Germany, Nahe

Germany is fully capable of producing some of the world's great white wines. One hundred years ago the demand for and thus prices commanded for the wines from the finest vineyards in Piesport, Morcobrunn and Rudesheim rivalled the best wines from Bordeaux. Largely due to the lack of government regulation into the quality of wine output, Germany over the past century became known for producing sweet sugar-water wines at cheap costs, flooding the world market. This has had a negative effect on the perception of Germany wines worldwide, but rest assured we only choose to stock Germany wines of high quality.

The Riesling grape with all its versatility is the main grape variety, and whilst many countries make Riesling, none can match the mouth-watering freshness and supreme delicacy achieved in a Mosel Kabinett from a top producer. Germany dry Rieslings as a rule tend to to be very graceful and elegant as compared to Rieslings from other countries, with an emphasis on finesse, not power. Standout producers such as Robert Weil make the headlines, but Donnhoff, JL Wolf, A Christmann and Dr Loosen are too worth seeking out.

Another most interesting contribution from Germany was Eiswine (ice wine), which until the 1970s was a freak of nature, though is now carefully managed. To produce Eiswine, parcels of vines are left out exposed to the frost, and although the production cost is astronomical they remain very popular. Robust Pinot Blancs and Pinot Gris are also produced in the whites and Pinot Noir, referred to as Spätburgunder is also grown.

The climate in Germany is, for the most part, cool, the exception being in the Pfalz and in Baden. As a result, vineyards are carefully selected with good sunlight exposure a must. For example along the banks of the Mosel River, vines are only planted one side, as there isn't enough sunlight exposure to ripen grapes on the north-facing side.

Key regions include Mosel and Nahe where extraordinary Rieslings are produced.
The wine region of Nahe in south west of Germany has over 300 vineyards, and runs along the Nahe River, which helps moderate the temperate climate. The river Nahe runs parallel to the river Mosel and the two wine regions are only 40km apart, with Nahe to the south east of Mosel.

The three main regions in Nahe are Upper Nahe (diverse soil types including sandstone, slate, melaphyre and porphyry), Bad Kreuznach (clay- and loess-based soils) and Lower Nahe (quartzite and slate soils). There is so much geological variation in Nahe that there is little uniformity in style, although Riesling tends to produce the finest wines. We tend to import a majority of Rieslings for this reason, although Pinot Gris, Sylvaner, Müller-Thurgau, Graue burgunder and more recently Kerner are also grown in the region.

Whites make up 75% of the vines, with Riesling the most widely planted. This was not always the case with Müller-Thurgau and Sylvaner each being the most widely planted at different times over the last century.

The region, as with Mosel can produce fantastic Eiswine (ice wine) though, due to the astronomical production costs, good examples will come at a considerable cost.
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  1. Donnhoff 'Oberhauser Leistenberg' Riesling Kabinett 2018
    Sourced from a steep, southeast-facing slope with grey clay slate soil. A perfect vineyard for Kabinett wines! A cool, fresh nose with white peach, fresh fig and apple aromas. With well-defined, spicy fruit, very elegant with a wonderful balance between ... Learn More
  2. Dr Loosen 'Graacher Himmelreich' Kabinett 2017
    The small village of Graach lies between two more-famous neighbours: Bernkastel and Wehlen. This vineyard’s steep, southwest-facing slopes and deep soils produce wines that combine the elegance of Wehlen with the rustic strength of Bernkastel. Because of the forceful ... Learn More
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  3. Brundlmayer 'Heiligenstein Lyra' Riesling 2016
    A stunning combination of elegance and rustic strength. Aromas or white fruit and citrus with floral notes.Rich on the palate with juicy fruit and the crisp minerality balances the slight sweetness. ... Learn More
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  4. Donnhoff Hermannshohle Riesling Grosses Gewachs 2018
    A perfect, steep southern slope with soils consisting of blackish grey slate and volcanic elements, extremely rich in minerals. This legendary site is the best-rated vineyard in the entire Nahe region. The vines are up to 60 years old and give ... Learn More
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