An Introduction to Germany by Alex Johnson
My Experience of Germany
While visiting some of our producers in late June, I had my eyes and taste buds well and truly opened to the true splendour and potential of German wine. After being completely blown away by the quality of wine, the majesty of the terroir and the hospitality and passion of the winemakers, I returned home determined to communicate the story of these undervalued wines to JN customers.
Below is a selection of white, red and rosé wines from each of the German producers that we stock here at JN – two thirds of which I visited personally in the aforementioned trip. This includes a broad cross-section of styles and winemaking traditions, showcasing both the traditional side of German wine as well as the more modern, international style that has come about as a response to the challenges of consumer perception faced by winemakers in recent times.
We hope you’ll enjoy the selection and that some of you may even discover some new favourites as a result. For those still unsure I suggest that sometimes the most joy in wine can be derived from having your biases challenged, as the thrill of surprise and exceeded expectations greatly surpasses that of banking consistently on the same-old. Don’t take my word for it though, I’ll let the wines do the talking…
“From volcanic soils the (Estate) Riesling Trocken is lovely, pure, refined and mineral on the nose, displaying ripe white fruit aromas and crushed stone flavors. On the palate, this is a tension-filled, lovely, juicy and intense Riesling of great elegance, lightness and finesse. “This is a typical Riesling from this part of the Nahe valley and it’s far too good for an Estate Riesling,” says Helmut Dönnhoff. The grapes are from south/southeast-facing vineyards (Oberhausen, Felsenberg and Kieselberg) and ripen later, sometimes they are picked pretty late–about in the middle of the main harvest. But, there are parts that are picked in the very end. This is a gorgeous Riesling and the best Estate Riesling I have ever tasted here. 90 Points.”
Stephen Reinhardt, eRobertparker.com, December 2016 – commentating on the 2015 release
“A dusting of pollen and saffron accentuates this bright, sunny Riesling full of peach and nectarine flavors. Off dry in style, it’s juicy and thirst quenching, but thoroughly four-square in structure, bolstered by a foundation of fresh, revitalizing acidity. 88 Points.”
Anna Lee C. Iijima, Wine Enthusiast, April 2016
“New and exclusive wines here in Ireland and at last in James Nicholson Wine. We have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new range from Weingut Korrell ever since tasting them earlier in the year. Needless to say, we were all blown away by the quality, elegance and intensity these beautiful wines possess.
A delicate and lively pinot blanc with beautifully balanced sweet/acid interplay. On the nose, a flowery, fine scent of yellow fruits such as pear and vine peach leaps forth.
Food recommendation: Ideal for asparagus dishes, light summer salads or shellfish.”
James Nicholson Taste Team, April 2017
“With this rosé the whole grapes are pressed after a short mashing time. On the nose, fine strawberry fruit, a touch of plum and some smokiness – a serious rosé with an animated nose. On the palate; crisp and dry with great freshness, very balanced, soft structure, a charmer with a lot of fruit on the palate, strawberry again, plus some yogurt, crunchy, the next sip beckons.”
Konrad Salwey, FALSTAFF WineTrophy German Winemaker of the Year 2017
“Luscious, sun-ripened blackberries and cherries are boldly concentrated in this easy drinking but elegantly composed Pinot Noir. Fresh acidity and fine-grained, pleasantly bitter tannins make it an approachable introduction to German Pinot with a gentle price tag. Drink now through 2020. 90 Points – Best Buy.”
Anna Lee C. Iijima, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Jan 2017
“Released November 2017. Very pale, slightly greyish garnet. Spicy nose. Ripe rather than ethereal but very solid with some tannin. Slightly dry finish. 16/20 points. Drink 2019 – 2022.”
Jancis Robinson MW, www.jancisrobinson.com, 26 Mar 2018