WorldWine Tasting Report


Germany's Grands Crus 2009

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Finesse, fruit, juice, power, structure and elegance: If one had to sum up the results of our tastings of German white "Grands Crus" (Erstes / Großes Gewächs) from 2009, these would be the attributes to caracterize the wines. In nearly all regions whose winemakers supplied their samples, we found number of absolute top wines, and even the average ratings were much higher than in the recent past. It has been a long time since we were able to rate two German wines in one single tasting as "dream wines", a judgment which was fully deserved by two Rieslings from the Palatinate (Müller-Catoir) and the Mosel (Heymann-Löwenstein).

The undiscussed star of the vintage was without a doubt Riesling, with outstanding wines from Palatinate, Mosel and Rheingau. Baden supplied a small group of excellent Pinot blancs and Pinot gris - Pinot blanc in particular seems to become a top variety in Germany, as more and more producers succeed in balancing its finesse and its power -  and even among the Silvaners from Franconia we had found, two months ago, number of outstanding wines, although many of them were not labelled Großes Gewächs (Grand Cru). As far as Franconia is concerned: some of the Grands Crus of that region already figured in our tasting report "Franconia renewed", and we have not included them again in the present report.

Berg Schlossberg, a Grand Cru in Rüdesheim (Rheingau) supplied some of the best wines of the 2009 vintage (photo: E. Supp)

Unfortunately, a certain number of top producers did not submit their samples, some of them claiming that their wines were sold out anyway. This is truely short sighted and ignores the fact that many of our readers, mostly private consumers, will come across those wines in restaurants and wine shops in the years to come. They would certainly have appreciated to read our descriptions and ratings of all (!) wines and get some orientation for their purchase decision out of them. Thus, we can only recommend: Fingers off all the wines which we have not been able to taste, unless you find a professionnal, positive judgement in other publications!

Last but not least one final remark regarding the cork-discussion which has again become rather vivid, in the last months. Of the nearly 100 samples supplied to our tastings, about 10 were closed with Stelvin or glass stoppers. Out of the remaining wines with natural corks we found five (!) obviously cork tainted bottles and some others which seemed rather strange in smell and taste without beeing openly corky. In the end, about 10 % of the tasted wines with natural cork closures have been in one or another way affected by the problem. Whoever asserts that the cork problem has been resolved or become so marginal that it is no longer of any importance, should explain these numbers to our readers. Why German producers still insist on marketing their wines in such conditions, remains and will always remain a miracle to me.

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*****Heymann-Löwenstein (Winningen) - Winninger Röttgen Riesling 2009 Großes Gewächs
*****Müller-Catoir (Neustadt-Haardt) - Haardter Bürgergarten Riesling Breumel in den Mauern 2009 Großes Gewächs
***** +Heymann-Löwenstein (Winningen) - Winninger Uhlen Riesling Blaufüßer Lay 2009 Großes Gewächs
*****Van Volxem (Wiltingen) - Wiltinger Gottesfuß Riesling Alte Reben 2009 Großes Gewächs
*****Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan (Deidesheim) - Deidesheimer Hohenmorgen Riesling 2009 Großes Gewächs
*****Schloss Schönborn (Eltville) - Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling 2009 Erstes Gewächs
*****Schloss Schönborn (Eltville) - Hattenheimer Pfaffenberg Riesling 2009 Erstes Gewächs
*****Freiherr von und zu Franckenstein (Offenburg) - Berghaupter Schützenberg Weißburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
*****Graf von Neipperg (Schwaigern) - Schwaigerner Ruthe Riesling 2009 Großes Gewächs
*****Heymann-Löwenstein (Winningen) - Winninger Uhlen Riesling Laubach 2009 Großes Gewächs
***** ?Georg Mosbacher (Forst) - Forster Ungeheuer Riesling 2009 Großes Gewächs
***** ?Freiherr von und zu Franckenstein (Offenburg) - Zell-Weierbacher Neugesetz Riesling 2009 Großes Gewächs
***** ?Freiherr von und zu Franckenstein (Offenburg) - Zell-Weierbacher Abtsberg Grauburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
***** ?Dr. Heger (Ihringen) - Achkarrer Schlossberg Grauburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
***** ?August Eser (Oestrich-Winkel) - Oestricher Lenchen Riesling 2009 Erstes Gewächs
***** ?Schloss Johannisberg (Geisenheim) - Schloss Johannisberger Riesling 2009 Erstes Gewächs
***** ?Bergdolt (Neustadt-Duttweiler) - Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad Riesling 2009 Großes Gewächs
***** ?Graf von Kanitz (Lorch) - Lorcher Pfaffenwies Riesling 2009 Erstes Gewächs
**** +Dr. Heger (Ihringen) - Ihringer Winklerberg Weißburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
**** +Schloss Vollrads KG (Oestrich-Winkel) - Schloss Vollrads Riesling 2009 Erstes Gewächs
**** +Geheimer Rat Dr. von Bassermann-Jordan (Deidesheim) - Deidesheimer Kalkofen Riesling 2009 Großes Gewächs
**** +Ernst Dautel (Bönnigheim) - Bönnigheimer Sonnenberg Riesling 2009 Großes Gewächs
**** +Münzberg - Lothar Keßler & Söhne (Landau-Godramstein) - Godramsteiner Münzberg Weißburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
**** +Bergdolt (Neustadt-Duttweiler) - Duttweiler Mandelberg Weißburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
**** +Salwey (Vogtsburg-Oberrotweil) - Oberrotweiler Eichberg Grauburgunder 2009 Großes Gewächs
**** +Schloss Schönborn (Eltville) - Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling 2009 Erstes Gewächs
**** +Fritz Allendorf (Oestrich-Winkel) - Winkeler Jesuitengarten Riesling 2009 Erstes Gewächs
**** +Knipser (Laumersheim) - Dirmsteiner Mandelpfad Riesling 2009 Großes Gewächs
****Josef Störrlein (Randersacker) - Randersackerer Sonnenstuhl Riesling 2009 Großes Gewächs


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