Annual German wine festival – Toronto.


For a number of years, it has been a tradition for the representatives of German wineries to travel to important export markets and offer their latest products.

This year, promoters decided to feature riesling first and foremost, followed by pinot noir (spatburgunder in German).

Arguably, no country does riesling better than Germany. In particular, Rheingau, and Mosel excel in riesling-rooted wines from single vineyards.

Germany is the third largest producer of pinot noir after France and the U S A. Needless to say German pinot noir is light in colour, and texture, but in appropriate locations the wines are flavourful and well worth seeking.

The tasting’s venue was spacious and the tasting itself was well organized with a seminar of riesling and pinot noirs from different regions in the country.

The food served buffet style was delicious, as were the sushi prepared in a separate station by a Japanese cook. Finger foods of high quality were available throughout the tasting.

I found the elss expensive rieslings to be dilute and weak this time, but higher quality (kabinett and above) were fine, intense, and flavourful.

There is now a tendency to vinify kabinett quality grapes dry, achieving higher levels of alcohol. Occasionally, such wines are fine, but mostly unsuccessful due to high acidity.

There was only one wine from Franconia, and none from Saale-Unstrut, and Saxony.

Here are my favourites:

Bernkasteler Doctor Riesling Spatlese, 2007, Wegeler, Mosel
Outstanding balance, fragrance, refinement and delicacy.
(Available as a Vintages Classics selection)

Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Spatlese, 2005, Weingut Bollig-Lehnert, Mosel
Fruity, light, delightful and delicate

Riesling Beerenauslese, 2009, Weinhaus Jean Buscher, Palatinate
Superb fruit, sweet but well balanced, intense with a long and satisfying aftertaste

Nackenheim Rothenberg Riesling Beerenauslese, 2008, Gunderloch Weingut, Rheingau
Simpy put, a “nectar of the gods”.

Hattenheimer Wisselsbrunnen Riesling Kabinett, 2009, Schloss Reinhartshausen, Rheingau
An outstanding Rheingau riesling smelling of petrol, peaches, apricots, light, balanced with spicy undertones,

Erbacher Siegelsberg, Beerenauslese, 2005, Schloss Reinhartshausen, Rheingau
Intense fruitiness, refined, elegant, a textbook beerenauslese quality riesling vinified in an exemplary fashion.

Kasseler Nieschen Kabinett, 2006, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt, Rheingau
A fine single-vineyard riesling vinfied in the traditional German style. Off dry, light, harmonious with a fine finish.

Kreuznacher Hinkelstein Weisser Burgunder, 2012, Gunther Schlink, Nahe
Weisser Burgunder is the German name of pinot blanc. This dry, well balanced, fruity wine from the Nahe region proves that German soil can also support and produce non-traditional wines successfully.

Leiwener Laurentiuslay Spatlese, 2011, Weingut St. Urbanshof, Mosel
An outstanding late harvest rieslign from one of the better wineries in the Mosel. Fruity, light, “clean”, balanced, and delightful.

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