Visiting Pfalz wineyards – November of 2015 (E)
The vineyards of the Pfalz is close to the Alsace but Alsatian Wynelovers rarely crosses the border. That’s what we did …
The Pfalz wineyards lies in a similar landscape of the Alsatian, the similar slopes backed on beautiful hills and picturesque villages. Earlier in 2015 we already enjoyed a nice set of Palatinate wines with the AOC tasting club. We know that German wines are good, for instance in Mosel or Rheingau Wines. But during this first trip to the Pfalz, we have not only found a beautiful vineyard but also the beautiful Pfalz Wines.
The Pflazer vineyard is taking shape on the slopes of gentle hills of the Pfälzer Wald Forest. The soils are varied as in Alsace, and topo-climatic situations encountered open to a variety of soils, and a variety of grapes, such as in Alsace. The landscapes are very similar, with lovely wine villages with narrow streets.
Location: South of Germany, against the hills of the Palatinate oriented east-southeast, the climate is semi-continental.
Area: 23,000 hectares producing just over two million hectoliters of wine.
Soil: The soil range is as varied enough Alsace. Sandstone and sandstone stony Haardt in the sandy bottom of the hill, Muschelkalk, Schists in Burrweiler, basaltic rock in Forst …
Grapes: Riesling occupies a quarter of the surface, a dozen other varieties whose Scheurebe, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Sylvaner and the cross varieties as Rieslaner, and some red varieties like Merlot and Pinot Noir.
A first major reform of German designations had focused on a analytical grid reading around the notion of dryness or sweetness, varietals remaining a priority setting. A recent reform was to establish a hierarchy of terroirs. Now, we find in Germany, like in France, the Grand Cru « Grosse Lage » and Premier Cru « Erste Lage » wines, with very strict boundaries and therefore credibility.
And the German winegrowers created also the « VDP » association. Follow this symbol and you will know you are in one of the 200 best wineries of Germany. Wines of the VDP winemakers are a guarantee of credibility, and their wines are reliable regardless of their classifications.
Grosse Lage – Grands Crus: The boundaries are those of the cadastre, a maximum yield of 50 hl / ha, manual and selective harvest in boxes of 20 kilos maxi, at least 90 ° Oechsle or 12.2 alcohol, defined varieties, and a defined taste profile for each terroir, flavor profile that is verifiable and verified over time by vertical tastings, permanent monitoring by a dedicated committee.
Erste Lage – The Premier Crus: A maximum yield of 60hl / ha, grape varieties of the wine region, no mandatory flavor profile, but a characterization by the terroir.
Orstwein – As the French Appellation Village. These varietal wines must bear the characterization of their origin, in an expression that must remain « unkompliziert » accessible to all.
Gutswein. Describes Varietal wines with a maximum yield of 75 hl / ha.
The following is valid for 4 estates visited that day
No wine has unpleasant sensations. The hierarchy is reflected in the glass, all have great precision, sharpness reassuring,
All wines are digestible (thanks to their low alcohol content?), and when one is sometimes found at 13 ° alcohol nothing is sticking.
A defined style: The Germans finally settled, the wines of the German space are primarily dry wines, except mentioned exceptions. The semi-dry wines are rare and over-ripe are exceptions as a point of view that the number of their qualities.
The closures are consistent (screw cap for basic wines, cork top ranked wines), the bottles are the first quality, namely the flute in very dark glass, with a long collar.
Labels are beautiful and combining modern and tradition.
The whole gives an impression of elegance and seriousness.
Mandelring 25 67433 Haardt an der Weinstrasse
Tel: 0049 6321-2815,
Located an hour’s drive from Strasbourg, in a pretty wine village as we know it with small clean and narrow streets, dominates Müller-Catoir lodge in a beautiful neoclassical style. Its 21 hectares are located around Haardt, farmed organically. The wine is usually done in stainless steel tanks, some wines are aged in barrels that or lightning. Haardt wines are found varied concretions from a majority of yellow sandstone.
What characterizes Müller-Catoir wines? it is the righteousness of their expressions, and chills straight very well. Ideal for those who enjoy dry Riesling and rights.
Kirchgasse 10, 67146 Deidesheim, Germany
TEL + 49 6326 6006
We head in Deidesheim an improvised unscheduled visit to Bassermann-Jordan Domain. We go again in a vault combining modernity and tradition in an upscale precise presentation.
The Bassermann-Jordan estate is organic. It covers 49 hectares, a third of the 6 Premiers Crus Erste Lage and 7 Grands Crus Grosse Lage
What characterizes the Bassermann-Jordan wine? In Bassermann-Jordan, we confirm our precision impressions and expressions own each vintage. It’s really impressive. Here we find nice wines, fine wines, sometimes more male or female, young or more mature, this is how I want to define the wines of Bassermann-Jordan.
The label of the house dates from 1811, it depicts a scene of a Roman Emperor.
Weinstraße 8, 76831 Birkweiler, Germany
+49 6345 3542
Located south, at the entrance of the Queich Valley, we find a very different landscape, softer, in another area VDP Dr. Wehrheim.
The estate of 17 Hectares in organic and biodynamic wine produced and has 2Premiers Crus and 2 Grands Crus. Here we have had more difficulty assessing the wines. First, we were after breakfast, and above all, no Riesling were ready to taste (all were sold out). Difficult, then, to give an advise.
But we saw that the Pinot Blanc « Weissburgunder » can produce very fine wines, and Pinot Gris « Grauburdugnder » can deliver fine dry and very nicely roasted wines. We tasted a Cabernet Sauvignon that can be measured to many Bordeaux châteaux !
This visit has to be resume further. Here too, as elsewhere a beautiful website, with nice sheets for each region.
Dr. Wolf Buercklin
Weinstraße 65, 67157 wachenheim, Germany
Tel: +49 6322 95330
We arrive late at the Bürcklin Wolf Estate. But we are rewarded for our patience because we were in an exceptional setting and host the most « French » wines of the day.
The Burckling Wolf family estate is extended on 85 hectares, is organic and biodynamic, and has no less than 9 Grosse Lage Grands Crus and 6 Erste Lage Premiers Crus slopes.
What characterizes the wines Bürcklin Wolf?
Far from the strict austerity of Riesling The Burckling Wolf wines are reaching a sort of perfect balance in the family the « well speaking » wines, both precise and full of umami. Here we have also the most silky and charmy wines of the day.
Well, our tasting team said « yes we will come back to Pflaz » for discovering more of those accurate, precise, and reliable wines ! Each of the visited Estates offers another vision of the Pfalz Wine.
Many Thanks to the visited Estates !