Grosses Gewächs 2013 – part 2

These 73 reviews of both Rieslings and Silvaners comprise the second tranche of Michael's report on this year's Grosses Gewächs marathon. Reports on the 2012 reds will follow. See this guide to our extensive coverage of Germany's 2013 whites and 2012 reds.

The wines below, from Rheingau, Pfalz and Franken, are grouped by region and then alphabetically by producer surname.

RHEINGAU 

Barth, Hattenheimer Hassel Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Compliments on the management of the malolactic fermentation, as despite its early buttery impact, invigorating acidity has been retained nevertheless. Quite delicate, lively and fresh with a mixture of green and yellow fruit flavour, the Hassel has an instant precocious appeal. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2019
16.5

Diefenhardt'sches, Martinsthaler Langenberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

A slightly herbaceous aroma remotely reminiscent of hops may be an acquired smell, but as I am also quite fond of the fermented grain, I quite favour the idiosyncrasy of this fragrance. On the palate gentle flavours of green and citrus fruit including a tang of peel produce one of the lighter styles of Grosses Gewächs with a well-measured level of acidity. (MS)

Drink
2014
2019
16

Hessische Staatsweingüter Kloster Eberbach, Hochheimer Domdechaney Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2012 Rheingau

I only spotted this as a 2012 because of the relatively relaxed acidity. It was then that the almost glycerol-like texture and the spirity yet clear eau-de-vie character of the fruit began to make sense. Peach and apricot come in generous measure with a ripe and juicy expression. Full bodied and furnished with a long finish, the Domdechaney is certainly worthy of its Grosse Gewächse status. (MS)

Drink
2013
2019
17.5

August Eser, Erbacher Siegelsberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Stone fruit and herbs form an attractive partnership of aromas. I never complain too much about edges on youthful Riesling and the Siegelberg has plenty. Some might call it a bit raw, but to me the combination of quinine and salty flavours are an expression of pure minerality and therefore thoroughly recommendable. The residual sugar content has been toned down, the substance is compact, the future looks good. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
17

Joachim Flick, Hochheimer Königin Victoriaberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Idiosyncratic nose of hay and wooden tea box makes for an attractive opening. The herbal theme continues on the palate, but is well supplemented by fruit, clear, fresh and almost spirity in its eau-de-vie-like expression. Excellent extract and good length in what would have been Queen Victoria’s favourite Grosses Gewächs. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

Joachim Flick, Wickerer Nonnberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Flick manages to extract some unique aromas from his Grosse Gewächse, and the Nonnberg exhibits a wonderful fresh woodland fragrance with forest flowers, herbs and even a delicate notion of birch resin. All these scents give it a really exhilarating quality, which is further enhanced on the palate by vibrant acidity and some crunchy green fruit flavours. Unusual it may be, but it’s definitely delightful too. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

Schloss Johannisberg, Johannisberger Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

I would have missed out on this one, had it not been brought to my attention by my Danish colleague Rolf Madsen, who made me taste his six favourite wines of the presentation blind. With over 400 wines some are bound to slip through the net, some I still hope to catch up with at other events, but even though my notebook had already been closed, this one merits more than just a recommendation. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
18

Toni Jost – Hahnenhof, Wallufer Walkenberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Herbs and hay are not an uncommon fragrance in the 2013 Rheingau Grosse Gewächse, but the Walkenberg also manages a decent amount of fruit on the palate with melon and pear the leading contenders. Add a light stony minerality, a gentle bitter-peel note, rich texture and good extract, and you find a Grosses Gewächs which has negotiated the adverse conditions of 2013 extremely well. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17

Jakob Jung, Erbacher Siegelsberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Meadow herbs, hay and a hint of stone fruit build a successful partnership of aromas. Flavours are quite compact, most of all a stony minerality with a deft touch of quinine. Substance and extract cannot be faulted. Maybe 2013 did not allow as much accumulation of fruit as warmer vintages, but a gentle expression of melon and peach goes well with the vibrant acidity. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
16.5

Franz Künstler, Hochheimer Hölle Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Together with Wegeler and Breuer, Gunter Künstler has been one of the early protagonists of dry Rheingau Riesling and his experience shows in this difficult vintage. He has managed to accumulate a generous amount of juicy fruit which is well balanced by mouthwatering acidity. A salty tang on the finish adds complexity. (MS)

Drink
2014
2024
18

Franz Künstler, Hochheimer Kirchenstück Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

A waxy, polish-like fragrance indicates high ripeness of the grapes at picking time. The palate exhibits some very aromatic fruit including peach and nectarines, the acidity is juicy, the body well rounded. A green peel tang adds a nice bite to the finish, well supported by the customary dab of minerality. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2024
18

Franz Künstler, Kostheimer Weiss Erd Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

An intriguing fragrance of apricot and gooseberry titillates the olfactory senses. On the palate the Weiss Erd is far from purely fruit-driven, as a cool stony minerality, full body and rich texture make a mockery of the challenging conditions of 2013. With its excellent structure and harmonious expression, even at this early stage this would be a top Grosses Gewächs in any vintage. (MS)

Drink
2014
2024
18.5

Langwerth von Simmern, Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

To me, the Marcobrunn of this estate has clearly benefitted from the lower residual sugar regime of the Grosse Gewächse category. It may not be the most expressive on the nose, but its green and yellow fruit content is ripe, not sweet, and perfectly balanced by the authentic acidity of the vintage. In previous years I seemed to detect gentle notes of wood, but this time round I am far more enamoured with the presence of a sound element of minerality. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17

Langwerth von Simmern, Hattenheimer Mannberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

A combination of hay, herbs and yellow fruit sets a first accent, which is followed by more of the same on the palate. All components are finely balanced, the acidity is lively but not cutting. The Mannberg represents a well-made Grosses Gewächs without any great frills or thrills, but thoroughly enjoyable is already a substantial achievement in a difficult vintage. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17

Georg Müller Stiftung, Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

As in previous years, I still seem to detect hint of oak, probably due to barrel fermentation, but in 2013 this has been kept to the minimum, leaving enough room for some attractive herbal aromas and a gentle contribution of stone fruit. With its creamy texture and well-integrated acidity the Nussbrunnen presents itself very harmonious already. (MS)

Drink
2014
2019
16.5

von Oetinger, Erbacher Siegelsberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

A dash flinty, lightly herbaceous, but most of all surprisingly citrusy in its expression of fruit. But the Siegelsberg does not finish there and adds a substantial offering of salty minerality on the palate. Complexity of flavour, compact substance and a rich texture add up to a thoroughly commendable Grosses Gewächs. It seems that the name of the estate is not the only thing that has changed. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

von Oetinger, Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Quite restrained on the nose, but nevertheless exhibiting a fine fragrance of fresh yellow fruit. On the palate, fresh grapefruit and lime contribute a mouthwateringly juicy expression. Oetinger’s Marcobrunn has excellent substance and a solid backbone of acidity. It may still be a little rough around the edges at this early stage, but shows plenty of promise. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

Fred Prinz, Hallgartener Jungfer Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Flowery on the nose, but also with a fragrance of hand lotion, Nivea in the best possible taste. On the palate it is classic dry Riesling of the lighter school with juicy green fruit and brazen acidity. Vibrant and fresh, more for drinking soon than the long term. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2019
16

Balthasar Ress, Hattenheimer Nussbrunnen Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Mint and elderflower present an unusual combination of green, but nevertheless very attractive aromatics. This different style is consolidated on the palate, where once again a true essence of freshness is based more on herbs and even a touch of green nettles then exuberance of fruit. Green should not be mistaken for unripe, as demonstrated by a generous texture and animating, but never sharp, acidity. Consistent like Magnus Magnusson, it starts aromatic, and so it finishes. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

Josef Spreitzer, Hattenheimer Wisselbrunnen Riesling Erstes Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

The Spreitzer brothers always manage substance, texture and extract, but – call me hyper-critical – for my personal taste, the 2013 Wisselbrunnen has turned out a little too medicinal in its expression. Maybe I’m a little bit like a child: they tell you medicine is good for you, and they are probably right, but it will never become flavour of the month. Maybe time will change the complexion? (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
16.5

Schloss Vollrads, Winkeler Schlossberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

Still very subdued on the nose, faint notion of glycerol as in hand cream. Fairly compact on the palate. The acidity of the vintage has been well integrated, gentle notes of citrus fruit seem to be expanding on the palate and finish with a pronounced taste of zesty, delicately bitter, peel. (MS)

Drink
2014
2019
16

Robert Weil, Kiedricher Gräfenberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Rheingau

I was only ever once disappointed by the Gräfenberg and that was in 2010. 2013 was an equally challenging vintage, but this time round there is a lot more ripeness and substance. Intense fruit aromas and waxy honey make for a very promising beginning, and this first impression is backed up by a full body, creamy texture and juicy stone fruit on the palate. The well-pitched animating acidity contributes to an excellent structure, and the customary dash of minerality is not missing. It also appears a little drier than it used to be, an improvement in my book. (MS)

Drink
2014
2023
18

PFALZ 

Acham-Magin, Forster Pechstein Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

The style of the Acham-Magin Pechstein is consistent over the years, and even in 2013 the acidity has been well contained. Sweet and juicy pear and melon certainly do not lack in seductive appeal, a gentle earthy touch adds intrigue, but the residual sugar makes its presence more than felt for my liking. For those who like the softer version of Grosses Gewächs this should fit the bill. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2019
16.5

Bassermann-Jordan, Forster Pechstein Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

A flowery fragrance accompanies aromas of ripe green and citrus fruit, but expectations of a Pechstein gone soft are unfounded. The palate certainly shows plenty of edge with a pronounced salty minerality and sound acidity. The firm grip is loosened a bit by a full body and generous texture. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

Bassermann-Jordan, Deidesheimer Hohenmorgen Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

The Hohenmorgen has managed to assemble an impressive amount of fruit in 2013, including pear, melon and even a little citrus fruit. I know that I keep moaning about the sweeter interpretation of Bassermann’s Grosse Gewächse, but in the case of this wine, balance does not only come from the lively acidity, but also a deft touch of salty minerality. A well-rounded body and long finish complete a commendable performance. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

Bassermann-Jordan, Deidesheimer Kalkofen Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

It’s almost scary how much my notes resemble those I took for the 2010 rendition of this Grosses Gewächs. On the plus side I see the combination of oozing pear fruit and animating acidity as a true expression of the particular terroir of the Kalkofen. The winemaker does show his hand a little with the generous remnant of residual sugar, because he obviously believes that it brings out the best of this site. It’s fresh, its harmonious, but it’s not quite dry enough for my kind of trocken. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17

Reichsrat von Buhl, Forster Pechstein Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

Gooseberries and rhubarb reflect the successful combination of the sweet and sour elements of the vintage. The acidity is ripe enough not to be cutting, but crisp enough to lend an edge. A gentle earthy and stony component adds terroir authenticity. The texture is amazingly velvety, turning the initial grip into an almost soft embrace. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
16.5

Reichsrat von Buhl, Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

A little unpleasant at first, but the veil of sulphur lifts to reveal some ripe citrus fruit aromas. On the palate, a sweet note takes the sting out of the sound acidity, but before I can condemn von Buhl’s Reiterpfad for being simply and solely pleasant, a salty tang lays claim to minerality and brings an element of complexity to proceedings. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
17

Dr Bürklin-Wolf, Forster Pechstein Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

I think most of us know that old golfers never die but lose something towards the end of their playing days. Old tasters can avoid that fate if they remain open-minded. In the case of Bürklin-Wolf, I have come to appreciate a little more the results of their biodynamic efforts. The Pechstein is subtle and compact at the same time. I believe that lime and salt constitute ingredients of some kind of crude cocktail, but the Pechstein manages the same thing in a far more refined way. The invigorating acidity might have been overwhelming, were it not for the solid substance, full body, rich texture and fresh fruit of this truly great growth. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
18.5

Dr Bürklin-Wolf, Deidesheimer Hohenmorgen Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

A generous fragrance of ripe stone and citrus fruit only hints at the abundance of fresh and zesty flavours on the palate. How they manage to load their Hohenmorgen with such an abundance of juicy grapefruit and orange in a vintage like 2013 borders onto the unbelievable, but many years of biodynamic practice in the vineyards seem to be reaping their rewards. It only needs mere nuances of spice and flint to heighten the drinking pleasure, and with all this concentration of flavour the mouthwatering acidity can be nothing but welcome to provide the perfect balance. (MS)

Drink
2014
2023
18.5

Dr Bürklin-Wolf, Deidesheimer Langenmorgen Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

A fresh fragrance of tropical fruit tempts the olfactory perception. On the palate, grapefruit and lime provide plenty of juice, and the salivary glands are stimulated even more by very invigorating acidity. A delicate subtle salty tang spices up the performance. The Langenmorgen has good substance, but does not try to overpower with concentration. Subtle already at such an early stage, this could turn out one of the most complex offerings of the vintage. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2023
18.5

A Christmann, Deidesheimer Langenmorgen Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

Subtle fragrance combines floral, dusty and ripe fruit aromas. The fruit of Christmann’s Langenmorgen is always generous, and even in 2013 he has not failed to garner an impressive array of yellow and stone fruit notes, superbly balanced by juicy acidity and perfected by a deft touch of stony minerality. A velvety texture and well-toned body complete a rewarding Grosses Gewächs experience. (MS)

Drink
2014
2023
18.5

A Christmann, Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

Christmann’s Reiterpfad shows a remarkable consistency over the vintages. There is always a fair measure of local fruit in the fragrance and flavour, a full body and generous texture and a slightly sweet element. Obviously 2013 sets its own accent with sound and lively acidity, a zesty citrus peel tang enhances the finish. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

Knipser, Dirmsteiner Mandelpfad Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

A truly fruity fragrance spans the spectrum from local orchard fruit to the downright exotic. The palate is titillated by an exciting combination of zesty orange and animating acidity, a salty lick adding further interest. If you like a bit of residual sugar with your trocken, this could be the one for you. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

Knipser, Laumersheimer Steinbuckel Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

Not quite Stonehenge, stone hump would be an apt translation for Steinbuckel, and the pronounced saline minerality certainly does justice to the name. The fragrance may still be seductively gentle with its floral and citrus aromas, but on the palate the hump rocks with crisp acidity, zippy grapefruit and salty tang. Racy and invigorating, it has enough depth and substance to go some distance, but is also tempting to be drunk early. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
18

Philipp Kuhn, Laumersheimer Steinbuckel Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

Philipp Kuhn first made his name with some excellent reds, but his Riesling has been growing in stature over the years, and I see his Steinbuckel up there with the best of the Pfalz. The nose seduces with a fine combination of orchard and meadow fragrances, the palate puts in a really mouthwatering performance with juicy citrus fruit and animating acidity. A gentle herbal notion and a stony edge bring complexity into the frame. Perfected by a generous texture and long finish. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
18.5

Philipp Kuhn, Laumersheimer Kirschgarten Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

Kirschgarten translates as cherry orchard, but strangely enough in 2013 it seems determined to trump the Steinbuckel on minerality. Having tasted it on two occasions, both times I found the chalky mineral element in charge of the performance, but very ably supported by juicy pear and melon flavours, and well balanced by lively acidity. For my liking it would not have needed the compromise of a sweet touch on the finish. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
18

Georg Mosbacher, Forster Freundstück Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

Gentle fragrance of ripe green fruit leads the way. On the palate, soft fruit flavours range from local pears to tropical guava and papaya. Lively acidity sets a refreshing counterpoint to the sweet fruit expression. The performance is successfully rounded off by a subtle contribution of earthy and stony notions. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

Georg Mosbacher, Deidesheimer Kieselberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

A sweet fragrance of citrus fruit more than just pleases the olfactory perception. The aromas find expression in ripe and juicy grapefruit and orange flavours which enter into a harmonious partnership with a delicate salty tang and a good measure of truly refreshing acidity. Not over-complicated, but generous and thoroughly enjoyable. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

von Winning, Forster Pechstein Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

Mandarin and apricot, but no, it’s not Viognier but winemaker Attmann’s barrique signature. There is far more to the Pechstein than just oak, however, as it exhibits an amazingly aromatic fragrance reminiscent of blackcurrant bud. With two such diametrically opposed influences it is obvious that they will take some time to merge into a harmonious partnership, but the sheer substance of this Grosses Gewächs promises a happy union. Despite the refreshing acidity this will never be traditional Riesling, but ‘de gustibus non est disputandum’. (MS) 

Drink
2015
2023
18

von Winning, Deidesheimer Kalkofen Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

With the Kalkofen, Attmann’s use of wood always appears a little more moderate, but no such restraint is shown in the expression of exotic fruit. Of course there is enough oak to add some tasteful spicy notion to the juicy tropical fruit flavours, but even the contribution of invigorating acidity is not quite enough to express that one of the main duties of a Grosses Gewächs is to be trocken. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

von Winning, Deidesheimer Kieselberg Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

Even if oak is used in the maturation of all von Winning’s Grosse Gewächse, it cannot be denied that they are masters in the art of variation. In the case of the Kieselberg it takes more of a caramel expression, which works perfectly well with the generous stone-fruit flavour. There seems a little less of the youthful clash of opposites than in one or two of the estate’s other wines, and even the residual sugar has been harnessed into a harmonious balance of components. This could be the one for earlier drinking, the final act of temptation completed by refreshing but never sharp acidity. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
18

von Winning, Deidesheimer Langenmorgen Riesling Grosses Gewächs 2013 Pfalz

If some of von Winning’s Grosse Gewächse exercise restraint, the Langenmorgen makes no such attempt. Vanilla and mandarin throw their aromatic power into the ring, exotic and tropical fruit will not be suppressed by the oaky embrace. There is no subtlety in the accumulation of all these sweet aromas, although minerality makes a gallant effort to set a counterpoint. This is one for the admirers of opulence and exuberance, lovers of the traditional style of dry German grands crus will be left behind. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
17.5
 

FRANKEN 

Johann Arnold, Iphöfer Julius-Echter-Berg Im Frohntal Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

Just when you think you know all the VDP producers… I had never heard of Herr Arnold, but on account of the Frohntal he deserves his membership. The nose, with its amazing span of fragrance from elderflower to passion fruit, certainly spurs curiosity. On the palate the fruit turns out a little more conventional but nevertheless attractive, fresh melon the main contender. A salty tang plays the mineral card, the acidity is invigorating. A reminder that there are always discoveries out there worth making. (MS)

Drink
2014
2019
17.5

Bürgerspital Würzburg, Würzburger Stein Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

Green strawberries and stewed rhubarb may sound like an eclectic mix, but if you are tempted by that fragrance, you will be rewarded on the palate by an animating combination of citrus, more gooseberry and even a hint of butterscotch. The acidity is lively, the texture creamy, the experience enjoyable and refreshing. (MS)

Drink
2014
2019
17

Bürgerspital Würzburg, Würzburger Stein-Harfe Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

From a parcel within the Stein, the Harfe is quite similar to its sibling, maybe with a just slightly riper note of citrus fruit complementing the stewed rhubarb aroma. The palate proves that the Stein is capable of complexity, as it combines the flavours of crunchy melon, juicy gooseberry and a tad of earthy minerality to sit comfortably on a soft cushion of rich texture and full body. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2019
17.5

Juliusspital Würzburg, Iphöfer Julius-Echter-Berg Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

Crushed green leaves and garden herbs produce a fragrance more vegetal than fruity, and on the palate the taste of sorrel adds to the challenge of the salivary glands. An almost frothy mouth-feel evokes associations of cream soda. Fresh and lively are certainly the main qualities of this Grosses Gewächs, but it seems to lack a little in depth. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2019
16

Juliusspital Würzburg, Würzburger Stein Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

My first Stein (no, not at the Oktoberfest, I have never been there) back in the 1970s reminded me a little bit of Chablis with its flinty minerality and green fruit. This one still does, although it may have beefed up a bit in texture and body. There still are those green and herbal notes, the faintly flowery fragrance and the salty, earthy tang, premier cru quality at least. (MS)

Drink
2014
2019
17.5

Fürst Löwenstein, Homburger Kallmuth Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

I have always had a weak spot for the Kallmuth, all the more reason to judge it with a critical eye. The lovely complexity of herbal aromas is still there in 2013, a marked fragrance of fresh spearmint adding further intrigue. The acidity has turned out astonishingly mellow, the body voluptuous , the texture rich. Even though this youngster is still energetic and lively, maybe we just need to watch out a little for the puppy fat. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2019
16.5

Horst Sauer, Escherndorfer Lump Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

Winning a top accolade at the IWC proves that this estate has achieved international recognition, which can only help Silvaner to step out of the shadow of Riesling. Lumpen can be translated as rag or tramp, but Horst and Sandra Sauer’s rendition certainly does not smell like either of those. A wonderfully fresh fragrance of herbs favours mint above all. On the palate some green-fruit notes such as melon and pear are complemented by a delicate bitter peel note. Although the Am Lumpen does not lack in acidity either, it still manages ample curves and a very generous texture. Full marks for concentration and finish. (MS)

Drink
2014
2021
18

Schmitt's Kinder, Randersacker Pfülben Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

A hint of nettles and mint puts a herbaceous angle on the fragrance, the flavour of gooseberries and herbs is attractively aromatic and well supported by an animating dash of acidity. The gently salty tang adds the mineral element to a Grosses Gewächs which relies more on charm than power. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2019
17

Zur Schwane, Escherndorfer Lump Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

Quite faint on the nose, but a most gentle aroma of exotic fruit eventually manages to attract attention. The tropical side of fruit exercises restraint on the palate, although a gentle notion of citrus peel adds a little zest to the rich creamy texture. A fine aromatic expression of pear and peel completes the flavour profile. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2019
17

Staatlicher Hofkeller Würzburg, Würzburger Stein Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

The timing was not perfect for this one, as a post-fermentation fragrance of pear drops does not quite do justice to the varietal aromas. On the palate we already get a better feel or taste of authenticity with herbal notions and a citrus fruit element bringing some edge to a rich and creamy texture. The acidity is lively, the residual sugar just a fraction too prominent for my liking. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2019
16.5

Am Stein – Ludwig Knoll, Stettener Stein Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

One eminent German wine critic believes that this may be the best Silvaner in Germany. I am not sure about that, but the ‘other’ Stein certainly exhibits a fascinating fragrance reminiscent of meadow flowers and herbs, complemented by a slightly flinty aroma. On the palate, the herbal theme continues with a delightful contribution of mint, and although a green fruit component does not dominate the flavour, it enters into an animating alliance with ample acidity. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
17.5

Weltner, Rödelseer Küchenmeister Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

A more than taciturn man, Paul Weltner lets his Silvaner do all the talking, and the Küchenmeister has plenty to say for himself! On the nose a fragrance of herbs, gooseberries and some faint vegetal notes does already drop more than a hint of complexity. The palate adds the flavour of zesty grapefruit and lime, a smidgeon of earthy minerality and a little bit of thyme and oregano if my rudimentary knowledge of the herb garden does not let me down. A dab of butterscotch may be unusual, but it does reflect that the acidity is ripe rather than rasping. A class act. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2021
18

Hans Wirsching, Iphöfer Kronsberg Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

A fragrance of mandarin and butterscotch reveals suspicions of barrel fermentation, but the palate reveals that even if my hunch is right, it has all be done in the best possible taste. The flavour of citrus fruit is quite delicate and ably supported by refreshing acidity. Herbal and mineral components do not feature all that prominently, but the Kronsberg’s first duty seems to lie in its delightful freshness. (MS)

Drink
2014
2019
17

Hans Wirsching, Iphöfer Julius-Echter-Berg Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

The nose is still a little reticent at this infant stage of development, but the palate of Wirsching’s Julius-Echter-Berg comes straight to the point. In 2013 as in every other vintage the core of this Grosses Gewächs lies in its delivery of precise minerality. Salt of the earth may be taken literally in this case. If I have one criticism, I believe that this demonstration would be aided even more by a drier expression, although the winemaker probably knows better than I how much minerality on the rocks his customers are prepared to take. A little sweet and sour seems to go a longer way. (MS)

Drink
2014
2019
17

Zehnthof Luckert, Sulzfelder Maustal Silvaner Grosses Gewächs 2013 Franken

Fresh, almost medicinal fragrance of green leaves and mint acts as an attractive opening act to a Silvaner that also plays the herbal card on the palate. A dash of sorrel represents a reflection of both the vegetal flavour and mouthwatering acidity. A creamy texture and high extract vouch for the quality of the grapes. (MS) 

Drink
2014
2019
17

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