Join us in the shop on Saturday, 13th April, from 14:00 – 15:30, to taste an exciting range of Rieslings (and two Pinot Noirs!) from September’s VDP auctions of top 2017s.
If you imagine that the German system first follows the Burgundy one — multiple owners in each vineyard, and each vineyard bottled separately, the Germans simply add one layer: the wine style: fine delicate kabinett, fresh tangy spätlese, luscious rounded auslese, complex and intense beerenauslese, and essency TBA. Within the selections that are made for each level, top growers make one further separation: the very best, most interesting and complex musts are reserved to make auction wine .
These micro production wines (sometimes only a few bottles for the world) are sold each September at auction in Germany. We are big fans. We taste all of the wines, make our selection, and do our best to bring a few bottles of these rarities back to Hong Kong to share.
The 2017 Vintage
The key message of 2017 is low yields, delivered courtesy of spring frost on 20th April. August hail also further reduced yields in Graach. Conditions were generally dry and warm, though September was cool and wet. The ‘sweet spot’ for the vintage seems to be spätlese and auslese, though there were also some really great BAs and TBAs made from botrytis which arrived early and then late in the season (picking actually started quite early – in September, in line with the early flowering). I was impressed with the vintage as a whole, tasting it at various estates and at the official tastings in Trier. It has a little more fullness than 2016 showed. In 2017 I noted sherberty fruitiness, caressing textures, and fine clarity. The vintage has a lot of appeal, and I think you are going to enjoy this tasting.
Spätlese, as always in my view – provides the sweet spot at the auction. The higher prädikat wines can be incredible, but they are inevitably in tiny quantities and hotly contested. And while the spätlesen are always significantly more expensive than the ‘regular’ spältese releases, there’s always a good reason – the best single fuder of all, or the early picked best quality fruit, or the oldest vines parcel… you always get something for choosing the auction cuvée. Seven of our Rieslings are spätlese level, so this will provide a really good chance to compare styles within the vintage. To round things out we have a really beautiful kabinett from von Schubert and a simply killer auslese from Zilliken.
…And Two Pinot Noirs!
This year I was impressed by three Pinot Noirs at the Bad Kreuznach auction that included wines from this grape from the Ahr – and one notable one from the Rheinhessen, Weingut Keller. The Keller Morstein ‘Felix’ Spätburgunder GG had a starting bid of 80 Euros and was hammered down eventually for 610 Euros a bottle. Yes, there is growing interest in German Pinot Noir, but there is also an international clamour for the wines of Weingut Keller!
Thankfully the two that I bought, from the Ahr, were the ones I really loved that also offered really good value – such that you can share them with your friends – especially friends who like to drink Burgundy, but also have a sense of adventure. The Kreuzberg is more in the sweet cherry spectrum – a selection of the best two barrels from a 7.5ha steep slate slope estate. The Deutzerhof – Crossmann-Hehle is a little lighter, I loved its wild strawberry fruit and sapid savouriness. I think you’ll find these two interesting to compare at our tasting.
Wines to be served:
2017 Maximin Grünhaus - Abtsberg Kabinett Auktion
2017 Weingut Dr. H. Thanisch - Bernkasteler Doctor Spätlese Auktion
2017 Weingut Dr. Loosen - Ürziger Würzgarten Spätlese Goldkapsel Auktion
2017 Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm - Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spätlese Auktion
2017 Weingut Le Gallais (Egon Müller) - Braune Kupp Spätlese Auktion
2017 Weingut Peter Lauer - Ayler Kupp Spätlese Auktion
2017 Weingut von Hövel - Kanzemer Hörecker Spätlese Auktion
2017 Weingut Willi Schaefer - Graacher Domprobst Spätlese Auktion
2017 Weingut Zilliken - Saarburger Rausch Auslese Auktion
2016 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg - Devonschiefer Spätburgunder 'R' Auktion
2015 Weingut Deutzerhof - Grand Duc Reserve Spätburgunder '30 Monate Barrique' Auktion
New Shop Location
We know that not everyone has had the chance to visit us at our new location yet. The old shop in Queens Rd West is closed. The tasting will take place at our new premises – Shop A, 165-166 Connaught Road West (entrance on Chiu Kwong St), Sai Ying Pun. See you there.