Tag Archives: Franken

Weingut am Stein – 13/02/2012

Wurzburger Stein Silvaner 2010
A slight spritz to it, a very bright fresh nose and palate, but was pretty simple.

Wurzburger Grosses Gewachs Silvaner 2010
A lot more mineral influence, good mid-palate breadth, some viscosity from residual sugar, but was quite warm at 13% alcohol.

Wurzburger Innere Leiste Grosses Gewachs Riesling 2009
An interesting sesame seed character but it tended to overwhelm the fruit.

Wurzburger Innere Leiste Spatburgunder 2008
Some pronounced dark fruit notes with some savoury spice, and a hint of chocolate. In general the wines were a little alcoholic and textural, lacking in finesse and freshness.

Weingut am Stein wines

Weingut am Stein wines

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Rudolf Furst – 13/02/2012

Spatburgunder Tradition 2010
Nice spicy raspberry and red cherry notes on the nose, with very light delicate silky tannins and sweet fruit vibrancy.

Centgrafenberg Spatburgunder Grosses Gewachs 2008
Very concentrated red currant nose, great balance and elegance, and an earthy texture with some cumin and cinnamon complexity.

Schlossberg Spatburgunder Grosses Gewachs 2009
Much more opulent rich wine, with darker berry notes, toasted nut complexity and a savoury finish.

Hunsruck Spatburgunder Grosses Gewachs 2009
More blackforest and chocolate elements, and had a grainy tannin texture.

Hunsruck Spatburgunder Grosses Gewachs 2003
Evolved in the bottle to show smokier toasty red currant fruit, with a dark nougat macadamia complexity on the palate.

Centgrafenberg Frueburgunder 2009
Different, presenting as quite stalky and brambly on the nose, but a little salty and warm on the palate.

Riesling 2010
Quite spritzy and vibrant showing slight herbaceous notes.

Riesling 2009
Much softer and more voluptuous, with the herbaceous characters evolving into ripe cucumber and capsicum.

Riesling 2005
Showing bottle development of lovely rich kerosene, crushed hazelnut and walnut, volume and viscosity, lovely texture and length.

Burgstadter Centgrafenberg Eiswein 2001
Amazingly rich and dense in colour and viscosity. There was a very creamy vanilla texture and flavour, combining with citrus to have a lemon custard character.

Rudolf Fuerst wines

Rudolf Fuerst wines

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Weingut Horst Sauer – 13/02/2012

Muller Thurgau Kabinett Trocken 2010
Very clean fresh and palatable, but lacked in any real character, a consistent them with the variety.

The silvaner wines tended to have the same melon and pear characters, but had a little bit more depth and finesse to them, possibly thanks to the minerality of the soil.

I then compared the 2010 and 2011 vintages of the riesling wines. The pear and honeydew melon notes were very prominent in the 2011 wines, showing consistency of terroir influence, and had good soft freshness and rich viscosity. The 2010 wines by comparison showed more intense minerality, concentrated grapefruit and pineapple, and showed more savoury olive oil texture.

The Grosses Gewachs 2010 Silvaner and Riesling were both exceptional, but I wasn’t such a fan of the sweet wines, which included the Scheurebe Spatlese 2011 and Silvaner Beerenauslese 2010, as they were a little clumsy and lacked finesse and acid balance.

Different barrels at Horst Sauer

Different barrels at Horst Sauer

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Castell – 14/02/2012

The muller thurgau wines are fresh and light but have no personality. The silvaner wines are certainly a big step up, but aren’t as good as the Wirsching wines. There is occasionally an interesting flinty chalk minerality in these wines, which adds an extra layer of complexity.

Trautberg Silvaner Traminer 2010
Some lovely musky floral aromas, nice viscosity and texture, and a nice balanced level of ripeness.

The top silvaner wines have a slight green herbaceous edge, combining nicely with green tropical notes. I didn’t think much of the weissburgunder wines, as the variety doesn’t really offer much.

The spatburgunder wines similarly were very thin and looked sour. The wines aren’t really what I’ll remember about this amazing estate and village.

Ancient documents at Castell

Ancient documents at Castell

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Weingut Hans Wirsching – 14/02/2012

Silvaner Kabinett Trocken 2011
The highlight, even though it isn’t one of the top wines. It represents exceptional value and shows the quality of the fruit and the skill of the winemaker in achieving such balance in the blend. It has a slight reductive dusty spice due to its youth, but then opens with lovely kiwi and green papaya with hints of green onion.

Silvaner Spatlese Trocken 2010
Richer in volume and weight thanks to the ripeness of the fruit at harvest, but the powerful acids were well-integrated with a nice finish.

Iphofer Julius-Echter-Berg Grosses Gewachs Silvaner 2010
An even richer honeyed lemon grass nose, showing some dried tropical mango, pineapple and guava on the palate.

Tri Terra 2008
One of the unique wines they produce consisting of white burgundy grapes, including chardonnay, weissburgunder (pinot blanc) and grauburgunder (pinot gris). Tasting the 2008 I was surprised to see quite pronounced malolactic oaky notes of lanolin, butter and almond oil, and on the palate it was overworked and flabby. The delicate nature of the acids lends itself to less barrel and malolactic handling, and in my opinion should use a finer-grain light toast older barrel, with almost no malolactic fermentation.

Bottles aging in the cellars of Hans Wirsching

Bottles aging in the cellars of Hans Wirsching

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A silvaner lining (Franken, Germany – Day Two)

The Franken region does not export very much, at most about 20%. The wines that are exported tend to go predominantly to Scandinavia and BeNeLux, with very little leaving Northern Europe. I’m not sure why this is, as the Franken produces more wine than the more famous Rheingau and Mosel regions. It may be the very traditional nature of the region, particularly the Franken bocksbeutel they use, which although unique is harder to store in cellars and stock in retailers. It also looks a bit old-fashioned. Another reason may be that the general quality of wines in the region aren’t outstanding, and don’t have a history of being so, different to the Mosel and Rheingau. This may be something to do with the choice of varieties, but may also be the nature of the climate. In my humble opinion there is huge potential in the region, as there is great diversity of sites and soils, but they have to modernise and focus on certain varieties in certain areas.

Weingut Hans Wirsching

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The Main vein (Franken, Germany – Day One)

Ask most Germans and they will agree that Frankfurt is a pretty boring, mostly functional/financial city, and serves as mostly a transportation hub to Europe and the world. So it was with no regret that I left after only one day in Frankfurt for Franconia, one of the most traditional regions in Germany. Thankfully the weather started to get a bit warmer, but still didn’t get to zero degrees. Today it snowed again, which made this region look gorgeous with forests and vineyards covered in white. The Franken region in northern Bavaria sits on the banks of the Main River, which used to be much bigger several million years ago. As such there are large deposits of alluvial soils and limestone in different areas, and make the cultivation of grapevines on the mostly south-facing banks perfect for a range of varieties, including riesling, sylvaner, muller thurgau, spatburgunder, weisburgunder and more. The region is very large, and there are three major areas for viticulture; the Mainvierick (Main Square) in the west; the Maindreieck (Main Triangle) and the Steigerwald.

Escherndorfer Lump vineyards of Weingut Horst Sauer

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