Thursday, August 14, 2014

best of riesling Competition 2014: The Winners, Germany

Picture: Best of Riesling Competition 2014 - The Winners (Photo: Meininger Verlag)

The best of riesling Competion 2014 took place earlier this year in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in the Pfalz region in Germany. The annual best of riesling Competition is organized by the Meininger Verlag in Neustadt, with the Ministry of Wine of the Land Rheinland Pfalz backing the event.

For earlier events see below.

Dry and Sweet Riesling

Many wine drinkers, in particular outside of Europe, when they see a Riesling on the shelves, have the association of a sweet-style wine. This is however misguided. Rieslings as a rule are dry wines. Of course, there are the famous sugar sweet Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese, Eiswein and Schilfwein wines from Austria and Germany, the Sélection de Grains Nobles from France, the icewines from Canada and other Rieslings, made from botrytized, dried or frozen grapes.

The grapes that go into these wines have such a high sugar content that there is nothing you can do to make dry wines out of these grapes. They inevitably produce nobly sweet wines. But apart from these specialty wine, which account for only a tiny share of total production, Riesling grapes in Germany, Austria, Alsace, the US and Australia have normal sugar content at the time of fermentation and tend to produce dry wines, when fully fermented.

However, modern cellar methods allow winemakers in Germany (and elsewhere) to produce wines with a bit of residual sugar with these grapes. These are exceptional wines, essentially made by not letting the fermentation going its full course so that natural sugar remains in the wine. Alternatively, German winemakers are allowed to add sweet-reserve (sterilized grape juice) to increase the sweetness level in the wine, but today, this is mostly done, if at all, for fine tuning the residual sweetness. These fruity-sweet wines are the wines that are so popular among the fans of German wine in the world. These sweet-style wines have lost popularity in Germany, although there appears to be a comeback, but in any case remain very popular outside of Germany, for example in the US. Anyway, they are very present in Germany’s export markets, but account only for a small share of total German wine production. Steffen Christmann, the President of the VDP, the German elite wine maker association, estimates that 95% of German wine beyond a price point of Euro 15 is dry.

Winners in 5 Categories and 4 Special Prizes

This year, 1574 Rieslings entered the competition. German Rieslings accounted for 95% of the wines. Winemakers from Austria, Luxembourg, France, Australia, Slowenia, Portugal and Turkey also submitted wines. 470 wines made it to the final round. Here are the winners (in 5 categories and of 4 special prizes).

Picture: best of Riesling 2014

Category I ( dry - up to 12,5 % alcohol)

1. Platz 2012 Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Großes Gewächs Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach, Eltville/Rheingau
2. Platz 2013 Riesling trocken Well Done Weingut Metzger, Grünstadt/Pfalz
3. Platz 2013 Maikammer Kirchenstück Riesling trocken Weingut Faubel, Maikammer/Pfalz

Category II (dry - over 12,5 % alcohol)

1. Platz 2012 Mathildengarten Riesling Niersteiner Kranzberg Auslese trocken Weingut Seebrich, Nierstein/Rheinhessen
2. Platz 2013 Riesling – vom Buntsandstein – trocken Aloisiushof Wein- und Sekthaus, St. Martin/Pfalz
3. Platz 2012 Escherndorfer Lump Riesling S trocken Erste Lage Weingut Horst Sauer, Escherndorf/Franken
3. Platz 2012 Erbacher Honigberg Riesling Kabinett trocken Weinhof Martin, Eltville/Rheingau

Category III (medium dry)

1. Platz 2013 Winkeler Hasensprung Riesling Spätlese halbtrocken Weingut Goldatzel, Geisenheim-Johannisberg/Rheingau
2. Platz 2013 Dorsheimer Goldloch Riesling Spätlese halbtrocken Weingut Enk, Dorsheim/Nahe
3. Platz 2013 Riesling feinherb Weingut Emmerich-Koebernik, Waldböckelheim/Nahe

Category IV (fruity-sweet, with up to 80 grams per liter residual sugar)

1. Platz 2013 Hochheimer Daubhaus Riesling Qualitätswein mild Weingut Schilling, Mainz-Kostheim/Rheingau
1. Platz 2010 Winninger Uhlen Riesling Reserve Weingut Weyh, Winningen/Mosel
2. Platz 1982 Riesling Spätlese Herxheimer Honigsack Weinkeller Schick, Weisenheim am Sand/Pfalz
2. Platz 2013 Hochheimer Domdechaney Riesling Spätlese Weingut W. J. Schäfer, Hochheim//Rheingau

Category V (noble sweet, with more than 90 grams per liter residual sugar - botrytised wines and Eiswein)

1. Platz 2012 Ernst Popp Iphöfer Julius-Echter-Berg Riesling Auslese Weingut Ernst Popp, Iphofen/Franken
2. Platz 2013 Forster Jesuitengarten Riesling Beerenauslese Weingut Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan, Deidesheim/Pfalz
3. Platz 2012 Würzburger Stein Riesling Beerenauslese Staatlicher Hofkeller, Würzburg/Franken

Special Award: Best Steep Slope

2012 Würzburger Stein, Beerenauslese, Staatlicher Hofkeller, Würzburg/Franken

Special Award: Best European Non-German

2009 Riesling Heiligenstein Trockenbeerenauslese Weingut Steininger in Langenlois/Kamptal, Niederösterreich

Special Award: Best New World Riesling

2012 Heggies Botrytis Riesling, The Yalumba Wine Company, Angaston, Australia

Special Award: Best Large Production Entry-level Riesling

2012 Goldschild Brauneberger Riesling Eiswein, Moselland Winzergenossenschaft, Bernkastel-Kues/Mosel

schiller-wine - Related Postings

best of riesling Competition, 2013, Germany

Best of Riesling 2012 - The Winners, Germany

Judging at Wine Competitions in Virginia (USA), Pfalz (Germany) and Rheinhessen (Germany) 

Judging at “best of riesling 2012” in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse in Germany
Best of Riesling Awards 2010

“Hoffest” (Winery Party) at Weingut Heinrich Baison in Hochheim, Rheingau - Best of Riesling 2010 Award Winner

Best of Riesling Awards 2008

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