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Boucherville’s Deutschland 2010 grossen Jahrgangspräsentation and Von Othegraven

May 22, 2011

I could not hide my overexcitment in attending the long awaited German wine degustation today at Boucherville, Switzerland’s biggest German wine distributor / retailer.  Obviously Riesling was the focus, and producers from the Mosel, Saar, Ruwer as well as the Nahe, Pflalz and Rheinhessen regions were there to present their just bottled wines. The purpose of the degustation is to personally  introduce the public to the latest vintage wines in their very early stage of youthfullness. This could be quite a challenge considering the peculiarity of the latest vintage. Year 2010 saw a variety of weather conditions resulting in a significant decrease in yields and tremendous levels (quantitatively and qualitatively) of acidity, compensated by higher fruit concentration. Read here for very interesting notes of the 2010 vintage by Ernst Loosen of Dr. Loosen. The setting is also quite remarkable as the event is held in Boucherville’s 100 year old vaulted cellars within a rather large industrial-looking goods warehouse in the center of Zürich. Among the producers were some of the most renowned such as Karthauserhof, Müller-Catoir (only two wines), Pfeffingen, Theo-Minges, Bassermann-Jordan.

An extra factor of attraction for the public (excluding myslelf being unaware of the celebrity in question) was the presence of Günther Jauch, the TV presentator of the German version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”. The celebrity was there as the 7th generation owner of the newly acquired cultural-heritage wine estate Von Othegraven together with wife and wine director Andreas Barth, successfully in charge for the past 5 years. The estate, founded in 1805, is located on the lower bank of the Saar river opposite the village of Kanzem in an idyllic setting with 100% Riesling cultivated vineyard holdings. These include Kanzem Altenberg, Wiltingen Kupp, Ockfen Bockstein with some reaching inclinations of over 65 degrees. Every single wine I tasted did impress me in a way, particularly striking was their superb texture and mouthfeel. These were all 2009 bottlings as with the exception of the Kabinett Bockstein the 2010 are yet to be bottled.

The basic 2009 Max Riesling trocken showed plenty of character with lots of fresh peach and a slight tropical accent, offering great mouthfeel, density and purity of flavour.

The Riesling Kupp trocken Erste Lage 2009 from the Ayler Kupp vineyard (above) was on similar lines but with even more weight and depth and a an extra-dimension on the palate.

The Riesling Bockstein Grosses Gewächs trocken 2009 is from grey slate south / south-east facing slopes offered great finesse and typical fruit flavour.

The Altemberg Grosses Gewächs trocken 2009 comes from south / south-west steep iron-rich red slate vineyards. This displayed terrific depth, fullness and a serioulsy long long finish.

The 2009 Riesling Kabinett Bockstein Erste Lage 2009 (RS 40gr , A 8gr) came across delicate, round and mouthwatering. Super.  Similar story for the Spätlese Bockstein Erste Lage (RS 80gr) which offered luscious silky texture, delicate and generous on the palate, light, intense and loaded with spicy flavour and shiningly elegant acidity. Finally, the Auslese Bockstein Erste Lage (from 20% Botrytised grapes), offered super concentration yet never a hint of heaviness, rather very elegant, agile and playful with a superb acidic structure and captivating spiciness.

Looking forward to enjoy the bottles I ordered!

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