Thursday, July 5, 2018

Winemaker Dinner with Chef/ King of Spices Ingo Holland and Sebastian Fürst (Weingut Rudolf Fürst, Franken), Julian Huber (Weingut Bernhard Huber, Baden) and Jérôme Legras (Champagne Legras & Haas)

Picture: Winemaker Dinner with Chef/ King of Spices Ingo Holland and Paul and Sebastian Fürst, Weingut Rudolf Fürst, Franken, Julian Huber, Weingut Bernhard Huber, Baden, Jérôme Legras, Champagne Legras & Haas

Weingut Rudolf Fürst, Franken, is one of the 14 wine producers in Germany that are listed in the 5 (out of 5 grapes) group in the Vinum WeinGuide 2018 - Germany's top producers. On June 23 and 24, Weingut Rudolf Fürst opened its doors for its new vintage presentation. Also present as guests were Weingut Bernhard Huber, Baden, (also a 5/5 grapes producer)and Legras & Haas Champagne.

Pictures: Klingenberg/ Franken

As highlight of the tasting weekend, Paul and Sebastian Fürst, Julian Huber and Jérôme Legras presented their wines at a winemaker dinner with Chef Ingo Holland at the Alte Gewürzamt in Klingenberg. Annette and I were very happy to be able to attend the winemaker winner. It was spectacular.

Pictures: Welcome

Paul and Sebastian Fürst - Weingut Rudolf Fürst

The Miltenberg basin in the western tip of Franken between the forested hills of the Odenwald and the Spessart, where Bürgstadt is located, provides ideal climatic conditions for first-class viticulture. The weathered colored sandstone of the Centgrafenberg vineyard in Bürgstadt and the extremely steep slopes of the Schlossberg vineyard in Klingenberg are home to the most extraordinary Frühburgunder and Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir Précos and Pinot Noir) produced by Paul and Sebastian Fürst.

Frühburgunder (also known as Pinot Madeleine) is an old variety, autochthonous to this region, which yields full bodied wines and has attracted more and more attention over the last years. Roughly 60% of the wine produced is red.

In addition to the reds, brilliant white wines, such as Riesling, Weissburgunder and Franken’s signature wine, Silvaner, are also produced here.

Pictures: Sebastian Fürst

The Fürst family has been producing wine in this area since 1638. In 1979 Paul and Monika Fürst built the new estate amidst the vineyards and in 2007 they were joined by their son Sebastian.

For the Fürsts the vineyards are the biggest asset in the production of high qualitiy wines. Whether it's the high density of planting, best rootstocks and scions, low trellises, optimal humus content, plant protection and selective picking, all aspects are regarded as equally essential and from pruning to picking all the most important work in the vineyards is done by hand.

Altogether Weingut Fürst has 20 hectares of vines, with 13 hectares of the Centgrafenberg vineyard the biggest block.

Centgrafenberg: Bürgstadt, 11 ha. As a result of the practice of gavelkind over centuries, the vineyards are split into 20 plots, creating a broad spectrum of soil composition. The higher the content of fertile loam, the better the soils are suited for growing white wines, whereas the more stony plots are perfect for the reds.

Hundsrück: Bürgstadt, 2.5 ha, partially terraced, Großes Gewächs since 2003, primary rock covered by 0.5-2m of warm, well drained and aerated surface soil The ideal vineyard soil, though quite unforgiving when it comes to mistakes in husbandry. Each year the Hundsrück makes for the most powerful and spicy Pinot in our portfolio.

Schlossberg: Klingenberg, 1.3 ha, steep terraces, red sandstone, one of Germany's famous historical pinot sites, In 2004 Paul and Sebastian bought 3 plots on this impressive slope, including the one between the wing walls of Clingenburg castle . Between 2004 and 2006 they were planted with the best Pinot vines and hundreds of yards of dry stone wall were restored.

Karthäuser: Volkach, shell limestone, Chardonnay ,Pinot Blanc, Silvaner, named for the adjacent charterhouse of Astheim.

After fermentation on the skins in open vats, the red varieties are left in french oak barrels for 12 to 20 months to mature and settle. All red wines are bottled unfiltered. White wines are pressed gently, fermented and aged in both barrels and stainless steel tanks for 6 - 12 months. Lowtech vinification assures each wine gets the necessary time to develop.

Julian Huber - Weingut Bernhard Huber

Germany has established itself as a serious red wine country during the past 30 years. One of the father's of the German red wine revolution is Bernhard Huber. Bernhard Huber, only 53 years old, died in June 2014 after a battle with cancer. His son Julian Huber, assisted by his mother Barbara Huber, has taken over.

Weingut Bernhard Huber is located in Malterdingen in the Breisgau area. More than 700 years ago, Cistercian monks came to Malterdingen, and found the same terroir as in Burgundy and thus started to plant Pinot Noir grapes. Still today, in many reference books on grape varieties, “Malterdinger” is used as a synonym for Pinot Noir.

Pictures: Julian Huber

Although the vineyard has been in the family for several generations, Bernhard and Barbara first began estate bottling, when they took control in 1987 from his father. Before that, grapes and wine were sold to a local cooperative.

In 2004 Bernhard Huber started “Reserve” wines bottled from vineyards individually. Before that, his top wine was a mix of vineyard sites.

The vineyard area totals 26 hectares, with holdings in the Bienenberg (Malterdingen), Schlossberg (Hecklingen) and Sommerhalde (Bombach) sites. 70 % is planted with Pinot Noir, the rest with Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Auxerrois, Freisamer, Muskateller, Müller-Thurgau, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

The red wines always ferment on the skin and lay in the oak barrel for up to 18 months before bottling. Weingut Huber has about 600 barrique barrels and replaces about 150 barrels each year.

Pictures: Our Table

Jérôme Legras and Champagne Legras & Haas

Doctor Wine: In Côte des Blancs there is a village with just over a thousand inhabitants where almost everyone has at least one small vineyard parcel, a precious treasure passed down from one generation to another for over 100 years. It is the Grand Cru village Chouilly and its Chardonnay is one of the most after.

Chouilly is home to the Legras & Haas family Maison that only began producing its own Champagne in 1991 but has been growing grapes there for almost six generations, 200 years, in vineyards situated on the northern side of the Côte des Blancs. Today the estate is run by brothers Jerôme, Olivier and Rémi and has 37 hectares, 17 of which are in Chouilly. The estate’s expansion was thanks to Brigitte Haas and her husband François Legras, both the children of winemakers who in the 1960s began enlarging the family’s vineyard land.

And it is the vineyard that dictates everything, with each parcel vinified separately which allows for the creation of new cuvée, starting with the tasting of the vins clair. A case in point, Jerôme said, was the birth of the Champagne Les Sillons, a lieux-dits that they have had from the beginning, which began when he and his brothers tasted its wine in 1995 and recognized its traits of being tonic and complex.

Pictures: Jérôme Legras

Aside from the grapes from their own vineyards, wine is made with grapes from other vigneron with whom the family has had a consolidated relationship of trust for over 20 years and whose grapes are used for the non-vintage blends. The first step in winemaking is the harvest, also because making wine using the bunch as a whole means the grapes have to be perfectly intact so they maintain after pressing – which is done as delicately as possible – the particular characteristics of a specific area. The stabilization of the must is done in a natural way within 24 hours of the pressing after which slow fermentation begins under a controlled temperature between 17 and 18°C to best preserve the fruit aromas.

For stylistic reasons, malolactic fermentation is carried out in full, after which they wait until spring to create the cuvée, and this is the only moment the whole family is on hand to take part in. And when asked what his favorite dosage was, Jerôme reply was simple: “a good dosage is one you forget about”, and this whether it is high or low because there must never be the sensation that the balance is lacking.

The decision by Legras & Haas to following each step of the vinification parcel by parcel allows them to express the tradition of the land create a Champagne with a decidedly personal style composed of precision, purity and complexity. The Legras & Hass line of wines includes one that is not a Blanc de Blancs, Exigence n. 8, a very limited production made from vielles vignes (old vines), an equal blend of Grand Cru Chouilly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Aÿ. The number in the wine represents that of the versions that have been made. Thus this is the eighth edition of this intense and compelling Champagne.

Ingo and Kilian Holland - Altes Gewürzamt

Ingo Holland is a well-known German cook. He is considered an expert in spices.

Ingo Holland completed an apprenticeship as a chef at the Hotel Frankfurter Hof. Afterwards he worked at the Parkhotel Crombach in Rosenheim, at the Hilton Hotel in Munich, in the Swiss Stuben in Wertheim and in the Hotel Baur au Lac in Zurich. His teachers include Dieter Müller and Harald Wohlfahrt.

Pictures: Open Kitchen

In 1997 he took over the restaurant "Zum Alten Rentamt" in the old town of Klingenberg, where he served as head chef until 2007. During that period he was awarded one Michelin star and 18 Gault Millau points in 2007.

Because of his dissatisfaction with the spices available in the market, he founded in 2001 the company "Altes Gewürzamt“. There he trades in spices and develops new spice blends. In 2007 he handed over the restaurant to his pupil Ludger Helbig to focus on the spicy company, jointly with his son Kilian Holland.

Pictures: Ingo and Kilian Holland

The Dinner

2015 Riesling Pur Mineral Weingut Rudolf Fürst

Sauerrahmmousse mit geräuchertem Lachs und rohmariniertem Kohlrabi mit Ducca
Gegrillter Aal auf Sushireis mit Feige
Melonensalat mit Mini-Mozzarella und Katenschinken

2008 Blanc de Blancs Grand Cru Millésime Champagne Legras & Haas
2012 Riesling Centgrafenberg GG Weingut Rudolf Fürst

Gelierte Geflügelessenz mit mariniertem Lachskaviar, gekühlter Erbsencreme und gebackener Geflügelkirsche

2015 Chardonnay Alte Reben Weingut Bernhard Huber

Seezungen-Krustentier-Rouladee auf Artischocken à la barigoule und beurre blanc mit Wakame-Algen

2004 Sonnenhalde Spätburgunder GG Weingut Bernhard Huber
2003 Spätburgunder R Centgrafenberg Weingut Rudolf Fürst

Kalbshaxe mit schwarzem Pfefferlack auf Totentrompeten-Kartoffelpüree mit wildem Brokkoli und Mark-Crostini

Champagner Brut Rosé Champagne Legras & Haas

Mille feuille von Brillat-Savarin und Blätterteig mit Waldbeerencoulis


Many thanks for a most delightful evening.

schiller-wine: Related Postings

UPCOMING Tours/ Wine Dinners/ Tastings - Annette and Christian Schiller/ ombiasyPR & WineTours/ schiller-wine, Germany, France, USA (Issued: July 2, 2018)

Ombiasy Wine Tours 2018: 3 x France and 3 x Germany - Ombiasy Newsletter December 2017

Winemaker Dinner with Sebastian Fürst, Weingut Fürst, Franken, at Schaumahl, Offenbach/ Frankfurt, 16 Points Gault Millau, Germany

Germany’s Best Winemakers and Wines – Vinum WeinGuide Deutschland 2018 Awards: The Award Ceremony in Mainz, Germany

Tasting and Tour with the Pinot Noir Legend Paul Fürst, Weingut Rudolf Fürst in Bürgstadt, Franken – Germany-East Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Tasting at Weingut Bernhard Huber in Baden, with Yquem Viehauser and Julian Huber – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Wine Tasting at Weingut Bernhard Huber – Germany-South Wine Tour by ombiasy (2014)

Champagne, Sekt, Cava, Pét-Nat ...: Sparkling Wines around the World - A Primer

Champagne – An Introduction, France

French Champagne Houses and German Roots

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