Home > Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > The 2010 Vintage Tasting of the German Wine Society

The 2010 Vintage Tasting of the German Wine Society

The Harbor Square Club Room

Last week I attended the 2010 Vintage Tasting of the German Wine Society, DC Chapter. Long-time member Dave Wendler organized the tasting which was tutored by Phil Bernstein of MacArthur Beverages. It was hosted by Marilyn at the National Harbor Club Room. Phil presented 10 different wines, all of which are available at MacArthur Beverages, from the unusual 2010 vintage. The combination of extremely high acidity and sugar levels has not been seen before. While 1996 also had extremely high acidity levels, it did not have the sugar levels. This has resulted in many wines being deacidified. In addition, yields ran 30-50% below normal so it was a truly a small amount of wine to go around. Phil commented that this was a clean vintage with low botrytis. As a general observation I felt the flavors tilted towards fresh, white and green fruits. My two favorite wines of the evenings were the gorgeous 2010 Egon Mulller, Scharzhofberger, Riesling Kabinett followed by the 2010 Donnhoff, Kreuznacher Leistenberg, Riesling Kabinett. While the Egon Muller is somewhat pricey yet worthwhile $55, the Donnhoff is $25 which is a great price for such a lovely wine.

Serious Sign But A Fun Tasting!

The wines were opened a few hours ahead of time and served in flights of two. I have included a summary of Phil’s comments for each flight along with my brief tasting notes. Thanks again to Dave and Laura, along with all of their friends at their table for making me feel welcome. I certainly enjoyed hearing Phil speak and I look forward to his future tastings.


Affordable Qualitatswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA)

These are two introductory wines by very good producers. The Dr. Loosen is made entirely from purchased fruit. While St. Urbans Hof make an introductory purchased-fruit wine, this selection is a step up being made from estate fruit. Both of these are strong values and represent safe, affordable selections at restaurants and stores.

2010 Dr.Loosen, Dr. L, Riesling Qba, Mosel – $11
Imported by Loosen Bros. USA. This was more aromatic than the St. Urbans Hof with a floral ripe nose. In the mouth the structured fruit was fresh, fruity, and finished with a sandy texture.

2010 St. Urbans Hof, Riesling Qba, Mosel – $15
Imported by HB Wine Merchants. Produced from estate fruit. This was a touch more yellow than the Dr. Loosen. A mineral nose. The initially ripe fruit softened to tart flavors, and an aftertaste of little drying tannins and minerals.

Kabinett from the great Donnhoff estate

One of the great estates of the world and a favorite of Dave. If one selection from Donnhoff is good than two is better! Donnhoff acquired the Kroptenpfuhl vineyard from the Anheuser family several years. Through replanting and other efforts this vineyard is under restoration and Phil expects that these wines will only get better with each successive vintage. Phil also believe that the Nahe is an exciting region that combines the best characteristics of the Mosel and Rheingau.

2010 Donnhoff, Kreuznacher Krotenpfuhl, Riesling Kabinett , Nahe- $25
A Terry Theise Estate Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines. This vineyard was acquired three years ago. A softer nose. In the mouth racy fruit, textured acidity with tropical flavors in the finish. The aftertaste is great with tart flavors and a light mineral note.

2010 Donnhoff, Kreuznacher Leistenberg, Riesling Kabinett, Nahe – $25
A Terry Theise Estate Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines. The nose was lifted and gritty. The flavors were very lively on the tongue with mouthfilling flavors which coated the inside of my lips. There is a great presence to this wine with its incense notes, floral and ripe fruit, spices, and low-level acidity that makes one salivate. Showing really well.

Two Kabinetts from the Mosel

The Saar is a very cool region that naturally produces wines high in acidity which age very well. A.J. Adam is a young, enthusiastic producer who makes wines from very steep vineyards. The Egon Muller selection comes from the famous Scharzhofberger vineyard. With impeccable pedigree Phil felt this would age for 20 years.

2010 A. J. Adam, Dhron Hofberg, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel – $32
A Terry Theise Estate Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines. This show focused fruit, petrol underneath, with the acidity initially starting at the tip of the tongue. There was a gentle spiced sweetness. There were drying tannins in the mouth with a gentle aftertaste.

2010 Egon Mulller, Scharzhofberger, Riesling Kabinett, Mosel – $55
Imported by Frederick Wildman & Sons. The lighter nose contained drier aromas. The flavors almost prickled the tongue at first before beautiful, glycerine body developed. There was a light vein of stones in this mouthfilling wine with a persistent aftertaste. Clearly young but so beautiful, this was my favorite of the night.

The Brothers Fritz and Thomas Haag

This pairing showcases two different wines made by the brothers Fritz Haag and Thomas Haag at Schloss Lieser. What was particularly fun is that the fruit is sourced from different parcels of the same vineyard. Not only were the flavors different but the acidity level was remarkably different with the Fritz Haag tasting de-acidified.

2010 Fritz Haag, Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr, Riesling Spatlese, Mosel – $45
Imported by Rudi Wiest, Cellars International. A yellower color than the Schloss Lieser. This revealed dark fruit that quickly rounded out with less acidity and just a touch of texture. It was almost cloying.

2010 Schloss Lieser, Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr, Riesling Spatlese, Mosel – $30
Imported by Rudi Wiest, Cellars International. This was more overt with lively white fruit and ripe notes that bubbled on the tongue. I preferred this over the Fritz Haag with its ample acidity which remained on the lips with a sweet-tart profile.

Two Auslese

These two Auslese were quite different. The Monchhof will be best for earlier drinking and will probably not age long. The Selbach Oster remained tight and should age for some time. Pralat is the tenderloin of Erdener Treppchen with Monchof owning the largest portion. Phil commented that he often found cherry flavors in the wines of Erdener Treppchen.

2010 Monchhof, Erdener Pralat, Riesling Auslese, Mosel – $38
Imported by Rudi Wiest, Cellars International. With good up front texture, the fruit was sweeter and tight, with caramelized notes, perfume, and unctuous tropical flavors that while good were a touch heavy. Very young.

2010 Selbach Oster, Bernkasteler Badstube, Riesling Auslese, Mosel – $40
This revealed textured ripe fruit, plenty of acidity which mixed well with the fruit, lively in the mouth, a tart midpalate. Young and less distinct in its flavors this will clearly age. I rather liked the liveliness.

Dave and Phil with Scharzhofberger

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