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Germany: red wines to watch

Germany is renowned for its white wines - but there’s reason to note its red wines too, perhaps more than ever...

Vying for the attention of the expert judges at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020, Germany’s red wines performed better than in any other year, winning a record-breaking number of Platinum medals.

From elegant Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) to Lemberger and Syrah, below are some top-scoring examples to watch out for…


Jan Konetzki on judging German wines at DWWA 2020

Classically, Germany produces staggering Pinot Noirs from the slightly cooler areas, as well as from the warmer areas in the south. We have tasted some fantastic drinking wines, from “session” Pinot Noirs up to really top-quality, ageworthy grand cru styles.

What really surprised me is that lesser-known and less-featured areas such as Württemberg and signature varieties, Lemberger for example, showed really well and exhibited, even on the grand cru side, some real promise. Slightly quirkier varieties, for example Syrah, have also shown fantastically well from Germany – so watch out for German reds!


Jan Konetzki DWWA 2020

Originally from Lüneburg, Germany, Konetzki is an independent sommelier, director of wine at Ten Trinity Square London, and ambassador for Château Latour and Artémis Domaines. In 2012, he won the UK Sommelier of the Year title.

Baden

Fritz Wassmer, Sommerhalde Bombach Spätburgunder 2016

97 points, Platinum
€56 (2017) www.weingutfritzwassmer.de
Opulent, pretty aromas of black cherry, lifted violet, plush raspberry and cocoa lead through to a palate graced with sour cherry, clove, liquorice, red plum and all underpinned with a hint of dark spice. Alc 13.5%

Martin Wassmer, Dottinger Castellberg Syrah 2016

97 points, Platinum
€64 (2018) www.weingut-wassmer.de
Heady spiced layers of white pepper, vanilla, lush blackberry, sour cherry and supple, seductive oak lead on to a luscious palate laced with black cherry, plum, blackcurrant and harmonious, polished tannins. Alc 13.5%

Fritz Wassmer, Alte Reben Spätburgunder 2017

93 points, Silver
€29 www.weingutfritzwassmer.de
Perfumed and inviting layers of cold smoke, balmy spice and cherry, while the palate is plush with velvety fruit. Alc 13.1%

Hex vom Dasenstein, Spätburgunder GG 2017

93 points, Silver
€19.90 (2018) www.hex-vom-dasenstein-weinshop.de
Plush and brooding with hints of blackcurrant, mulberry and dark spice, then to a palate of elegant toasted oak and rolling tannins. Alc 14.5%

Martin Wassmer, Schlatter Maltesergarten Pinot Noir 2016

93 points, Silver
£22.40 (2015) The Vineyard Belfast
Elegant and restrained aromas of spice, clove and raspberry, then to a palate of black fruit, mocha and gingerbread. Alc 13.5%

Alde Gott, Von Alten Reben Spätburgunder Spätlese Trocken 2017

92 points, Silver
€13.50 (2018) www.aldegott.de
Attractive and inviting honeycomb, baked strawberry and dark chocolate nose, cherry and plush spiced oak on the palate. Alc 14%

Schneider, Weiler Schlipf Spätburgunder 2016

92 points, Silver
£28 (2017) Swig
N/A UK www.weingut-am-schlipf.de
Perfumed with dried herb, heady smoke and Morello cherry, elegant fine acidity and supple tannins on the palate. Alc 13%

Württemberg

Aldinger, Fellbacher Lämmler Lemberger GG 2017

97 points, Platinum
£50.40 The WineBarn
Elegant and enticing on the nose, with layers of cassis, blueberry, gingerbread, liquorice, clove and lush bramble, then on to a palate of white pepper, lemongrass, plush black fruit and silky smooth tannins. Alc 13%

Schnaitmann, Lämmler Spätburgunder GG 2017

92 points, Silver
£52 (ib, 2018) Honest Grapes
Inviting and smoky, with flinty hints of elegant spice and red fruit, the palate is graced with blueberry and a neat acidity. Alc 13%

Cleebronn & Güglingen, Herzog C Lemberger 2017

91 points, Silver
€9.80 (2018) www.cleebronner-weinshop.de
Heady liquorice, candied orange peel, cinnamon and clove lead on to vibrant spicy blackberry and supple, smooth tannins. Alc 13%

Pfalz

Schenk-Siebert, Neuleininger Feuermännchen Spätburgunder 2017

95 points, Gold
€20 (2018) https://shop.weingut-schenk-siebert.de
Inviting and smoky aromas of plush black fruit, dark chocolate, mocca and luxurious oak, then to a spiced palate of black cherry, blackberry and subtle tannins. Alc 14.1%

Weinbiet, Von Ersten Lagen Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon 2018

91 points, Silver
€7 (2019) https://shop.weinbiet.de
Opulent with black cherry, black current leaf and dark chocolate nose, elegant spice, mocha and pristine tannins on the palate. Alc 14%

Rheinhessen

Lisa Bunn, Nierstein vom Rotliegenden St Laurent 2017

91 points, Silver
€13.50 (2018) https://weingut-bunn.de
Beautifully aromatic, with layers of tangerine, dried flower and blueberry, then on to a palate of concentrated blackcurrant and shimmering acidity. Alc 13.5%

Rheingau

Georg Müller, Hassel Spätburgunder GG 2017

94 points, Silver
N/A www.georg-mueller-stiftung.de
Perfumed with mulberry, Morello cherry and toasty oak, supple tannins, dark chocolate and neat acidity on the palate. Alc 13.5%

Kloster Eberbach, Assmannshäuser Höllenberg Crescentia Spätburgunder 2016

93 points, Silver
£25-£30 Boutinot, Chester Beer & Wine, Drink Finder, Kwoff, North & South, Wild & Lees
Elegant wood smoke, raspberry and chocolate aromatics lead on to spiced oak, blackcurrant, red cherry and harmonious acidity. Alc 13%

Ahr

Maibachfarm, Burggarten Spätburgunder 2017

95 points, Gold
€29 (2015) www.maibachfarm.de
Smoky, flinty aromas of plush dark fruit, cardamom, gingerbread and liquorice, while the palate is layered with Morello jam, dried blueberry and gentle, polished tannins. Alc 13.5%

Maibachfarm, Recher Herrenberg Spätburgunder 2017

94 points, Silver
€29 (2015) www.maibachfarm.de
Heady with hints of cassis, Moroccan spice and blueberry leading to dried thyme and plush fruit on the savoury palate. Alc 13.5%

Dagernova, Heimersheimer Landskrone Spätburgunder 2018

93 points, Silver
€24.90 (2017) www.dagernova.de
Fragrant and inviting with aromas of mulberry, raspberry and herb, crunchy fruit and spice on the silky palate. Alc 13.5%

Kreuzberg, Devonschiefer R Spätburgunder 2017

91 points, Silver
N/A www.weingut-kreuzberg.de
Heady with candied orange peel, dried herb and dark berry on the nose, plum liqueur and opulent spiced fruit on the palate. Alc 13.5%

Sachsen

Schloss Proschwitz, Spätburgunder GG 2016

94 points, Silver
€23.50 www.proschwitzer-weinshop.de
Bright with pretty raspberry, heady gingerbread and red cherry leading to forest fruit, vanilla and plush tannins on the palate. Alc 13%

GG Grosses Gewächs


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