Friday, February 5, 2016

Tour and Tasting at Weingut Gut Hermannsberg in Niederhausen, Nahe – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Picture: Tasting at Weingut Gut Hermannsberg in Niederhausen, Nahe

Weingut Gut Hermannsberg goes back to the year 1901 when the Prussian government founded the domain on steep, rugged land in the central Nahe valley as a model operation to help revive the wine industry after the phylloxera disaster. Planting vineyards here was an extraordinary effort: rocks had to be blasted and huge masses of earth moved. Until well into the 1980s the domain stayed in public hands.

Picture: The Nahe and Weingut Gut Hermannsberg (Source: Gut Hermannsberg)

Owner was the State of Rhineland-Palatine, since 1946 the successor of the Prussian State. The estate was privatized in 1998. In 2010 it changed hands again and was renamed Gut Hermannsberg. The new owners invested heavily and brought the estate back to its glory. The vineyards cover 30 hectares and all of which are located in Grand Cru sites. The legendary Kupfergrube, the monopol site Hermannsberg, and the unique Traiser Bastei number among the best Riesling sites in Germany and of the world.

Christian Patsch was our host. He showed us around and led a tasting.

Winemonger is the US importer of Weingut Gut Hermannsberg. Winemonger has a nice write-up about Gut Hermannsberg on its web site.

Pictures: Arriving at Weingut Gut Hermannsberg

Weingut Gut Hermannsberg

Winemonger: A new incarnation of the old Königlich-Preussische Weinbaudomäne Niederhausen-Schlossböckelheim, Gut Hermannsberg possesses thirty hectares of vines, mostly Riesling, in some of the very best vineyard sites in all of Germany: Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube, their monopole Niederhäuser Hermannsberg, and the Traiser Bastei.

All of Gut Hermannsberg's vineyards are rated as Grosse Lage. These hillsides frequently show 50% incline, along with the Nahe's customary kaleidoscope of soil types and terroir possibilities. A member estate of the VDP— Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter— Gut Hermannsberg combines an attractive and modern style with the most scrupulous respect for traditions both national and regional. "Estate" wines are bottled from Riesling and Weissburgunder, "Village" wines and the prestigious "Grosse Gewächse" exclusively from Riesling.

Pictures: Tasting at Weingut Gut Hermannsberg

Owners and Winemaker

Under the new ownership of proprietors Jens Reidel and Dr Christine Dinse, the domain's 110-year history has entered a chapter that promises to be full of development. This chapter began when the owners engaged Karsten Peter as cellar-master and vineyard manager.

Herr Peter, from Bad Dürkheim in the Pfalz, was born to the vine, and has over the course of three successive vintages shown a keen eye, nose and palate for the techniques and practices that are each year perceptibly more successful in bringing the great potential of these extraordinarily fine vineyard sites more vividly into the bottle. Particular attention is paid to canopy management and the choice of in-house-manufactured compost.

In addition to their modern and very well-balanced dry Rieslings, Gut Hermannsberg bottles a beautifully articulate range of Kabinett and Spälese wines from sites that are particularly suited to these traditional styles.

Pictures: Weingut Gut Hermannsbaerg and its History

Vineyard

Christian Patsch: Gut Hermannsberg today owns an approx. 30-hectare vine area in the communities of Schlossböckelheim, Niederhausen, Traisen and Altenbamberg. Wine-growing is our craft, but it's frequently a grueling task. Here, in the central Nahe tributary, Mother Nature provides us with the ideal starting conditions to harvest perfect grapes. Extremely time-consuming leaf work in the vineyard and the use of compost we produce ourselves are just a few of our endeavors to produce wines that are in harmony with and that respect nature. Wine is nature and great wines are created in vineyards.

Pictures: Touring Weingut Gut Hermannsberg

Cellar

Christian Patsch: Even if the great wines are created in our vineyards, they are given their ultimate form in our cellar. The perfect grapes that come from our vineyards are treated by us in our wine cellar with the utmost care and preservation. For instance, we abstain from any kind of fining of the wines.

We don't want to ‘make’ a wine, but we want to give the individual potential of the individual vineyards the opportunity to develop. For example, we vinify many different vineyard plots individually in order to maintain the different characters of the plots within one site.

For us, it is less about implementing a certain wine style and more about the authenticity of the wines.

Pictures: In the Cellar

The Wines we Tasted

2014 Gut Hermannsberg Weisser Burgunder Gutswein

A juicy wine with a delicate structure and fresh minerality, thanks to the storied vineyard Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube. The density and creamy texture of this pinot blanc come, on the other hand, from the great and historically important Erste Lage site Winzenheimer Berg.


2014 Gut Hermannsberg Just Riesling Gutswein

Just Riesling! The calling card of Gut Hermannsberg. A wine that does not need to play hide and-seek to show how special it is: cheerful yet sophisticated, with plenty of depth. Reflecting the top quality of Erste Lage vineyard sites, this wine marries distinctive character with drinking pleasure.

2014 Gut Hermannsberg Niederhäuser Riesling Ortswein

A Riesling which harmoniously unites the two worlds of fruit and stone, thus creating a very distinctive profile. The wine is produced exclusively from grapes grown in the Niederhäuser Hermannsberg.

Picture: The Vineyards

2014 Gut Hermannsberg Schlossböckelheimer Riesling Ortswein

A heritage wine right out of the picture book! The grapes come from the Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube, and thanks to these volcanic soils, the Schlossböckelheimer Riesling shows off a captivating personality.

2014 Gut Hermannsberg Bastei Riesling GG

This wine originates from the highest cliff-face north of the Alps. The Bastei vineyard is a natural fighter. During the day, temperatures can be excessively warm, and during the night, it becomes very cool. Yet the wine is by no means lean or restrained, yet displays an expressive aromatic character of tropical fruits, coupled with a vibrant body and steely mineral character.

2014 Gut Hermannsberg Hermannsberg Riesling GG

The Hermannsberg GG from the monopole site is an impressive result of intensive vineyard selection – especially during the harvest – together with the unique potential of the Hermannsberg itself. Incredible multi-faceted complexity with very clear, precise fruit. On the palate, the Hermannsberg GG yields a fine acidity structure, enourmous richness and a long finish.


2014 Gut Hermannsberg Riesling Kabinett Fruchtsüsser Wein

The Riesling Kabinett from Gut Hermannsberg is created from grapes grown in various vineyards such as Steinberg or Altenbamberger Rotenberg. These terroirs are perfectly suited to express the classical style of Riesling Kabinett.

2013 Gut Hermannsberg Steinberg Riesling Spätlese Fruchtsüsser Wein

The stone-laden porphyry soils for which the vineyard is named (Steinberg means literally “stone mountain“) nourish the grapes that evolve into this exceptionally distinguished wine. The Steinberg faces south/southwest, which means that it enjoys generous exposure to sunlight.

2012 Gut Hermannsberg Rotenberg Riesling Spätlese Fruchtsüsser Wein

2013 Gut Hermannsberg Rotenberg Riesling Spätlese Fruchtsüsser Wein

The Altbamberger Rotenberg is an extremely steep vineyard bordered by a protective forest. The upper part of the vineyard experiences a long growing season. When the grapes here mature to their optimal level, they are just perfect for Spätlese. The Rotenberg generates powerful, mineral-laden Rieslings that exhibit complexity, spice and long ageing potential.

Postings on the Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015) (Posted and Forthcoming)

4 Wine Tours by ombiasy coming up in 2015: Germany-East, Germany-South. Germany-Nord and Bordeaux

Fall Tours by ombiasy WineTours 2015 - A Very Special Treat: Experience Harvest Time !

Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), Germany

Tour and Tasting at Weingut Baron Knyphausen in Erbach, Rheingau - Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Wine and Music at Eberbach Abbey in the Rheingau - Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Tour and Wine Tasting with Lunch, with Mark Barth at Wein- und Sektgut Barth in Hattenheim, Rheingau – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Tour and Tasting at Weingut Spreitzer in Oestrich, Rheingau, with Bernd Spreitzer – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Wine Tasting at Weingut Toni Jost in Bacharach, Mittelrhein, with Cecilia Jost – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Cruise on the Rhein River in the Mittelrhein Valley, an UNESCO World Heritage Region – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Wine Tasting at Weingut J.J. Adeneuer in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Ahr, with Marc Adeneuer - Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Vineyard Walk and Tasting at Weingut Meyer-Näkel in Dernau, Ahr, with Dörte Näkel – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Wine Tasting at Weingut Dr. Loosen in Bernkastel-Kues, Mosel – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Wining in Bernkastel-Kues in the Mosel Valley: Wine Tavern “Spitzhaeuschen”, Germany

Tasting at Weingut St. Urbans-Hof in Leiwen, Mosel, with Nik Weis – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Lunch, Tasting and Vineyard Walk at Weingut Van Volxem with Owner Roman Niewodniczanski – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Wine Tasting at Weingut Hexamer in Monzingen, Nahe – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Tour and Tasting at Weingut Gut Hermannsberg, in Niederhausen, Nahe

Tour and Wine Dinner at Weingut Kruger-Rumpf in Münster-Sarmsheim, Nahe

Tour and Tasting at Sektmanufaktur Bardong in Geisenheim, Rheingau

Tour, Tasting and Lunch at Domaine Schloss Johannisberg in Geisenheim, Rheingau

Announcement: 5 Exciting ombiasy WineTours in 2016 - BURGUNDY BORDEAUX GERMANY   

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion in Vosne-Romanée: Wine Tasting in the Cellar with Bernard Rion and Alice Rion – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Picture: Annette and Christian Schiller at Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion in Vosne-Romanée with Bernard Rion and Alice Rion

Domain Rion is widely available in the greater Washington DC area, as it is imported to the US by Elite Wines, based in Virginia.

Picture: Alice Rion in Washington DC ( Photo: Cleveland Park)

Domaine Rion

Domaine Rion is in Vosne Romanée, on the Route National. Domaine Rion was founded in 1880 by Pierre Rion. His son Louis substantially enlarged the domaine. In 1952, the domaine was divided between his 2 sons. The older one, Marcel, stayed in Vosne Romanée. Bernard Rion has helped his father Marcel since 1973 and now manages the Domaine Rion with his wife Armelle and his daughter Alice.

Picture: Arriving at Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion in Vosne-Romanée

Winemaking Philosophy

Alice talked a lot about the winemaking philosophy of Domaine Rion, which is summarized on the web site of Domaine Rion:

Pictures; Cellar Tour

Fertilizer: Organic fertilizer is used exclusively on the sandy slopes in order to maintain the structure of the soil. On average our vines are over 50 years old and their roots draw their nutrition from deep down in the ground.

Cultivation: The vineyards are ploughed in winter and hoed in the spring. Grass is then left to grow naturally between the rows and a light tractor,(limiting soil compaction), is used to hold it back from invading the vines.

Pruning: A preliminary pruning is carried out in autumn, followed-up by a thorough pruning in March. The canes are burnt to prevent any risk of infection.

Treatments: Curative only. We use rational management methods relying on natural or very specific products. 'Pheronomes' are diffused around the vineyards to provoke sexual confusion in certain insects eliminating the need to use insecticides.

Pictures: Tasting

Grape Harvest: Picking is manual, de-stemming is very gentle and there is no crushing.

Fermentation: Natural fermentation is long, lasting from 2 to 3 weeks. The cap is punched manually and a stainless steel pneumatic press presses out at low pressure (2kg/cm2), ensuring fine lees on which the wine will mature for 18 months removing the need for filtration. New oak and oak barrels under 5 years old are used for the maturing process.

Pictures: Annette Schiller and Bernard Rion

Bottling: Bottling takes place on the estate with the assistance of a specialized bottling company. New bottles are sterilized and the wine introduced under air-tight conditions. Top quality corks from Portugal are then used.

Conclusion: As one can see from the above description, every effort goes into producing wines to lie down which will develop and be enhanced over the decades provided they are laid down in a cellar maintained at a constant temperature.

Pictures: Annette Schiller and Alice Rion

Vosne-Romanée

Clive Coats: Nowhere is wine more noble than in Vosne-Romanée. Between the Nuits-Saint-Georges premier cru of Boudots to the south and the walls of the Clos de Vougeot at the northern end lie the 240 hectares of Vosne-Romanée vineyard: the most valuable piece of vinous real estate in the world.

Picture: Arriving in Vosne-Romanée

Appellation Romanée Conti Grand Cru: The Romanée-Conti vineyard dominates the village, with its wines among the most expensive in the world. It is a monopole of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Around 600 cases are made each year from the vineyard's 1.8 ha.

Appellation La Romanée Grand Cru: La Romanée is a monopole of the Château de Vosne-Romanée. Only 300 cases are made each year from this plot of 0.84 ha.

Appellation La Tâche Grand Cru: La Tâche is Domaine de la Romanée Conti's other monopole, and its 6 ha consist of the vineyards of La Tâche and Les Gaudichots.

Appellation Richebourg Grand Cru: The 8 ha of the Richebourg cru are divided between 10 growers, including Domaine Leroy and Domaine de la Romanée Conti.

Pictures: The Vineyards of Vosne-Romanée

Appellation La Grande Rue Grand Cru: The least-renowned of the six grands crus is a monopole of Domaine François Lamarche, and was only promoted from premier cru recently. Its 1.4 hectares lie between La Tâche and Romanée-Conti.

Appellation Romanée Saint Viviant Grand Cru: Domaine de la Romanée Conti owns over half of the area's 9.5 ha.

Although unable to command the same prices as their grand cru neighbors, the village is home to many excellent premier cru wines. Fifty-eight hectares of this is premier cru, and there are 11 of these. Five of them lie just above the grands crus, six on the same altitude or a little further down the slope.

Tasting

Alice Rion: These balanced and complete wines are traditionally vinified. Totally de-stemmed, with a long vinification (2 to 3 weeks in open vats), and they are then aged for 18 months (half in new oak barrels). They are pleasant and fruity for the young vintages, but well-structured enough to ensure good ageing.


2014 Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion Coteaux Bourguignons rosé
2013 Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion Bourgogne La Croix Blance
2013 Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion Vosne Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru “Les Chaumes”
2008 Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion Nuits Saint Georges “Les Lavieres”
2012 Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru

Postings on the Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France (Posted and Forthcoming)

Preview: Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015 and 2016)

Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Champagne Jean Josselin in Gyé-sur-Seine: Tour and Tasting with Jean Pierre Josselin - Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

The Wines of Tonnerre, France – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Domaine Séguinot-Bordet in Maligny, Chablis: Tour and Tasting with Owner and Winemaker Jean-François Bordet – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Domaine Brocard in Chablis: Lunch, Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Odile Van Der Moere, Responsable de Cave – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Dinner at Hostellerie Chateau de la Barge in Creches-sur-Saone - Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Domaine Ferret in Fuissé, Poully-Fuissé, Mâconnais: Vineyard Walk, Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Cyril Laumain, Chef de Cave – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Visit of the Abbey of Cluny and Lunch at Hostellerie d'Heloise in Cluny – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Domaine Theulot Juillot in Mercurey, Côte Chalonnaise: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Nathalie and Jean-Claude Theulot – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Olivier Leflaive: Vineyard Walk and Cellar Tour, with Patrick Leflaive – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Lunch and Winetasting at La Table de Olivier in Pouligny Montrachet – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Wine Tasting at Domaine Mestre Père & Fils in Santenay with Jonathan Mestre - Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Visit: Domaine Bouchard Père & Fils in Beaune - Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015, France

Schiller's Favorite Wine Bars in Beaune, Bourgogne, France

Visit: Hospices de Beaune with Karoline Knoth – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Domaine A.-F. Gros in Beaune: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Owner and Winemaker Mathias Parent – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Visit and Tasting: Maison Joseph Drouhin in Beaune – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Domaine Faiveley in Nuits-Saint-George: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Mathilde Nicolas (Brand Ambassador) – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

"Open Air" Tasting at Domaine du Château de Prémeaux, Nuits Saint Georges – Bourgogne Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Domaine Armelle et Bernard Rion in Vosne-Romanée: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Bernard Rion and  Alice Rion

Domaine Guillon & Fils in Gevrey Chambertin: Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Jean-Michel Guillon

Visit: Château du Clos de Vougeot

Announcement: 5 Exciting ombiasy WineTours in 2016 - BURGUNDY BORDEAUX GERMANY