2013 and the summits of Rheingau with Theresa Breuer from Georg Breuer

German wines with food? Of course! German wines are not only “garden wines”. Especially if you reach the quality levels where you can find for example Georg Breuer, one of the best wine producers in the Rheingau. When Theresa Breuer came to town to present the new vintage of GB Sauvage Riesling and her five top cuvées from the 2012 vintage we took the opportunity to meet her over lunch. We got more than we expected, including a very original “vertical” of some older wines, as BKWine’s Anette Zellén Söderström explains.

I am welcomed in the doorway with a riesling that was just flown in, my “everyday riesling” actually. This one is from 2013. GB Sauvage Riesling 2013 (~10 euro). Easy to drink, fresh, perhaps somewhat too high acid for my taste. I will take the opportunity to buy the 2012s as long as they are available. 2013 is released later this spring. It is not just me who appreciate this wine, two thirds of the wine is exported to Sweden!

Theresa Breuer of Georg Breuer in Rheingau

Theresa Breuer of Georg Breuer in Rheingau

The year 2013 in the Rheingau

Before lunch I had a chat with Theresa. She said that 2013 was a difficult vintage with a long, cold winter and spring, prolonged flowering, which resulted in little fruit. Green harvest was not needed. In summer, however, the weather was very hot and they were forced to harvest earlier than usual, which meant that the grapes were ripe, but had a lot of acidity. Theresa is still rather pleased with the year, which at first seemed to be an unmitigated disaster.

When we sat down at the table, she said that it has been 10 years since her father suddenly passed away and she and her brother had to quickly take over. Today, she and her uncle runs the business. Time has passed very quickly and she believes that there is still a lot to do. They grow organically, not to get a label to put on the back, but because she believes that the grapes and the soil requires it.

Georg Breuer wines

Georg Breuer wines, copyright A Zellen Soderstrom

The vineyards of the Rheingau

Rheingau is over 12 miles long and since it is on the border of too northerly climate most vineyard locations are on fairly steep southern slopes down towards the River Rhine. Also the Taunus Mountains protect against wind and weather. Most wineries hand-pick the grapes, both for quality’s sake but also because it is too steep for machinery. Many vineyards have their very own microclimate.

Wine has been grown here since the 12th century, and although it is only 3% of all wine German production here, it is perhaps the most important area for quality. Riesling is the largest grape with about 80% of the area, but spätburgunder (pinot noir) is gaining in popularity.

The Breuer family has had the property since the early 1900s; George (1910-1982) was Theresa’s grandfather. The estate has grown through generations and today the area is 33 hectares. All wineries are located in the Rheingau and cru estates are at Berg Schlossberg, Berg Rottland, Berg Roseneck in Rudesheim, and Nonnenberg in Rauenthal. That we will now taste.

Terra Montosa 2012
Riesling Georg Breuer, Rheingau

In order to concentrate cru wines to the very best vineyard locations, they have created a “second wine”. And what a second wine that is! The wine has a wonderful nose of yellow fruit and honey and a smoky mineral tone. The taste is also slightly smoky with tropical fruits in the long finish. The acidity is soft but clear. ~22 euro ( (*) approximate prices based on Swedish retail prices).

Berg Roseneck 2012
Riesling Georg Breuer, Rüdesheim, Rheingau

The wine was served too cold and was therefore also neutral on the nose and taste to begin with. Eventually, however, minerals and citrus came forward. ~36 euro (*).

Berg Rottland 2012
Riesling Georg Breuer, Rüdesheim, Rheingau

Fresh nose of citrus and minerals, a touch of CO2 to begin with, apricot and yellow apples, finishes with taste of grapefruit. ~36 euro (*).

Berg Schlossberg 2012
Riesling Georg Breuer, Rüdesheim, Rheingau

Beautiful deep bouquet of minerals and white flowers, citrus, apricot and slightly spicy aftertaste. A fantastic, well-balanced wine with lovely integrated acidity. ~53 euro (*).

Nonnenberg 2012
Riesling Georg Breuer, Rauenthal, Rheingau

Fantastically soft, filled with tropical fruits and honey, good long aftertaste of sweet citrus. Buy! ~44 euro (*).

Theresa explains that this is the third time she has a tasting with these wines and they behave differently each time. She has had quite different favourites. At the table, however, we are unanimous: Nonnenberg is our favourite so far!

With this we are served asparagus with hollandaise which transforms all of the wines heavenly, but perhaps the Berg Schlossberg wins the fight.

Asparagus with hollandaise

Asparagus with hollandaise, copyright A Zellen Soderstrom

A “vertical” on bottle and magnum

Now we empty the glasses to get a, to say the least, original mini-vertical of Nonnenberg (Riesling Georg Breuer, Rauenthal, Rheingau):

Georg Breuer Nonnenberg Rheingau

Georg Breuer Nonnenberg Rheingau, copyright A Zellen Soderstrom

Nonnenberg 2002, 75 cl bottle

Incredibly vital still, with tropical fruit and mineral, elegant integrated acidity.

Nonnenberg 2002, magnum

A fruit bomb with lovely acidity, and even more complex than the above. If you can get hold of such a bottle it will make you happy.

Nonnenberg 1994, 75 cl bottle

Tropical fruit and citrus, I think it still is incredibly alive, but at the table all agree that the 2002s are better.

Nonnenberg 1994, magnum

Round, slightly more spicy in the finish, you should probably not wait much longer to drink these, if you have some.

To these amazing wines we are served veal with lovely accompaniments that match perfectly; the magnum 2002 is so incredibly delicious and smooth.

We end lunch with a some “candy”:

Berg Roseneck Auslese 2008

Fine soft sweetness with flavours of nuts, peach, that actually matches the rhubarb pie just fine. (375 ml, ~45 euro (*) )

Despite a fairly hefty amount of Riesling wines have my teeth have done well, largely because of grand cru wines that are more elegant and with enveloped acidity, especially with the last flight of older cru wines.

My recommendations now become: GB Sauvage Riesling 2012, Nonnenberg 2012. And if wine is crazy about sweet wines, like I am (and maybe have a plenty of rhubarb in the garden) then I think you should invest in Berg Roseneck Auslese. It was extremely charming.

The tasting and lunch was organised by the importer Vinunic / Vingruppen.

Anette Zellén Soderstrom writes on BKWine Magazine mostly about wine and wine tastings in Stockholm. She is an avid wine taster with a long tasting experience and is currently studying to become a sommelier.

Germany has some wonderful wines, and of course, not least in the Rheingau. Experience the beautiful scenery, the wonderful wines and meet the winemakers on a wine tour in Germany with BKWine. We have it from time to time on the scheduled program and also make it as a custom commissioned wine tour.

Travel to the world’s wine regions with the experts on wine and the specialist on wine tours.

This post is also available in: Swedish


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