Winery of the Year 2012 – The German Champions

October 12, 2012

In the last week of September three of my favourite German wineries were honoured by the Wine & Spirits Magazine, and included in the top 100 list of the best wineries of the world in 2012.

The three wineries are the following:

1. Dr. Loosen, Bernkastel, Mosel
The winery has been in the Loosen family for more than 200 years. Ernst Loosen took over in 1988, and, as they say, the rest is history. Dr. Loosen is maybe one of the best known German vintners in the international wine scene. I was so happy when Barrique, my local wine shop in Healesville, Victoria was carrying Dr. Loosen wines.

Winery Dr. Loosen,
St. Johannishof
54470 Bernkastel, Mosel
Tel.: +49-6531-3426

2. C. von Schubert, Mertesdorf, Ruwer, Mosel
This winery has also a long tradition. The “Grünhaus”, as the estate is also known, was already mentioned in ancient documents in 966 when it belonged to the Benedictine monastery of Saint Maximin in Trier.

Carl von Schubert, the current owner-operator, belongs to the fifth generation of the von Schubert family. The estate produces outstanding wines and was awarded many national and international prices. I tasted some of the Maximin Grünhäuser 2011 vintage dry Riesling wines during our summer vacation

Dr. Carl von Schubert
Hauptstr. 1
54318 Mertesdorf
Fax: +49-651-52122

3. Robert Weil, Kiedrich, Rheingau
The winery was set-up in 1875. The founder was the university professor Robert Weil who taught German at the Sorbonne in Paris. The Franco-Prussian war of 1870/71 forced him to return to his native Germany. He settled down in Kiedrich, Rheingau and extended his vineyards and laid the foundation for today’s estate. In 2010 I found some bottles of the Robert Weil 2008 vintage in a Bangkok wine shop. Delicious.

Winery Robert Weil
Mühlberg 5
65399 Kiedrich, Rheingau
Tel.: +49-6123 2308
Fax: +49-6123 1546

Riesling from the Ruwer river: Maximin Grünhaus

September 14, 2012

2011 Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling trocken

One of the nicest dry Mosel Riesling wine I tasted during our summer vacation in Trier was a ‘2011 Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling trocken’ by Schlosskellerei Maximin Grünhaus C. von Schubert in Mertesdorf, Ruwer.

It was at Weinsinnig, one of my favourite wine bars in Trier, that we sampled this wine with its romantic and old fashioned label. The wine has character. Although just from their “ordinary” dry Riesling class, you get value for money (9.90 EURO/0.75 l. bottle).

2011 Maximin Grünhäuser Riesling trocken

It has the zest, the exuberance, the fine balance of acids, the opulent aromas, the structure and long finish one longs for in a Mosel Riesling. Although I had driven past the winery many times before, I had never tasted a wine from this first class producer in the Ruwer valley.

The MUNDUS VINI award for the best dry white wine in Germany 2011 and the “Big Gold Medal” were bestowed on the ‘2009 Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Riesling Qualitätswein old vines’, of the estate. I wonder what this wine would taste like.

But I tell you, I will return, and include some more of their wines when I visit the Mosel next time.

Dr. Carl von Schubert
Hauptstr. 1
54318 Mertesdorf

Tel.: +49 (651) 5111
Fax : +49 (651) 52122

Maximin Grünhaus

“Weinsinnig” – wine bar in Trier

August 4, 2012

One of my favourite wine bars in my home town Trier is “Weinsinnig”, located right in the center of town.

The name of the bar is a kind of word play on “Wahnsinnig” (in English “mad” or “crazy”), and composed of two parts, a nomen, “Wahn” or “mania” (in English) and an adjective “sinnig” which can be translated as “plausible”, “make sense”, “evident”, “sensible” or “witted”. In the combination with “Wein”/”wine” it becomes something new, a compound with a new meaning which could be translated as “in the mood to enjoy wine”, “wine is sensible” or “crazy for wine”.

Weinsinnig is also a kind of cellar door for wineries from the Mosel. Moreover, it offers selected culinary delights, for instance “Flammkuchen”, a tarte flambe. And last but not least, Weinsinnig offers various activities related to wine and the people making it.

In front of the ‘walk along wine list’

It was a rainy summer’s evening when we visited and therefore we sat inside. Weinsinnig offers also a couple of chairs and tables outside. One sits on the pavement on a narrow street. Fortunately, warm blankets are on offer.

My choice: a dry Riesling from the Ruwer

I love their selection of local wines, many of them produced by young and innovative vintners. I chose a ‘2011 Maximin Gruenhaeuser dry Riesling’ by one of the top producers from the Ruwer valley, von Schubert’sche Gutsverwaltung. I also bought some more of this wine and will only say that this is a Riesling to die for.

2011 Maximin Gruenhaeuser dry Riesling


By the way TripAdvisor rated it 4 of 5 on 16 Jun 2012 and ranked Weinsinnig as 69 out of 182 restaurants in Trier. In my view Weinsinnig belongs to the “must visit” category in Trier. Check it out.

Palaststraße 12
54290 Trier, Germany
Tel.: +49-651 9790156

What a degustative experience: Wine tasting in Trier

September 18, 2007

I had the great fortune to spend the most amazing culinary weekend in my hometown Trier. It was organised by my friend Thomas Weber and held at a restaurant called Bagatelle ( in a place called “Zur Lauben” in Trier.


Thomas while giving us the introduction to the degustation

There were 10 of us, Thomas and Birgit, Peter and Baerbel, Rainer and Brigitte, Uli and Hiltrud, Ulrich and myself (another Rainer). Most of us did not know each other prior to the tasting. See some of the tasters in the picture below. The glasses were not empty for long.


The meal consisted of three courses: an entree, a seafood platter, a venison main course and a desert. Needless to say that the food was very delicious indeed.


The seafood platter

Thomas had selected all the wines. He provided us with information about the wine producers and he had translated all the tasting notes into German (I am not translating them back, please visit the webpages of the wine producers for tasting notes). We tasted 9 Sauvignon Blanc and 6 Merlot wines.

The ‘9’ Sauvignon Blanc wines were the following:

– 2004 “Monmousseau”, Sancerre, AC-Loire (France)

– 2006 “Nehrener Roemerberg”, Weingut Theisen, Nehren, Mosel (Germany)

– 2005 “Lands End”, Hidden Valley Wines, Elim Vineyards, Cap Agulhas (South Africa)

– 2002 Two Hills Vineyard, Sauvignon Blanc, Upper Goulburn River, Victoria (Australia)

– 2003 Clairault Estate, Margaret River (Western Australia)

– 2006 Clowdy Bay, Marlborough (New Zealand)

– 2003 Johner Estate, Marlborough (New Zealand)

– 2005 Rodney Strong Estate “Charlotte’s Home”, Sonoma County, California (USA)

– the ninth wine was what is called in blind tastings a “pirate”, i.e. a wine which is not a Sauvignon Blanc.

The ‘6’ Merlot wines were:

– 2004 Bimbadgen Estate, Hunter Valley, New South Wales (Australia)

– 2004 Two Hills Vineyard Merlot, Upper Goulburn River, Victoria (Australia)

– 2005 Merlot, Auslese Weingut Guenther Steinmetz, Brauneberg, Mosel (Germany)

– 2001 Domaine Font-Mars, Languedoc (France)

– 2004 Marques de Casa, Concha Peumo Valley (Chile)

In addition and as in the white pannel there was as sixth wine also a “pirate” among the reds.

Tasting wines without restraint is a most wonderful thing. All of the participants were wine lovers with some considerable experience. The self-introduction showed that most of them were staunch Mosel wine afficionados (some with preference for off-dry Mosel wines) with some of them with likings for Spanish red wines. But generally new world wines were seen as somehow to be not very desirable as far as their taste buds were concerned. Well, we were to be taken all around the world with this blind tasting with considerable effects as I can witness.

I only became aware that two of my own wines were part of the tasting when the paper sheets with the information on producers and the tasting notes were distributed. I was of course scared not to be able to identify my own wines and Thomas teased me with the remark, that most producers do not recognize their own wines in blind tastings that he had attended. Well, these were challenging prospects. Without bragging about how many wines I correctly identfied during the evening, I would like to point out here that I did in fact identify the two Two Hills Wines which came as a relief.

We congregated at 17 h in the afternoon and parted company at about midnight. Needless to say that we had a jolly good time. We had to match the tasting notes with the wines and to make it not to difficult, we worked with a pannel of three wines at the time. The results were given after each pannel. Therefore, the odds were not ‘too big a stew to chew’. Tasting notes are indeed an interesting lead to wine but some of us felt more at ease with their own feelings and taste buds. Needless to say that after the completion of the tasting wine drinking did not stop. The dessert called for a dessert wine. Thomas selected from the restaurant wine list (Bagatelle has a very good wine list indeed). Unfortunately, I am not sure what we drank because my tasting notes became rather confused the longer the evening lasted. Moreover, we did not restrain ourselves to one bottle only but had several instead. One of them might have been a 1997 Maximiner Gruenhaeuser Riesling Auslese from Ruwer. Thomas is of the opinion that the first ‘sweet wine’ was a 2006 Drohner Hofberg from A.J. Adam.

Saying good bye was not an easy thing after these marvellous hours together discussing and enjoying wine and food. Ulrich and I walked back home to the Irminenfreihof (located in a part of town next to the old river harbour called Britannia) where my mothers house is located in an elevated spirit.


My friend Ulrich in a jolly good mood

PS 1: I love certain aspects of gobalisation and modern technology: while writing this down I am listening to wonderful music from Mozart broadcasted by the ABC Australian classic radio via the internet and of course I am enjoying a glass of 2004 Two Hills Merlot.

PS 2: Ulrich is our non-profit importer of Two Hills wines to Germany.

BAGATELLE restaurant and bistro
Zurlaubener Ufer 78
54292 Trier
Te.: 0651-29722