La Deutsche Vita

What’s new in German wines? That was the question on May 7/09, in Vancouver. The Wines of Germany hosted a Trade event to reintroduce the wine trade to Riesling as well as the less commonly known varietals that make it out to Canada, such as Pinot Noir. We were given an overview by Dr. Steffen Maus, wine writer from Germany, about the main wine regions, some background on the latest vintages and where Germany fits into the global wine scene.

While most people think of sweeter style Rieslings, I found out that more than half of Germany’s wine production is dry white wines. Pinot Noir is a major red varietal in Germany, and is the 3rd largest producer of Pinot Noir in the world. Quite an achievement. Germany produces 3-4 times more Pinot Noir than New Zealand.

As for vintages, 2007 is viewed as the best vintage in the past 15 years. For Reisling, it produced luscious ripe fruit with good acidity. These wines can stand cellar aging. If you prefer a fresher, greener fruit type of Reisling, one to drink now, try the 2008 vintage.

So what were some wines I quite enjoyed?
Bischofliche Weinguter, 2007 Riesling Spatlese. This wine was pale lemon, some stone fruit and peach aroma. Sweet on the palate but still dry.
Weingut Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler, 2007 Riesling. Some rieslings as they age pick up a petrol aroma and flavour. This one had a bit of petrol and flowers on the nose. Round mouthfeel, with petrol citrus and apple flavour. LOTS happening in this glass.
Moselland 2007 Riesling Spatlese. This one had a sweet, lemony, spicy nose. Quite sweet on the palate, but good acid to balance it. Full bodied, with apple and flowery flavours.
Weingut Pfeffingen 2008 Gewurztraminer Spatlese. Gewurztraimer means spicy grape from the town of Traminer in Germany. This one was pale lemon coloured, with a pine needle aroma. Medium sweetness, pine needle flavour, with a lychee finish.
Valckenberg 2007 Gewurztraminer. This gewurztraminer was very aromatic. Lots of lychee aroma. In the mouth it was very round, with spicy, roses, and lychee flavour.