WorldWine Tasting Report

2011-11-10

Germany's Pinots '11

Our top wines             
 

Germany's Pinot noir, mostly called Spätburgunder, is on the advance, a fact which has recently been confirmed by two renowned wine writers, Britain's Tim Atkin, who stated on his website "The other, more important thing was the impressive quality of the top wines. The words world class are over-used. But these Pinots were just that", and Ed McCarthy who echoed on www.winereviewonline.com "Pinot Noirs, known in Germany as Spätburgunders, are better than ever in certain regions, such as Baden".

In the last four months we have been able to taste close to 400 wines of the 2008 and 2009 vintages. If you add all the second and third bottles which we had to open - thank you everybody for still closing the wines with natural cork, if you know what I mean - we came close to 500 bottles tasted. Although our expectations had already been high, due to the good results of our last "Spätburgunder" tasting report, we still were deeply impressed by the outcome of the tastings this time: 38 wines have been attribute five stars out of five, 23 other wines got the five stars with a little question mark and another 36 wines were so close to a 5-star-ranking that they might as well achieve that goal with a little bit of ageing and maturing. Of course, purists might observe, the distance to the top of Burgundy's Pinots is still remarkable - to give you an example, in our latest Burgundy report we awarded three "dreamwine" ratings, although having sampled considerably less bottles, in Germany we found none - but the density of the top section is impressive.

Notwithstanding the generally positiv impression, it is worthwile to look at the details. While the wines from 2008 ended up at an average rating of three stars, slightly below the 4-star-bar, those from 2009 clearly surpassed that level. Looking at the individual regions, the best average results were achieved by Palatinate, Rhein-Hesse, Wuerttemberg and the Ahr, while the generally highly appraised region of Baden (fairly high alcohol, especially in 2009) came in on fifth place only. The only region where we preferred the 2008 vintage over the 2009 was the Rheingau.

One last remark. Only three out of the 20 top wines of our tastings were labeled "Großes / Erstes Gewächs", the VDP-equivalent of the french Grands Crus. Many so called Grands Crus wines, on the other hand, ended up in the lower echelons of our tasting. We thus ask ourselves if the VDP's claim to label only the top of Germany's wines as Großes Gewächs is not a little bit too pretentious. If, however, it is only a marketing manoeuvre in order to make wine prices rise, then the consumer can easily do without that category - at least as far as the reds are concerned.

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Our complete tastings (comments in German)

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*****Jean Stodden (Rech / Ahr) - Neuenahrer Sonnenberg Spätburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
 
*****Hermann Schwörer (Durbach) - Durbacher Plauelrain Spätburgunder 2009 Auslese tr.
 
*****Kuhnle (Weinstadt-Strümpfelbach) - Württemberg Spätburgunder Holzfass 2008
 
*****Hofmann (Röttingen) - Röttinger Feuerstein Spätburgunder RR 2008
 
*****Schell (Rech / Ahr) - Ahr Spätburgunder Anno 1921 2009
 
*****Peter Kriechel (Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler) - Neuenahrer Sonnenberg Spätburgunder R 2008
 
*****Horst Knauß (Weinstadt) - Württemberg Spätburgunder R 2008
 
*****Cleebronn-Güglingen-Frauenzimmern eG (Cleebronn) - Württemberg Spätburgunder Herzog Christoph 2009
 
*****Peth-Wetz (Bermersheim) - Bechtheimer Rosengarten Spätburgunder 2009
 
*****Ernst Bretz (Bechtolsheim) - Bechtolsheimer Petersberg Spätburgunder 2009 Auslese tr.
 
*****Lamberth (Ludwigshöhe) - Rheinhessen Spätburgunder Edition CL 2009 Auslese
 
*****Eckhard Weitzel (Ingelheim 4) - Rheinhessen Spätburgunder Selection Bockstein 2009 Auslese tr.
 
*****Graf von Neipperg (Schwaigern) - Neipperger Schlossberg Spätburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
 
*****Rainer Schnaitmann (Fellbach) - Württemberg Spätburgunder Simonroth 2009
 
*****Stern (Hochstadt) - Pfalz Spätburgunder *** 2009
 
*****Hubert Lay (Ihringen ) - Ihringer Winklerberg Spätburgunder 2009 Auslese tr.
 
*****Brodbeck (Bötzingen) - Bötzinger Eckberg Spätburgunder 2009 Spätlese tr.
 
*****Hubert Lay (Ihringen ) - Ihringer Fohrenberg Spätburgunder 2009 Spätlese tr.
 
*****Dr. Heger (Ihringen) - Achkarrer Schlossberg Spätburgunder *** 2009 Großes Gewächs
 
*****Heid (Fellbach) - Fellbacher Lämmler Spätburgunder *** 2009
 
*****Schumacher (Herxheim) - Herxheimer Himmelreich Spätburgunder Garten R 2009
 
*****Lehnert - Veit (Piesport) - Piesporter Günterslay Spätburgunder Reserve 2009
 
*****Franz-Josef Regnery (Klüsserath) - Klüsserather Bruderschaft Spätburgunder Barrique 2009
 
*****Cleebronn-Güglingen-Frauenzimmern eG (Cleebronn) - Württemberg Spätburgunder Emotion CG 2008
 
*****August Kesseler (Rüdesheim) - Assmannshäuser Höllenberg Spätburgunder 2009
 
*****Georg-Müller-Stiftung - Stadt Eltville (Eltville) - Rheingau Spätburgunder Edition PW 2009
 
*****Georg-Müller-Stiftung - Stadt Eltville (Eltville) - Rheingau Spätburgunder Franz-Josef 2009
 
*****Jean Buscher (Bechtheim) - Rheinhessen Spätburgunder Edition Otmar Alt 2009
 
*****Keller (Worms-Pfiffligheim) - Wormser Nonnenwingert Spätburgunder 2009 Auslese tr.
 
*****Eckehart Gröhl (Weinolsheim) - Rheinhessen Pinot noir Barrique 2008
 
*****Wageck Pfaffmann (Bissersheim) - Rhein Deutscher Tafewein Spätburgunder Gottes Berg 2009
 
*****Brodbeck (Bötzingen) - Bötzinger Lasenberg Spätburgunder 2009 Spätlese tr.
 
*****Oberkircher Winzergenossenschaft eG (Oberkirch) - Baden Spätburgunder Collection Royal 2009 AP 7210
 
*****Leopold Schätzle (Endingen) - Endinger Engelsberg Spätburgunder Holzfass 2009 Auslese
 
*****Hermann Schwörer (Durbach) - Baden Spätburgunder Alte Reben 2008
 
*****Oberkircher Winzergenossenschaft eG (Oberkirch) - Baden Spätburgunder Alte Reben 2009
 
*****Knipser (Laumersheim) - Laumersheimer Kirschgarten Spätburgunder 2008 Großes Gewächs
 
*****Knipser (Laumersheim) - Großkarlbacher Burgweg Spätburgunder 2008 Großes Gewächs
 
***** ?Andreas Männle (Durbach) - Durbacher Bienengarten Spätburgunder Barrique 2008 Spätlese
 
***** ?Georg-Müller-Stiftung - Stadt Eltville (Eltville) - Hattenheimer Hassel Spätburgunder 2009
 
***** ?Sander (Mettenheim) - Rheinhessen Spätburgunder "S" 2009
 
***** ?Jacob Duijn (Bühl / Baden) - Laufer Gut Alsenhof Spätburgunder 2009
 
***** ?Posthof - Doll & Göth (Stadecken-Elsheim) - Ingelheimer Spätburgunder 2009 Spätlese tr.
 
***** ?Villa Heynburg (Kappelrodeck) - Baden Spätburgunder Grande Réserve 2009 tr.
 
***** ?Freiherr von Gleichenstein (Vogtsburg-Oberrotweil) - Oberrotweiler Eichberg Spätburgunder barrique 2008
 
***** ?Andreas Männle (Durbach) - Durbacher Bienengarten Spätburgunder Edition 2009
 
***** ?Andreas Männle (Durbach) - Durbacher Bienengarten Spätburgunder 2009 Spätlese tr.
 
***** ?Kalkbödele - Gebr. Mathis (Merdingen) - Merdinger Bühl Spätburgunder 2009
 
***** ?Weber (Ettenheim) - Ettenheimer Kaiserberg Spätburgunder Barrique 2009 Spätlese tr.
 
***** ?Burkheim am Kaiserstuhl eG (Burkheim) - Burkheimer Schlossgarten Spätburgunder 2009 Auslese tr.
 
***** ?Jean Stodden (Rech / Ahr) - Recher Herrenberg Spätburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
 
***** ?Thomas Siegrist (Leinsweiler) - Ilbesheimer Kalmit Pinot noir ** 2009
 
***** ?Bergdolt (Neustadt-Duttweiler) - Duttweiler Kalkberg Spätburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
 
***** ?Wageck Pfaffmann (Bissersheim) - Großkarlbacher Burgweg Spätburgunder R *** 2009
 
***** ?Rings (Freinsheim) - Rhein Deutscher Tafewein Spätburgunder Gottes Berg unfiltriert 2009
 
***** ?Knab (Endingen) - Endinger Engelsberg Spätburgunder Barrique 2009 Auslese
 
***** ?Knab (Endingen) - Endinger Engelsberg Spätburgunder *** 2009
 
***** ?Knab (Endingen) - Endinger Engelsberg Spätburgunder R 2009
 
***** ?Waldemar Braun (Nordheim) - Nordheimer Vögelein Spätburgunder Am starken Holz 2009
 
***** ?Markus Fries (Maring-Novland) - Mosel Spätburgunder 2009
 
***** ?Horst Knauß (Weinstadt) - Württemberg Spätburgunder R 2009
 
***** ?Rainer Schnaitmann (Fellbach) - Fellbacher Lämmler Spätburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs

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