Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2014 (Forst) Jesuitengarten Riesling Grosse Gewächse and Equivalent

Many of those who don’t accord Kirchenstück the status as greatest Pfalz vineyard instead opt for Jesuitengarten. And many of the Kirchenstück advocates would place Jesuitengarten second. It’s easy to see why: the vineyard gives wines of great completeness. (Continue reading here.)

2014 (Forst) Ungeheuer Riesling Grosse Gewächse and Their Equivalent

Ungeheuer is the largest of the great Forst vineyards, and lies upslope from three of the others: Kirchenstück, Jesuitengarten, and Freundstück. As you can see in the reviews below, the 2014s are splendid. (Continue reading here.)

Monday, September 28, 2015

2014 (Forst) Kirchenstück Riesling Grosse Gewächse and Their Equivalent

Many, including myself, regard Kirchenstück as the greatest Pfalz vineyard, but that doesn’t mean that it produces the greatest Pfalz wines in each and every vintage. In particular, while the wines are very good in 2014, they do not stand out from the pack of other great Pfalz 2014s.

Interestingly, although Dr. Bürklin-Wolf and Reichsrat von Buhl presented other GG’s in Wiesbaden, they did not present their wines from Kirchenstück. As I did not visit either estate, I do not know if it is because the wines are slow-developing or for other reasons. (Continue reading here.)

Sunday, September 27, 2015

2014 Deidesheim Riesling Grosse Gewächse

I think that the best way to think of the Palz is to compare it to the Côte d’Or. Both are stretches about equal in length of east-facing vineyards on hills. Without going deeper into this model for now, for me, Deidesheim is the Chambolle-Musigny of the Pfalz with exceptional wines to be exceeded by only one other village (Vosne-Romanée/Forst).

As these wines show, Deidesheim was highly successful in 2014. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

2014 Riesling Grosse Gewächse from the mid-Pfalz (Gimmeldingen, Königsbach, and Ruppertsberg)

The high quality demonstrated from the southern Pfalz continues here in the middle part, aided by producers of outstanding quality. (Continue reading here.)

2014 Riesling Grosse Gewächse from the southern Pfalz

Hansjörg Rebholz explained that the Südpfalz did not have the heavy rains that many other German wine regions had in 2014 and also not much problem with the Suzuki fruit fly, and as a consequence, conditions were easier. He thinks that potentially, 2014 is very great in the region. Certainly that is the case for his wines, and the others that I tasted are very good, too.

I tasted these wines at the Wiesbadedn GG preview in late August. (Continue reading here.)

Friday, September 18, 2015

2014 Silvaner Grosse Gewächse from Franken (Franconia)

Based on the 2014 Silvaner Grosse Gewächse presented in Wiesbaden, I would have to say that it is a good vintage, but not nearly as outstanding as 2013 was. Of the fifteen wines presented, fourteen were good enough to be reviewed here. The only one that I found lacking was the (Sulzfeld) Maustal Silvaner Grosses Gewächs from Zehnthof Luckert. And even that could develop into something of interest with time.

It should be noted that a number of producers, such as Juliusspital, that usually show their wines at Wiesbaden chose not to this year. In the case of Juliusspital, its website says that it has chosen to offer the GGs only on September 1 of next year – consistent with my observation that it is a very slow-developing vintage. (Continue reading here.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

2013 Baden Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs

As with other regions, in Baden the 2013 Spätburgunder Grosse Gewächse showed great inconsistency. The late Bernhard Huber nailed every wine (big surprise!) as did Bercher with the one wine that I tasted, and Salwey for the most part showed well (there’s one wine I’m not reviewing here). But as with many producers in other parts of Germany, there were too many wines from producers who still don’t get it that oak, alcohol, and extraction/artificial concentration should not be the goals for Pinot Noir.

As in other regions, I'm only reviewing here the best wines. I'll subsequently give a list of other Spätburgunder Grosse Gewächse that I thought not good enough to review. (Continue reading here.)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

2013 Württemberg Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs -- the Best of a Mixed Lot

There are some decent (but not outstanding) Spätburgunder GG’s from Württemberg in this vintage. But the sad part is that in addition to these wines, I tasted nine other Spätburgunder GG’s from Württemberg that were not up to snuff. In short, it's not an easy vintage for the region. (Continue reading here.)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

2013 Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs Releases from Franken

The next flight of Spätburgunder GG’s at the Wiesbaden tasting was from Franken (Franconia), including three from Rudolf Fürst, which, along with Bernhard Huber, is in my view one of the two greatest Pinot Noir producers in Germany. What’s not to like? Certainly nothing about the Fürst wines, although there were a couple of other surprises that had me scratching my head. (Continue reading here.)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

New Pfalz Spätburgunder Grosses Gewächs Releases: 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010

The Pfalz, always a strong area for Spätburgunder, shows plenty of promise for many of the newly-released GG’s. Interestingly, some prominent Spätburgunder producers chose not to show their wines, most notably Friedrich Becker, who usually has wines at the Wiesbaden tasting.

2012 was a great year for Spätburgunder. 2013 was not as good, but it was possible to make very good wine. 2011 was a challenging vintage, too. (Continue reading here.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

2013 and Earlier Grosses Gewächs Spätburgunder: Ahr (including Frühburgunder), Mittelrhein, Rheingau, Nahe, and Rheinhessen

I’ve developed a strategy for tasting at the Wiesbaden Grosses Gewächs tasting, held the last Monday and Tuesday of August. I begin with the Pinot Noirs (Spätburgunders) and than move on to the Rieslings, which generally have more acidity to enliven the palate. 

White wines shown at Wiesbaden were from the 2014 vintage, but the Spätburgunders were from 2013 and earlier. (Continue reading here.)

2014 German Vintage -- Updated Overview Following Tastings in Germany

Travel has kept me from writing up my experiences in Germany, but I am able to start now, beginning with an update on the 2014 vintage based on my additional tastings at the Wiesbaden Grosses Gewächs preview and visits in the Nahe, Pfalz, and Rheinhessen: (continue reading here)