Your top five German wine producers

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Your top five German wine producers

#1 Post by Howard Cooper »

Given all the threads on German wines lately, I thought it might be interesting to see everyone's top holdings in German wines by producer. I know we have done this before but I think it has been at least a little while and I know my order has been scrambled some after buying 2019s.

1. JJ Prum
2. Reinhold Haart
3. Zilliken
4. von Schubert
5. Selbach

My cellar has gotten somewhat top heavy over time as I only currently have 9 producers from whom I own 10 or more bottles - the other four are Schloss Lieser, Falkenstein, Schäfer-Fröhlich and Donnhoff.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#2 Post by Russell Faulkner »

JJ Prum
Will Schaefer
Julian Haart
Grunhaus
Keller

Under 6 Reinhold Haart (TBA) and Selbach, vive la différence!

29 producers over 10 bottles. (10 over 100)
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#3 Post by MaxSemler39 »

1. JJ Prum
2. Lauer
---------------------------
3. Willi Schaefer
---------------------------
4. Keller
5. Falkenstein

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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#4 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

While a few producers are dwindling (e.g. J. J. Christoffel, as I drink up my horde of 2001s), the top 5 has remained remarkably stable.

1. Donnhoff
2. J. J. Prum
3. Selbach-Oster
4. Willi Schaefer (tied)
4. von Schubert (tied)

As long as I keep buying from the top 5 nobody else will ever catch up, as they all have a massive head start. Schloss Lieser, Vollenweider and Zilliken form the core of the next tier. Leitz is actually in 6th place, but the availability has become so scattershot that it's dropping fast as I drink the wines, and will fall to 9th or 10th soon.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#5 Post by Greg Gardner »

1. JJ Prum
2. Fritz Haag
3. Willi Schaefer
4. Richter
5. Falkenstein

First 3 are heavily leveraged towards the 01 and 05 vintages (back when PC actually delivered futures). The last two are more from the last 5-8 years.

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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#6 Post by Brian S t o t t e r »

These are my top 5, as a percentage of all riesling in my collection.

1. JJ Prum (18.8%)
2. Martin Mullen (13.3%)
3. Willi Schaefer (11.3%)
4. Hofgut Falkenstein (8.9%)
5. Von Schubert Maximin Grunhaus (8.2%)

My collection is pretty top heavy with these producers, and then under 2-3% for others. Max Ferd Richter may take over #5 once my 3 cases from the 2019 vintage arrive. Peter Lauer and Emrich-Schonleber are not far behind.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#7 Post by RichardFlack »

Where is Egon Müller?

(I can’t really play, as sadly I have very little German wine these days, my wife dislikes them. JJ Prum probably top by number of bottles, then Muller and Von Kesselstatt (Josephshöffer))

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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#8 Post by J. Rock »

1. Schloss Lieser
2. Fritz Haag
3. Donnhoff
4. Willi Schaefer
5. Zilliken
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#9 Post by Rodrigo B »

Falkenstein
Selbach Oster
JJ Prum
von Winning
AJ Adam
B r @ g @

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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#10 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

RichardFlack wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:06 am Where is Egon Müller?

(I can’t really play, as sadly I have very little German wine these days, my wife dislikes them. JJ Prum probably top by number of bottles, then Muller and Von Kesselstatt (Josephshöffer))
Egon Muller lives in the pantheon of the unaffordable.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#11 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

1. Keller (more than twice #2)
2. Emrich-Schonleber
3. Schafer-Frolich
4. Ratzenberger (bet no one else has that in Top 5!)
5. Andreas Laible (I'd be surprised on that one as well)

Next tier includes Battenfeld-Spanier, JJ Prum, Julian Haart, Weiser-Kuntsler, Willi Schaefer, Wittman - not in order. Then there's another 20 or so producers with more than 10 bottles. 51 producers in total.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#12 Post by John Morris »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:16 am 1. Keller (more than twice #2)
2. Emrich-Schonleber
3. Schafer-Frolich
4. Ratzenberger (bet no one else has that in Top 5!)
5. Andreas Laible (I'd be surprised on that one as well)

Next tier includes Battenfeld-Spanier, JJ Prum, Julian Haart, Weiser-Kuntsler, Willi Schaefer, Wittman - not in order. Then there's another 20 or so producers with more than 10 bottles. 51 producers in total.
Extra points for straying off the beaten path!
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Re: Your top five German wine produce

#13 Post by Ron Erickson »

Selbach Oster
Schaefer
Prum
Christoffel
Merkelbach
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#14 Post by Jay Miller »

1. JJ Prum - They keep edging up as I'm aging rather than drinking.
2. Egon Muller - none purchased in the last 5 years but still aging rather than drinking
3. Willi Schaefer - aging and drinking
4 (tied). Selbach Oster & von Schubert - aging and drinking

Merkelbach was among my "most purchased" but also my "most consumed shortly after release".

I remember when Muller Catoir would have been an easy #1 but now I only have one left.
Last edited by Jay Miller on February 23rd, 2021, 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#15 Post by RichardFlack »

D@vid Bu3ker wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:15 am
RichardFlack wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:06 am Where is Egon Müller?

(I can’t really play, as sadly I have very little German wine these days, my wife dislikes them. JJ Prum probably top by number of bottles, then Muller and Von Kesselstatt (Josephshöffer))
Egon Muller lives in the pantheon of the unaffordable.
Indeed. But that’s not usually a disqualification in other threads. :)

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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#16 Post by Russell Faulkner »

RichardFlack wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:06 am Where is Egon Müller?
Number 9 for me
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#17 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

John Morris wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:27 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:16 am 1. Keller (more than twice #2)
2. Emrich-Schonleber
3. Schafer-Frolich
4. Ratzenberger (bet no one else has that in Top 5!)
5. Andreas Laible (I'd be surprised on that one as well)

Next tier includes Battenfeld-Spanier, JJ Prum, Julian Haart, Weiser-Kuntsler, Willi Schaefer, Wittman - not in order. Then there's another 20 or so producers with more than 10 bottles. 51 producers in total.
Extra points for straying off the beaten path!
Looking at the other lists, pretty much everyone skews more sweet than we do, so it makes some sense.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#18 Post by Dennis Atick »

JJ Prum
Falkenstein
Zilliken
Martin Mullen
Muller Catoir
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#19 Post by Robert Dentice »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:16 am 1. Keller (more than twice #2)
2. Emrich-Schonleber
3. Schafer-Frolich
4. Ratzenberger (bet no one else has that in Top 5!)
5. Andreas Laible (I'd be surprised on that one as well)

Next tier includes Battenfeld-Spanier, JJ Prum, Julian Haart, Weiser-Kuntsler, Willi Schaefer, Wittman - not in order. Then there's another 20 or so producers with more than 10 bottles. 51 producers in total.
I guessed four of your top five. Laible was the surprise.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#20 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m »

JJ Prum
Carl Loewen
Fritz Haag
Donnhoff

*******************
Prum and Donnhoff are the only two I really seek-out; given the wide array of excellent other options, I'm happy to play with whatever my local retailers have --- I still feel like I'm in the exploration stage, even though I've been buying German Riesling for nearly (15?) years now. Prum dominates in my top spot with 38%; Loewen is up there on the strength of one vintage of one bottling; Prum and Donnhoff are probably the two that appear most frequently on my receipts.
Last edited by Brian G r a f s t r o m on February 23rd, 2021, 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#21 Post by Marcus Goodfellow »

Merkelbach
Hexamer
Donnhoff
J. J. Adam
Willi Schaefer

But I buy mostly Kabinett with a bit of Spatlese and GG, and then just open it when it sounds good. Some has drifted deeper into the cellar, but I just enjoy the wines.
I bought a mixed case yesterday with some producers I have been looking learn more about(Lauer) or re-up on(Muller-Catoir) and from 2014 and 2017, since those are birth years for my kids.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#22 Post by Robert Dentice »

In all honestly I wish I knew what it is by holdings but I don't have good records:

I would guess it is some combination of the following:

Keller
Egon Muller
Schafer Frohlich
Ulli Stein
Falkenstein

Just for the heck of it I picked one random producer, Donnhoff, and I was shocked at how many bottles I own so I think I might be surprised if I had an accurate inventory.

Breuer is the only producer that I am lighter on than I would like.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#23 Post by Adam Noble »

JJ Prum
Schaefer Frolich
Willi Schaefer
Donnhoff
Selbach-Oster

So no real surprises here.

Richter is about even with S-O I noticed.
Last edited by Adam Noble on February 23rd, 2021, 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#24 Post by Robert Dentice »

Russell Faulkner wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:44 am
RichardFlack wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:06 am Where is Egon Müller?
Number 9 for me
How about by value : )
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#25 Post by Robert Dentice »

Brian S t o t t e r wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:00 am These are my top 5, as a percentage of all riesling in my collection.

1. JJ Prum (18.8%)
2. Martin Mullen (13.3%)
3. Willi Schaefer (11.3%)
4. Hofgut Falkenstein (8.9%)
5. Von Schubert Maximin Grunhaus (8.2%)

My collection is pretty top heavy with these producers, and then under 2-3% for others. Max Ferd Richter may take over #5 once my 3 cases from the 2019 vintage arrive. Peter Lauer and Emrich-Schonleber are not far behind.
Nice work!
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#26 Post by Russell Faulkner »

Robert Dentice wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:57 am
Russell Faulkner wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:44 am
RichardFlack wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:06 am Where is Egon Müller?
Number 9 for me
How about by value : )
Well, much of it is auction wines bought back when doing so made sense!
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#27 Post by scamhi »

Falkenstein
Egon Muller
JJ Prum
Donnhoff
Willi Schaefer and Peter Lauer tied for 5th
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#28 Post by Matthew King »

Keller
Donnhoff
Prum
Rings (!)
Schaefer Frolich
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#29 Post by Brian S t o t t e r »

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:16 am 1. Keller (more than twice #2)
2. Emrich-Schonleber
3. Schafer-Frolich
4. Ratzenberger (bet no one else has that in Top 5!)
5. Andreas Laible (I'd be surprised on that one as well)

Next tier includes Battenfeld-Spanier, JJ Prum, Julian Haart, Weiser-Kuntsler, Willi Schaefer, Wittman - not in order. Then there's another 20 or so producers with more than 10 bottles. 51 producers in total.
Haven't heard of Ratzenberger. Do they get imported to the U.S. or do you special order? I assume based on your preferences they do dry wines?
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#30 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

I am betting that Sara gets Ratzenberger through Moore Bros.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#31 Post by Howard Cooper »

Jay Miller wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:40 am 1. JJ Prum - They keep edging up as I'm aging rather than drinking.
2. Egon Muller - none purchased in the last 5 years but still aging rather than drinking
3. Willi Schaefer - aging and drinking
4 (tied). Selbach Oster & von Schubert - aging and drinking

Merkelbach was among my "most purchased" but also my "most consumed shortly after release".

I remember when Muller Catoir would have been an easy #1 but now I only have one left.
I am down to 5 bottles of Muller Catoir - 3 Rieslaners and 2 Rieslings. None more recent than 2006.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#32 Post by Howard Cooper »

Brian S t o t t e r wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 9:20 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:16 am 1. Keller (more than twice #2)
2. Emrich-Schonleber
3. Schafer-Frolich
4. Ratzenberger (bet no one else has that in Top 5!)
5. Andreas Laible (I'd be surprised on that one as well)

Next tier includes Battenfeld-Spanier, JJ Prum, Julian Haart, Weiser-Kuntsler, Willi Schaefer, Wittman - not in order. Then there's another 20 or so producers with more than 10 bottles. 51 producers in total.
Haven't heard of Ratzenberger. Do they get imported to the U.S. or do you special order? I assume based on your preferences they do dry wines?
Years ago Ratzenberger was a Terry Theise wine. Have not seen them in a long time.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#33 Post by GMORIN »

1. Falkenstein (>50% of my Riesling)
2. Schatzel
3. Willi Schaefer
4. Weiser-Kunstler
5. A.J. Adam

Falkenstein has been carried by my local shop for a while and has been a go-to of mine since I have started in this hobby since I buy almost exclusively Kabinett or Feinherb styles.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#34 Post by RichardFlack »

Robert Dentice wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:57 am
Russell Faulkner wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:44 am
RichardFlack wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:06 am Where is Egon Müller?
Number 9 for me
How about by value : )

That is an excellent point in general. I’d say that ranking by $, rather than by #, is better guide to a collectors judgement of the worth of a wine.

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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#35 Post by Bob Hughes »

Schafer-Frohlich
JJ Prum
Donnhoff
Burklin-Wolf
Zilliken

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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#36 Post by D@vid Bu3ker »

RichardFlack wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 9:37 am
Robert Dentice wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:57 am
Russell Faulkner wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:44 am

Number 9 for me
How about by value : )

That is an excellent point in general. I’d say that ranking by $, rather than by #, is better guide to a collectors judgement of the worth of a wine.
Why? I bought tons of Prum when it was crazy inexpensive for what it is. The dollars don't add up, but the bottles and deliciousness sure do.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#37 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

Brian S t o t t e r wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 9:20 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:16 am 1. Keller (more than twice #2)
2. Emrich-Schonleber
3. Schafer-Frolich
4. Ratzenberger (bet no one else has that in Top 5!)
5. Andreas Laible (I'd be surprised on that one as well)

Next tier includes Battenfeld-Spanier, JJ Prum, Julian Haart, Weiser-Kuntsler, Willi Schaefer, Wittman - not in order. Then there's another 20 or so producers with more than 10 bottles. 51 producers in total.
Haven't heard of Ratzenberger. Do they get imported to the U.S. or do you special order? I assume based on your preferences they do dry wines?
D@vid Bu3ker wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 9:22 am I am betting that Sara gets Ratzenberger through Moore Bros.
Yes, through Moore Brothers. They are way off the beaten track for most, though far from all, US Riesling lovers. Some of our dear WB friends in Germany and other parts of Europe know them a lot better. They are oddball in a lot of ways - holding back for late releases, for example - and they are more inconsistent than I'd like, but the highs are very high and they have some excellent holdings. They've been doing a lot with the dry wines since well before the GGs came to be, but they do some sweets as well and some very good sekt. The pure drinking pleasure is what Ratz is about for me. Not to say objective quality isn't there as well, it just never gets in the way of the deliciousness factor.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#38 Post by Howard Cooper »

RichardFlack wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 9:37 am
Robert Dentice wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:57 am
Russell Faulkner wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:44 am

Number 9 for me
How about by value : )

That is an excellent point in general. I’d say that ranking by $, rather than by #, is better guide to a collectors judgement of the worth of a wine.
That would be fine if we bought all of our wines yesterday. Many of my German wines are 10-25 years old. What is their FMV?
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#39 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum »

Brian S t o t t e r wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 9:20 am
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 8:16 am 1. Keller (more than twice #2)
2. Emrich-Schonleber
3. Schafer-Frolich
4. Ratzenberger (bet no one else has that in Top 5!)
5. Andreas Laible (I'd be surprised on that one as well)

Next tier includes Battenfeld-Spanier, JJ Prum, Julian Haart, Weiser-Kuntsler, Willi Schaefer, Wittman - not in order. Then there's another 20 or so producers with more than 10 bottles. 51 producers in total.
Haven't heard of Ratzenberger. Do they get imported to the U.S. or do you special order? I assume based on your preferences they do dry wines?
Here's a note of mine on a 2005 Ratz we had in 2018. I think it sums up well what I love about the wines:
  • 2005 Ratzenberger Bacharacher Posten Riesling Spätlese feinherb - Germany, Mittelrhein (7/29/2018)
    This wine never ceases to make me happy. I get why Ratz will never get the scores or the hype, as the style is subtle rather than exuberant or showy, but to me there is such character and balance, as well as elegance and (more than anything) interest to these wines. It's especially nice to have the feinherb level available, as it's spot on for a lot of the Asian food we pair with it.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#40 Post by Greg K »

1. Schaefer-Frohlich (by a reasonable distance)
2. Willi Schaefer
3. Selbach Oster
4. von Schubert
5. Probably Donnhoff, but recent vintages of Weiser-Kunstler may change that.

I don’t have Keller here mostly because I’ve not had enough of it to be able to definitively place it in my hierarchy as I can’t quite justify paying the prices.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#41 Post by J. Rock »

I've yet to try any Schaefer-Frohlich, but this thread has convinced me that I need to fix that ASAP!
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#42 Post by Gabe Berk »

Emrich-Schonleber
Heymann-Lowenstein
Keller
Willi Schaefer
Dr. Loosen (soft spot for Ernst Loosen as he is a super nice man).

On a side note, I wish quality German Riesling was better imported into the US. You can find it, but much harder than Italian, Spanish, French, etc.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#43 Post by Herwig Janssen »

Weingut Keller
Donnhoff
Schafer Frolich ( spatlese )
Molitor
Many others
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#44 Post by dbailey »

Keller 35%
Donnhoff 20%
Schafer frolich 15%
Selbach ostler 5%
Prum 3%

Over 50% are designated dry...
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#45 Post by Matthew King »

Greg K wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 9:59 am 1. Schaefer-Frohlich (by a reasonable distance)
2. Willi Schaefer
3. Selbach Oster
4. von Schubert
5. Probably Donnhoff, but recent vintages of Weiser-Kunstler may change that.

I don’t have Keller here mostly because I’ve not had enough of it to be able to definitively place it in my hierarchy as I can’t quite justify paying the prices.
Greg, yes the focus and hype are on the GGs from Keller. But their other wines don’t cost an arm and a leg and are delicious, e.g Limestone and RR.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#46 Post by Billbell »

Willi Schaefer
Donnhoff
Immich-Batterieberg
JJ Prum
Egon Muller (I no longer buy much, if any, but I put quite a bit away in the good old days.)

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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#47 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m »

Gabe Berk wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 10:52 am Emrich-Schonleber
Heymann-Lowenstein
Keller
Willi Schaefer
Dr. Loosen (soft spot for Ernst Loosen as he is a super nice man).

On a side note, I wish quality German Riesling was better imported into the US. You can find it, but much harder than Italian, Spanish, French, etc.
What part of the U.S. do you live in? I know we don't get nearly everything, but I think we have tons of good options available to us, especially if you're willing to ship from other states (and your state allows shipments from other states).
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#48 Post by Brian G r a f s t r o m »

Matthew King wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 11:18 am
Greg K wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 9:59 am 1. Schaefer-Frohlich (by a reasonable distance)
2. Willi Schaefer
3. Selbach Oster
4. von Schubert
5. Probably Donnhoff, but recent vintages of Weiser-Kunstler may change that.

I don’t have Keller here mostly because I’ve not had enough of it to be able to definitively place it in my hierarchy as I can’t quite justify paying the prices.
Greg, yes the focus and hype are on the GGs from Keller. But their other wines don’t cost an arm and a leg and are delicious, e.g Limestone and RR.
Even the regular ol' trocken is pretty damn good.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#49 Post by Mark Golodetz »

Basically Prum. It ended up being six times more than the total holding of other wines combined.
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Re: Your top five German wine producers

#50 Post by Vince T »

Donnhoff
JJ Prum
--- ---
Max Ferd Richter
Fritz Haag
Zilliken
T s 3 n g

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