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Austrian vs Geman Rieslings

Germany widely claims to produce the best Rieslings in the world and many of us love those amazing and undervalued wines. Being a proud Austrian, my friend Roland said he felt compelled to challange that claim! With another German Riesling lovers, he opted for the ultimate test, which is a 6-round Riesling knock out competition AUSTRIA vs GERMANY.

Each of us has collected the best Rieslings that we were able to find for this challange, with varying style and vintages. In each round we will let 2 wines compete against each other. The country with most rounds won will be the true "King of Riesling" The tasting was followed by a home cooked German/Austrian dinner. We had some Austrian chocolates and cheese as well.

That was an interesting tasting with a dinner.

Round 1

2011 Riesling Fass 18 'Kupp 56', Weingut Peter Lauer, ABV 14%

Ripe, polished, pure and generous. Lemons, slate rocks and honey. on the nose. Masses of spices, minerals, and salts slowly unfolding over the 60 seconds finish. I was told this wine will be labeled Grosses Gewachs 2012. Kupp 56 refers to a special plot of land planted by the owners’s grandfather in 1956.

2001 Fx Pichler, Durrensteiner Kellerberg, ABV 12.5 %

Lemony, hint of honey with layers of mandarin zest. It is lighter and spicy with along grip of minerality. Obviously easier for the lighter alcohol.

Round 2

2011 Weingut Alexander Laible “Tausend Sterne”, ABV 14.5%

Passion fruit and ripe pineapple, dried apricots. Supressed in rosewood in the nose. On the palate, it exhales a great tension, making me nervous. Linear acidity.

1993 Josef Loimer, Langenloiser Riesling, ABV 13%

Extremely floral and spicy. Not much to write about, probably this wine is not easy to describe. A memorable wine.

Round 3

2011 Burg Ravensburger Husarenkappe, ABV 13%

Much riper. Almost like tropical, this VDP estate will become a GG. Very tasty.

1978 Osberger Riesling, ABV 12.5%

Maderized style. Fruit is still lurking. Creamy long mineral finish. Very special. A food wine by now, matching exactly mushrommy dishes, omelette and most Chinese stewed dishes.

Round 4

2010 Weingut Donnhoff Norheimer Dellchen GG, ABV 13.5%

A Riesling that shows the mirrored quality of the soil - a pure stony freshness in aroma and on the palate, with structure, firm citrus and stone fruit notes. A lot to go.

Prager, Steinriegl Riesling Federspiel 2011, ABV 12.5

A wonderful wine, whose appeal is accentuated by the spritzig. A sting of acidity, mineral and stone offset by a fine edge of sweetness and quinine like bitterness. In retrospect everything is to be found on the nose. . . blossom and lime, flint, metal and powder. The opening attack is searing and exaggerated, a mouth full of pebbles dipped in acid. . . it's lean and hard, tight and straight. . . later a tonic water, citrus pith bitterness which only serves to underline the chiseled, slightly distant beauty. 12.5%. A WS 93-94.

Round 5

2007 Weingut Shafer Froehlich Felsenberg(Bockenau, Nahe), ABV 13.5%

Noticeably reductive nose, prominent yeasty, cool vegetal and herbaceous notes, restrained peach and citrus fruit, some leeks, tart mineral notes, light lactic and volatile notes. Full-bodied and quite juicy on the palate, prominent yeasty notes, herbaceous notes and some leeks, light lactic and volatile notes again, fairly prominent acidity, mature tannins, persistent, lemony and earthy notes, light waxy notes, has some substance, fairly persistent, good grip, still very restless, sweetish notes, good bite and contours on a very good finish, but still with uncertain predictions as to its development.

1992 Domaine Wachau 1000 Eimerberg, ABV 12.5%

Very limy, schewepps like. And is very very good.

Round 6

2005 Weingut Klau Peter Keller G-Max, Rheinhessen, ABV 13.5%

these are statuesque wines, forceful and dense with a polished fruit yet, above all else, they flaunt their minerality and dance across the palate. Top Cuvee, probably the most expensive Riesling in the world. In my view, this probably one of the best German Rieslings I had ever tasted.

2009 SALOMON UNDHOF Kremstal DAC Riesling Kögl, ABV 12.5%

Rich, ripe, broad, almost tropical. Spicy and mineral finish.

Dinner Wines

Dinner wines start with the dual flight of Dveri Pax Riesling 2011 and Dveri Pax Riesling M(single vineyard)2009. Then followed by 1990 Weiggut Peter Lauer Sket Reserva, 2009 Weingut Burg Ravesburg Lemberger Dicker Franz, 2007 Arachon F. FX T., and finally 2005 Weingut Loersch Eifel TBA Riesling.


German Riesling won most of the time. I thought on 2 counts Austrians were Germans and obviously I was very wrong: Austrians gave nice surprises. The ringer Slovenian Riesling Dveri Pax M Riesling(Single vineyard) was considered very good. A very nice tasting/dinner.

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