Thursday, March 22, 2012

Germany’s Best Dry Rieslings – Feinschmecker Riesling Cup 2011

Christian G.E. Schiller with Helmut Doennhoff, Weingut Hermann Doennhoff, Winner of the 2011 Feinschmecker Riesling Cup
Every year, the German wine and food journal Feinschmecker organizes the Feinschmecker Riesling Cup with the objective of identifying the best German dry Rieslings of the new vintage.

The Feinschmecker Riesling Cup 2011 went to Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff, Oberhausen/Nahe for its 2010 Hermannshöhle Riesling QbA trocken "Großes Gewächs".

For previous years, see on schiller-wine:

Riesling Cup 2009 - Germany's Top Dry 2007 Rieslings

The 13 Top German Dry Rieslings – Feinschmecker German Riesling Cup 2009 (Vintage 2008)

The 11 Top German Dry Rieslings – Feinschmecker German Riesling Cup 2010 (Vintage 2009)


Worldwide, there are about 34.000 hectares planted with Riesling. Germany – with 22.400 hectares – accounts for 2/3 of the total. The second largest Riesling producer is Australia, with 4500 hectares. But this is only about 1/10 of the total. Nevertheless, Australia was a bit underrepresented at the 1st International Riesling Symposium. Alsace follows with 3500 hectares. Austria, the US with Washington State and New York State as well as New Zealand make up the remainder. But overall Riesling is really a niche wine, accounting for only less than 1 percent of total wine production in the world - but a very special niche wine.

The Feinschmecker Riesling Cup 2011 Winner: 2010 Hermannshöhle Riesling QbA trocken Großes Gewächs, Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff, Oberhausen/Nahe

This was the big surprise of the 4. Riesling Cup of the Feinschmecker: For the second time in a row, Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff from the Nahe region has won the contest.

The Nahe Region

The Nahe region is named after the river that traverses the valleys of the forested Hunsrück Hills as it flows toward Bingen on the Rhine . The vines grow along the Nahe River and its tributaries Glan and Alsenz. Although the Nahe is one of the smaller German wine regions, its extraordinary range of soil types is second to none. It has about 4400 hectares under vine. Almost 2000 years ago the Romans brought wine-growing to the Nahe. White wine grapes dominate with 3/4 of the total; Riesling is the most common variety with roughly 1/3 of the total.

The Top 14 Wines

The tasting took place in November 2011. More than 350 wines of the 2010 vintage were submitted. 62 of the wines made it to the semi-final. Of these, 14 wines made to the finals.

1. Platz: 2010 Hermannshöhle Riesling QbA trocken "Großes Gewächs", Weingut Hermann Dönnhoff, Oberhausen/Nahe

2. Platz: 2010 Dalsheim Hubacker Riesling QbA trocken  "Großes Gewächs", Weingut Klaus Peter Keller, Flörsheim-Dalsheim/Rheinhessen

3. Platz: 2010 Pittersberg Riesling QbA trocken "Großes Gewächs", Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Münster-Sarmshein/Nahe

Christian G.E. Schiller with Georg Rumpf, Weingut Kruger-Rumpf. Georg has now takne over winemaking at Weingut Kruger-Rumpf from his father Stefan.

Visiting Georg Rumpf and his VDP Weingut Kruger-Rumpf in the Nahe Region, Germany

3. Platz: 2010 Eitelsbacher Karthäuserhofberg Riesling  Spätlese trocken, Weingut Karthäuserhof, Trier-Eitelsbach/Ruwer

5. Platz: 2010 Pettenthal Riesling QbA trocken "Großes Gewächs", Weingut Gunderloch, Nackenheim/Rheinhessen

hristian G.E. Schiller with Fritz Hasselbach, Weingut Gunderloch. Fritz is the winemaker at Weingut Gunderloch and - with his wife Agnes (who comes from the Gunderloch family) - the owner of Weingut Gunderloch

Visiting Agnes and Fritz Hasselbach at their Weingut Gunderloch in Nackenheim, Rheinhessen, Germany

6. Platz: 2010 Muschelkalk Riesling QbA trocken, Weingut Odinstal, Wachenheim/Pfalz

7. Platz: 2010 Trittenheimer Apotheke Riesling Spätlese trocken, Weingut Ernst Clüsserath, Trittenheim/Mosel

7. Platz: 2010 "Edition M" Kröver Steffensberg Riesling QbA trocken, Weingut H.-J. Junglen, Kröv/Mosel

9. Platz: 2010 Oestricher Lenchen Riesling Spätlese  trocken Erstes Gewächs, Weingut Ferdinand Abel, Oestrich-Winkel/Rheingau

9. Plattz: 2010 Dirmstein Mandelpfad Riesling QbA trocken "Großes Gewächs", Weingut Knipser, Laumersheim/Pfalz

11. Platz: 2010 Ockfener Bockstein Riesling QbA trocken "Großes Gewächs", Weingut Von Othegraven, Kanzem/Saar

11. Platz: 2010 Niederberg Helden Riesling QbA trocken "Großes Gewächs", Weingut Schloss Lieser, Lieser/Mosel

13. Platz: 2010 Oestricher Doosberg Riesling QbA trocken "Alte Reben", Weingut Spreitzer, Oestrich-Winkel/Rheingau

13. Platz: 2010 Lorcher Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese trocken, Weingut August Kesseler, Rüdesheim-Assmannshausen/Rheingau

Christian G.E. Schiller with August Kesseler. Weingut Kesseler is also well known for its spectacular Pinot Noirs.

A Pinot Noir Star: Visiting August Kesseler and his Weingut August Kesseler in Assmannshausen, Germany

schiller-wine - Related Postings

German and Austrian Wines in the Wine Spectator Top 100 2010

German Spaetlese Wines Can Come in Different Versions. I Have Counted Five.

Phil Bernstein’s Third Annual German Riesling Tasting with the German Wine Society, Washington DC Chapter - Rieslings With a Touch of Sweetness

Visiting Weingut Josef Leitz in Ruedesheim – Johannes Leitz is Germany’s Winemaker of the Year, Gault Millau WeinGuide 2011

When Americans Drink German Wine - What They Choose

Terry Theise's Top German Wines of the 2009 Vintage

Impressions from the Riesling & Co World Tour 2010 in New York

German Wine Basics: Sugar in the Grape - Alcohol and Sweetness in the Wine

JJ Pruem Goes Supermarket: Meeting Katharina Pruem and Tasting the Incredible JJ Pruem Wines at Wegmans

1st International Riesling Symposium, Rheingau, Germany

The Wines of the Roter Hang (Red Slope) in Nierstein, Rheinhessen, Germany

Best German Dry Riesling - Weinwelt German Riesling Awards 2011 (2010 Vintage)

Best German Wines – Gault Millau WeinGuide Deutschland 2012

The 100 Best German Winemakers 2010 – Handelsblatt online and Vinum

Germany’s Top 100 Winemakers – Handelsblatt online and Vinum 2011

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