We tasted quite a slew of German wines today. Here are some of the highlights.
We started off with a flight of 3 DRY styled white wines. The first was the 2014 Rudolf Fürst Weissburgunder “Pur Mineral” from Franconia, Germany. Owner/winemaker Paul Fürst was selected as 2003 “Gault Millau Winemaker of the Year”. We have been BIG fans of his Rieslings, Muller Thurgau, Pinot Noirs & now the Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc). While many of his wines come from his estate vineyard (sandstone soils) in Burgstädt, this pure, precise, ethereal, remarkably light & absolutely riveting white wine comes the Volkacher Karthäuser vineyard & its limestone soils…..3 hectares…harvested at 92 oechsle, fermented dry (50% wild yeast), sees NO malolactic & is then aged in 1500 liter big oak. Definitely a wine worth searching out for. The next wine tasted was the 2015 Hans Wirsching Silvaner Dry “Iphöfer Kalb” VDP.ERSTE LAGE. Hans Wirsching is another standout Franconian winery & has been for a VERY long time. Their 3 TOP vineyard sites are located in Iphöf–Julius Echter Berg, Kronsberg & Kalb. “The Iphöfer Kalb is a steep slope that faces south with gypsum-keuper soils. I realized a few years back, the grape variety Silvaner is innately & amazingly pliable (at least on the country” style of renditions) & can therefore work with a wide range of foods. This bottling however is meant to be more sophisticated…..higher level. The words Erste Lage, in fact, is Germany’s effort at a Cru system, highlighting dry wines of distinct quality levels. It certainly delivers accordingly. The final wine of the flight–2015 Wirsching Scheurebe Kabinett Dry “Iphöfer”–I am always so re-amazed every new vintage how delicately perfumed, remarkably light & pretty & wonderfully delicious this wine is. I also think this is one of the finest white wines out there to consider with pairing with contemporary Asian fusion foods.
Theo Haart was “2007 Gault Millau Winemaker of the Year” & is growing & crafting some of the finest white wines in the world. His home turf is mainly Piesporter Goldtröpfchen, which many would equate to a Grand Cru level vineyard if there was ever such a thing. Haart also owns small parcels in Piesport-Kreutzwingert (monopole), Domherr & Gräfenberg, as well as a small 1 hectare parcel in Wintricher Ohligsberg. I often shake my head in wonderful when tasting his TOP echelon wines & how he deftly able to combine such power, profound, ageworthy structure & pedigree with such civility, sophistication & grace. At our Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, we readily offer the Reinhold Haart Riesling “Piesporter” bottling, a medium dry to dry (12 degree alcohol), wonderfully minerally estate Riesling, which is sourced from a combination of their vineyards of Piesport. It really is amazingly food friendly & over delivers for the dollar. The 2014 Reinhold Haart Riesling Kabinett “Piesporter”, in comparison is slight sweet, & only 9 degrees in alcohol & therefore suited for dishes somewhat more spicy or salty in preparation. The 2015 Reinhold Haart Riesling Kabinett “Piesporter Goldtröpfchen” is all Goldtröpfchen, deep clay soils with gray-blue slate & the minerality, vinosity & filigree is quite different than the previous 2 wines. It is also seemingly slightly sweeter & only 8.5 alcohol, which makes it an ideal wine for spicy, salty Asian inspired foods. The showstopper of the line-up is the 2007 Haart Riesling Kabinett “Piesporter Goldtröpfchen”, which has much more mineral character, vinosity, profound depth, pedigree, intricacies & pizazz. PLUS, with 10 years of bottle age, the once apparent sweetness had partially changed to a more creamy, tactile, viscosity on the palate AND allows the minerality to come more front & center. What a wine!!!