Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tasting at Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr, with Technical Director Albert Schamaun – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017

Picture: Tasting with Technical Director Albert Schamaun, Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Ahr Region

We visited 2 producers in the Ahr Region: Weingut Kreuzberg and Weingut Jean Stodden. In addition, we had lunch at the Gutsschänke of Weingut Meyer-Näkel.

With red wines accounting for 90% of the output in the Ahr, these visits were dominated by delicious Spätburgunder wines, in contrast to the white wine domination before (in the Mittelrhein and the Rheingau) and after (in the Mosel). The Ahr valley north of the 50 °latitude is unquestionable the northernmost region for producing top Pinot-Noirs. The secret lies in an ideal micro-climate found in the narrow canyons along the river with their very special geological conditions, and south-facing slopes. Wine making along the tiny Ahr river goes back to Roman times. There is no other wine region in the world with such a high concentration of Pinot Noir (86%).

Pictures: Explaining the Ahr Region

Owners/ winemakers Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten of Weingut Kreuzberg were on leave. We were hosted by Albert Schamaun, Technical Director at Weingut Kreuzberg.

Picture: Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Ahr

Technical Director Albert Schamaun

Albert Schamaun has been the Technical Director of Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg since 2014. He joined Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg as a consultant in 2008. He also consulted with Weingut Jean Stodden, the other Ahr producer we visited on this trip, for several years.

Albert Schamaun was borne in Norway. He studied biology and enology at Université de Bourgogne in the 1990s and interned at various producers in the Bourgogne, including Domaine Dujac (Morey-Saint-Denis) and Domaine William Fèvre (Chablis).

Albert Schamaun has his own consulting company. He is a red wine expert, in particular Pinot Noir.

Pictures: Tasting with Technical Director Albert Schamaun at Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Ahr

Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg

This winery has long been recognized as one of the top estates for producing great Pinot-Noirs in Germany. It is a young estate by German standards.

Weingut Kreuzberg was founded in 1953 by the grandfather of the current co-owner, Ludwig Kreuzberg. In the estate’s second generation, “Jupp” headed the business for over 40 years together with his wife, Maria, his sister, Angela and his brother-in-law, Johannes. During this time they expanded the vineyards to an area of 3.5 hectares.

In 1994, “Jupp” passed the business on to his son Ludwig. His brother remained the cellar master for 10 years until he left and started to produce his own wine. In 2007, Albert Schamaun, while making the wines at Weingut Jean Stodden, started to consult with Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg. In 2013 Frank Josten joined the team.

Pictures: At Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr, with Owners/ Winemakers Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten During a Previous Visit

Today Ludwig Kreuzberg and Frank Josten co-manage the estate, which has grown to cover 12 hectares (9 hectares owned and 3 hectares leased). Since 2013, Albert Schamaun is the head winemaker.

Frank Josten: In the vineyard, we practice integrated wine growing. Organic soil cultivation (fertilisation with animal dung, straw covering, bark mulch or covering with vegetation) plays a vital role in this. Cutting back the vines in the premium positions leads to a limitation of yield which may be lower than 35 hl/ha. Partial leaf removal from the vines in late summer and thinning of the grapes, as well as selective hand-picking are important aspects of the work in our vineyards. 2/3s of the vineyards are on steep slopes with a high proportion of Devonian slate; soils that give the Ahr wines their typical character.

In the cellar, all dry red wines are produced in a traditional manner, i.e. with open mash fermentation and in old or new oak casks (Barriques). Malolactic fermentation and gentle filtration are also important elements of our philosophy.

Germany’s Collection of the Year 2011 (Gault Millau)

Gault Millau: A pleasing upwards trend in Dernau. The Wine-growing estate belonging to Ludwig Kreuzberg has been on the up for several years and has been one of the Ahr’s best estates for a long time. However, the Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir Précoce from 2008 has been a great success for the family business.

The wines are wonderfully structured, showing clean and lasting fruity aromas and posess class and elegance thanks to their perfectly integrated acidity and fine tannins.

The Pinot Noir from the Devonian slate stands out from this most harmonious collection as an example of elegant Burgundy style. [...]”

The Wines we Tasted

2016 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Blance de Noir


2015 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Spätburgunder
2015 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Spätburgunder Unplugged
2015 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Devonschiefer Spätburgunder
2015 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Frühburgunder C
2014 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Frühburgunder Reserve


2014 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Schieferlay Spätburgunder GG
2014 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Silberberg, Spätburgunder GG
2014 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Sonnenberg, Spätburgunder GG
2014 Weingut H.J. Kreuzberg, Hardtberg Frühburgunder GG


Bye-bye

Thanks Albert Schamaun for a great tasting.

Pictures: Bye-bye

Postings: Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir (Posted and Forthcoming)

Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Quintessential German Riesling and the Northernmost Pinot Noir

Weingut Georg Müller Stiftung in Hattenheim, Rheingau: Cellar Tour, Art Tour, Tasting and Vineyard Tour with Winemaker Tim Lilienström - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Kloster Eberbach in the Rheingau: Lunch, Tour of the Abbey, the Steinberg and the Steinbergkeller, with Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Schloss Vollrads in the Rheingau: Tour and Tasting - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Leitz in Rüdesheim, with Johannes Leitz – Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour and Tasting at Weingut Ratzenberger, Mittelrhein, with Jochen Ratzenberger - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Rhine River Cruise in the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region - Germany-North Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Heymann-Löwenstein in Winningen, Mosel, with Reinhard Löwenstein - Germany-North Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting Pinot Noir at Weingut Kreuzberg in Dernau, Ahr

Visit and tasting at Weingut Jean Stodten, in Rech, Ahr, with Alexander Stodten

Tasting at Weingut Markus Molitor in Haus Klosterberg, Mosel

Tasting and Vineyard Visit at Weingut Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch, Mosel, with Gernot Kollmann

The Wines of the Berncasteler Doctor, Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley, Germany

Wining in Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley: Wine Tavern “Spitzhaeuschen”, Germany

Tasting and Vineyard Walk at Weingut Fritz Haag (VDP) in Brauneberg, Mosel, with Oliver Haag

Dinner at the 2 Michelin star restaurant Schanz in Piesport, Mosel

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Trier, Germany

Visit and tasting at Weingut Maximin Grünhaus (VDP) in Mertersdorf, Ruwer, Mosel, with Dr. Carl von Schubert 

Visit and tasting at Weingut von Hövel (VDP) in Oberemmel, Saar, Mosel, with Max von Kunow

Tasting at Weingut Emrich-Schoenleber (VDP) in Monzingen, Nahe, with Frank Schönleber

Wine-pairing Lunch at Landgasthof Zur Traube in Meddersheim, Nahe, with Petra Hexamer and the wines of Weingut Hexamer.

Dinner with Wine Pairing the Restaurant of Weingut Kruger-Rumpf in Münster-Sarmsheim, Nahe, with Corenlia, Stefan and Georg Rumpf

Tasting at Weingut J.B. Becker, in Walluf, Rheingau, with Hajo Becker

Lunch at Gutsausschank-Ristorante Weingut von Oetinger in Erbach, Rheingau


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The 271 Crus Bourgeois du Médoc of the 2015 Vintage Announced, France

Pictures: Christian and Annette Schiller with a Magnum 2006 Chateau Le Crock in Pauillac. Château Le Crock is on the 2011 Cru Bourgeois List. Château Le Crock is owned by the Cuvelier family. See also: Château Léoville-Poyferré, Château Le Crock, Didier Cuvelier in Bordeaux and the Cuvelier Los Andes Wines in Argentina

A few weeks ago, the Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc announced that 271 châteaux had made it into the official selection for the 2015 vintage.

Around 32 million bottles of wine are expected to carry the Cru Bourgeois label. Most estates selected are AOC Medoc and Haut-Médoc properties, but there are also several properties from Pauillac, Margaux and St Estephe, as well as Listrac-Médoc and Moulis.

The volume of Crus Bourgeois du Médoc on sale is up from 30 million bottles for the 2014 vintage and just 20 million for the cooler, wet 2013 harvest, and compares with 29 million bottles for 2012 and 28 million for 2011.

The full list of the 2015 Official Selection of the Crus Bourgeois du Médoc is available here.

For earlier selections, see:
The 278 Crus Bourgeois du Medoc of the 2014 Vintage Announced, France
The 251 Crus Bourgeois du Médoc of the 2013 Vintage Announced, France
The 267 Crus Bourgeois du Médoc of the 2012 Vintage Announced, France
The 256 Crus Bourgeois du Médoc of the 2011 Vintage Announced, France  
The 260 Crus Bourgeois du Médoc of the 2010 Vintage, France

The Cru Bourgeois Classification of 1932

From 1932 to the end of the 1900s, the Cru Bourgeois du Médoc system was a classification system set in stone. The first Cru Bourgeois list was drawn up by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce and Chamber of Agriculture in 1932, selecting 444 estates from the Médoc for the classification. These were wines that were not included in the 1855 Classification of Crus Classes, but still of high quality.

Cru Bourgeois du Médoc Today: A Label Awarded Annually

Today, the Cru Bourgeois du Médoc is a wine label that is awarded annually, on the basis of an assessment of both production methods and the wine. Production methods are periodically inspected and the wines are submitted to an independent panel for annual tasting. Any property in the Médoc may apply.

The first vintage that came under the current system, is the 2008 vintage, announced in 2010.

Note that some very highly regarded wines outside the 1855 classification such as Château Gloria and Château Sociando-Mallet do not submit their wines for the Cru Bourgeois du Médoc classification. Thus, there is a sizable number of top producers in the Médoc today that are neither in the 1855 classification nor in the Cru Bourgeois du Médoc classification.

Pictures: Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour and Wine Dinner at Chateau Lassus, a Crus Bourgeois du Medoc, during the Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015) with Owner and Winemaker Stefan Paeffgen and his Wife Hike. Vignobles Paeffgen comprises 4 chateaux: Le Reysse, Lassus (Crus Bourgeois du Medoc), Clos du Moulin (Cru Bourgeoi du Medoc) and Moulin de Lestagne.

See:
A German Wine Maker in the Médoc: Dinner with Stefan Paeffgen at Château Le Reysse, France
Wine Dinner with Stefan and Heike Paeffgen, Château Le Reysse and Château Clos du Moulin, Vignobles Paeffgen, Appellation Médoc – Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

The Cru Bourgeois Classification of 2003 (Annulled)

In between the current annual classification system and the 1932 classification system set in stone, there was a new classification introduced in 2003 that was subject to a lot of controversy and later annulled. Of the 490 châteaux that applied to be included in the classification of 2003, only 247 were included, a significant contraction of the original listing made in 1932 (444 estates).

The 2003 Cru Bourgeois classification classified the 247 properties in three tiers: Exceptionnel (9 properties), Supérieurs (87 properties) and straight Bourgeois (151 properties).

In February 2007, the 2003 was annulled. At this point, the 1932 classification was briefly reinstated, with its single tier and 444 estates.

The Future: A New Classification System

The Alliance des Crus Bourgeois du Médoc in Bordeaux has confirmed that in 2020 it hopes to reintroduce a classification system bringing back the three quality levels of:

Cru Bourgeois
Cru Bourgeois Supérieur
Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel

If approved by government ministers this year, the new system would technically be valid from the 2017 vintage, but not unveiled publicly until 2020, said the director of the Cru Bourgeois classification, Frédérique Dutheillet de Lamothe.

The new classification in 2020 will bring an end to the yearly assessments that have run since 2008 and the categories assigned to estates from then on will stand for five years. Châteaux can apply to be ‘Cru Bourgeois’ or they can apply for the ‘Supérieur’ and ‘Exceptionnel’ categories where, in addition to passing a qualitative tasting test, they must pass other criteria including their agricultural and environmental practices, property management and promotion of their wine.

schiller-wine: Related Posting

Total Immersion in Bordeaux: World Class Wines and Exquisite French Gourmet Cuisine - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France

Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France

Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy

Bordeaux Wines and their Classifications: The Basics

Bordeaux - En Primeur, Negociants, Courtiers, the Quai de Chartons and the Place de Bordeaux – A Short Introduction

What is a Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois? France

Château Léoville-Poyferré, Chateau Le Crock, Didier Cuvelier in Bordeaux and the Cuvelier Los Andes Wines in Argentina

A German Wine Maker in the Medoc: Dinner with Stefan Paeffgen at Château Le Reysse, France







Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Vinyard Tour and Tasting at Weingut Horst Sauer in Eschendorf, Franken, with Horst Sauer - Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Annette Schiller and Horst Sauer

We spent a couple of hours with Horst Sauer, the charismatic winemaker from Eschendorf in Franken. We toured with him the vineyards and the production facilities, before sitting down for a tasting of his bone-dry as well as noble-sweet wines. We also met the next generation, Horst‘s daughter Sandra Sauer, a graduate of the prestigious Geisenheim University, who is managing Weingut Horst Sauer jointly with her father and who is now in the lead in the cellar.

Just across the street of Weingut Horst Sauer is Weingut Rainer Sauer, also a leading winemaker in Franken. But there is no relation between the two.

Pictures: Arriving at Weingut Horst Sauer

Franken

Franken, located in the northern part of Bavaria, is boasting a long tradition and some fine terroirs (mostly shell limestone and Keuper, a kind of marl). Its two leading grape varieties are Riesling and Silvaner. Typically, Franken wine comes in the distinctive, dumpily-rounded Franken “Bocksbeutel” wine bottle. The bottle’s unusual shape dates back to at least the 16th century. The Bocksbeutel may only be used for Franken wines. In Germany, it is a sign of excellence, while in the US, many consumers link this kind of bottle shape to lower quality wine.

Pictures: Magdalena Sauer and Sandra Sauer

Weingut Horst Sauer

Weingut Horst Sauer is in Escherndorf in the Main Triangle area in Franken. Horst Sauer made his first wine in 1977, the birth year of his daughter. Since then he has become one of Germany’s truly exceptional winemakers.

Pictures: In the Vineyard with Horst Sauer

Today, the vineyard area totals 20.5 hectares. They are planted with the white grape varieties Silvaner, Müller-Thurgau, Riesling, Bacchus, Pinot Blanc and Scheurebe, as well as with the red varieties Pinot Noir and Domination. The output of Weingut Horst Sauer doubled in the past 10 years.

The wines are made in a newly built four-story winery, where the grapes and wines are moved on the shortest possible routes entirely by gravity. This gentle treatment in conjunction with a slow, restrained fermentation yields very delicate, clean, pure wine.

Fantastic dry wines are produced at this estate mainly from Silvaner, but also from Riesling, Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir. Besides dry wines Horst Sauer is known for lusciously sweet specialities.

Pictures: Annette Schiller and Horst Sauer

To get a glimpse into his philosophy of winemaking I will quote him here: “The start of a great wine lies in the winemaker’s imagination. I use to keep close watch on nature. Each year is different. The experiences we made in the past change our view and our range of options. You have to consider carefully when to influence, to control, to improve, and to enhance. And you have to find out at which point control becomes manipulation. Each wine has only one spring, one summer, one autumn, and one ripening season. Once you become aware of this fact, you know what it means to be patient. Only those who have a vision will find the way to their goal.”

Picture: The Cellar

20 percent of the production is accounted for by exports. This is a rather high export share by Franconian standards. Asia and Scandinavia are the main export destinations. Nothing comes to the US. 50% of the production is sold at the winery.

Pictures: Tasting with Horst Sauer

Der Feinschmecker on Horst Sauer

Der Feinschmecker: Horst Sauer is an unusual phenomenon in Franconia, which is famous for its dry wines: The committed and also internationally highly honoured winemaker dedicates himself with particular devotion to the production of noble sweet top wines. From the steep sloped vineyard of Escherndorfer Lump, Sauer collects Silvaner and Riesling grapes: With his experienced eye he checks immediately whether they are suitable for his varied range. It is important to harvest the grapes at the time of the correct grade of ripeness. As few other winemakers do, Sauer understands to select the healthy grapes for his dry wines and to choose the exact amount of botrytis – the grapes and parts which give the wine the respective desired degree of creaminess and delicate spices – for his Beerenauslese (select berry harvest) and Trockenbeerenauslese (select dry berry harvest).

Pictures: Numerous Awards

Sauer’s dry wines also have format, they show the saltiness of the shell limestone soil with great poignancy. In the vineyard with its modern architecture – the new building was inaugurated in 2006 – Sauer works side by side with his daughter Sandra, who accompanies the winemaking with her sensory assessment and in addition takes care of the marketing.

Tasting


Gutswein

The Gutswein category are „good from the ground up“ and form the basis of the VDP‘s quality pyramid, which is based on the terroir principle. These are wines made from grapes grown on any vineyard of the estate.

2016 Weingut Horst Sauer WEISS trocken
2016 Weingut Horst Sauer Just Silvaner trocken


Ortswein

The grapes of the Weingut Horst Sauer Ortswein category are grown on any vineyard of the estate in the village of Eschendorf. The wines come from younger vines and the edges of the Erste Lage vineyard.

2016 Weingut Horst Sauer Eschendorfer Silvaner trocken


Erste Lage - Trocken

Dry wines from a Erste Lage are labelled Qualitätswein S. Our lifeblood is to be found in these wines.

2016 Weingut Horst Sauer Eschendorfer Fürstenberg Müller-Thurgau S. trocken
2016 Weingut Horst Sauer Eschendorfer Fürstenberg Blauer Silvaner S. trocken
2016 Weingut Horst Sauer Eschendorfer Lump Silvaner S. trocken
2016 Weingut Horst Sauer Eschendorfer Lump Riesling S. Trocken


Grosse Lage

The Grosse Lage classification distinguishes the very best German vineyards.

2015 Weingut Horst Sauer Eschendorfer Am Lumpen 1655 Silvaner GG trocken
2015 Weingut Horst Sauer Eschendorfer Am Lumpen 1655 Riesling GG trocken


Special Wine

This is a wine made jointly with the head sommelier of the world renowned restaurant Tim Raue in Berlin.

2013 Weingut Horst Sauer ES IST WIE ES IST Die Dritte Cuvee mit Andre Macionga


Erste Lage – Edelsüss

2016 Weingut Horst Sauer Eschendorfer Lump Scheurebe Spätlese
2015 Weingut Horst Sauer Eschendorfer Lump Silvaner Trockenbeerenauslese


Line-up


Bye-bye

Many, many thanks Horst.

Pictures: Bye-bye

Postings: Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History (Published and Forthcoming Postings)

Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Art, Culture and History

Wine Tasting Lunch at Weingut Frölich-Hake in Naumburg-Rossbach, Saale-Unstrut, Germany, with Sandra Hake – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Weingut Pawis in the Saale Unstrut Region: Tour and Wine Tasting with Marcus Pawis – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting at Weingut Uwe Lützkendorf, with Uwe Lützkendorf, in Bad Kösen, Saale-Unstrut – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in the Saale Unstrut Region, Germany

Wine and Music: "Martin Luther Lunch" at the Historic Vincenz Richter Restaurant, Weingut Vincenz Richter, in Meissen with Senior Boss Gottfried Herrlich and the Music of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Visit of Weingut Klaus Zimmerling: The Wines of Klaus Zimmerling and the Art of his Wife Malgorzata Chodakoska - Germany-East Wine and Art Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Wine and Opera in Dresden: Mozart at Semper Opera and the Best Wines of Sachsen at Wine Bar Weinzentrale in Dresden-Neustadt, with Owner/ Sommelier Jens Pietzonka – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Dresden is the New Unlikely Place for Fine Barolo Wine: Weingut Martin Schwarz – Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tour and Dinner at Weingut Schloss Proschwitz - Prinz zur Lippe in Zadel, Sachsen, with Georg Prinz zur Lippe - Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Schiller's Favorite Winemakers in Sachsen (Saxony), Germany

Vinyard Tour and Tasting at Weingut Horst Sauer in Eschendorf, Franken, with Horst Sauer - Germany-East Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Vineyard tour, Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Fürstlich Castell'sches Domänenamt, with General Manager/ Winemaker Björn Probst

Michelin-star Level Winepairing Dinner at Winzerhof Stahl, Franken, Prepared by Winemaker/ Chef Christian Stahl

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Juliusspital in Würzburg,Franken

Schiller’s Favorites: 2 Legendary Wine Taverns in Würzburg – Juliusspital and Bürgerspital

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Taverns in Würzburg

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour, Lunch and Tasting at Weingut Fürst Hohenlohe Öhringen in Öhringen–Verrenberg,Württemberg with Winemaker Joachim Brand

Cellar Tour, Vineyard Tour, Tasting and Dinner at Weingut Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder in Schozach, Württemberg, with Kilian Graf von Bentzel-Sturmfeder

Tour and Tasting at Weingut Wachstetter in Pfaffenhofen, Württemberg, with Rainer Wachtstetter

Lunch at Restaurant Schloss Monrepos Ludwigsburg, Württemberg, with Chef Ben Benasr (1 Sar Michelin)

Tour and Tasting at Weingut Herzog von Württemberg at Schloss Monrepos in Ludwigsburg, Württemberg, with Andrea Ritz, Wine Queen of Württemberg