German Wine Guide

Hardcover | May 1, 1999

byArmin Diel, Joel Payne

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At the beginning of this century German Rieslings were the most expensive wines in the world, commanding higher prices than the top growths of Bordeaux. Today, in their incomparably light and elegant style, they offer value for money unmatched by any other wine-producing country. During the past decade, German producers have been paying more attention to quality of their wines, reducing yields but enhancing their reputations. The wine world has noticed, and the consumer is beginning to as well, meaning that there are more and better German wines in our stores all the times.

The German Wine Guide provides a region-by-region critique of individual vineyards and wines, including tasting notes and a price guide. The scope, while selective, is vast, taking in both the known estates of the Mosel and little-known vineyards crafting fine wines. The authors are considered the two most influential wine writers in Germany. As German wines continue to attract more attention, this will be the resource both for aficionados and amateurs.

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At the beginning of this century German Rieslings were the most expensive wines in the world, commanding higher prices than the top growths of Bordeaux. Today, in their incomparably light and elegant style, they offer value for money unmatched by any other wine-producing country. During the past decade, German producers have been pay...

Armin Diel was raised on a vineyard and is the owner of one of Germanys leading wine estates. He is also one of the countrys most respected wine and food critics.Joel Payne is an American living in Germany who has been a wine critic for nearly twenty years.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:520 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.98 inPublished:May 1, 1999Publisher:Abbeville Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0789205777

ISBN - 13:9780789205773

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PrefaceThis is the sixth annual edition of our German guide, the first to be published in English. In that time the German wine industry has matured considerably. A new generation of young winemakers has emerged that is determined to change the international perception of German wines. This guide is intended to give them a voice.At the end of the 19th century German Rieslings from the Mosel and the Rheingau were the most expensive wines in the world, commanding prices higher than those of the top growths in Bordeaux. Although the quality of the finest wines remained high, the fall from zenith to nadir took less than 50 years. Only two decades ago German wines were synonymous for cheap, sweet plonk. Even today some well-heeled German wine lovers still prefer to drink French.Since then dry wines have become immensely popular in Germany, heralding a rebirth in national pride for the quality of wines "made in German." At the same time it created a schism for the producers. In the German market many estates sell only dry wines; on the export market, nothing but delicately sweet Spatlese and Auslese. Nonetheless, as beer and spirit consumption wanes, wine sales are booming and today's generation is also willing to spend more money on finer wines, creating new markets for quality oriented producers. Wine lovers have always sworn by the varietal Riesling. The wine consumer has tended to acknowledge its inherent quality, but not to buy it. This guide's mission is to bring the two poles closer together.Everyone in Germany realizes, although politicians are loathe to discuss it in public, that their future cannot lie in exporting Liebfrauenmilch. Total volumes are down significantly in recent years, but a quarter of Germany's annual wine production is still exported at prices that barely cover the costs of production. Few shippers can seriously speak of a return on investment. Labor costs are so high that the producers must increasingly concentrate on their unique sales proposition, which is clearly the expression of pure Riesling fruit from the finest sites. The collective world of wine is changing quickly, obliging even modest estates to produce better wines or perish. Today no producer can sit on his laurels and expect his clientele to remain faithful forever. The buyer wants a product that is unique, well made and eminently quaffable. Quality on the one hand, value for money on the other, have become the bottom line, and the consumer benefits.

Table of Contents

Preface 4
About This Book and How to Use It 6
The Growing Regions 8
Germany's Wine Terminology 10
The Wine Label 11
It's All in the Grapes 12
What Is the "Pradikat?" 13
Wine Styles 14
Vintage Chart 15
The Classification Debate 16
Stars of the German Wine World 18
Our Rating System 24
Germany's Best Estates 26
The Authors' Favorites 28

Wines of the Year - 1995, 1996, 1997

Best Dry Red Wines 30
Best Dry White Burgundies 32
Best Dry Rieslings 34
Best Off-Dry Rieslings 36
Best Riesling Spatlese Wines 38
Best Riesling Auslese Wines 40
Best Noble Late Harvest Rieslings 42

Wines for Bargain Hunters 44

The Regions, the Producers, the Wines
Ahr 46
Baden 60
Franken (Franconia) 117
Hessische Bergstrabe 152
Mittelrhein 158
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer 182
Nahe 258
Pfalz (Palatinate) 294
Rheingau 348
Rheinhessen 397
Saale-Unstrut 438
Sachsen (Saxony) 442
Wurttemberg 447
The Best Sparkling Wines 475
The Best Marc and Fine 484
Information Bureaus 495
The Right Glasses 496
Index of the Estates 498
Index of Individuals 505
Copyright 516