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The Perfect Summer Drink? Riesling from Germany & Austria

2013 July 24

Germany 2012 065
Riesling grapes in southern Germany

Looking for the ideal summer drink? Do you feel like something juicy, light to medium in body, refreshing and low in alcohol? A drink you can enjoy before dinner, as an aperitif, but can also continue with through a meal, with tangy acidity that makes it a perfect accompaniment for all kinds of food? You need look no further than Riesling from Germany or Austria.

Riesling is one of the greatest wine grapes, and in the cool growing regions of Germany and Austria–in favorable vintages, at least–it gets the long hang time it needs to produce wines that are complex, minerally and thoroughly delicious.

Some people tell me they don’t drink Riesling because it’s too sweet. It is time to get rid of outmoded notions of Riesling being “sweet.”

Most Rieslings from Germany and Austria these days are made in a dry style, as that’s what consumers in Germany and Austria prefer, by vast majorities. We’re talking bone dry here—with bracing acidity. Great sweet wines are still made in these countries too, with vibrant acidity that balances the sweetness, but most of those wines are exported, mainly to the U.S. and U.K., where there is still some market preference for sweeter style wines. It is easy to identify which Rieslings are going to be the most dry, however, by only recognizing a single German word: “trocken.”

So what about those notoriously intimidating German wine labels? Yes, they often sport very long, German-style compound words, sometimes indicating the producer, other times designating the village and vineyard in which the grapes were grown. The traditional focus, though, of German wine labeling, especially since the German wine law adopted in 1971, has been to indicate the sugar and sweetness level of the wines.

The basic terms for what have long been known as Prädikat level wines are kabinett, spätlese and auslese, indicating increasing levels of “oechsle,” or the degree of ripeness and sugar levels of the grapes at harvest. The very sweetest three categories above that, used for dessert wines, in ascending levels of sugar are beerenauslese, trockenbeerenauslese and eiswein. Nonetheless, the term German and other European consumers are all looking for now is “trocken,” meaning dry.

While the Prädikat designations are still often found on labels and are somewhat helpful in identifying sweeter wines, one also finds a lot of kabinetts, spätlesen and auslesen now labeled “trocken,” indicating that despite their initial sugar levels, the grapes were fermented to a nearly dry state.

Other terms indicating drier versions of Riesling are halbtrocken (“half dry”) and the unofficial but widely used feinherb, meaning “fine dry.”

What’s becoming even more important for designating the wine quality in Germany is the presence of the symbol for the VDP, the association of Germany’s leading producers, and the terms Erste Lage and Grosse Gewachs.

Germany 2012 264
steep hillside vineyard in southern Germany

I wrote about the VDP and these new designations at length here. Basically, as German consumers have moved toward demanding dry wines almost exclusively, major German producers have sought ways to indicate their top wines coming from the most historically significant hillside locations, long the sources of Germany’s best Rieslings. In essence, they’ve moved to a Burgundian model of indicating premier cru and grand cru vineyards.

Effective for the 2012 vintage, vineyards throughout Germany are designated by four tiers: grosse lage (the top level, comparable to Burgundy’s grand cru), erste lage (the equivalent of Burgundy’s premier cru), ortswein (equivalent to Burgundy’s villages) and gutswein (basically regional wine).

VDP members’ wines are distinguishable by a seal showing an eagle with an inverted triangle of grapes on its chest. Wines from vineyards designated as Erste Lage also display a logo consisting of a numeral one that partly frames a cluster of grapes similar to that on the eagle’s chest.

Germany 2012 083
VDP seal showing around capsule

To clearly indicate what the VDP considers the very best dry wines from the top vineyard sites in each region, they have adopted a system by which a dry wine from a VDP grosse lage vineyard may be designated as Großes Gewächs (also sometimes indicated as “GG”). The grapes for these wines must also be selectively hand harvested, the yields must be limited (to a max of 50 hectoliters per hectare), and the grapes used must be at least ripe enough to qualify for spätlese status.

As it happens, the 2012 vintage for which all this new labeling applies is shaping up as a particularly good year for German and Austrian Riesling, as a recent tasting mainly of pre-release wines from importers Terry Theise, WineWise and The Vienna Wine Company this past month demonstrated for me.

The vintage didn’t start out so well in Germany, where a cold snap in May led to abnormal fruit set, known as millerandage. An extended rainy period after that intensified mildew pressure. August, however, was quite warm, followed by a warm and dry fall all the way into October, affording slow ripening Riesling plenty of hang time. Acidities are high, although not as extreme as in 2010, and there was very little botrytis.

Austrian weather conditions were quite similar, with the May frost there having cut yields by up to a third in some regions.

Johannes Selbach

Johannes Selbach


Johannes Selbach, winemaker/proprietor of one of my favorite producers year after year, Selbach-Oster, described his 2012 Rieslings to me as follows: “They’re not thick. It’s a delicate and super drinkable vintage that will outlive 2011 by a great distance.” Johannes considers 2012 his best vintage since 2005.

Below you will find my tasting notes on 98 wines from 25 producers. Most of these are 2012 Rieslings, although I also included some recently released reserve wines from other vintages and 2012 wines based on other white grapes, like Muskateller and Pinot Blanc, that also seem to have fared well in 2012.

My top producers of Riesling in Germany and Austria so far from 2012, with one or more wines I scored 93 points or higher, are Carl Loewen, Dönnhoff, Hexamer, Josef Leitz, Kruger-Rumpf, Selbach-Oster and Spreitzer.

Most of these wines will start hitting the shelves in late summer and throughout the fall this year. Some 2012 bottlings from some of these producers, however, like Selbach-Oster, are already available, offering delicious Riesling for quenching your summer thirst. And many very good bottlings are priced well below $20.

Leitz Rieslings

Leitz Rieslings

A.J. Adam

  • 2012 A.J. Adam Dhron+er Riesling – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; tart pear nose; very tart citrus, lemon palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 88+ points

  • 2012 A.J. Adam Dhronhofberger Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; appealing, ripe pear nose; juicy, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Alfred Merkelbach

  • 2012 Alfred Merkelbach Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light yellow color; tart apple, ripe citrus nose; tart apple, ripe citrus, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Alfred Merkelbach Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese #7 – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light green-tinged yellow color; tart green apple, lime nose; tart green apple, lime, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

Carl Loewen

Christopher Loewen

Christopher Loewen

  • 2012 Carl Loewen Riesling “1896″ Erste Lage – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light green-tinged yellow color; mineral, tart pear nose; mineral, tart pear palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Carl Loewen Leiwener Klostergarten Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light green-tinged yellow color; tart apple, mineral nose; tasty, juicy, tart apple, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Carl Loewen Leiwener Laurentiuslay Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light green-tinged yellow color; tart pear, mineral nose; tasty, rich, ripe pear, mineral palate; long finish 93 points

  • 2012 Carl Loewen Thörnicher Ritsch Riesling Auslese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light yellow color; appealing, tart pear, ripe lemon nose; tasty, tart pear, ripe lemon, mineral palate; long finish 94 points

Carl Schmitt-Wagner

  • 2012 Carl Schmitt-Wagner Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light green-tinged yellow color; tart apple, mineral nose; ripe apple, pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (over 100-year-old vines, on red slate) 91+ points

  • 2012 Carl Schmitt-Wagner Longuicher Maximiner Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light green-tinged yellow color; ripe pear, mineral nose; tasty, ripe pear, mineral palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish (vines over 100 years old, on red slate) 92 points

Dönnhoff
Dönnhoff is one of the great producers, of course. The family’s estate has been based in the middle Nahe for over 250 years. They have been led by Helmut Dönnhoff for over 40 years. They own 62 acres of vines in eight erste lagen. Riesling accounts for 80% of the plantings; the remainder are Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. The Hermannshöhle bottling was the standout for me in this lineup. Dönnhoff joined the VDP in 1991.

  • 2012 Dönnhoff Roxheimer Höllenpfad Riesling Trocken – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; appealing, delicate, tart peach nose; very dry, tart citrus, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Dönnhoff Tonschiefer Riesling QbA trocken – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; mineral, tart apple nose; very tart apple, mineral palate with medium-plus acidity; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Felsenberg Riesling Großes Gewächs – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; very appealing, tart pear, tart apple nose; tasty, tart pear, tart apple, mineral palate with austere level of medium-plus acidity; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 Dönnhoff Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; focused, tart pear nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 Dönnhoff Norheimer Kirschheck Riesling Spätlese R – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; reticent, tart pear, mineral nose; tasty, delicate, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Dönnhoff Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese R – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; very appealing, very tart apple, tart pear, mineral nose; delicate, tightly wound, very mineral, tart pear, tart peach palate with medium acidity; needs 3-plus years; long finish 93+ points

  • 2012 Dönnhoff Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese R – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; appealing, tart pear, light pepper nose; tasty, rich but poised, tart pear, mineral, flint palate; medium-plus finish 93 points

Eugen Müller

  • 2012 Eugen Müller Forster Ungeheuer Riesling Kabinett trocken – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; very tart pear, mineral nose; very tart pear, mineral palate with medium-plus acidity; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2012 Eugen Müller Forster Kirchenstück Riesling Spätlese Trocken “Cyriakus” – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; aromatic, appealing, tart pear, mineral nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral, light pepper palate with medium-plus acidity; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Eugen Müller Forster Pechstein Riesling Kabinett halbtrocken – Germany, Pfalz
    Very light yellow color; appealing, tart pear, tart apple nose; tasty, tart pear, lemon, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 91 points

Florian Weingart

  • 2012 Florian Weingart Bopparder Hamm Engelstein Riesling Kabinett feinherb – Germany, Mittelrhein
    Light yellow color; tart pear, light lanolin nose; tasty, tart apple, lanolin, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 89+ points

  • 2012 Florian Weingart Spay Riesling Spätlese feinherb – Germany, Mittelrhein
    Light yellow color; very tart pear nose; tart apple palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 88+ points

Heidi Schröck

  • 2012 Heidi Schröck Gelber Muskateller – Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Rust
    Very light yellow color; floral, ripe pear nose; tart pear, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Heidi Schröck Weissburgunder – Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Rust
    Light yellow color; tart pear nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2010 Heidi Schröck Auf den Flügeln der Morgenröte Ruster Ausbruch – Austria, Burgenland, Neusiedlersee-Hügelland, Rust
    Light yellow color; appealing, ripe pear, apricot nose; tasty, ripe pear, apricot, mineral palate with medium acidity; long finish 92 points

  • 2012 Schwarzböck Gelber Muskateller – Austria, Niederösterreich, Weinviertel
    Very light yellow color; floral, tart lime nose; floral, tart lime palate; medium finish 90 points

Hexamer

  • 2012 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Trocken #1 – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; tart pear nose; tart pear, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2012 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Quarzit – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; mineral, ripe pear, poached pear nose; rich, balanced, ripe pear, poached pear palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Hexamer Schlossböckelheimer In den Felsen Riesling Feinherb “Porphyr” – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; tart apple, mineral nose; tasty, tart apple, mineral, tart pear palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 Hexamer Meddersheimer Altenberg Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; ripe pear nose; tasty, rich, ripe pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2012 Hexamer Schlossböckelheimer In den Felsen Riesling Spätlese #1 – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; appealing, ripe pear, floral nose; fruit cocktail, ripe pear palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Hexamer Meddersheimer Rheingrafenberg Riesling Spätlese trocken – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; appealing, ripe pear, ripe peach nose; tasty, rich, ripe pear, ripe peach, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 93 points

J & HA Strub

Sebastian Strub

Sebastian Strub

  • 2012 J & HA Strub Niersteiner Hipping Riesling “Thal” feinherb – Germany, Rheinhessen
    Light yellow color; appealing, focused, tart pear nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (18 grams RS) 91+ points

  • 2012 J & HA Strub Niersteiner Ölberg Riesling Feinherb “Roter Schiefer” – Germany, Rheinhessen
    Very light yellow color; tart pear, mineral nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (18 grams RS) 91+ points

  • 2012 J & HA Strub Niersteiner Ölberg Riesling trocken “Im Taubennest” – Germany, Rheinhessen
    Very light yellow color; ripe pear nose; tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 J & HA Strub Niersteiner Paterberg Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheinhessen
    Very light yellow color; appealing, ripe apple, tart pear nose; tasty, ripe apple, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 J & HA Strub Niersteiner Rosenberg Riesling Trocken – Germany, Rheinhessen
    Very light yellow color; ripe pear nose; tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (11.5% alcohol) 91 points

  • 2012 J & HA Strub Riesling “Soil to Soul” – Germany, Rheinhessen
    Very light yellow color; ripe pear, apple nose; tasty, ripe pear, apple, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 J & HA Strub Niersteiner Brückchen Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Rheinhessen
    Light yellow color; delicate, tart pear nose; delicate, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

Jakob Schneider

  • 2012 Weingut Jakob Schneider Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; focused, tart pear nose; tasty, tart pear, tart peach, mineral palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Joh. Jos. Christoffel

  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light green-tinged yellow color; ripe apple, peach nose; ripe apple, peach palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Erdener Treppchen Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light green-tinged yellow color; appealing, tart pear nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light yellow color; focused, tart pear nose; focused, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Josef Leitz

  • 2012 Weingut Josef Leitz Rudesheimer Riesling Trocken – Germany, Rheingau
    Light yellow color; appealing, tart pear nose; very tart pear, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 89 points

  • 2012 Weingut Josef Leitz Rudesheimer Berg Kaisersteinfels Terrassen Riesling – Germany, Rheingau
    Very light yellow color; mineral, very tart apple nose; tasty, mineral, very tart apple palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Weingut Josef Leitz Rudesheimer Berg Rottland Hinterhaus Riesling – Germany, Rheingau
    Light yellow color; rich, ripe pear, apple nose; tasty, rich, ripe apple, pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Schloßberg Riesling Ehrenfels – Germany, Rheingau
    Light green-tinged yellow color; very tart pear, mineral nose; tasty, very tart pear, mineral palate with medium-plus acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling Katerloch – Germany, Rheingau
    Very light yellow color; tart pear, mineral nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2012 Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Klosterlay Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Rheingau
    Very light green-tinged yellow color; focused, ripe pear nose; tasty, ripe pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    Light yellow color; tart peach nose; tasty, tart peach, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 93+ points

  • 2012 Weingut Josef Leitz Rüdesheimer Magdalenenkreuz Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    Very light yellow color; tart peach, ripe pear nose; tart peach, ripe pear, mineral palate, rich but balanced; medium-plus finish 93 points

Kerpen

  • 2012 Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Alte Reben Spätlese feinherb – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; focused, ripe pear nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Kerpen Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light green-tinged yellow color; tart apple nose; ripe apple, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Kruger-Rumpf

  • 2012 Kruger-Rumpf Münsterer Dautenpflänzer Riesling Großes Gewächs – Germany, Nahe
    Very light yellow color; tart apple, tart pear nose; tart apple, tart pear, mineral palate with austere level of acidity; medium finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Kruger-Rumpf Münsterer Kapellenberg Riesling Trocken – Germany, Nahe
    Very light yellow color; very tart pear nose; very tart pear, tart apple, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Kruger-Rumpf Münsterer Dautenpflänzer Riesling feinherb – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; tart apple, mineral nose; very tart apple, tart pear, mineral palate with lively acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Kruger-Rumpf Münsterer Rheinberg Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; mineral, tart apple nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral palate with cut and some richness; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Kruger-Rumpf Binger Scharlachberg Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheinhessen
    Very light yellow color; tart apple nose; very tart apple, mineral palate with lively acidity; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Kruger-Rumpf Münsterer Dautenpflänzer Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Nahe
    Very light yellow color; tart pear nose; delicate, very tasty, tart apple, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Kruger-Rumpf Scheurebe Spätlese – Germany, Nahe
    Very light yellow color; appealing, ripe cherry nose; rich, tasty, tart pear, tart cherry, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 Kruger-Rumpf Münsterer Pittersberg Riesling Auslese Goldkapsel – Germany, Nahe
    From 375 ml – very light yellow color; tart apricot, tart apple nose; delicious, rich, ripe apple, apricot, apricot syrup palate with good acidity; long finish 93+ points

Meulenhof

  • 2012 Meulenhof Erdener Prälat Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; focused, tart pear nose; focused, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Meulenhof Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; tart apple nose; tasty, tart apple, tart pear palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 Meulenhof Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; ripe pear nose; rich, tart pear, tart peach palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

Müller-Catoir

  • 2012 Müller-Catoir Haardter Bürgergarten Muskateller Kabinett trocken – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; floral, gardenia nose; dry, gardenia, very tart pear, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2012 Müller-Catoir Haardter Bürgergarten Riesling Kabinett trocken – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; tart apple, mineral nose; very tart apple, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Müller-Catoir Haardter Riesling Kabinett trocken – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; mineral, very tart apple nose; mineral, very tart apple palate with medium-plus acidity; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2012 Müller-Catoir Mußbach Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Pfalz
    Very light yellow color; ripe pear, floral nose; tasty, ripe pear, floral, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Nikolaihof

Martin Saahs of Nikolaihof

Martin Saahs of Nikolaihof

  • 2012 Nikolaihof Riesling Federspiel Vom Stein – Austria, Niederösterreich, Wachau
    Light yellow color; appealing, mineral, tart apple nose; tasty, mineral, tart apple palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Reuscher-Haart

  • 2012 Weingut Reuscher-Haart Riesling Spätlese Feinherb “UberSchwang” – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light yellow color; mineral, very tart apple nose; tasty, very tart apple, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Weingut Reuscher-Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; mineral, tart pear nose; savory, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 Weingut Reuscher-Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light green-tinged yellow color; tart pear, lemon nose; tasty, tart pear, lemon palate; medium-plus finish 92 points

Schlossgut Diel

  • 2012 Schlossgut Diel Nahestein Riesling Trocken – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; tart apple, mineral nose; tart apple, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 88 points

  • 2012 Schlossgut Diel Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Nahe
    Light yellow color; ripe apple nose; ripe apple, ripe pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Selbach-Oster

  • 2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese trocken * – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light green-tinged yellow color; very appealing, tart peach, tart pear nose; tasty, tart peach, tart pear, mineral palate with bracing acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese feinherb Ur Alte Reben – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; appealing, tart apple, tart peach nose; minerally, tart apple, tart peach palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese trocken – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; very appealing, ripe pear, melon nose; delicate, tart pear, tart green melon, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2011 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Himmelreich Riesling Kabinett halbtrocken – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Very light green-tinged yellow color; very tart green fruit, tart pear nose; very tart pear, tart green fruit, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2011 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light green-tinged yellow color; appealing, very tart peach nose; tasty, very tart peach, mineral palate with vibrant acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; appealing, tart pear, tart peach nose; focused, delicate, tart pear, tart peach, mineral palate; medium-plus finish (no botrytis) 93+ points

  • 2012 Selbach-Oster Graacher Domprobst Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; appealing, tart peach, mineral, green apple nose; very tasty, mineral, tart peach, green apple palate with good acidity; medium-plus finish (3-5% botrytis) 93+ points

  • 2012 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Auslese * – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; aromatic, ripe pear, tart peach nose; delicious, tart pear, peach, mineral palate with delicacy; medium-plus finish 93+ points

Spreitzer

Andreas Spreitzer

Andreas Spreitzer

  • 2012 Weingut Spreitzer Hattenheimer Wisselbrunnen Riesling Erstes Gewächs – Germany, Rheingau
    Light yellow color; floral, ripe pear nose; dry, mineral, tart apple palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

  • 2012 Weingut Spreitzer Oestricher Lenchen Rosengarten Riesling Erstes Gewächs – Germany, Rheingau
    Light yellow color; lightly savory, tart pear nose; lightly savory, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Weingut Spreitzer Winkeler Jesuitengarten Riesling Kabinett halbtrocken – Germany, Rheingau
    Very light yellow color; lightly savory, mineral, celery jus nose; lightly savory, mineral, celery jus palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Weingut Spreitzer Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Rheingau
    Light green-tinged yellow color; tart pear, mineral nose; tart pear, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Weingut Spreitzer Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Spätlese 303 – Germany, Rheingau
    Light green-tinged yellow color; focused, tart pear, mineral nose; tasty, rich, apricot, tart pear, mineral palate; long finish 92+ points

  • 2012 Weingut Spreitzer Winkeler Jesuitengarten Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Rheingau
    Light green-tinged yellow color; mineral, tart pear, floral nose; very tasty, mineral, tart pear, floral palate; long finish 93 points

von Othegraven

  • 2012 Weingut von Othegraven Wawerner Herrenberger Riesling Kabinett Erste Lage – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; ripe pear, mineral nose; tasty, ripe pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 90+ points

  • 2012 Weingut von Othegraven Wiltingen Kupp Riesling Kabinett – Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer
    Light yellow color; tart pear nose; tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 90 points

von Winning/Dr. Deinhard
Germany 2012 100
Andreas Huetwohl at von Winning/Dr. Deinhard

  • 2012 von Winning Deidesheimer Kalkofen Riesling Großes Gewächs – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; ripe pear, floral nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral, white peach, honeysuckle palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 92 points

  • 2012 von Winning Forster Pechstein Riesling Großes Gewächs – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; floral, honeysuckle, tart peach nose; tasty, balanced, floral, honeysuckle, tart peach, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

  • 2012 von Winning Deidesheimer Paradiesgarten Riesling Trocken – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; appealing, tart pear, floral nose; focused, very tart apple, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 Dr. Deinhard Deidesheimer Herrgottsacker Riesling Spätlese trocken – Germany, Pfalz
    Very light yellow color; floral, tart pear nose; very tasty, floral, tart pear, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91+ points

  • 2012 Dr. Deinhard Deidesheimer Mäushöhle Riesling Spätlese – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; tart apricot nose; tasty, balanced, tart peach, tart apricot, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 91 points

  • 2012 von Winning Riesling – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; appealing, floral, tart pear nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish (good value) 91 points

  • 2012 von Winning Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad Riesling Trocken – Germany, Pfalz
    Light yellow color; very appealing, ripe pear, floral nose; tasty, tart pear, mineral palate with medium acidity; medium-plus finish 91+ points

Willi Bründlmayer

Vincent Brundlmayer

Vincent Brundlmayer

  • 2012 Weingut Willi Bründlmayer Riesling Zöbinger Heiligenstein – Austria, Niederösterreich, Kamptal
    Light lemon yellow color; celery, dill nose; tasty, celery, dill, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 92+ points

3 Responses leave one →
  1. July 26, 2013

    Very good information.its worth reading..

  2. July 31, 2013

    Thank you for this article. That’s all I can say. You most definitely have made this blog into something special. You clearly know what you are doing, you’ve covered so many bases.Thanks!

  3. Burkhard Lehn permalink
    October 20, 2013

    Thank you for this review of German white wine. Every wine, white or red, should be refreshing and delicate. In many cases this means low in alcohol. Looking at Bordeaux wines, 13,5% or less should be fine for red wine, 13% or less for white wine. And this does not mean that these wines cannot age. I recently tasted the biodynamic Cabernet Franc of Anne Claude Leflaive – Claude de Nell 2004 from the Loire Valley ( 12% ) and Chateau Gruaud Larose 1983 ( 12,5% ) and they are still doing fine.

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