Riesling, Gewurz, Pinot Noir & Sekt
Congratulations to Theresa518. She was the lucky winner in yesterday’s giveaway, and will be coming with me to the Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar in Troy on Monday to taste a whole mess of German wines and meet the winemakers behind them.
The good news is that tickets are still available, and they are only $25.
If you are in the area and free on Monday from 6pm to 8pm you should totally come. While Italian winemakers really shaped the face of wine in California, here in New York our Finger Lakes vineyards are fantastic at growing Germanic varietals.
I blame the language barrier and some fairly complicated labeling and classification guidelines for the lack of more broad knowledge of German wines in America. Your reasons may vary. But the best way to learn about wine is by tasting it. Having access to the passionate people who made the wine doesn’t hurt either.
And on Monday these winemakers will be samlping fifteen different wines. But who are they? And what am I most excited to taste? Well Vic sent me over some of the details to pour over.
Hope you are thirsty.
Karin Fischer from the Dr. Fischer winery will represent the Saar Region
Apparently the Saar Region gets very cold. It’s at a high elevation and historically they’ve had a problem with early frosts in the past that would damage budding Riesling grapes and limit the number of vintages the wine could be produced. But it’s getting warmer, and that’s a good thing for Karin’s winery. It means she is consistently able to produce a highly regarded Ockfener Bockstein Riesling. For the record, I have no idea what that is. But she’ll be pouring it on Monday, so I’ll have the chance to ask.
Wine 1 – Dr. Fischer Ockfener Bockstein QbA 2011
Wine 2 – Dr. Fischer Ockfener Bockstein Riesling Kabinett
Derek Vinnicombe from Dr. Thanisch & Bollig Lehnert will represent the Mosel Region
The Mosel may be the only region that most people could call up if asked about German wine. The Dr. Thanisch estate apparently includes over 30 acres of the best sites in the Mosel valley. This is another old winery that combines modern winemaking techniques with some ancient practices, like aging all their wines in large old oak casks underneath the vineyard in their cellar which stays a constant 8 degrees celsius all year round. Bollig Lehnert is smaller, with total holdings topping out at 10 acres. One of their vineyards, Apotheke, is on a very steep slope and is apparently the winery’s best site in Trittenheim. So I’m excited to get to taste this along with their other lightly filtered wines.
Wine 3 – Dr. Thanisch Classic Riesling 2010
Wine 4 – Dr. Thanisch 2011 Riesling Spatlese Trocken (Dry)
Wine 5 – Dr. Thanisch Riesling Kabinett 2009
Wine 6 – Bollig Lehnert Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Kabinett 2009
Wine 7 – Bollig Lehnert Piesporter Goldtropfchen Spatlese 2008
Ursula Muller from Georg Albrecht Schneider will be one of two representing Rheinhessen
I’m getting lazy so I’m going to switch over to a few block quotes from the organizers of the event:
The steep Hipping vineyard, known as the red slope, der roter Hang, is rated as one of the best in Germany, producing Riesling with spicy mineral flavors, exotic and pronounced ripe fruit with excellent maturing potential as the site sometimes produces a wine that is slow to show its true promise. The slope itself is warmed by the early morning sunshine and the red sandstone soil retains the warmth. The proximity to the Rhine protects the foliage from early fall cold nights and allows for a long growing season.
One of the wines will be from Hipping, so I’m looking forward to seeing what spicy mineral flavors actually taste like.
Wine 8 – Georg Albrecht Schneider Patterberg Riesling Kabinett 2011
Wine 9 – Georg Albrecht Schneider Niersteiner Hipping Spatlese 2011
Frank Heyden of Dr. Heyden winery will also represent the Rheinhessen
This is an exciting new estate, which has been established with the vineyards and assistance of Friedrich Baumann, who has now retired. Dr Karl Heyden founded the estate in 1999 with his wife, Anita and their two sons, Frank and Harry. Frank has completed his studies at the famous Geisenheim viticultural institute, and has already convinced the German critics. This young talented generation is already crafting great wines from these highly rated vineyards.
Wine 10 – Dr. Heyden Oppenheimer Kabinett 2011
Wine 11 – Dr. Heyden Oppenheimer Sacktrager Spatlese 2011
Achim Erbele from Fitz Ritter winery will be representing the Pfalz region
Okay, you may be thinking at this point that this tasting has a whole lot of Riesling. But there is more to German wine than just that and Fitz Ritter is bringing it along. Aparently Pfalz has some great conditions for growing Gewurztraminer. And Achim is bringing a bottle of that along with Sekt which I’ve never had before. It’s a German sparkling wine, and I’m thrilled to get a chance to try this.
Wine 12 – Fitz Ritter Sekt, NV
Wine 13 – Fitz Ritter Gewurztraminer Spatlese 2011
Paul Anheuser from Anheuser winery will represent the Nahe region
Recent vintages typify the regional character of Nahe wines, marked by fine, crisp acidity, mineral flavors and plenty of concentration; fuller bodied than Mosel and livelier than Rheinhessen wines. Despite old traditions, new innovative wines have been recently introduced, with a larger percentage of dry-style wines, such as the dry Blanc de Noir, classified as white wine yet produced 100% from Pinot Noir.
Did that say white wine from Pinot Noir? Color me curious. Pinot Noir grown in a climate where Riesling thrives? Maybe there is a chance for making good wine from this grape in the Finger Lakes after all. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First I need to get a taste of the German version. Luckily Paul is bringing it with him on Monday.
Wine 14 – Anheuser Blanc de Noir 2011
Wine 15 – Anheuser Konigsfels Riesling Kabinett 2011
Whew. Okay. That’s it. I’m really excited. There are going to be tasting stations set up around the Confectionery with the winemakers manning them for the two hour event. Each station will have some cheese pairings too.
But I tell you, for as much as I love cheese, I doubt I’ll be doing anything else but tasting wines and trying to get a better sense of the different styles and regions of this really important, but often overlooked, wine producing country.
Hope to see you there.