This is based on samples provided by the winery or organization acting on their behalf.

 

 

2012 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Scheurebe Kabinett trocken

2011 Graf v. Schönborn Hallburger Schlossberg Silvaner Kabinett trocken

2012 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz Pinot Blanc Dry

2012 Graf v. Schönborn Schloss Hallburger Pinot Gris Kabinett trocken

2011 Friedrich Becker Becker Family Pinot Noir

2011 Weingut Schnaitmann Lemberger Dry

 

 

Logo

 

 

 

I was happily invited to participate in a Wine Studio event presented by Protocol Wine Studio of Germany’s lesser known wine varieties chosen by Rudi Wiest Selection.  Like most people, most of my German wine knowledge involves the many style and classification of Rieslings they produce.

 

 

 

About Rudi Wiest Selections

Rudi Wiest Selections is a leading importer of fine German wines in the United States market. Since 1978 our sole focus has been rebuilding the image of legendary Germany wine estates through education of consumers and persons in the wine trade alike. We are committed to giving the best service and information regarding the selection of fine German wine. Visiting Germany two to three times a year, we personally maintain relationships with every estate and exhaustively involve ourselves with the selection process. Our commitment assures only the finest wines earn the Rudi Wiest Selections quality seal.

 

Much more information on Rudi Wiest Selections, the Estates they represent and the wines are available on their website by clicking here.

 

 

“Rudi Wiest is one of the one of the most important, and some say the most important importer of German wine in the United States.”

“Rudi Wiest – A pioneer, visionary and tireless crusader for German wine.”

Two quotes about Rudi Wiest from the article “Mr. German Wine” (translated from German) from the September 2005 ussue of Alles Uber Wein.

 

 

Protocol

 

About WineStudio

#WineStudio PROTOCOL wine studio presents an online twitter-based educational program where we engage our brains and palates! It’s part instruction and wine tasting, with discussions on producers, grapes, tourism, terroir, regional culture, food and wine matching and what all this means to us as wine drinkers.

 

Wine Studio events generally last multiple weeks and can border on “information overload” at times.  These events provide a complete picture of all elements involved in the event’s theme.

 

Description

How do you join #winestudio? Using a tool such as Hootsuite, log into your twitter account & follow the #winestudio stream. Be sure to include #winestudio at the end of each tweet so everyone in the stream can see you!

 

You don’t have to have the wines that are being discussed to become much more knowledgeable in the subject matter but having them will make the event a lot tastier.  Check out the Protocol Wine Studio site for information on upcoming events and information on purchasing the packages that will be discussed.

 

Grab a glass and join in!

 

If you are in San Diego, Protocol Wine Studio hosts a lot of events onsite.  Again, check out their site for information.

 

 

 

The line up for the four week long #WineStudio series.

Lesser Known Varieties from the Rudi Wiest Selections

Lesser Known Varieties from the Rudi Wiest Selections

 

 

 

The first week of Wine Studio did not include imbibing in specific wines.  This week was an introduction into the world of Rudi Wiest Selections.  This was an opportunity to get to know the team behind the man who created one of the top German wine portfolios.

 

 

 

The second week of WineStudio included these two wines, a Silvaner and a Scheurebe:

Silvaner and Scheurebe

 

 

 

2012 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Scheurebe Kabinett trocken – SRP $27

Now in its 14th generation, the Wirsching family has been making wine since the 1630’s.  Wirsching winery ranks among the best known and largest privately held wine estates in all of Franconia.  The village of Iphofen, is named Franconia’s “historic treasure box” the soils are prized.

 

DNA work in late 90’s revealed Scheurebe is likely cross of an unknown wild grape and Riesling.  Not as previously thought Riesling and Silvaner.  This style of bottle is called a “Bocksbeutel” in German, which translates to “goat scrotum” and is very common in wines from Franken.

 

“Scheurebe (shoy-ray-beh) offers all that is Dirty and Fun. It is Riesling’s evil, horny twin.” Terry Theise

 

The wine has 12.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a pale yellow to straw color.  The very open and inviting nose has white peach, apples, warm spices, orange blossoms and lemon zest.  This has a light body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate the apples, spice and lemon zest grab hold first, slowly allowing some peach to slip through.  The finish has very nice length with a nice orange blossom note to grab hold before some mouthwatering lemon zest takes over.  (90 pts)

2012 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Scheurebe Kabinett trocken

2012 Hans Wirsching Iphöfer Scheurebe Kabinett trocken

 

 

 

2011 Graf v. Schönborn Hallburger Schlossberg Silvaner Kabinett trocken – SRP $20

Schloss Hallburg is currently practicing organic and will be Certified Organic in 2015.

 

Silvaner is an offspring of a spontaneous crossing of Traminer and Österreichisch Weiss (literally Austrian White).  This variety has been widespread since the early 19th Century; by mid 20th Century it had become the most important grape variety in Germany.  It has since continuously declined but has settled down and is holding steady at about 5200ha or 5% of total plantings in Germany.  Of the 5200 ha, 1,300 is in Franken.  Silvaner wines can age gracefully for many years, especially ones done as Spätlese or Auslese with some residual sugar.

 

This wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light, pale straw color.  The initially slightly shy nose opened as the wine warmed up a bit has apples, pears, melon, minerals, dried straw and a slight nutty element.  This has light to medium body and decent acidity.  On the palate this is a touch soft and round with lemon, pears and apples leading off with nice minerality coming in on the back end as well as a slight saline element.  The finish has decent length with apples, minerals and citrus zest.  This wine, while nice, left me wanting a little bit more of something, probably a little more zippy acidity.  (88 pts)

2011 Graf v. Schönborn Hallburger Schlossberg Silvaner Kabinett trocken

2011 Graf v. Schönborn Hallburger Schlossberg Silvaner Kabinett trocken

 

 

 

The third week line up included a Pinot Blanc and a Pinot Gris:

Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris

 

 

 

2012 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz Pinot Blanc Dry – SRP $20

Hansjörg Rebholz was chosen Winemaker of the Year in 2002 and since has been awarded 5 grapes by Gault-Millau – its highest rating.  Rebholz was awarded Collection of the Year in the Gault-Millau 2013.  For many years they have been one of the top 10 in Germany.  Pinot Blanc accounts for about 15% of Rebholz’s annual production.  There were only 125 cases of this wine produced.  This wine is certified organic.

 

Weissburgunder is Pinot Blanc in German; other synonyms are Klevner, Feher Burgundi, Pinot Bianco, Rulandske Bile, Rulandske biele, Blanc Vrai.  Pinot Blanc is a late-ripening, thin-skinned, tight-clustered grape that does well with a variety of vinification techniques

 

This wine has 13.5% alcohol and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a very light, pale yellow to straw color.  The crisp and refreshing nose has apples, stony minerals, orange blossoms, lemon zest and peach pit.  This has medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate crisp apples, minerals and lemon zest grab hold first, slowly allowing orange blossoms and a touch of peach to slip into the picture.  The finish has nice length with lemon zest and minerals leading the show.  (89 pts)

2012 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz Pinot Blanc Dry

2012 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz Pinot Blanc Dry

 

 

 

2012 Graf v. Schönborn Schloss Hallburger Pinot Gris Kabinett trocken – SRP $20

In 1806, Schloss Hallburg became a part of the many von Schönborn holdings.  Georg Hünnerkop, the estate manager, in 2009 was chosen Estate Manager of the Year in Germany by Gault –Millau.  Schloss Hallburg is practicing Organic and is on track to become Certified Organic in 2015.

 

You will see on some German labels Grauburgunder which is Pinot Gris in German.

 

This wine has 12.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light yellow color.  The open and enjoyable nose has apples, flinty minerals, lemon zest, peach skin, melon, spice and white flowers.  This has light to medium body with crisp acidity and just a hint of sweetness.  On the palate apples and minerals hit first with tart lemon zest coming in right behind.  The finish has very good length with citrus, apples, minerals and white flowers seeming to hang on forever.  Outstanding effort!  (92 pts)

2012 Graf v. Schönborn Schloss Hallburger Pinot Gris Kabinett trocken

2012 Graf v. Schönborn Schloss Hallburger Pinot Gris Kabinett trocken

 

 

 

The fourth week’s line up included the red grapes Pinot Noir and Lemberger:

Pinot Noir and Lemberger

 

 

 

2011 Friedrich Becker Becker Family Pinot Noir – SRP $20

Becker earned “Newcomer of the Year” in 2006 and for 8 of the last 9 years produced Germany’s top Pinot Noir as chosen by Gault-Millau.  Becker’s two flagship vineyards are St. Paul & Kammerberg, both consist primarily of Limestone.  Plantings are 60% Pinot Noir/Pinot Blanc/Pinot Gris, 22% Riesling and the remaining 18% Silvaner, Gewürztraminer & Muskateller.

 

Spatburgunder is the German name for Pinot Noir.

 

Vineyard Sourcing of 2011 Becker Pinot Noir is 80% Schweigener Sonnenberg.

This wine has 13.5% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a light to medium ruby color.  The relaxing nose has cherries, earthy underbrush, baking spices, orange zest, minerals, smoke and a touch of anise.  This has medium body, soft tannins and very nice acidity.  On the palate the earthy cherries and minerals kick in first with orange zest and spices coming in later.  The finish has good length with the spices, smoke and earthiness closing the show.  (89 pts)

2011 Friedrich Becker Becker Family Pinot Noir

2011 Friedrich Becker Becker Family Pinot Noir

 

 

 

2011 Weingut Schnaitmann Lemberger Dry – SRP $20

Rainer Schnaitmann was chosen newcomer of the year in 2007 by Gault-Millau/German Wine Guide just 10 years after he founded the estate.  In 2005 Fritz Jr. took over the winemaking at the estate and his father continues to oversee the outside vineyard work.  Schnatimann’s plays classical music FOR his wines in the cellar.

 

The official designation is Blauer Limberger, but the synonyms Lemberger and Blaufränkisch are permitted.

 

Lemberger is cultivated almost exclusively in Württemberg, where it accounts for more than 14% of the region’s vineyard area.  For years there has been a gradual increase in the vineyard area devoted to this variety, just the opposite in the states.  Within a short time Rainer has already had significant influence 2 bring focus back to the long neglected Württemberg region.  Lemberger is a black skinned grape variety that buds early, ripens late and thrives best in a warm environment.

 

To me, the Lemberger is almost a softer version of a zinfandel with the dark fruit and spice

 

This has 13.0% alcohol by volume and the bottle is sealed with a twist off closure.

 

My Tasting Note

The wine is a medium to dark ruby red color.  The enticing nose has blackberries, minerals, plums, black pepper, roasted herbs, baking spices, licorice and candied violets.  This has medium body, moderate tannins and good acidity.  On the palate the berries and plums provide nice up front sweetness with roasted herbs, pepper and minerals coming through on the mid-palate.  The finish has very nice length with a bit of chocolate and licorice coming into the picture adding good depth.  This is very tasty.  (91 pts)

2011 Weingut Schnaitmann Lemberger Dry

2011 Weingut Schnaitmann Lemberger Dry

 

 

 

Conclusion

If your German wine knowledge revolves around Riesling, these wines will serve as a great starting point in the advancement of your wine knowledge.  This was an outstanding mix of wines that may be “lesser known” but make no mistake, these are NOT lesser wines.

 

 

 

 

Win an All-inclusive VIP Sonoma Winecation

 

https://www.undergroundcellar.com/c/6/226099/grand_sonoma_winecation

 

 

Underground Cellar is offering you a chance to win an all-inclusive VIP weekend in Sonoma wine country.

 

The winner will get the following with a value of $6,500:

  • Weekend getaway for 4 to California’s exclusive Sonoma wine country
  • Stay at the luxurious 5,500 sq. ft. Villa Terra Nova Retreat
  • Behind-the-scenes private tour of Iron Horse Vineyards, by winemaker David Munskgard
  • VIP chef’s dinner at award-winning “the girl and the fig” restaurant
  • Rountrip airfare, luxury transportation, and many other surprises!

Click here to enter.   If you win, you can even include me as one of your friends.

Even if you don’t win the grand prize, there is over $3,000 of gift cards with a value of up to $200 to be given away.

 

While you’re there, check out Underground Cellar unique wine selling model.  You can “buy” a lower cost wine and get upgraded to a much more expensive bottle for free.  For example, one of their current offers is $42 for a 2008 Balboa Brioso.  If you buy this wine, you could get “upgraded” to 2007 Stonestreet Monument Ridge Cabernet ($60 value), 2009 Caymus Napa Valley Cabernet ($85 value), 2007 Anderson’s Conn Valley Reserve Cabernet ($130 value), 1994 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon ($150 value), or even a 1985 BR Cohn Cabernet Sauvignon Olive Hill (Helen Turley) with a value of $220.

 

The shipping is also incredible, at 6 bottles, shipping cost $5! Buy 6 more bottles and ship for FREE.

 

 

 

Connect with me

You can follow me on Twitter for more wine info, potential food pairings, and an occasional recipe or two.  Be warned, I’m also a sports fan and there are occasional Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates tweets.  I attended the University of South Carolina, so during football season, there will also be some Gamecock posts.

 

If you like this post, consider joining Cliffs Wine Picks Wine Blog on Facebook and giving me a Like.

 

Cheers!

 

 

This is original to CliffsWinePicks.com.  Copyright 2013 Cliff’s Wine Picks.

All rights reserved.

 

 

 

***** Shameless Self Promotion *****

 

Here is a link to a YouTube video of me getting “coal” from Santa for being named the “Nicest Person in Social Media” in 2012.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOvQTeGR3-c

 

 

 

Breaking news from Klout:

Klout

 

 

Cliff’s Wine Picks mentions or other posts

Here are posts, newsletters, blogs or other articles that either mention this site or that I have written:

 

Snooth

WINES WE’VE LOVED!  Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-we-yve-loved/?viewall=1#ixzz2yOsinkhN

 

Snooth

OUR FAVORITE REDS FOR SPRING – The Wine Cognoscenti Recommend

http://www.snooth.com/articles/our-favorite-reds-for-spring/?viewall=1#ixzz2xkH0dfSj

 

Snooth

WHAT’S A GREAT GRENACHE? – Our Friendly Wine Experts Share Their Favorites!

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-ys-a-great-grenache-5209/

 

Snooth

SPRING TIME IS FOR PAIRING – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/spring-time-is-for-pairing/

 

Balzac

Balzac Communications & Marketing – News & Views

http://balzaccommunications.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/y/948F113D27729D90/DF475947E7F379DE2A1BF84ACBDD178B

 

Snooth

WHAT WE’VE BEEN DRINKING – News and Reviews from Around the Blogosphere

http://www.snooth.com/articles/what-we-yve-been-drinking/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4idw7a

 

Snooth

WINES THAT RANG OUR BELL IN FEBRUARY 2014 – Our Favorite Wine Writers Share Their Picks

http://www.snooth.com/articles/wines-that-rang-our-bell-in-february-2014/?viewall=1#ixzz2vy4DCh5L

 

Crave Local

California Wine Reviews: Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family Vineyard

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/california-wine-reviews-cline-cellars-and-jacuzzi-family-vineyard/

 

Crave Local

Sample Boutique Wines at Affordable Prices with Tastingroom.com

http://www.cravelocal.com/all-favorites/sample-boutique-wines-at-affordable-prices-with-tastingroom-com/

 

 

 

Remember to support your local wine store!

 

 

 

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

Notes – I use the “official” Cellar Tracker name for the wines.  I use Cellar Tracker to help manage and organize my cellar.  I highly recommend checking it out at www.cellartracker.com.  Loading you existing cellar is a lot less intimidating than it would first appear.  There is a good chance 99% of your wine is already in the system, so you generally only need to enter part of the wine’s name and the system will find it for you.

 

 

Prices noted are the prices I paid at the time of purchase.  I don’t shop around to find the best prices, but my local store is usually VERY competitive.  I generally get case discounts, and since I work there part time, I get a 5% discount.  Wines purchased direct from a winery do not include any shipping charges.  None of the prices include the sales tax.

 

 

All wines that were sent to me free of charge to sample will be noted and I will show suggested prices when available.

 

 

 

Cheers!