Thursday, May 22, 2014

Germany’s Most Expensive Dry White and Red Wines

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with August Kesseler, Weingut Kesseler, in Assmannshausen, see: A Pinot Noir Star: Visiting August Kesseler and his Weingut August Kesseler in Assmannshausen, Germany
German Wine Journalist and Blogger Mario Scheuermann released a most interesting list of the most expensive German dry white and red wines.

Of course, the German noble-sweet Rieslings (from Egon Mueller, JJ Pruem, just to name the two most famous producers) are expensive, sought after in the whole world. But these wines were excluded in Mario Scheuermann’s exercise: he confined himself to those categories – ultra-premium dry white and red – that are not yet on the radar of the wine lovers in the world, but nevertheless have seen a tremendous upswing in the past decades.

Mario Scheuermann grouped the wines into what he called the Grands Crus and the Premiers Crus categories. His starting point was Euro 28, which is according to the VDP – the association of about 200 elite winemakers in Germany - the current average price for Grosses Gewaechs (ultra-premium dry white and red) wines (presumably ex winery). Currently, there are more than 500 wines, which carry the label Grosses Gewaechs.

Picture: Mario Scheuermann (in the Middle) Tasting in Wiesbaden

Moving on from this price point, he grouped all wines in the Euro 50 to 100 as Premier Cru wines and those above Euro 100 as Grand Cru wines.

The prices are basically ex-winery prices, if I understand Mario Scheuermann correctly. The current US$/Euro exchange rate is Euro 1 = US§ 1.38.

Here is what he found.

Dry White Grands Crus

G Max Riesling, Weingut Keller (Rheinhessen), 350 – 500 Euro
Nierstein Hipping Riesling GG, Weingut Keller (Rheinhessen), 131 Euro
Gutedel hoch 4, Hans Peter Ziereisen (Baden), 120 Euro
Forst Kirchenstück Riesling GG, Dr. Bürklin Wolf (Pfalz), 100 Euro

Dry White Premiers Crus

Stromberg Riesling GG, Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich (Nahe), 85 Euro
Westhofen Morstein Riesling GG, Weingut Keller(Rheinhessen), 74 Euro
Westhofen Abtserde Riesling GG, Weingut Keller (Rheinhessen), 72 Euro
Forst Jesuitengarten GG Dr. Bürklin Wolf (Pfalz), 70 Euro
Nierstein Pettenthal GG, Weingut Keller (Rheinhessen, 65 Euro
Zeltingen Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese trocken***, Markus Molitor (Mosel), 61,90 Euro’
Graach Himmelreich Riesling Auslese trocken ***, Markus Molitor (Mosel), 59,90 Euro
Forst Kirchenstück Riesling GG, Bassermann-Jordan (Pfalz), 59 Euro
Nackenheim Rothenberg Riesling GG, Kühling-Gillot (Rheinhessen), 59 Euro
Steinberger Riesling Riesling GG, Staatsweingut Kloster Eberbach (Rheingau), 59 Euro

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller and Tim Fröhlich, Weingut Schäfer-Fröhlich, in Wiesbaden

Red Grands Crus

Mayschoss Mönchberg Spätburgunder trocken, Jean Stodden (Ahr), 145 Euro
Rüdesheim Schlossberg Spätburgunder GG, August Kesseler (Rheingau), 120 Euro
Rüdesheim Drachenstein Pinot noir, Chat Sauvage (Rheingau), 120 Euro
Assmannshausen Höllenberg Pinot noir, Chat Sauvage (Rheingau), 120 Euro
Wildenstein Spätburgunder Reserve, Bernhard Huber (Baden), 120 Euro
Pinot noir Heydenreich Grosse Lage, Friedrich Becker (Pfalz), 110 Euro
Spätburgunder Reserve, Friedrich Becker (Pfalz), 105 Euro
Rottweil Eichberg Blauer Spätburgunder SJ, K H Johner (Baden), 100 Euro
Assmannshausen Höllenberg Spätburgunder GG, August Kesseler (Rheingau), 100 Euro

Pictures: Christian G.E. Schiller and Michael Staedter, Weingut Chat Sauvage, in Johannisberg, Rheingau, see:  Weingut Chat Sauvage – Bourgogne in the Middle of the Rheingau: Meeting Chat Sauvage’s Winemaker and General Manager Michael Staedter, Germany

Red Premiers Crus

Bürgstadt Hundsrück Spätburgunder GG, Paul Fürst (Franken), 85 Euro
Spätburgunder Alte Reben, Jean Stodden (Ahr), 85 Euro
Graach Himmelreich Spätburgunder trocken ***, Markus Molitor (Mosel), 82,50 Euro
Walporzheim Kräuterberg Spätburgunder GG, J.J. Adeneuer (Ahr), 78 Euro
Brauneberg Klostergarten Spätburgunder trocken ***, Markus Molitor (Mosel), 77,20 Euro
Spätburgunder trocken Lange Goldkapsel, Jean Stodden (Ahr , 75 Euro
Rech Herrenberg Spätburgunder GG, Jean Stodden (Ahr), 69 Euro
Kreuzwertheim Kaffelstein Spätburgunder Edition Ottmar Hörl, Weingut Alte Grafschaft (Franken), 69 Euro
Nieder Flörsheim Frauenberg Spätburgunder GG, Weingut Keller (Rheinhessen), 68 Euro
Ihringen Winklerberg Häusleboden GG, Weingut Dr. Heger, 68 Euro
Spätburgunder CCL, Weingut Fritz Wassmer (Baden), 68 Euro
Walporzheimer Klosterberg, Meyer-Näkel Ahr), 65 Euro
Schweigen Kammerberg, Friedrich Becker (Pfalz), 65 Euro
Weil Schlipf Pinot noir CS Reserve ***, Weingut Claus Schneider, 65 Euro
Leimen Herrenberg, Spätburgunder GG, Weingut Seeger, 64 Euro
Rech Rosenberg Spätburgunder, Jean Stodden (Ahr), 60 Euro
Assmannhausen Höllenberg Spätburgunder trocken aus dem Cabinetkeller, Staatsweingut Assmannshausen (Rheingau), 59 Euro
Dottingen Castellberg, Pinot noir GC, Weingut Martin Wasmer (Baden), 58 Euro
Klingenberg Schlossberg Spätburgunder GG, Paul Fürst (Franken), 57 Euro
Oberrotweil Eichberg Spätburgunder, Franz Keller (Baden), 56 Euro
Hecklingen Schlossberg GG, Bernhard Huber (Baden), 55 Euro
Schweigen Sonnenberg Sankt Paul Grosse Lage, Friedrich Becker (Schweigen), 55 Euro
Syrah Reserve, Weingut Knipser (Pfalz), 55 Euro
Lemberger Cuvée trocken, Burg Ravensburg, 55 Euro
Walporzheim Gärkammer Spätburgunder, J. J. Adeneuer (Ahr), 54 Euro
Mayschoss Mönchberg Spätburgunder , Deutzerhof (Ahr), 52 Euro
Altenahr Eck Späturgunder GG, Deutzerhof (Ahr), 52 Euro
Klingenberg Schlossberg Spätburgunder GG, Weingut Stadt Klingenbergm Benedikt Baltes (Franken), 52 Euro
Caroline, Schlossgut Diel (Nahe), 50 Euro
Siebeldingen Im Sonnenschein, Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz (Pfalz), 50 Euro
Oberrotweil Eichberg Baron Philipp, Freiherr von Gleichenstein (Baden), 50 Euro
Blauer Spätburgunder SJ, K.H. Johner (Baden), 50 Euro

Picture: Christian G.E. Schiller with Paul Fuerst, Weingut Rudolf  Fuerst, in Mainz

A Few Comments

Overall, a bit more than 50 wines show up on the list, i.e. cost more than Euro 50. Mario Scheuermann noted that quite a number of wines are offered just below Euro 50, so they did not make it into the ranking. If you cut off the list at say Euro 40, the list would be considerably longer.

Interestingly, the red wine list is much longer than the dry white wine list. The former is comprised of 42 items, while the latter contains only 14 items. But as far as white wines are concerned there are all these expensive noble-sweet wines, which were excluded from the exercise. Still, the dominance of red wines is amazing on this list.

Probably coming as a surprise to many readers, Baden is the top performer, a wine region that outside of Germany is barely known as a wine producing region. The Mosel Region, well known over the world, is only represented with one producer (Weingut Markus Molitor). This of course, reflects the fact that the Mosel Valley is not a red wine producer, and when it comes to premium white Mosel wine, the fruity-sweet and noble-sweet styles dominate.

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