Germany has never been so exciting. Old generations are passing on their knowledge to younger generations and the result is a vibrant wine industry in complete evolution. While those stunning wines blessed with searing acidity to balance the residual sugar are still pertinent, a new wave of dry whites and complex reds brings dynamism to the region. Here is a list of wine I recently tasted. I raise a glass to the old and the new.
*I tasted all these wines over a period of three days. Each day, they became better and more expressive. If you can, I encourage you to do the same.
Schäfer-Fröhlich Trocken Rivaner, 2018, Nahe ($23)
By far the best Rivaner (also known as Müller-Thurgau) I have tasted. Typically known to produce simple juicy and fruity whites, this Rivaner has depth and concentration. The high quality of this wine is a result of low yield, ungrafted vines with over 50 years of age and the talent of Tim Frolich, owner and winemaker. Reductive with pleasant chalky textures and notes of white flowers, citrus with a salty tang on the finish. Mouth-watering!
Weingut Dreissigacker Weissburgunder Trocken Organic, 2019, Rheinhessen ($29.10)
I am a long-time fan of Pinot Blanc coming out of Germany. They tend to have more depth than those made in Italy yet are leaner than the neighbouring region of Alsace. Dry with an expressive palate with notes of yellow plum, melon and white grapefruit. Nice salty tang on the finish. The perfect match for grilled salmon or scallop ceviche.
Weingut Emrich-Schoenleber Riesling Trocken, 2019, Nahe ($24.50)
This is made from purchased fruit around Monzingen. One word: outstanding value for money. When I first opened this wine, the stone fruit notes dominated the palate. Twenty-four hours later, the mineral notes took over. Great concentration of flavours with tangy acid and notes of peach and nectarine in symbiosis with hot stone notes. Perfect match with spicy Indian or Thai food but dangerously easy to drink on its own.
Weingut Dr. Von Bassermann-Jordan Riesling Trocken, 2019, Pfalz ($34.60)
Ripe yet linear with notes of pink grapefruit and stone fruit ending on a mineral finish. Precise with tangy acid and a juicy palate. Another success from this highly regarded Pfalz producer. I am inspired to cook scallop ceviche prepared with mango and hot peppers.
J. BÄUMER Pinot Noir Landwein, 2018, Rhein ($19.00)
If you want a light, crunchy and refreshing red to sip on with your picnic, this bottle is perfect. Light and simple yet pleasant with juicy notes of rhubarb, cranberries and sour cherries. Serve slightly chilled. A natural match for paté and charcuterie.
Burg Ravensburg Pinot Noir Sulzfeld, 2017, Baden ($24.35)
For those who love Burgundy but can’t afford it anymore, Germany Pinot Noir offers a great alternative. The country is producing brilliant Pinot Noir that offers great value for money. This is a great example. Notes of dark cherries mingle with tobacco, forest floor and a touch of balsamic. Elegant soft tannins with refreshing acidity. Just as suited to pork and duck as it is for grilled tuna or salmon. Great value!
Willi Schaefer Graacher Himmelreich Riesling Spätlese, 2019, Mosel ($56.50)
If you ever had a doubt of whether those traditional sweet Prädikat wines were still pertinent, you no longer will after trying this wine. Absolutely stunning! Precise and pure with so much delicacy and a long, lingering mineral finish where the searing acidity balances perfectly the 70 g/L of residual sugar. Put this in your cellar and open in 10-15 years from now and you won’t regret it. Brilliant wine!