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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > Germany

Winner Details

Germany

2019 GOLD: 6      SILVER: 2      BRONZE: 1      COMMENDED: 3
2018 GOLD: 6      SILVER: 10    BRONZE: 2      COMMENDED:10

How much German Riesling and Pinot would we like to see in the Sommelier Wine Awards? ‘More, always’ is the answer. Our tasters love these wines with the blind devotion of a long-suffering country and western femme fatale. However high the prices, however sharp the acidity or edgy the fruit, they’ll stand by their vin.

This year saw another nicely balanced range of wines on the Gold List. In fact, it was rather better than last year, with a fine spread of prices and styles in the Rieslings and two, not one, Spätburgunders. The two Critics’ Choice awards tells you much of what you need to know about the quality here. It was superlative.

There is, however, a ‘but’. And it’s that our overall medal count was half that of last year; not because the quality was lower, but simply because there were fewer wines sent in. As Tammy Wynette almost said, sometimes it’s hard to be a wine somm.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Our flight showed how ripeness can change the flavour profile of Riesling, whether really attractive stone fruit or something more austere and appley.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘It’s clearly not only all about Riesling in Germany. With these other varieties you can offer a nice discovery, and value for money too.’ Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche

‘The nice thing was to see Pinot in a variety of styles. It’s encouraging that Germany can make good things at the £16-£17 price point. It becomes less of an oddity, and becomes something you can sell.’ Hamish Anderson, team leader

‘If you don’t want to spend over £15, you take a risk going elsewhere in the world. From Germany, at that price point you know you’ll get a classic Riesling.’ Carlos Ferreira, team leader

‘Bright acidity, a touch of residual sugar, tons of minerality and a sense of terroir. They’re just really elegant, delicious, well-made wines.’ Andres Ituarte, team leader

‘As soon as we started tasting we were all talking about food. The wines gave us lots of quirky ideas for combinations.’ Michael Moore, The London Cookhouse

‘There’s a new generation of producers that are trying to find the more elegant and Burgundian way, while keeping their local character too. And you could really taste the differences between the regions.’ Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection

Award winners

Found 12 wines

Germany

Kopp, Roter Porphyr, Spätburgunder 2015, Baden, Germany

Gold medal winner

This fine addition to the Gold List opened with ‘a lovely floral and savoury nose’, according to team leader Hamish Anderson, who went on to praise its ‘textured, spicy palate with some wild edges, and some grippy tannins to keep it all well framed’. ‘This is made for food,’ added Maze by Gordon Ramsay’s Gabriele Bertotti, who thought its ‘delicate, chewy red fruit notes and good balance’ made it ideal to accompany lamb chops.

£18.45 Bibendum

Dreissigacker, Morstein, Riesling 2014, Rheinhessen, Germany

Gold medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest described ‘soft petrol on the palate mixed with apple and honey’ and thought it had ‘lovely balance’ and was ‘nicely mineral’ with ‘subtle acidity’. Fellow team leader Carlos Ferreira was equally impressed with its ‘very complex nose; stone fruits, oak and white, spicy grape juice, with a touch of petrol’, and thought the palate was ‘very elegant, with notes of red apple and asparagus’ and the finish ‘beautiful’. According to Rémi Cousin of Le Gavroche, ‘this could age for years’.

£40.02 Liberty Wines

Peth-Wetz, Unfiltered Riesling 2017, Rheinhessen, Germany

Gold medal winner

For Bianca Potenza of Bluespoon Andaz Hotel - Amsterdam this was a ‘bit tight but opens up, expressing it’s potential’. She described it as ‘slightly off-dry’ and found it ‘aromatic with elderflower and ripe fruit and a crisp finish’. Team leader Tom Forrest, meanwhile, found ‘peachy mineral notes – floral, with lychee and rose and ‘a touch of honey and spice’ and thought it had a ‘soft round, peachy palate with a stony minerality’.

£13.07 Bibendum

Egon Müller, QBA Riesling 2017, Mosel, Germany

Gold medal winner

‘Honeyed apple and blossom and elderflower,’ said impressed team leader Tom Forrest, while Rémi Cousin of Le Gavroche was more than happy to see this take Gold, noting: ‘Fresh and sexy aromas of Williams pear and kiwi; stony minerality, juicy, mouth-watering’, and adding: ‘I can drink this bottle all on my own…’. ‘No, I can drink this bottle all by myself,’ said team leader Carlos Ferreira (maybe they’ll share it), adding: ‘Melon, passion fruit and mango nose; palate of pineapple and pear with white spices; long vibrant finish.’

£31.98 Top Selection

Schieferkopf, Riesling 2016, Baden, Germany

Gold medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest picked up a ‘honey, mineral and petrol nose’ leading on to a ‘mineral palate’ with ‘green apples’ in this Gold-Listed Riesling. Meanwhile Bianca Potenza of Bluespoon Andaz Hotel - Amsterdam described it as ‘dry feeling from the first sip’ and found it ‘slightly oaky yet with nice acidity’. For her it was ‘not an easy-drinking sipper’, but ‘definitely a food wine’, and she thought it ‘would work really well with seafood that had some aromatic ingredients’ and ‘would age well’.

£8.83 Mentzendorff & Co

Kloster Eberbach, Estate, Pinot Noir 2016, Rheingau, Germany

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Deserving of a place on the Gold List for, according to team leader Nigel Lister, ‘a pretty nose, elegant and floral, with gentle, silky tannins – a wine for a summer’s day’. Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish praised its ‘complexity on the palate, with cherry, black fruit and hints of spice, as well as good acidity’, while The River Cafe’s Mattia Mazzi thought it ‘vibrant, elegant and charming’, and an ideal match for ‘terrine or a cheese board’.

£16.00 Boutinot

Kopp, Weissburgunder 2017, Baden, Germany

Silver medal winner

Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn described ‘vegetal and tropical notes’ on this wine, and enjoyed its ‘weight and balance, yet with green, underripe, grassy notes’.

£13.15 Bibendum

Horst Sauer, Escherndorfer Lump, Silvaner S 2017, Franconia, Germany

Silver medal winner

Team leader Andres Ituarte loved the ‘balanced, bright mineral notes’ of this Silver medal-winning wine, and found ‘apricot and lemon verbena’ on the palate. ‘Delicate and delicious,’ he concluded.

£14.70 Boutinot

Peth-Wetz, Unfiltered Pinot Noir 2016, Rheinhessen, Germany

Bronze medal winner

‘A brooding, dark, ripe bramble nose’ led to ‘a rich, ripe style on the palate, but well balanced in its freshness, with plum, spice and excellent length’, thought team leader Hamish Anderson.

£16.98 Bibendum

Weegmüller, Der Elegante, Riesling, Kabinett Trocken 2017, Pfalz, Germany

Commended medal winner

Peth-Wetz, Estate, Grauer Burgunder 2017, Rheinhessen, Germany

Commended medal winner

£9.76 Bibendum

Kloster Eberbach, Crescentia, Neroberg, Riesling 2017, Rheingau, Germany

Commended medal winner

£13.10 Boutinot

 

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