Monday, July 7, 2014

Riesling and Aging Potential. A Tasting at the 2nd International Riesling Symposium, led by Caro Maurer, MW, Germany

Picture: Wilhelm Weil and Caro Maurer, MW, at the Riesling and Aging Potential Tasting, 2nd International Riesling Symposium

The 2nd International Riesling Symposium took place on May 26 and 27, 2014, at Schloss Rheinhartshausen in the Rheingau. Riesling experts from around the world - top winemakers, representatives from the trade and restaurant sector, and journalists – gathered to celebrate, discuss and taste the arguably most noble white grape in the world - Riesling.

I have already provided an overview about the 2nd International Riesling Symposium event: The 2nd International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany, and reported about particular events (see below).

This posting focuses on one particular event, a spectacular tasting, led by Caro Maurer, MW: Riesling and Aging Potential

Picture: Caro Maurer, MW, at the Riesling and Aging Potential Tasting, 2nd International Riesling Symposium

Riesling in the World

There are about 47000 hectares planted with Riesling worldwide. Germany – with 22500 hectares – accounts for about half of the total. The second and third largest Riesling producer are the US (mainly Washington State and Finger Lakes Region) with 4800 hectares and Australia with 4100 hectares. But this is only about 1/10 of the total. Alsace follows with 3500 hectares. Alsace, Ukraine and Austria follow with 3500 hectares, 2700 hectares and 1900 hectares, respectively.

Pictures: Riesling and Aging Potential Tasting, 2nd International Riesling Symposium

Overall, Riesling is really a niche wine, accounting for less than 1 percent of total wine production in the world - but a very special niche wine. In terms of quality wines, Riesling is usually included in the top three white wine varieties, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Riesling is highly terroir-expressive, meaning that the character of Riesling wines is clearly influenced by the wine’s place of origin.

The Tasting

Caro Maurer: Riesling is one of the best grape varieties for aging, because of the acidity and – in some cases – sweetness.

Pictures: Riesling and Aging Potential Tasting, 2nd International Riesling Symposium

Henschke Australia
2004 Julius Eden Valley Riesling

Caro Maurer: Germans often forget that we have Riesling all over the world. This wine – and the next wine – both have screwcaps, which keeps them fresh. The Henschke Riesling has at least 20 more years of aging potential. A lean, clean, forward style, which is so typical for the region.

Stephen Henschke: Vines are 50 years old, biodynamically made, cool fermentation, bottled early.

Picture: Stephen Henschke

Framingham New Zealand
2004 Dry Riesling

Caro Maurer: The vines were planted in Marlborough in 1981. It is a cool climate region. Andrew Hedley’s objective is to make new world wines in an old world style. Stony, flinty, not fruit driven, pure, has its elegance. 5 grams RS.

Dirk Würtz: Unglaublich spannend zu sehen war auch das Reifepotenzial der trockenen Rieslinge aus Australien und Neuseeland. Beide Vertreter aus dem Jahr 2004 standen kaum gealtert im Glas. Herausragend war der Riesling von Framingham aus Neuseeland. Perfekt balanciert, extrem jugendlich. Überhaupt sollte man sich diesen Framingham merken. Seine edelsüßen Weine gehören zum besten, was ich in diesem Bereich in den letzten Jahren getrunken habe.

Weingut Fürst Castell’sches Domänenamt Franken
2004 Castell Schlossberg Spätlese trocken

Caro Maurer: A very special wine: A Riesling from Franken, where Riesling accounts for only 4% of the production. A bolder, heavy style, long hang time. The boldness of the wine comes from the soil. Has a minerality in the finish that gives the wine a very special appearance.

Weingut Künstler Rheingau
2004 Hochheim Hölle Auslese trocken

Caro Maurer: One of the famous sites of Hochheim. 2004 was a cool vintage (after the hot 2003 vintage). Long hang time. Only healthy fruit was used. Has smoky, flinty notes in the nose, leanness in the mouth, elegance. It is a complete wine now at its peak.

Picture: Gunter Künstler

Weingut Jurtschitsch Kamptal
2003 Zöbinger Heiligenstein

Caro Maurer: 2003 was a hot and dry year, has prevented noble rot from developing, Alwin Jurtschitsch, the young winemaker, met his wife Stefanie Jurtschitsch (nee Hasselbach – Weingut Gunderloch), also a winemaker, in that year, fermented and aged in stainless steel, a very typical Kamptal wine, exotic in the nose, it shows an elegant leanness, despite the high alcohol content, which is amazing, still a very young wine.

Cave Spring Cellars Canada
2002 Riesling CSV

Caro Maurer: 2002 was a very dry vintage in Canada, the vines were planted in the 1970s, lots of apple notes, appears to be bone-dry but in fact has 19 gr/RS, a wonderful balance, a different style, not a German style, not an Austrian style, a Canadian style.

Picture: John O'Keefe, Chateau Grand Traverse, with Angelo Pavan and Thomas Pennachetti, Cave Spring Cellars,  at the 2014 International Riesling Symposium, Germany

Weingut Georg Breuer Rheingau
2002 Rüdesheim Berg Schlossberg

Caro Maurer: 2002 is the last vintage the late Georg Breuer made, his daughter Teresa was doing her “Abitur” (German Baccaloreat) in this year, Teresa sent the wine to the tasting in memory of her late father, Schlossberg is always magic, opulent in the nose, offers a lot on the palate, rather lean, rather compressed, but you get the length and this salty feeling, which can only come from a Schlossberg.

Dirk Würtz: Breues Schlossberg ist ein Monument in Sachen Riesling und perfekt auf dem Punkt.

Weingut St. Antony Rheinhessen
2002 Nierstein Ölberg VDP.Grosses Gewächs

Caro Maurer: A vineyard not too far away from the Schlossberg, on the other side of the river, upstream, comes from the Roter Hang (Red Slope).

Weingut Battenfeld-Spanier Rheinhessen
2002 Nieder-Flörsheim Frauenberg VDP.Grosses Gewächs

Caro Maurer: The winemaker H.O. Spanier used only healthy grapes, no botrytis affected grapes, but was trying to harvest as late as possible, still a very young wine, very fresh, nice acidity, which is well integrated into the fruit, a world class wine.

Picture: Carolin Gillot Spanier and H.O. Spanier, Weingut Kükling Gillot and Weingut Battenfeld Spanier

Schloss Gobelsburg Kamptal
2002 Kammerner Gaisberg Alte Reben

Caro Maurer: Same vintage, different country, the wine is more on the floral side than on the fruity side, has some aging notes, very dry, a complex wine.

Weingut Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Pfalz
2002 Forst Ungeheuer G.C.

Caro Maurer: The Ungeheuer has South East exposure and very good drainage, one of the traditional family estates in Germany, with a long history, wine was made in a 700 liter Fuder, a typical representative of the Pfalz region, it is a more baroque style, a Rubens wine, with sexy curves.

Weingut Dr. Heger Baden
2002 Ihringen Winklerberg Spätlese

Caro Maurer: Baden is the most southern region in Germany, a fruity-sweet wine with 46 gr/RS, I would never have recognized this wine as a wine from Baden, love the citrus character in the nose, beautiful wine, you do not really taste the sweetness in the wine, a surprise to have such a wine in the tasting.

Picture: Joachim Heger with Helmut Dönnhoff, Martin Tesch and Klaus Zimmerling

Weingut Reinhold Haart Mosel
1996 Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Kabinett

Caro Maurer: Kabinett is one of my favorites, because nobody else in the world can produce this style of wine, 58 gr/RS, a beautiful wine, light style, refreshing, you cannot copy it.

Dirk Würtz: Ganz ähnlich verhielt es sich mit dem 1996 Kabinett aus dem Piesporter Goldtröpfchen von Haart. Das geht auch kaum noch besser. Ein Wein mit Zug, den ich einfach nur trinken will, weil er alles das hat, was gereiften restsüßen Riesling ausmacht. Dieses Spiel, diese Harmonie und diese Unaufdringlichkeit sind einzigartig. Jeder Schluck ist der pure Genuss!

Weingut Fritz Allendorf Rheingau
1990 Winkel Jesuitengarten Auslese

Caro Maurer: 56 gr/RS (less than the previous Kabinett), good balance, has chocolate notes, ginger, spices.

Weingut Baron Knyphausen Rheingau
2004 Erbach Steinmorgen Spätlese

Picture: Gerko Freiherr zu Knyphausen with Wilhelm Weil and Steffen Christmann

Weingut St. Urbanshof Mosel
2002 Leiwen Laurentiulay Spätlese

Caro Maurer: Nic Weiss sent the wine saying: This wine represents the Mosel – enjoy the interplay between sugar and acidity, 79 gr/RS, you know it is a sweet wine, but you do not perceive it as a sweet wine, round mouthfeel.

Weingut Forstmeister Geltz-Ziliken Mosel
1993 Saarburg Rausch Spätlese

Caro Maurer: Very pure, a classic wine from the Mosel, peaches, apples, honey on the nose, very silky on the palate, light, salty taste in the finish, a wine which cannot be replicated anywhere else.

Weingut Freiherr Langwerth von Simmern Rheingau
2002 Erbach Marcobrunn Auslese

Caro Maurer: Not much noble rot, quince, white peach, mince, apricot on the nose, honey and nuts on the palate, really nice, 91 gr/RS.

Weingut Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Mosel
1989 Scharzhofberger Auslese

Caro Maurer: Lots of botrytis, one of the most famous sites in Germany, spices, ginger, orange peel in the nose, this is about saltiness, soil and minerality, shows the elegance of the Scharzhofberg vineyard, 88 gr/RS.

Domäne Schloss Johannisberg Rheingau
1945 Schloss Johannisberg Rosalack Auslese

Caro Maurer: a war vintage, was extremely difficult to make this wine, you can smell the spices, beautiful wine.

Dirk Würtz: Da stand eine Auslese aus dem Jahr 1945 von Schloss Johannisberg auf dem Tisch. ein Wein, für dessen Beschreibung noch nicht die richtigen Worte erfunden sind. Taufrisch war er, annähernd jugendlich. Ein Hauch von Minze wehte aus dem Glas, die Süße war deutlich schmeckbar, die Säure perfekt. Sollte ich jemals Punkte für einen Wein geben wollen, dieser bekäme die Höchstpunktzahl.

Pictture: Christian Witte

Weingut Prinz von Hessen Rheingau
1994 Johannisberg Hasensprung Beerenauslese

Caro Maurer: Very spicy, raisins in the nose, beautiful, liquory texture with orange marmalade and spices on the palate, 150 gr/RS, high in alcohol, which adds to the aging potential.

Weingut G.H.Mumm Rheingau
1971 Johannisberg Schwarzenstein Beerenauslese

Caro Maurer: 1971 was a great vintage, ripe without getting fat, this is an aged wine, you can taste the oxidization, still lively, has some wonderful honey notes.

Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach Rheingau
1959 Steinberger Trockenbeerenauslese

Caro Maurer: 1959 was a good vintage, still a great pleasure for us to taste this wine, shows very well that Riesling can age.
Picture: Dieter Greiner with Wilhelm Weil

Postings about the 2014 International Riesling Symposium on schiller-wine

This posting is part of a series about the 2nd International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany. Here is a list of the Postings already published and those still coming.

The 2nd International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany
A Tour through the Rheingau - Visits of 3 Prestigious, Historic Rheingau Wineries: Weingut Wilhelm Weil, Kloster Eberbach and Schloss Johannisberg
Rieslings from the New World – More Traditional than Rieslings from the Old World? A Tasting at the 2nd International Riesling Symposium, led by Stuart Pigott, Germany
The Grand Cru Couple from VDP.Grosse Lage – Riesling Grosses Gewächs and Riesling Spätlese. A Tasting at the 2nd International Riesling Symposium, led by Giuseppe Lauria, Germany
Riesling from Danube, Rhine, Nahe, and Moselle: the European Riesling Route - A Tasting at the 2014 International Riesling Symposium, Germany, Moderated by Cornelius and Fabian Lange
Riesling and Aging Potential. A Tasting at the 2nd International Riesling Symposium, led by Caro Maurer, MW, Germany

German Riesling Producers at the 2. International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany
American Riesling Producers at the 2. International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany
Austrian Riesling Producers at the 2. International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany
New Zealandian Riesling Producers at the 2. International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany
Australian Riesling Producers at the 2. International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany
Canadian Riesling Producers at the 2. International Riesling Symposium in the Rheingau, Germany

schiller-wine: Related Postings

The 4th Riesling Rendezvous in Seattle: Impressions from the Grand Tasting at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington State, USA

The World of Riesling in Seattle - Fourth Riesling Rendezvous in Washington State, USA

Visiting Wilhelm Weil at his Weingut Robert Weil in Kiedrich, Germany

Tasting with Wilhelm Weil the 2010 Weingut Weil Wines in Kiedrich, Germany

Stepping up: From 3 … to 4 Quality Levels - The New Classification of the VDP, Germany

When Americans Drink German Wine - What They Choose

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

1st International Riesling Symposium, Rheingau, Germany

Approaches to Classifying German Wine: The Standard Approach (the Law of 1971), the VDP Approach and the Zero Classification Approach

Riesling, Pinot Noir and Indian Cuisine: A tête-à-tête Dinner with Winemaker Ernst Loosen, Weingut Dr. Loosen, at Rasika in Washington DC, USA

In the Steinberg, Eberbach Abbey, Rheingau, Germany

Top 10 Riesling Producers in the World – Snooth 2012

The German Winemakers at the 4th Riesling Rendezvous in Seattle, USA

3 Wine Tours by ombiasy Coming up in 2014: Germany-North, Germany-South and Bordeaux

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