Friday, June 7, 2019

Winemaker Dinner with Christoph Wolber of New-wave Producer Weingut Wasenhaus, Baden, at Schaumahl, Offenbach/ Frankfurt, 16 Points Gault Millau, Germany

Pictures: Raffaele Fazio, Annette Schiller and Christoph Wolber - Winemaker Dinner with Christoph Wolber of New-wave Producer Weingut Wasenhaus, Baden, at Schaumahl, Offenbach/ Frankfurt, 16 Points Gault Millau, Germany

Restaurant SchauMahl in Offenbach, in the greater Frankfurt am Main area, is one of the best restaurants in the region. With Chef Björn Andreas, Restaurant SchauMahl has been at the 16 points Gault Millau rating for a number of years, which was confirmed recently in the Gault Millau Deutschland 2019.

With a charming service, Esra Egner and Raffaele Fazio make sure that you feel good at Restaurant SchauMahl.

Pictures: Arriving at SchauMahl

Restaurant SchauMahl runs an interesting series of winemaker dinners. If I am in town (Frankfurt) I always book immediately, because these dinners sell out very fast.

This time, Winemaker/ Owner Christoph Wolber (with Partner Alexander Götze) of new-wave, minimal intervention producer Weingut Wasenhaus, Baden, was at Schaumahl, Offenbach/ Frankfurt. As usual, Chef Björn Andreas and his team prepared an outstanding menu. The service of Esra Egner and Raffaele Fazio was top.

Interestingly, Weingut Wasenhaus, a small producer, is available in the USA, through Vom Boden in New York City. In fact, roughly half of the (small) output is sent ot the USA.

In the Frankfurt area, Weingut Wasnehaus, is distributed through Cool Climate, Berliner Strasse 20.

Pictures: Welcome

Weingut Wasenhaus (Vom Boden)

I’ve had two mind-blowing “wow” moments with German Pinot Noir. Once with Enderle & Moll, tasting their first release in 2008. And now, with Wasenhaus, tasting their first releases last year (2018).

One revelation every decade, I guess.

Alex Götze and Christoph Wolber, two Germans, were bitten by the same Burgundy-bug and ended up meeting each other in Beaune, both on their own wine-pilgrimage. Alex was born and raised in the area of Dresden and came to wine through architecture. Christoph was raised in Baden and a bottle of Bernard van Berg was so compelling that he ended up just jumping on his motorcycle and heading east.

Picture:Christoph Wolber and Alexander Götze

Over a period of five-plus years, both garnered pretty serious Burgundian credentials, working at Comte Armand, Bernard van Berg, Leflaive, de Montille, Pierre Morey and Domaine de la Vougeraie. Alex, in fact, remains the vineyard manager for de Montille.

How can he work for de Montille and be involved in winemaking in Baden? The holy land of Pinot Noir is only about two-and-a-half hours due south east from Baden y’all, just FYI.

Now, I do not want this to be yet another vague and salesy essay about how Baden can make Burgundian wines; at the same time, the similarity in geography and, in some cases, soil type should also not be ignored. In any event, in this case, the geographical proximity allows Wasenhaus to exist.

Pictures: The Dinner

As for the wines, the measured introduction would be something like: these are among the most talked-about wines in Germany and they deserve this status. Honestly, I’ve had few people taste these wines and not have an eyebrow raise or a jaw drop. They are not only that good, but they are that obviously good.

Similar to Enderle & Moll, the Wasenhaus Pinot Noirs show an uncommon lightness and clarity; a finesse that embarrasses just about all other German Pinot Noirs. While Enderle & Moll tends to present more tense, a bit more structured and wild, the Wasenhaus wines are ultra-fine, with a textural elegance that is second to none. If Enderle & Moll is punk rock; Wasenhaus is chamber music – one isn’t better than the other, but they are very different.

While the Pinot Noirs are showstoppers, the Weissburgunders, for me at least, are revelatory.

The focus at Wasenhaus (thus named after the farm that Christoph grew up at, focusing on horses and not wine) is old vines, old clones, and in general curious parcels that dot the landscape of southern Baden (check out the map, to the right). Alex and Christoph seek out vineyards that have been ignored because they are too hard to work, because the yields are too low, for whatever quirky reason.

The farming is organic with elements of biodynamics woven in. They own very small plots near Staufen (this is where the farm “Wasenhaus” is located) and buy grapes from specific farmers and specific plots in the Kaiserstühl (again, the map may be useful here). The winemaking is low intervention. The white wines are all whole-cluster pressed with a basket press; the élevage is in neutral barrels of varying sizes. The reds are fermented in open-top vats and then aged in neutral barrels as well. Only natural yeasts are used, and all wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered. Sulfur is used only at bottling and minimally.

Please keep in mind that Alex and Christoph are farming only around a hectare and a half. I think we got the majority of their production, but this amounted to just over a pallet of wine (50 cases). So while these wines are worth the trouble to find, keep in mind finding them will be some trouble. Our apologies there. Small growers, big problems ya know?

If you’d like to be put on the mailing list to be alerted to when we receive any Wasenhaus wines, please email us at info at vomboden dot com.


Grüsse vom Koch

Shimesaba mit Mais, Linsen und Okra

Lachs mit Erbse und Safran

Garnele mit Schweinebauch, Spinat, Kräutersaitling und Meerrettich

Lamm mit Petersilie, Aivar und Aubergine

Bleu de Basque, Speck, Dattel, Trüffel und Haselnuss

Waldmeister mit Erdbeere, weisse Schokolade und Joghurt

The Wines

Maison Duval Leroy Brut Reserve

2017 Weingut Wasenhaus, Weissburgunder

2017 Weingut Wasenhaus, Wieswo (80% Riesling and 20% Weissburgunder)
2017 Weingut Wasnehaus, Weissburgunder Möhlin

2017 Weingut Wasnehaus, Spätburgunder Vulkan

2017 Weingut Wasnehaus, Spätburgunder Bellen

2016 Weingut Van Volxem Spätlese Bockstein


Thanks Christoph, Björn, Esra and Raffaele for an outstanding evening!

Pictures: Bye-bye

Dirk Eisel and Christian Schiller

We had a great time.

Picture: Dirk Eisel and Christian Schiller

Previous Winemaker Dinners at schauMahl

Winemaker Dinner with Sebastian Fürst, Weingut Fürst, Franken, at Schaumahl, Offenbach/ Frankfurt, 16 Points Gault Millau, Germany (2017)

Winemaker Dinner with Azienda Agricola Foradori (Trentino, Italy) at SchauMahl in Frankfurt, Germany (2015) 

Fabulous Dinner at schauMahl Restaurant with Winemaker Georg Rumpf, Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Chef Björn Andreas and Sommelier Pit Punda, Germany (2014) 

The Bistronomics Cuisine of Chef Christoph Kubenz and the Wines of Winemaker Christian Stahl at Restaurant schauMahl in Frankfurt, Germany (2012)

schiller-wine: Related Postings

Announcement: ombiasy WineTours in 2019 - Germany-North and Bordeaux

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

UPCOMING Tours/ Wine Dinners/ Tastings - Annette and Christian Schiller/ ombiasyPR & WineTours/ schiller-wine, Germany, France, USA (Issued: June 3, 2019)

Reminder: Ombiasy Wine Tour to Bordeaux: September 03 - September 12, 2019

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