Good evening all,
This thread is to report results and generally discuss the 2023 Bernkasteler Ring German Wine Auction which will take place this Saturday at 8AM ET. The event will also be broadcast on youtube should you care to watch it live.
Last year, we gave the Bernkasteler a thread of its own due to long overdue increased interest in the wines. And after a year of astonishing price increases at the Mosel and Nahe- all of a sudden 2023 is the year when the Bernkasteler Ring is becoming the central focus for a rapidly growing number of German wine fans the world over- your hosts included. It is a wonderful development, long overdue, and as with so many other trends in the German Auction market- mirroring what happened in Bordeaux and Burgundy, but at an unbelievably rapid pace. Even so, 2023 promises a number of wonderful wines at prices that are still relative bargains- though I do expect on a percentage basis the price increases here will be higher in at least a few instances than at the Mosel and Nahe sales.
I will have little comparative data to offer in this thread because not every member of the Ring brings wine every year. Second, for those who do- the selections can vary greatly each year- even across vintages. And this, to me, is one very great feature of the Bernkasteler Auctions that you do not find at the Mosel or Nahe- namely, every year there are several maturing or fully mature wines at varying Pradikat levels and prices. So if you are fairly new to German wine, this can be a terrific way to buy some mature wines at affordable prices plus stock up on some wines that are a little closer to being ready than the current vintage. One more note to newcomers- read the listing carefully. The Mosel and Nahe sales tend to group lots by producer (though TBAs are often listed separately at the end of Mosel lists), but in the Bernkasteler the lots go in ascending order of Pradikat. So if you see just one wine for a producer you are interested in, have a careful look- that producer may have wines from other Pradikats in other sections of the list.
In 2022, there were a total of 50 auction lots. This year, there are 57 auction lots. Kabinett is still King, but you will also find more Auslesen and stickies here this year than in the Mosel and Nahe sales.
For the Mosel Auction, I typically list 2-3 “things to watch”. That list is driven entirely by price and pricing trends- looking at how the investor/collector is affecting things. I do not want to do that here – or indeed anything to encourage that kind of mindset. It may come on its own in time and merit discussion at that point, but I will not do anything that could help it along.
Before the auction- any questions, fire away. Lots of experts are around to answer questions. And anyone there during the sale or who has tasted any of the wines- please do chime in with any insight you may have to offer.
This year, for the first time, most of my bids are in the Bernkasteler Ring- and I know I am not alone in that. Good luck to all!