Berlin, sommelier, Wine

Wein Messe Berlin

February 21, 2015

Wein Messe Berlin, Part I, the whites.

My recent visit to this wine show was an eye opener. Not only that I was able to taste a large number of most beautiful German white wines – as expected! – but I also tried a variety of German and Austrian red wines, which I have never had the opportunity to taste before – the result of me living in the Southern Hemisphere for the last 25 years, where wines likes these are not only difficult to source but also out of an affordable price range.

Let’s talk about the whites: riesling is definitely one of my favourite white grape varieties, but after tasting wonderful samples of it, then followed by tastings of Sylvaner, Mueller Thurgau, Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) and Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), I came across two wines which blew my mind.

One was the 2014 Muskateller trocken (dry) from Alfons Hormuth; it totally gobsmacked my tastebuds. This producer is from the south German region of Rhineland Palatinate. Muskateller, aka Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains, is a versatile variety which can produce dry, sweet, or fortified wines.

This dry Muskateller had some resemblance with Gewürztraminer, but with lighter body and not as perfumed a Gewuertz sometimes can be. The floral expressions combined with mild aromatics (think nutmeg) were dominant. The wine is light bodied and has a fine acidity which attributes to its elegant appearance. This wine fascinated me, as it was playful and serious at the same time, with a long lasting palate to savour. It makes me think of spring and butterflies! And I can’t wait to crack a bottle soon. The retail price for this wine at Cellar Door is Euro 5,80.

The other most outstanding white wine I tasted on that day was a 2009 Kronenberg Gewürztraminer Auslese trocken (dry), by Weingut Hans Georg Fleischmann. This producer is from the Rhineland Palatinate region as well.

This wine tasted so impressively, with layers and layers of exotic aromas and flavours opening up on my palate. Most obvious was the typical lychee flavour and aromas of rose petal that this variety is know for. Flavours from the ‘spice garden’ were less pronounced. This was no disappointment as this Gewuertzt displayed rich flavours of candied fruit, like blood orange, which made it very intriguing. The wine is of medium body, not surprisingly with 14% ABV. The acid is strong, but fine, keeping all the flavours in check, giving the wine good structure and preventing it from being to flabby, or oily.

The bottle age of nearly 6 years is definitely another contributor to this outstandingly complex and elegant wine. It is a wine to be perfectly enjoyed on its on after a busy day to calm down and relax, and to savour the moment. The price at Cellar Door is 6.60 Euro – more than a bargain – and can only be explained by the lack of popularity Gewürztraminer has with the general public. How else could such a good wine be so inexpensive?


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