WorldWine Tasting Report


German Riesling-Challenge 2013

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by Eckhard Supp - It was designed to be a first attempt and it became a very succesful first attempt, our new German Riesling-Challenge dedicated to dry Rieslings of the 2011 vintage. After a two-tier tasting finished last week, the challenge was won by the Graf von Kanitz winery in the Rheingau followed by Dr. Siemens of the Mosel and Alexander Laible from Baden. The challenge was initiated at the beginning of this year by ENO WorldWine and Effilee magazine and, in spite of the very short subscription period, gained a total of 220 wine submissions coming from 91 producers all over Germany. After elimination of some wines which did not match (sweet Trockenbeerenauslese and others) 213 wines remained of which we tasted a considerable number twice because of cork problems or heavily contrasting judgements of the jury. Together with the wines which acceded to the final we had to taste a total of close to 300 samples.

The three winners of our 2013 German Riesling-Challenge:  Lorcher Pfaffenwies Spätlese trocken of Graf von Kanitz at Lorch (Rheingau), a Serriger Würtzberg TerraSaar Kabinett trocken of Dr. Siemens in Serrig (Mosel) and a Alte Reben SG *** of Alexander Laible in Durbach (Baden).

This was only possible thanks to the help of a group of sommeliers and wine retailers who took care of the wines together with myself and Vijay Sapre, the Effilee publisher: Gerhard Retter, Brigitte Budweg, Eberhard Jourdan, Sebastian Bordthäuser, Elisabeth Füngers, Toni Viehhauser and Imtiaz Alikhan. As far as the wines are concerned the biggest regional group came from the Mosel (69), followed by Pfalz (53), Rheingau (25), Rheinhessen, Baden, Nahe, Württemberg, Franken and Mittelrhein.

Concentration and dedication in Hamburg's famous "Nil" restaurant. Only after the winners having been declared, it was allowed to unwrap the bottles. To some of the jury members the names were quite a surprise: Imtiaz Alikhan, Eberhard Jourdan, Eckhard Supp, Vijay Sapre, Brigitte Budweg, Elisabeth Füngers, Gerhard Retter, Toni Viehhauser and Sebastian Bordthäuser (left to right, photos: Andrea Thode / Effilee)

47 of these wines coming from 33 producers of all the participating regions except Frankonia made it to the final grand jury tasting. Measured upon the relation of their wines in the final to the total number of submissions, the most succesful region was the Nahe, followed by Rheinhessen, Mosel, Pfalz and Rheingau. In the list of the winners published below the most succesful regions instead are Mosel and Pfalz, followed by Rheinhessen and Rheingau.

The overall quality of the 2011 vintage showed at a fairly good level, even if sometimes a little bit more structure and a better acid-sweet-balance would have been favorable to the wines. In this respect we expect a lot from the 2012 vintage which we will taste at the beginning of next year.

The much discussed problem of too much residual sugar in the officially dry Rieslings emerged even during our tastings due, perhaps, to the mentioned imbalance of the vintage. A short 25 % of the wines showed residual sugar at a noticeable level, a fact which could be commercially damaging especially on Germany's export markets. Especially beneficient, on the other hand, this vintage 2011 must have been to the slopes of a couple of kilometres along the Rhine between the towns of Lorch and Oberwesel. They not only brought about the winner of our challenge but also no. 10 of our hitlist.

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*****Graf von Kanitz (Lorch) - Lorcher Pfaffenwies Riesling 2011 Spätlese tr.
*****Dr. Siemens (Serrig) - Serriger Würtzberg Riesling TerraSaar 2011 Kabinett tr.
*****Alexander Laible (Durbach) - Baden Riesling Alte Reben SG *** 2011 tr.
*****Julius Ferdinand Kimich (Deidesheim) - Deidesheimer Maushöhle Riesling 2011 Spätlese tr.
*****Bauer (Mülheim / Mosel) - Mülheimer Sonnenlay Riesling Alte Reben 2011 Spätlese tr.
*****Georg Mosbacher (Forst) - Pfalz Riesling Buntsandstein 2011 tr.
*****Karthäuserhof (Trier-Eitelsbach) - Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling Alte Reben 2011 Spätlese tr.
*****Michel-Pfannebecker (Flomborn) - Westhofener Steingrube Riesling 2011 Spätlese tr.
*****Martinshof (Dienheim) - Niersteiner Pettenthal Riesling 2011 Spätlese tr.
*****Dr. Randolf Kauer (Bacharach) - Oberweseler Oelsberg Riesling Alte Reben 2011 Spätlese tr.
*****Selbach-Oster (Zeltingen) - Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling 2011 Kabinett tr.
*****Eugen Müller (Forst) - Forster Kirchenstück Riesling Cyriakus 2011 Spätlese tr.
**** +Karl Wegner & Sohn (Bad Dürkheim) - Dürkheimer Rittergarten Riesling 2011 Kabinett tr.
**** +Künstler (Hochheim) - Hochheimer Hölle Riesling Goldkapsel 2011 Erstes Gewächs
**** +Sinß (Windesheim) - Windesheimer Riesling S 2011 tr.
****Bauer (Mülheim / Mosel) - Mülheimer Elisenberg Riesling 2011 tr.
****Hain (Piesport) - Piesporter Domherr Riesling *** 2011 tr.
****Hain (Piesport) - Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling *** 2011 tr.
****Ernst Clüsserath (Trittenheim) - Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling 2011 Kabinett tr.
****Rings (Freinsheim) - Kallstadter Riesling 2011
****Lönartz Thielmann (Ernst) - Valwiger Herrenberg Riesling 2011 Spätlese tr.
****Wageck-Pfaffmann (Bissersheim) - Bissersheimer Goldberg Riesling Schützenhaus *** 2011 tr.
****Alexander Laible (Durbach) - Baden Riesling Chara *** 2011 tr.
****Winter (Dittelsheim-Hesloch) - Dittelsheimer Riesling Kalkstein 2011 tr.
****Lönartz Thielmann (Ernst) - Bruttiger Götterlay Riesling 2011 Kabinett tr
****Bauer (Mülheim / Mosel) - Mülheimer Elisenberg Riesling 2011 Spätlese tr.
****Graf von Kanitz (Lorch) - Lorcher Krone Riesling Alte Reben 2011 tr.
****Gunderloch (Nackenheim) - Nackenheimer Rothenberg Riesling 2011 Großes Gewächs
****Ernst Clüsserath (Trittenheim) - Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling 2011 Großes Gewächs
****Lucashof (Forst) - Forster Pechstein Riesling 2011 Spätlese tr.
****Untertürkheim (Stuttgart-Untertürkheim) - Württemberg Riesling *** 2011 tr.
****Querbach (Oestrich-Winkel) - Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Q1 2011
****Wageck-Pfaffmann (Bissersheim) - Bissersheimer Goldberg Riesling In der Halde *** 2011 tr.
****Klostermühle (Odernheim) - Kloster Disibodenberg Riesling Unser bestes Fass 2011 Auslese tr.
****Riffel (Bingen-Büdesheim) - Binger Scharlachberg Riesling Turm 2011 tr.
****Georg Mosbacher (Forst) - Pfalz Riesling Kalkstein 2011 tr.
****Michel-Pfannebecker (Flomborn) - Westhofener Steingrube Riesling 2011 tr.
****Lindenhof (Windesheim) - Windesheimer Fels Riesling R 2011 tr.
****Lindenhof (Windesheim) - Schweppenhäuser Steyerberg Riesling Grauschiefer 2011 tr.
****Siegrist (Leinsweiler) - Leinsweiler Sonnenberg Riesling 2011 Großes Gewächs


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