WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:23 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
Lars Carlberg wrote:I think it's good that some growers, especially on the Mosel, are confident enough to avoid putting "dry" on the label, even if the wine is dry. It makes people taste first, before dismissing a wine.


Lars,

that may work for people such as you or perhaps me who buy lots and lots of the wines, and so purchasing "test" bottles to see what a wine is like works fine. For the general consumer, who buys a few bottles of Mosel Riesling (or any Riesling for that matter - they make some good Riesling in other parts of Germany, or so I am told by knowledgable tasters), the more information the better. Asking them to buy test bottles where a producer could easily give them information about which ones to buy to suit their perferences, especially for a niche category (and yes, dry German Riesling is a niche category outside of Germany) is frankly not a smart marketing strategy, no matter how you might feel about it. Of course German Riesling labeling has never, ever been accused of good marketing, so I suppose it's not really surprising that people are still confused about what's actually in the bottle.


David -- Agreed. It's a mess and unfortunate, but more and more producers are doing their own thing and sometimes, but not always, for good reasons. I've raised the same points with numerous producers. If you don't know their wines, it creates problems, especially in export markets. Some producers are frustrated with the old Prädikat system and are trying to find ways to better market their wines. The 1971 Wine Law is outdated and was generally wrongheaded to begin with, but certain interest groups, such as large-scale bottlers, like it this way. That's why the VDP has been making their own changes, which is influencing non-members as well. To complicate matters even more, the EU has new wine-labeling laws. It presents an opportunity for further change, if the bulk bottlers and lesser producers go along with it. As for what's in the bottle, your average person has no clue, regardless if it's Immich-Batterieberg C.A.I. Riesling "Kabinett" or Willi Schaefer Graacher Domprobst Riesling Kabinett.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:35 am

Tim York wrote:
Lars Carlberg wrote:I think it's good that some growers, especially on the Mosel, are confident enough to avoid putting "dry" on the label, even if the wine is dry. It makes people taste first, before dismissing a wine.



Lars, I don't understand this point :? . The most likely reaction of many people when there is no dryness/sweetness indication is not to bother to taste at all. Even the lax "trocken" definition is better than nothing.

The Abstberg which I had in mind was Alte Reben Spätlese trocken 2008, which name incidentally provides good information to the consumer.


Tim, I understand your point. It'd be helpful to have an indicator. Ideally, a scale would be best. I guess Vouvray is another example with sec, demi-sec, sec tendre, and moelleux. But some of the top producers, like Francois Chidaine, leave off sec for their dry wines.

I like von Schubert's Alte Reben trocken 2008 too. By the way, the Prädikat "Spätlese" has been dropped and replaced with "Alte Reben." As with the VDP, Carl has done away with Prädikats for non-sweet Rieslings, except for Herrenberg Kabi feinherb.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:46 am

Salil wrote:
Lars Carlberg wrote:I think it's good that some growers, especially on the Mosel, are confident enough to avoid putting "dry" on the label, even if the wine is dry. It makes people taste first, before dismissing a wine.

And one wonders why German Rieslings still are so often misunderstood or ignored by most non-geeky wine consumers. :roll:


Salil. That's true. But Terry Theise brings up the excellent point about many French labels being no easier to understand for the layman. Moreover, the labeling of Geman Riesling is in a flux. Those who learned the Prädikat system are now confronted with even more and newer quality distinctions, terms, and so on. One of the main problems, which the VDP is trying to address, is the combination of Kabinett/Spätlese/Auslese + "trocken." Many people still don't understand this. By doing away with it, the taste profile of these Prädikats is reserved for sweeter styles then. This makes sense, but creates other problems.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Rahsaan » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:03 am

Lars Carlberg wrote:Salil. That's true. But Terry Theise brings up the excellent point about many French labels being no easier to understand for the layman..


I agree. Especially when we're talking about different wines across regions.

But the casual consumer can pretty easily learn what to expect from a Sancerre, Pouilly Fuisse, or a Cotes du Rhone. Hence the success of those categories. In comparison, if a Mosel Riesling ranges from teeth shattering acid juice to syrupy sweet, it will be a tougher sell to the broad market.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:19 am

Rahsaan wrote:
Lars Carlberg wrote:Salil. That's true. But Terry Theise brings up the excellent point about many French labels being no easier to understand for the layman..


I agree. Especially when we're talking about different wines across regions.

But the casual consumer can pretty easily learn what to expect from a Sancerre, Pouilly Fuisse, or a Cotes du Rhone. Hence the success of those categories. In comparison, if a Mosel Riesling ranges from teeth shattering acid juice to syrupy sweet, it will be a tougher sell to the broad market.


Rahsaan: Yes. That's why Vouvray, minus the Prädikats, is quite similar to the Mosel. Of course, the Rhine regions have dry to nobly sweet as well.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:00 pm

Lars Carlberg wrote:
Salil wrote:
Lars Carlberg wrote:I think it's good that some growers, especially on the Mosel, are confident enough to avoid putting "dry" on the label, even if the wine is dry. It makes people taste first, before dismissing a wine.

And one wonders why German Rieslings still are so often misunderstood or ignored by most non-geeky wine consumers. :roll:


Salil. That's true. But Terry Theise brings up the excellent point about many French labels being no easier to understand for the layman. Moreover, the labeling of Geman Riesling is in a flux. Those who learned the Prädikat system are now confronted with even more and newer quality distinctions, terms, and so on. One of the main problems, which the VDP is trying to address, is the combination of Kabinett/Spätlese/Auslese + "trocken." Many people still don't understand this. By doing away with it, the taste profile of these Prädikats is reserved for sweeter styles then. This makes sense, but creates other problems.


If labeling was really the problem then Alsatian wines would be much more popular than they are. Right now they are harder to move than German wines.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Tim York » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:36 am

David M. Bueker wrote:If labeling was really the problem then Alsatian wines would be much more popular than they are. Right now they are harder to move than German wines.


Lack of dryness/sweetness information on labels from most producers is a big problem with Alsatian wine. Did they move better in the days when they were reliably dry if not VT and SGN?
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:54 am

Tim York wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:If labeling was really the problem then Alsatian wines would be much more popular than they are. Right now they are harder to move than German wines.


Lack of dryness/sweetness information on labels from most producers is a big problem with Alsatian wine. Did they move better in the days when they were reliably dry if not VT and SGN?


Tim - I agree with you. Sorry if my post wasn't clear.

Alsatian wines did move better, but along with the sweetness issue, some very popular producers (e.g. Weinbach & Z-H) saw a near doubling in price over a very short (maybe 2 years) time. Their wines have disappeared from the shelves, as the shops won't stock them. Even the reliably dry Trimbach CFE has now started to meet with considerable resistance. It's a great wine, but now runs $45-$60 (depending on vintage) and has pushed beyond what most consumers will pay. Then there's the issue that beyond the big 3 (ZH, Weinbach, Trimbach) the distribution for Alsatian wines in the USA is downright terrible.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:02 am

Tim York wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:If labeling was really the problem then Alsatian wines would be much more popular than they are. Right now they are harder to move than German wines.


Lack of dryness/sweetness information on labels from most producers is a big problem with Alsatian wine. Did they move better in the days when they were reliably dry if not VT and SGN?


Tim, I believe so. In Alsace and other regions, it has much to do with climate change and with different winemaking philosophies. It reminds me of Heymann-Löwenstein, Van Volxem or Clemens Busch, who are all three VDP members and have had Rieslings that didn't naturally ferment to "dry." In fact, it's one reason why Heymann-Löwenstein and Van Volxem don't declare their wines as GGs.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Tim York » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:10 am

Lars Carlberg wrote: In fact, it's one reason why Heymann-Löwenstein and Van Volxem don't declare their wines as GGs.


Do they declare them as halbtrocken, when that's what they are??? Until that happens a lot of consumers will remain mistrustful
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:11 am

Lars,

Unfortunately the end consumer does not care why there is sugar in their dry wine. Global warming has pushed up ripeness, and led to sweeter wines (and in Alsace elevated alcohol), but drinkers don't care why. Only geeks care why.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:12 am

Tim York wrote:
Lars Carlberg wrote: In fact, it's one reason why Heymann-Löwenstein and Van Volxem don't declare their wines as GGs.


Do they declare them as halbtrocken, when that's what they are??? Until that happens a lot of consumers will remain mistrustful


Indeed! Being hip and trendy only gets sales in a very small market.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:27 am

Tim York wrote:
Lars Carlberg wrote: In fact, it's one reason why Heymann-Löwenstein and Van Volxem don't declare their wines as GGs.


Do they declare them as halbtrocken, when that's what they are??? Until that happens a lot of consumers will remain mistrustful


No, they do not write halbtrocken on the label. Exactly. That's a real problem.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:28 am

David M. Bueker wrote:Lars,

Unfortunately the end consumer does not care why there is sugar in their dry wine. Global warming has pushed up ripeness, and led to sweeter wines (and in Alsace elevated alcohol), but drinkers don't care why. Only geeks care why.


You're absolutely right, David. In Germany, we've elevated alcohol levels too.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:36 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
Tim York wrote:
Lars Carlberg wrote: In fact, it's one reason why Heymann-Löwenstein and Van Volxem don't declare their wines as GGs.


Do they declare them as halbtrocken, when that's what they are??? Until that happens a lot of consumers will remain mistrustful


Indeed! Being hip and trendy only gets sales in a very small market.


I don't believe it's about "being hip and trendy." I just think most top producers are fed up with the term halbtrocken on their labels. Of course, all these producers have price lists, brochures, and websites explaining their wines and taste profiles. Yet, the issue that we're all discussing here is the customer who just wants to know what they're drinking by looking at the label. You can't look at alcohol levels either. Mosel Rieslings can have 13.5% alcohol and still be off-dry.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Andrew Bair » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:22 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:
Tim York wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:If labeling was really the problem then Alsatian wines would be much more popular than they are. Right now they are harder to move than German wines.


Lack of dryness/sweetness information on labels from most producers is a big problem with Alsatian wine. Did they move better in the days when they were reliably dry if not VT and SGN?


Tim - I agree with you. Sorry if my post wasn't clear.

Alsatian wines did move better, but along with the sweetness issue, some very popular producers (e.g. Weinbach & Z-H) saw a near doubling in price over a very short (maybe 2 years) time. Their wines have disappeared from the shelves, as the shops won't stock them. Even the reliably dry Trimbach CFE has now started to meet with considerable resistance. It's a great wine, but now runs $45-$60 (depending on vintage) and has pushed beyond what most consumers will pay. Then there's the issue that beyond the big 3 (ZH, Weinbach, Trimbach) the distribution for Alsatian wines in the USA is downright terrible.


David -

Perhaps not every single recent vintage of Z-H is well-represented, but their wines are still pretty widely available in the Boston area.

I would point to another issue as well: Aside from Z-H and Trimbach, our local retailers and distributors promote other Alsatian wines that they do stock less than those from the Mosel, Kamptal, Alto Adige, and many other areas not named Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Napa. As one who attends a good number of retail tastings, it has been a long time since I remember anyone offering a sample of Weinbach or Marcel Deiss, for example. I have the sense the Z-H and Trimbach will sell to some loyal customers, but anything else is an extremely hard sell. Additionally, for my palate, Alsace competes very poorly with Germany and Austria in the $25 and under category these days.
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