Wines of the year (8) German stars

ernst loosen

Carrying on with the wines of the year theme, this time it’s the turn of Germany. I know it may seem like I’m stringing this one out a but, but I tried a lot of brilliant wines in 2016 and I want to share them all. I visited Germany three times in 2016, and I really love what’s happening here. As usual, lots of very very good wines didn’t make this high cut.

loosen urziger wurzgarten reserve

Dr Loosen Urziger Würzgarten Riesling Trocken Reserve Alte Reben GG 2012 Mosel, Germany
This spends 24 months in large oak on the lees without racking. So pure and elegant with linear citrus and pear fruit. Such precision, with a hint of tangerine and amazing focus and potential for future development. 96/100

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Jean Stodden Spätburgunder Alte Reben 2014 Ahr, Germany
These are very old vines of uncertain age, but probably planted 1920-25, on the Herrenberg. Yields of 18 hl/ha, with small berries. Superbly elegant, showing red cherries and plums. Great texture: almost creamy with a silky quality, and red cherries and plums. Such purity and finesse; harmonious and elegant. Some fine spicy notes and good structure under the fruit. Thrilling. 97/100

Philipp Kettern and Dirk Niepoort Fio Riesling 2012 Mosel, Germany
This is made from one fuder (a large barrel) and spent two years here without any sulphur dioxide additions. It was bottled October 2014. This dry Riesling shows amazing finesse and texture, with wax, herbs, honey, melons and pears. There are fresh lemony notes but also richer textural elements. It’s mineral and dry with great concentration and depth, showing amazing purity and finesse. Stunning. 95/100

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Peter Jacob Kuhn Saint Nikolaus Riesling GG 2014 Rheingau, Germany
This biodynamic estate is turning out some lovely wines. This one comes from sandy quartz soils, from a warm site close to the river. Incredible aromatics of spice, marmalade, lemons and minerals. Lovely concentration and texture on the palate with orange peel, lemons, pear and white peach fruit. Very refined, dry and elegant with some generosity, too. Has astonishing depth and texture. Amazing wine. 96/100

Am Nil Saumagen Riesling 2014 Pfalz, Germany
From vines over 30 years in age, this is a superb expression of Riesling. Taut and linear with nice purity. Has amazing freshness and a lovely linear acidity. So pure and fresh with brightness and clarity. Just so fine. 95/100

Gut Hermannsberg Steinterrassen Riesling 2014 Nahe, Germany
This is a selection from three vineyards – Rothenberg, Steinberg and Kertz – on biolyte soil (a kind of volcanic soil), from vines 35-70 years in age. Smoky, mineral nose with taut citrus fruit, almost saline. Lively, pure, mineral palate has a hint of melon and lemon, with fine spices and nice acidity. Really fine. 95/100

JJ Prüm Welhener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese 2001 Mosel, German
Powerful, spicy and linear with lovely grapefruit and lemon notes. Concentrated and spicy with an arresting mineral core. Shows great purity and complexity. Delicious and pristine. 96/100

Paul Fürst Centgrafenberg Pinot Noir GG 2014 Franconia, Germany
Lovely sweet, perfumed nose of fine cherries and spices. Fresh, vivid, concentrated palate with good acidity and structure. Lovely fresh red cherries showing purity and finesse. 95/100

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Rainer Schnaittmann Fellbacher Lammler Spatburgunder GG 2014 Wurttemberg, Germany
Lovely complex dark cherry aromatics: spicy and a bit meaty. Juicy, spicy, perfumed, mineral palate with high acidity and some peppery notes. Dense, structured, and showing lovely precision. 95/100

Leitz Hermannshöhle Riesling GG 2013 Rheingau, Germany
So complex and detailed. Tight, expressive with fine, focused grapefruit and lemon notes, as well as some tangerine. Very dry and textured with nice precision. Shows great potential. 95/100

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Dönnhoff Oberhauser Brücke Riesling GG 2015 Nahe, Germany
So taut and linear with powerful, focused lime and grapefruit pith notes. Lovely intensity and good acidity, and amazing purity. Pithy and precise with superb concentration and balance. Long and intense. 97/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com

2 comments to Wines of the year (8) German stars

  • Pat Neville

    Not sure that Leitz and Hermannshöhle go together….?

  • It’s a bit of a shame that lot of the wines, aside from JJ Prum, are all so young. Riesling needs time to show what it’s capable of, and the two Spatburgunders you mention, in particular Furst, are nowhere near ready to show what they are capable of, so what would your score be in a couple of years?

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