TN: Open House at Georg Breuer

OPEN HOUSE AT GEORG BREUER - Rudesheim (10/09/2018)

For once in my life I arrive somewhere to find a great event taking place that very day, instead of yesterday or next week. This was Open House at Breuer; an annual event where the entire recent vintage is offered for tasting, including the GGs which aren’t offered for sale for many years in some cases. In addition, they invite a couple of like-minded producers – Gunderloch from Hessen and Jurtschitsch from Kamtal – to bring some wines too. Since I was early (10.30am) I tasted the public Vinotek-available offerings in peace & quiet under the knowledgeable eye of Tove, the usual & helpful Vinotek host, before proceeding down to the Keller (1pm) for the second full walk-around tasting. There was too much to taste given the fairly short time I had available, and it would have been better to taste the Berg GGs all side-by-side sitting-down rather than sequentially on foot, so to speak, but it was still a privilege all the same. It might be good to find a way to get to Gunderloch someday too.
Vinotek Tasting
The Vinotek is a spacious, temple-like tasting room on the Grabenstrasse in the centre of Rudesheim. A must-visit if you’re ever in town.

  • 2017 Georg Breuer Riesling Sauvage - Germany, Rheingau
    {screwcap, 12%, €10} Clean apple aromas, fresh acid; bright and clean on the light/medium-bodied palate, straightforward but sound delicious apple flavours, slightly short finish. Honest wine for the short term.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Riesling Estate Rüdesheim - Germany, Rheingau
    {screwcap, 12%, €15} Apple & grass with vivid acid; even a bit screechy. Medium body, plenty of flavour, medium length finish. Similar character to the GB Sauvage, but with greater depth & persistence. A few years’ cellaring will do this wonders.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Riesling Estate Rauenthal - Germany, Rheingau
    {screwcap, 11.5%, €15} Against the Rudesheim Estate bottling, this is bigger, with more citrus and smoke than apple character. First hint of minerals on the palate. Medium-bodied richness all through a medium length finish. Very tidy, needs a few years probably.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Riesling Terra Montosa - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, 12%, €21} This shows restrained apple & slate on the nose & palate; is very young, with vivid medium acid medium/full body, the impression helped by the hefty mid-palate. Finishes very dry, medium length. Overshadowed in my view by the 2016 but still worthwhile.
  • 2016 Georg Breuer Riesling Terra Montosa - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, 11.5%, €20} There are some apple flavours here but this is far more minerally, like licking slate and quartz. Medium/full-body, dry but not overly rich; medium acid and strong apple flavours on a medium length finish. Tightly wound and impressive.
  • 2016 Georg Breuer Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Riesling - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, 11.5%, €38, AP 5.17} There are some restrained custard-apple flavours here, but this is mostly about the texture. Minerals and slate, almost with a red hint, like there was pinot juice here or something. Still rather closed; it has a dense medium/full body. The first pour was from a bottle open a week and deemed marginally sub-par; the difference in freshness was obvious from a freshly opened example. Suggests a long cellaring life, obviously.
  • 2014 Georg Breuer Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, 11.5%, €41, AP 7 15} A bit somly, with a hint of kerosene, brown apples, slate. Tangy, medium-acid texture. Medium-full body but still elegant enough, and although dry on the medium-long finish there’s a sweetness that comes with intensity and richness. Very tidy, although I liked the 16 Rottland a little better.
  • 2016 Georg Breuer Spätburgunder GB - Germany, Rheingau
    {screwcap, 12%, €14} Smokey, and red cherries. But smoky enough for me to wonder about bushfires! Seems a bit marginal for ripeness, honestly; light-bodied, with a short finish. Cheap, so hard to be too picky. But honestly, find the extra € for the Spat.
  • 2016 Georg Breuer Spätburgunder Pinot Noir - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, 12%, €21} Fleshy with cherry and blackberry flavours, quite polished, with gentle oak, low/medium dusty tannins, light/medium body and a nicely balanced, medium-length finish. Decent.

Keller Tasting
The Keller is located just behind the Vinotek, down a flight of stairs. I know it was a hot summer but I was surprised at how warm it was – although it’s not used for bulk storage any more. Possibly the effect of all the previous days’ visitors, and candles made a difference to the temperature. It’s certainly an atmospheric place to taste wine. All the upper-echelon Breuer wines are obviously too young and need further cellaring – that’s a given. And they had a technical sheet on hand, so the alcohols I list may differ marginally from the bottle labels (which are to nearest 0.5%). The list below is by producer whereas I actually made a couple of rounds to taste in a dry/sweet/red sequence.

  • 2014 Georg Breuer Riesling Brut Sekt - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, €18} Champagne method. Clean simple wine, flavours of pineapple, white flowers. Medium creamt bubbles, light-body, slightly sweeter-then-brut finish, on the short side a touch. Modest effort.
  • 2010 Georg Breuer Brut Sekt - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, €36} Champagne method, but made with Pinots Blanc, Gris & Noir, with a touch of Riesling added. Grapefruit and apple nose. Dry palate, with flowery flavours. Delicate medium-sized bubbles, medium length finish; not much autolysis character evident, especially considering 5 years on lees.
  • 1999 Georg Breuer Brut Sekt - Germany, Rheingau
    {magnum, cork} Even a decade on from the 2010, this is remarkable under-developed as well. Surely magnum format can’t stop time this effectively? There’s a hint of age to the custard apple flavours, with some brown leaves, but you’d never pick it as twenty. It has medium-sized creamy bubbles, medium weight, and a dry medium-length finish that sits a bit towards the front palate, but you’d never mistake it for champagne.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Riesling Sauvage - Germany, Rheingau
    {screwcap, 12%, €10} I seem to have tasted this twice today – something I was trying to avoid – should have had the ‘GB Charm’ instead. Oh well. Second time around (consistency check!) Nose is a bit closed. Soft custard flavours. Simple charmer; well-structured, light-bodied, all front-palate, short/medium dry finish.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Weissburgunder “GB” - Germany, Rheingau
    {screwcap, 11.5%, €12} Youthful, gentle melon flavours. No oak. A bit neutral and watery; dilute but dry. Crisp, mild. Light-body, short finish. Might work with seafood.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Rüdesheim Orleans - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, ~€48} Pungent sour melon aromas. Yet the palate has a bizzare Turkish delight/rosewater flavour, almost suggesting a gewurz impersonater. The palate is dry, with low/medium acidity, no oak, medium weight, and a medium length, low-key but even finish. Great curio variety; but kinda pricey though.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Rauenthaler Nonnenberg Riesling - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, 12%, ~€48} Closed, slatey and steely. The palate has a certain purity to it, with spiced apple flavours, a dry talc-like texture and a gently focussed but quite tight medium-bodied palate with lots of mid-palate presence and a medium length finish. Aristocratic.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Rüdesheimer Berg Rottland Riesling - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, 12.5%} Apple pie & minerals. Juicy palate. Tight, with tingly acids. Dry, medium body, medium acid, medium finish. Great presence on mid-palate. All a bit quiet at the moment but with potential. Sleeping.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Rüdesheimer Berg Schloßberg Riesling - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, 12.3%} Pure apples and slate. Shy now, but quality is obvious. The palate tastes much stonier; the fruit is very secondary to the rocks & stones. A geologists delight. It has medium weight, the acid doesn’t stick out by any means, being quite subtle, but there’s great balance & length. Long finish. All about texture just now. And class.
  • 2010 Georg Breuer Rüdesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, 11.6%} Picking up a browning, cinnamon-like quality, although the aging impression may be exaggerated by proximity to all these 2017 bottlings. The palate is lively with super fresh medium/high acidity, apple/spice fruit, still clean, no kerosene, and an even palate structure. Medium weight and medium length; the finish could be a bit in between just now as it seems to lack much complexity. Give this 3-5 years longer.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Riesling Auslese - Germany, Rheingau
    {375ml, screwcap, 8.4%, €15} Sweetly apple-like (again!) This is about off-dry for me, despite approx. 100g/l of sugar. The palate is tangy in texture, with medium-high acid giving freshness to the light-medium body, although it doesn’t avoid just a hint of cloying character. There’s a medium length finish. Tastes per the nose. Perhaps a bit underwhelming; a bit of cellar time will help.
  • 2017 Georg Breuer Rüdesheimer Berg Schloßberg Riesling Beerenauslese - Germany, Rheingau
    {375ml, cork} Aromas of passionfruit, apricot, mild honey. Very seductive. Same flavours, but supported with medium-high acidity, impeccable balance, and an endless finish, balancing the acid and the medium-sweet palate. Tantalises the entire tongue; a joy to taste. The 2008 rendition is for sale at €120/375ml, so it’s a fairly special wine.
  • 2015 Georg Breuer Spätburgunder “B” - Germany, Rheingau
    {cork, 12.5%, €38} Lots of cured meat aromas; pastrami & co, along with spicy oak. It’s medium weight, perhaps a bit disjointed due to youth, and the ripe but reticent spicy cherry fruit on the palate comes a distinct second to the low/medium finely gritty tannins and the medium/high acidity. All about texture. Feels like it wants at least five years cellaring. Medium length, dry and lightly astringent finish. Quite impressive and not over-priced.
  • 2017 Gunderloch Nierstein Riesling trocken - Germany, Rheinhessen
    {screwcap, €14} Spicy but rich nose, with a rich brown apple kind of aroma. The palate is tangy, with medium-high acidity, light-medium body, a bit stony-tasting, dry, refreshing, medium length; needs some time to settle. Good.
  • 2017 Gunderloch Nackenheim Riesling trocken - Germany, Rheinhessen
    {screwcap, €16} Has a real red dirt quality somehow, especially after the grey/white mien of the Breuer wines. This has spicy, citrus-derived flavours, medium weight and acid, with plenty of mid-palate presence, with a dry, medium length finish. These two village trockens were pretty decent I must say.
  • 2017 Gunderloch Niersteiner Pettenthal Riesling trocken - Germany, Rheinhessen
    {screwcap, €32} Lovely, youthful nose of lime and dust. Exotic spiced lime flavours, with an intriguing red berry aspect. Medium weight, with high acidity which avoids harshness. Gives a long dry finish, even. Impressive stuff.
  • 2017 Gunderloch Nackenheim Rothenberg Riesling trocken - Germany, Rheinhessen
    {screwcap, €37} Smoky, surprisingly advanced, with a browning apple aroma. Spicy palate, dense, with acid reticent. Medium weight. Less smoky than the nose; the spice is elevated. Medium finish. For me, overshadowed by the Pettenthal wine despite being the flagship non-sweet wine according to the price list.
  • 2008 Gunderloch Nackenheim Rothenberg Riesling Auslese - Germany, Rheinhessen
    {screwcap} Sulphury sweet apple smell. A bit candied. Off-dry, medium intensity; honey and apple flavours, medium weight. Super balance, medium length finish. Partly developed; should age nicely for plenty longer, especially under the trusty screwcap. The 2017 sells for €18/375ml, s the price might be quite competitive.
  • 2016 Jurtschitsch Riesling Ried Heiligenstein - Austria, Niederösterreich, Kamptal
    {screwcap, €22} Youthful nose, with lemon/mineral/steel aromas. Equally steely palate, with additional flavours of white flowers, custard. Light-medium body; sits a bit on the front, palate, maybe a touch simple. Short-medium finish. Sound enough, but the price-per-quality seems unfavourable aligned against the two German producers here today.
  • 2008 Quinta da Carvalhosa Douro Ardosino - Portugal, Douro
    {cork, 13.5%, €15} Minty nose, but there’s a fungal character too, more obvious ont he palate which is quite feral despite spoicy fruit and rotting strawberry and jammy flavours. Hot finish, medium powdery tannins, dry, light/medium body but with a short almost hot finish. Is this right? Not much wine in the bottle when I poured; is it a leftover from yesterday’s tasting? At any rate, not impressive; seems to be oxidised in some way or other. Similar grape composition to the senior Campo Ardosa cuvee.
  • 2008 Quinta da Carvalhosa Douro Campo Ardosa - Portugal, Douro
    {cork, 13.5%, €24} Better than its cheaper sibling, although I find this a bit inky and bretty over the rustic red fruits. The palate here is a bit stale too; with low/medium dusty tannins, medium acid and medium weight it seems well-enough structured but has a tired feel to it. I’d like to taste from a fresh bottle to confirm my opinion. Grapes involved, according to Breuer’s website, are Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francese.