TN 2019 Hofgut Falkenstein "Herrenberg" Spätlese feinherb #4 - some thoughts about 2019

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Martin Zwick, May 27, 2020.

  1. 2019 Hofgut Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese feinherb #4

    Wonderful silky-elegant style and stunning depth. A gorgeous Spätlese in the making, I hope I will have the chance to drink it in 20-30 years.

    Overall I am deeply impressed about the quality and potential of 2019 Riesling. Fair to say I haven’t tasted that much due to the pandemic, but the few bottles of Riesling from Mosel&Rheinhessen showed a remarkable balance, inner peace, clarity, extract, good integrated harmonious acidity and an epic depth. Huge potential!

    Around 2-3 weeks ago I said to a friend in NY, a famous Riesling-collector&expert, after opening a 2019 Keller von der Fels, it is not a vintage like any I had since 2010, rather a vintage from the good old times. Anyway whether you compare it to 1937 like Stephan Reinhardt or whatever vintage some journalists will write, I recommend to spend BIG on 2019. Fair to say the quantity is small. Even for me I could order only max 6 bottles Willi Schaefer „Domprobst“ Kabinett from one dealer in Germany.


    Stay healthy,
    Andrew Stevenson likes this.
  2. Its been pointed out to me that there are rave reviews in MFW for a couple of the Falkenstein '19s.
  3. We've had a fab run of German vintages recently haven't we?

  4. CLIMATE CHANGE, pure and simple.

    We had no bad vintage since 2001 in Germany. Only 2003&2006 is a bit mediocre.

    From these beautiful indian summer we had in september/october in the last years, from these optimal conditions could the german winemakers only dream in the 80s and 90s.
  5. Never been keen on '03 or '06 & having checked we have none in our 'cellar'. :cool:
  6. Well at least you found six and early in the buying cycle. (Edit)
    Does look very promising Vintage indeed.
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
  7. Must admit I’ve been on a hunt for a few of the highly sought after and already released wines. Managed a few bottles of most but not easy and not plentiful.
  8. Very bad thread Martin... I bought both Falkestein Spatlese and W Schaeffer Kabinett wines mentioned above in 2018... and if people with bigger budget than I ask for it...I am sure I will lose my allocation... Damned! ... and I was born in (French) Mosel...
    Charles Muttar likes this.
  9. I don’t think so. I buy a fair bit yet received very little or none of certain types. I did get 3 bottles of Falkenstein which was good but zero J Haart again and I buy many cases from a few suppliers each year.
    This year I’ve spread my wings as given amounts and other good customers even buying 10 or 30 cases a year doesn’t get you any allocation of certain producers.
    Charles Muttar likes this.
  10. Fingers crossed then.
  11. Of course Hofgut Falkenstein bottles are difficult to get even for german winelovers. BUT there are other good Kabi in 2019, for example „Elisenberg“ Kabinett by Max Ferd. Richter.
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
    Charles Muttar likes this.
  12. Looking at a few of the early reviews it seems there are many good Kabs. I grabbed some Stefan Müller as well as the Fritz Haag, J Haart and small amounts of Falkenstein. Richter looks another but I’m sure there are many others so some great wine to go around.
  13. I've just managed to buy a 6 pack of 2018 Nierdermenniger Herrenberg Spatlese Feinherb AP03, Hofgut Falkenstein from a UK merchants broking site for only £90/6.

    I searched far and wide and even spoke directly to Martin about where to find it. I'm very happy indeed.
    Charles Muttar and Nick Amis like this.
  14. There's a lot of excellent German Rieslings out there and not just from the latest vintage. I'm a bit surprised at the breathless tone about one or two producers as well as about the current vintage.

    There are plenty of high quality producers at mostly reasonable prices so it is quite easy to explore and find what one likes and not to follow fashions and trends. Some people might like dry versions, others auslese, most here love JJP. I'm happy with all three, but don't necessarily want a cellar full of any of them. Going to the Ripley tasting, taking your time tasting as well as buying some older vintages from HR is surely the best way to figure out what you like and not necessarily chasing the latest hot thing...

    A few people would have tasted a few wines from 2019, some perhaps more than that, but mostly it's an unknown at this stage. In 2015 and in many previous vintages the same sort of noises were made and given the high level of heat in 2019, I remain cautious. Top producers have been learning how to deal with global warming, so I'm sure a good producer who makes wine in the style you like will likely have produced good wine. As in most hot years, we are told this is the vintage of the decade/century/millennium and given the extreme conditions we've had in 2019 there's bound to be some big wines out there, but that's not what I'm after.

    I've just had a bottle of R Haart's Piesporter Goldtroepfchen Kabinett from 2006, probably the exact opposite of a "solar" vintage and it was a lovely bottle, full of charm and quiet refinement. Of course, there are better wines out there, but the style of winemaking suits me and hits the spot. I'm sure it's not for everyone, but then that's a good thing!
  15. Amen. 2015, 17, 18, 19 all touted as vintages of the century.
  16. 2001/03/05 were all similarly proclaimed.
  17. That's a very good post, Stefan. There are indeed lots of really good producers in the Mosel and top quality wines can be bought for relatively little money and in most casses without difficulty (no need to worry about allocations etc).

    As it happens, I discovered Falkenstein more or less by accident during a cycling trip down the Mosel valley three years ago. I'd never heard of Falkenstein but we drank a bottle of one of their wines one evening and it was excellent. The main point I took away from that trip was that excellent wines are produceed by people I've never heard of, and not that Falkenstein's (and those of several other discoveries) were actually any better than the ones I already knew about.

    I also like Reinhold Haart's wines very much. I've not felt motivated to seek out Falkenstein's wines in preference to the other producers' wines I already knew and loved.

    And all the 2006s I've had have been very good.
  18. 18 wasn’t really was it ? Some good at top end but many a bit sweet and fat. The tasting bore that out.
    Most years will produce decent enough wines of one sweetness level or another especially at the pricing.

    there are some producers that seem flavour of the month but it’s not a bad thing to buy them if you have tasted and know them or just fancy grabbing a bottle to try. I had never heard of Falkenstein until the tasting at HR and to be honest the Gisela was the one that I really liked, the Feinherb Kab I wasn’t that bothered by. I did also like their Krettnacher Spatlese and Auslese (especially as the Auslese is very cheap) as their style suited the hotter year.
    I also bought W Schafer, Frolich, Keller , Lauer and of course Prum. I buy Prum pretty much every year. (Probably some others as well)

    I’ll be buying a nice cross section again this year though won’t taste all of course given the situation but there have been a few early releases and I’ve managed to try a few bottles. So far I’ve liked what I’ve tried.
    Yesterday a case of Stefan Muller turned up. Like all of these will need keeping for a good number of years.
  19. The 2001s I’ve drank over last 2-3 years have all been very good to excellent across all producers as sweetness levels.
    Only had 3 producers with Kab, Spat and Auslese (still needs time) I have Prum Spat and Auslese left.
    Loving the Spatlese.
  20. I actually think the poorer vintages age better as the acid gives them lift and 'cut' even after fifteen/twenty years. Unfortunately they're the kind of vintages we're going to see fewer of in our lifetimes
  21. I'll second the poorer vintage comment, Tom: I love 2013 for example at the right addresses.

    One puzzle for me is at what age do I like them most - to my taste many drink very well when young and I don't think they shut down anything like Burgundy can. I enjoy older bottles, but sometimes they lose the electricity and don't necessarily gain enough in complexity to compensate. But then there are those that do!

    I also wonder how some of those 'modern' Kabinetten that float in Russell's photos will age - it should be very interesting to see them in a few years time. I wouldn't be surprised if they blossom as they unfurl but since they seem to be made in a very different way to the 'traditional' producers I really have no clue. It's great fun to try to imagine how they might evolve.

    The wines are generally also incredibly versatile, you'd be hard pressed to find food they would clash with.

    I hope this region can avoid the madness that engulfed first Bordeaux and now Burgundy. I think we all have a part to play in that, like Mike, I try to buy a decent range, usually after going to the tasting (not this year :(). Long may it last!
    Ken Oliver likes this.
  22. Modern? I love these Kabi because they are entirely traditional and as old fashioned as is possible these days.

    Yesterdays floater. ;)

    Charles Muttar likes this.
  23. I see, maybe I don't know what traditional means then for these wines :oops:

    From memory some seem more precise and elegant then what I remember late 90s, early 00s Grunhaus, Karthauserhof, Weil or Donnhoff wines, but that was a long time ago, so I'm probably completely unreliable.

    How do you reckon they will evolve over say 5-10 years Russell? Should we drink them young or be patient (obvs both, but still)
  24. Well. It’s hard to define!

    I hope they will age similarly to older wines picked at the same levels, like older Grunhaus, (Wilhelm era) Fritz Haag and Egon.

    The producers I'm really enjoying are focussing on low alcohol, wines picked at lower Oeschlse. It’s all Klaus-Peter Keller’s fault I suppose.
  25. I love the low alcohol yet full flavour thing with these wines, as does my aging metabolism! I'm OK with a fuller style sometimes, as long as it comes with enough acid to balance, so R Haart or Vollenweider with 3-5 years age are r4ight up there for me. Must be going soft in my old age!

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