German Reds, Sekt, and vintage 2010

Hello Terry!

I hope that your book release has been wonderful and all else is going well for you. Happy New Year!

I know that you have made steps in the past few years to include more German red wine (with Meßmer, Darting, Diel and maybe a couple of others.) Do you get more requests from customers for German Reds and do you see yourself actively seeking out these wines and producers with more frequency over the last couple of years as quality has improved? Spätburgunder and that little Mata Hari St. Laurent, that I like so much have a lot of potential, me thinks. The question has been asked though, whether or not the world needs another source of Pinot Noir. What are your thoughts?

I’m also curious about German Sekt in that I have never seen you offer any. I am also aware through my own heroic efforts of Sekt consumption that qualitatively, there isn’t much in Germany (if anything at all) that confidently stands with what you offer from Champagne or Austria (Terry, I miss Gobelsburger Sekt!) Though, I do think that there is some interesting Sekt being produced in Germany if one simply looks at it from the perspective that it is a completely different product than Champagne. Riesling may not lend itself to great sparkling wine, but certainly Weißerburgunder and Spätburgunder do IF handled correctly. That has been a big IF for Germans. Thoughts?

Lastly, have you spoken to your guys about the 2010 vintage? I’m curious as to what your more non-interventionalist dudes are planning to do about the high acidity in ’10 if they don’t employ deacidification. I would think that the answer in the Mosel and even Rheingau would be time in fuder, body-building lees contact, and a little extra residual sugar to help the balance, but what will Minges, or Eugen Müller or MC do here in the Pfalz when RS isn’t an option and neither is dry Riesling with 10+ grams of TA?

Sorry for the long post!
Say hi to Wil and Ann for me the next time you’re in MN.

Danke, Danke,
Bill Hooper

For me the issue with the reds is that their massive demand within Germany lets the growers charge (over) high prices, and gives them no incentive to subsidize those prices for guys like us paying with a feeble currency. I just can’t see asking a customer to pony up $70 or higher even for a GOOD German red. Of which I agree there are a few, and the number is growing, and they’re still not as good as they are trendy. Austria is fundamentally more viable. That said, I’ll offer any and every wine that’s either truly remarkable (as was Weingart’s Spätburgunder in this year’s offering) or good and correctly priced.

I never sold much Sekt, even when I did used to offer them. I agree one finds a good one here and there. But Champagne spoils me, and having Bründlmayer and Gobelsburg scratches the non-Champagne itch.

There’s going to be lots of deacidifying in 2010 - including from some who said they’d never do it. Right now I’m agnostic about the vintage, having tasted none of it. Stephan Attmann (Dr. Deinhard/Von Winning) says he’s leaving the wines alone. It doesn’t augur well for the dry stuff, but you never know.

I wonder if ‘leaving the wines alone’ is shorthand for BSA/MLF. There’s one way to deal, and it might fit the Von Winning post-neo-classic approach.


He said explicitly that he did not deacidify - that’s all I know.

Back on the issue of Sekt - does Gysler still make sparkling Scheurebe? The Bundle of Scheu was wonderful. A reprise, even with a different name, would be most welcome!