Showdown: Riesling vs. Chardonnay

An interesting article in Swedish popped up as I was visiting the old motherland and I thought I’d convey the broader findings (you can babelfish it if you want to go deep):

Short version is that basically Gut Hermannsberg did a 9 year vertical between their GG’s and Domaine Leflavie Batard-Montrachet. Vintages were 2010 to 2018. The Leflavie’s were on average 10x more expensive than the Rieslings and often in the €500-700 region, whereas the most expensive Gut Hermannsberg was €55. Tasting was for various wine writers and reviewers. Well, as you perhaps can glean from the basic fact that I even bring it up, it seems like most involved agreed the Rieslings were either equal or superior. And especially so when you factor in the price.

Is the world slowly changing? Should you buy stocks in Riesling and sell your Chard stocks? [cheers.gif] neener [stirthepothal.gif]

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Well I think some of us here on WB don’t need any convincing!

In English, it’s preaching to the choir.
In German, its “offene Türen einrennen” (forcing open open doors)
What’s it in Swedish?


Slå in öppna dörrar - breaking in open doors [cheers.gif]

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You would hate the wines, they have more than 0 grams of RS


I can’t read the article – how was the tasting performed? It doesn’t seem like drinking riesling and white Burgundy side by side would work very well, or at least not for me. But I don’t know what they actually did.

top left corner of the page. Click on the British flag for English translation.

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What a strange comparison. Pretty sure I could find Chardonnays at under 30 euro i would prefer in this tasting… because i am not a fan of most dry rieslings.

I would have been interesting to see group scores. While an interesting article, the conclusions are rather unspecific with not much “data” presented.

I’m assuming the winery wanted to shift the narrative, perhaps, and show that Riesling can be a crowd pleaser and have broader acceptance.

Here’s an Austrian article from same event. My German is pretty limited, but maybe more can be gleaned from there?

Great, thx. There was a link to a list where all participants voted for their WOTN:

  1. Hermannsberg Niederhausen GG 2016 - 7 votes
  2. Leflaive BBM 2017 - 4
  3. Leflaive BM 2018 - 3
  4. Hermannsberg 2017 GG -3
  5. Leflaive BM 2011 - 2
  6. Leflaive Chevalier 2014 - 2
  7. Hermannsberg 2015 - 2
  8. Leflaive BM 2010 - 1
  9. Hermannsberg 2012 - 1
  10. Leflaive BM 2015 - 1
  11. Hermansberg 2018 - 1

In total:
14 votes for Hermannsberg wines
13 votes for Leflaive wines

6 different Leflaive wines got votes
5 different Hermannsberg wines got votes

Unfortunately, no average scores available.

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That seems like a really odd showdown. It’s like, say, comparing hamburgers versus chicken sandwiches - sure, they’re both meat inside a bun, but that’s probably where the similarity ends.

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Like a Bordeaux vs Port showdown, or Champagne vs Sauternes showdown. I’m not really sure how you taste those against each other side by side and make some kind of determination which category was “better.”

But, this isn’t life and death, and it’s cool they’re trying to do something fun and different I guess.

I agree with a lot of these post. While I generally love Riesling more than Chardonnay (and all other varietals), there’s definitely times/moods when I prefer a Chardonnay and there are certainly a lot of excellent examples to choose from. It doesn’t make sense to have a head to head tasting to see which is better (unless maybe you’re very new to wine and are trying to figure out the differences between the varietals).

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i once drank a glass keller gg next to a glass of raveneau 1er cru and the residual sugar of the keller could not have been made more obvious through this direct comparison. they really are very different styles of wine which also have their own distinct aging curves. personally, i tend to prefer gg’s with less age rather than more, while with chardonnay it is quite the opposite. i would guess none of those vintages of batard that were tasted are at peak maturity.

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So many of you are saying you don’t understand a tasting like this, but Adam has already said this was put on by Hermannsberg. The point was clear (and has been done before). Prove that GG riesling can compete with top notch white burg, may even surpass it, and at a fraction of the price. The question of whether it does is of course a question of palate and so the tasting is a bit of apples and oranges, but the overall point, which is of course not any news to many of us on the board, is that top quality rieslings are extraordinarily inexpensive for their quality.

From the point of view of Hermannsberg and other winegrowers: they of course want tasting like this to be able to market their wines as “having beaten white burg at 10x the cost” so they can then justify a higher price. Noone but Keller comes anywhere close to white burg prices for dry Riesling, though I am sure if they could many other estates would gladly charge those prices.

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Most of my white wines are from Riesling (mostly German, almost never GG) or Chardonnay (mostly Burgundy or Champagne). [There is a bit of Chenin Blanc also.] I love them both and really do not think of them as competition for each other. Seems like a silly comparison to me.

I also must say that I have had a couple of wines from Gut Hermannsberg and was not thrilled and that I have stopped buying wines from Leflaive a while back because of premox concerns. So, who cares.

I have alway struggled with the higher end Von Winning Rieslings that are aged in oak. When I tried one next to a very young PYCM Corton Charlemagne that was showing oak the Von Winning was much more riesling like and very enjoyable.

Well, sure, I don’t think anyone here is missing the point that this is purely a marketing gimmick. And whatever helps someone sell wine, which is really hard (serious comment, not snarky), more power to them.

It’s still weird.

Maybe they can now compare their Rieslings to Domaine Serene wines.

Happened to get ahold of the 17 Herrmansberg GG at clearance and drank last night. I can see where it might stand up to really good burgundy.

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