State as well as New Zealand make up the remainder. But overall Riesling is really a niche wine, accounting for only less than 1 percent of total wine production in the world - but a very special niche wine.

Riesling in Germany

Riesling is Germany’s signature grape, although other grape varities are also grown. German Riesling wines span a broad range of styles, being produced in both dry to sweet variations. In particular, the botrytised noble-sweet wines and icewines are exceptional wines. German Rieslings are categorized based on their style (level of dryness) and the grape's ripeness level at harvest (i.e. QbA, Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, etc). Increasingly, German winemakers use the predicats Kabinett, Spaetlese. Auslese, etc only for sweet style wines and sell all dry wines, up to the highest quality level, as QbA (Qualitaetswein besonderer Anbaugebiete).

Interestingly, the award is called Riesling Award, but the contest is only about dry Riesling. When you go to the trendy Restaurant Spruce in San Francisco, which has won many awards for its exceptional German wine portfolio, you mainly find sweet and noble sweet German wines on their wine list. But when you go for a drink to Rutz Wein Bar in Berlin, one of the best wine bars in Germany, you find very few of those wines. The majority of the wines produced in Germany is dry. And the German (dry) grand cru Rieslings can compete with the best wines in the world. The word is getting around - slowly but surely - and more and more dry German Rieslings appear on the international market. What is the future? I think the sweet-style wines will definitely stay, although they have become “niche wines” as David Schildknecht said at the 1. International Riesling Symposium last year. These are very well crafted wines that are kind of unique in the world. They have an USP that the dry wines cannot take away from them. But the dry German wines, I am sure, will establish themselves on the world market. These Rieslings are exceptional as well. Not as unique as the sweet style wines, but also sensational.

Weinwelt German Riesling Awards 2011

# 1 Riesling des Jahres 2011 – #1 Riesling of the Year 2011

The Riesling des Jahres 2011 (Riesling of the Year 2011) is the

2010er Riesling Escherndorfer Lump Kabinett trocken (11,50 Euro), Weingut Horst Sauer in Franken.

The jury gave it 93 of 100 points.

# 2 Riesling des Jahres 2011 – #2 Riesling of the Year 2011

The runner-up, also 93 points is the

2010er Riesling Kallstadter Saumagen trocken (22 Euro), Weingut Rings

in the Pfalz.

# 3 Riesling des Jahres 2011 – #3 Riesling of the Year 2011

The third wine of the winning trio, with 1 point less (92 points), is the

2010er Riesling Alte Reben trocken, Weingut Alexander Laible in Baden.

Best buy Riesling des Jahres 2011- Best buy Riesling of the Year 2011

2010er Riesling trocken, Weingut Weinreich in Bechtheim in Rheinhessen

90 points. For 6 Euro the bottle. The jury liked the notes of banana, mango and kiwi.

Sonderpreis Riesling des Jahres 2011 im Lebensmitteleinzelhandel - Special Award Riesling of the Year 2011 in the Grocery Stores

2010er Riesling Terra S trocken (83 Punkte), Felsengartenkellerei Besigheim in Wuettemberg

A wine that is produced in large quantities.

Berit Schönrock, Marketing/PR
Maximilianstraße 7-17
67433 Neustadt/Weinstraße
Tel.: 06321 8908-1910

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