Berlin Riesling Diary: Day 1 – Wines of the Month April 2014

2012 Hölle Riesling trocken from Thörle for Euro 19,60

2012 Frauenberg Riesling trocken from Göhring for Euro 11,15

Of course, most of the German wine scene is currently totally fixated upon the 2013 vintage – new Rieslings and much else besides! Nearly all the regular 2013 wines are now on the market, and many of the high-end wines either be tasted at the producer or trade tastings like the Rheinhessen presentation yesterday in Berlin – mega-new Rieslings and much else besides! Since I returned to Berlin in late March I’ve also been immersed this stuff and can now say with some confidence that 2013 was a difficult vintage that yielded wines of extremely varied quality, with a tendency to sharp acidity and quantities are short to very short. That’s not exactly what the market is looking for…

There’s a clear family resemblance between 2013 and 2008. As in that vintage some locations (stony soils!) and some winemakers (dedication to canopy management during the summer, strict removal of rotten grapes in the fall!) did way better than the rest. This next thought may not be pleasant for some readers, but a number of 2013 wines have been successfully deacidified. However, there are others that suffer from this being misjudged or even going wrong. In short, there’s everything from a few sensational wines that will a lot longer before they show their best to some wishy-washy stuff.

2011 and 2012 are already getting forgotten by the wine scene, although these were back-to-back top vintages: the 2011s powerful and muscular; the 2012s more charming and elegant. Thankfully today the top wines don’t come out before September and some of the best 2012s are therefore still around. They include the remarkable 2012 Hölle Riesling from Winzerhof Thörle in Saulheim/Rheinhessen. Pictured above is Jungwinzer Johannes Thörle who has matured really fast as a winemaker during the last vintages. A few years back some of his high-end wines were very impressive, but tended to be a little bit top heavy. This wine has a wonderful aroma of super-ripe pear, is rich and concentrated, but the considerable power at the finish is not a jot too much. And the wine is just entering its best youthful phase. I’d say that it was up there in the first league of Rheinhessen dry Rieslings alongside the best GGs from the established VDP producers!

More seductive and charming is the 2012 Frauenberg Riesling trocken from Arno Göhring of Weingut Göhring in Flörsheim-Dalsheim/Rheinhessen (just around the corner from the famous Keller estate). All manner of yellow fruits pour from the glass as if it were horn of plenty, and there’s a great balance between the full body, ripe fruit and fresh acidity. For this evening this is a great bottle of dry Riesling and a no-brainer for just about any kind of fish dish (also Southeast Asian or Chinese). With wines like these around nobody needs to rush to the 2013s, all the really successful dry Rieslings from which need some time, even if its only a couple of months in some cases.


Winzerhof Thörle

Ostergasse 40

D 55291 Saulheim/Rheinhessen

Tel.: (49) / 0  6732 / 5443



Weingut Göhring

Alzeyer Straße 60

D 67592 Flörsheim-Dalsheim/Rheinhessen

Tel.: (49) / 0  6243 / 408



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