Attended a tasting at the Wine Country wine store in Signal Hill, California near Long Beach. The wines tasted were their top German wines of 2014. Randy Kemner, who owns Wine Country, feels that German wines are the best food wines in the world. In an article in the Wine Country newsletter , he states that:
“Riesling is food’s most versatile partner, performing miracles with ham, sausages, quiche, omelets, asparagus, artichokes, turkey, pork, chicken and even some red meat. It is the preferred wine with the varied cuisines of Asia (Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese), and it can provide relief for mildly spicy foods. No other wine can cover this much ground.”
This article describes the various wine types and wine regions in Germany and lists the reasons why Randy considers German Riesling wines to be the best in the world.
Because German wines have intense aromas and flavors, sweetness and balancing acidity, they pair well with a wide range of foods including spicy food and food served at Thanksgiving dinner.
The tasting was ordered by the amount of alcohol in the wines from 13% in the drier Trocken Rieslings to 7.5% in the sweeter Kabinet, Spatlese and Auslese wines.
The following wines were tasted:
The Top Wines of Germany in 2014 (11/22/2014)
1) 2011 Becker Family Pinot Noir, Pfalz 13.5% $20
2)* 2013 Robert Weill Riesling Trocken, Reingau 12% $20
3) 2013 First Sylvaner Pur Mineral, Franken 12% $23
4) 2012 Wagner Stempel Weissburgunder Trocken, Rheinhessen 12.5% $16
5) 2013 Pfeffingen dry Scheurebe, Pfalz 11.5% $18
6) 2012 Zilliken “butterfly”, Mosel 11.5% $18
7) 2012 Darting Scheurebe Kabinett, Pfalz 11.5% $20
8)* 2012 Von Buhl Armand Riesling Kabinett, Pfalz 9.5% $19
9) 2011 Von Hovel Oberemmeler Hutte Saar Riesling Kabinett, Mosel 8.5% Qmp $14
10)* 2010 Stefan Ehlen Wehlener Sonneuher Riesling Spatlese, Mosel 8.5% $20
11)** 2008 Reinhold Haart Goldtropfchen Kabinett, Mosel 8.5% $22
12)** 2007 Reinhold Haart Goldtrophen Spatlese, Mosel 7.5% $33
13)*** 2010 Schwaab-Dietz Erdener Pralret Alte Rebe Riesling, Auslese, Mosel 8.5% $30
A three star rating system was used to rate the perceived quality of the wines. All wines with star ratings are recommended as good buys. The most intensely aromatic and flavored wines with the best balance and length of finish are rated the highest. Most of the Riesling wines had fruity and flowery aromas and flavors while only a few had mineral and petrol aromas that are common in aged Rieslings.
The Weill(#3) Riesling was closed on the nose but had excellent acidity and flavors of grapefruit on the palate. The Trocken wines had the least intense aromas while the sweetest wines (#10, #11, #12 and #13) were the most aromatic and flavorful. The Armand Riesling (#8) had some petrol on the nose and had more intense flavors than previous wines in the tasting. Although lacking in aroma , the Ehlen(#10) had intense sweet flavors of apples and other fruits and excellent balancing acidity. The Haart (#11) had a complex nose of fruits and flowers with intense flavors and acidity to carry them to a long finish. The Haart (#12) Spatlese was sweeter than previous wines but was very well balanced by acidity. The best wine was the Schwaab Dietz (#13) Auslese that had the deepest color and was the sweetest wine of the tasting but had great acidity to make the wine go well with food. It was intensely flavored and complex and well worth the price.