Thursday, February 22, 2018

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler in Landau-Godramstein, Pfalz, with Owner/ Winemaker Gunter Kessler - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Picture: Tasting at Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler in Landau-Godramstein, Pfalz, with Owner/ Winemaker Gunter Kessler

Weingut Münzberg was the first stop on that last day in the Pfalz; we also visited Weingut Rings and Weingut Krebs in the afternoon.

At Weingut Münzberg, we toured the winery and were treated to tasting with 18 wines. We met Friedrich Kessler (who is slated to take over in a few years) in the cellar and father Gunter Kessler (who is currently in charge) during the tasting.
Pictures: Weingut Münzberg

Weingut Münzberg

Godramstein is a typical wine village in the Pfalz. A bit further from the village center in north-west direction sits the “Münzberg”. The hill was named “Münzberg” (hill of the coins) when at this site coins from Roman times were discovered.

Jakob Kessler, great-grandfather of Gunter Kessler, the current owner, realized the value of the Münzberg vineyard sites and bought several parcels in the late 19th century.

Pictures: At Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler in Landau-Godramstein, Pfalz, with Owner/ Winemaker Gunter Kessler

In 1974 Lothar Kessler moved the wine estate out of the village to the foot of the Münzberg in the mids of his vines. The distinctive appearance of the estate reminds of some wineries in the US with its sleek architecture.

The estate’s present appearance is the result of reconstruction and expansion carried out by the architect Rolf Thorn between 1989 and 2000.

Until 2013, for 23 years, the winery was lead by Gunter Kessler and his brother Rainer Kessler. Rainer Kessler left the winery because of a different vision as to where Weingut Münzberg should go. As a result, Weingut Münzberg suffered quite a bit in terms of its reputation but is fully back on track with the father/ son team Gunter and Friedrich Kessler at the helm of Weingut Münzberg.

Pictures: At Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler in Landau-Godramstein, Pfalz, with Junior Boss Friedrich Kessler

The philosophy of the Kesslers: “In the cellar we complete what nature started. It is the art of the winemaker to conserve the good characteristics of the berries.” The Kesselers produce distinctive wines that are rich in character and reflect their origins in the chalky parcels of the Münzberg.

Weingut Münzberg is a member of the winemaker group 5 Winzer - 5 Freunde/ 5 winemakers - 5 friends. The other members are: Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz, Weingut Friedrich Becker, Weingut Siegrist and Weingut Dr. Wehrheim. These are all highly regarded winemakers and belong to the elite in the Pfalz region.

Pictures: Tour of Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler in Landau-Godramstein, Pfalz

Weingut Münzberg

Owner: Gunter und Friedrich Keßler

Winemaker: Nico Keßler

Outside Manager: Gunter und Nico Keßler

VDP member since 2000

Bottle production: 120 000

Grape varieties: 31% Pinot Blanc, 19% Riesling, 16% Spätburgunder as well as Grauburgunder, Silvaner, Chardonnay, Dornfelder, Müller-Thurgau, Gewürztraminer

Soil: Kalkmergel, steinige, teils tonige, sehr kalkreiche Lehm-Lößböden

Pictures: Tasting

The Wines we Tasted

2016 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Riesling Kalkgestein VDP.Ortswein

2015 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Riesling Kalkgestein VDP.Ortswein


2016 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Weisser Burgunder VDP.Gutswein

2013 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Godramsteiner Ochsenloch Weisser Burgunder VDP.Erste Lage

2016 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Godramsteiner Ochsenloch Weisser Burgunder VDP.Erste Lage

2015 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Godramsteiner Ochsenloch Weisser Burgunder VDP.Erste Lage

2014 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Godramsteiner Ochsenloch Weisser Burgunder VDP.Erste Lage

2016 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Weisser Burgunder Löss-Lehm VDP.Ortswein

2015 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Weisser Burgunder Löss-Lehm VDP.Ortswein


2015 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Chardonnay Kalkmergel VDP.Ortswein

2015 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Godramsteiner Stahlbühl Chardonnay VDP.Erste Lage

2014 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Spätburgunder VDP.Gutswein

2012 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Spätburgunder Kalkgestein VDP.Ortswein

2012 Weingut Münzberg/ Gunter Kessler Spätburgunder Godramsteiner Münzberg Schlangenpfiff GG VDP.Grosse Lage


Bye-bye

Many thanks for this impressive tasting.

Pictures: Bye-bye

schiller-wine: All Postings (Published and Forthcoming): Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: Baden, Alsace, Pfalz and Rheinhessen

Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours: Baden, Alsace, Pfalz and Rheinhessen

Vineyard Tour, Cellar Tour (and Lunch) with Robert Schätzle, Owner/ Winemaker, Weingut Schloss Neuweier in Baden - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

La Cucina della Passione and Weingut Schloss Neuweier Wines: Wine Pairing Lunch at Röttele’s Restaurant (1 Star Michelin) at Schloss Neuweier, with Owner and Winemaker Robert Schätzle, Weingut Schloss Neuweier - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

The Music of the A Cappella Ensemble "Männer und Tenöre" and the Wines of Weingut Aufricht, Lake Constance, Baden, with Manfred Aufricht - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

The Evolving Structure of the Wine Industry in Germany – The Case of the Lake Constance Region

Schloss Salem at Lake Constance in Germany: A Museum, a School and a Wine Estate

Visit of Schloss Salem, Kirche Birnau and Weingut Markgraf von Baden - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

The Wines of the Markgräflerland (Baden): Tasting and Cellar Tour at Weingut Löffler - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting and Cellar Tour at Weingut Stigler, Baden, with Andreas, Regina and Max Stigler - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Dinner at Restaurant Schwarzer Adler, 1 Star Michelin, Oberbergen, Kaiserstuhl, Baden - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars and Wine Taverns in Freiburg, Baden, Germany

The World Class Wines of Alsace

In the world class white wine region Alsace

Tasting at Domaine Marcel Deiss in Bergheim, Alsace - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Lunch in Alsace: Wistube du Sommelier in Bergheim and L’Epicurien in Colmar - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Tasting at Domaine Dirler-Cadé with Jean Pierre Dirler and Ludevine Dirler-Cadé - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Tour and Tasting at Domaines Schlumberger in Guebwiller, Alsace - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Tour and Tasting at Hugel in Riquewhir, Alsace, with Jean Frédéric Hugel - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Dinner at the 1 Michelin Star Restaurant L’Achémille in Kaysersberg, with Owner/ Chef Jérome Jaegle - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Wine Lunch at Weingut Jülg with Johannes Jülg – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)

Tasting at Maison Jülg in Seebach, Alsace, with Peter Jülg - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Schiller's Favorite (Wine-) Restaurants in Deidesheim in the Pfalz, Germany

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz in Siebeldingen, Pfalz, with Hansjörg and Valentin Rebholz and Sabine Wagner - Germany-South and Alsace 2017 Tour by ombiasy WineTours

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Münzberg – Lothar Kesseler & Söhne in Landau-Godramstein, Pfalz, with Friedrich and Gunter Kesseler

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Rings in Freinsheim, Pfalz, with Andi Rings

Tasting at Weingut Krebs in Freinsheim, Pfalz, with Jürgen Krebs

Tasting at Sekthaus Raumland in Flörsheim-Dalsheim, Rheinhessen, with Heide-Rose and Volker Raumland

Cellar Tour and Wine Tasting with Philipp Wittmann and Eva Clüsserath-Wittmann at Weingut Wittmann in Westhofen – Germany-South Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2014)

Cellar Tourvisit and Tasting at Weingut Gröbe in Westhofen, Rheinhessen, with Fritz Gröbe

Cellar Tour and Wine Pairing Lunch at Weingut Louis Guntrum in Nierstein, Rheinhessen, with Konstantin and Stephanie Guntrum


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Tour and Tasting at Château Montrose, Appellation Saint-Estèphe, 2ième Grand Cru Classé - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France

Picture:  Tour and Tasting at Château Montrose, Saint-Estèphe: Empty Barrel Cellar

Following lunch at Restaurant Le Saint Seurin in Saint-Estèphe, an unassuming, very traditional French village restaurant, we drove over to Château Montrose, Appellation Saint-Estèphe, 2ième Grand Cru Classé, for a tour and tasting.

Pictures: Lunch at Restaurant Le Saint Seurin in Saint-Estèphe

Château Montrose, Appellation Saint-Estèphe, 2ième Grand Cru Classé

Château Montrose is the youngest of all classified growth. The property however existed before it became a wine producing estate in 1815.

The land of Château Montrose was originally part of the Calon-Ségur estate and owned by Alexandre de Ségur, who also owned other properties such as Chateau Mouton, Chateau Lafite and Chateau Latour. He gave the land to his son, Nicolas Alexandre, who sold it in 1778 to Etienne Theodore Dumoulin. Under the direction of her son, Theodore, the land was cleared and the first vineyards were planted. Eventually, the area was split from the greater Calon-Ségur estate and was renamed as Montrose-Ségur. By 1855 it had expanded to 50 hectares, was known simply as Montrose and classified as a Deuxième Cru.

Picture: Welcome at Château Montrose

The château can look back on three family owners, all of them were very ambitious, and worked hard to constantly improve quality. One of them - Mathieu Dollfus - was a visionary entrepreneur, and he managed to stop the devastating phylloxera by installing a windmill that bumped up water from an underground well to flood the vineyards, thus saving the vines. The windmill is now the hallmark of the Château.

The current owners - since 2006 - are the brothers Martin and Thomas Bouygues. They hired top people: Jean Bernard Delmas, previously at Haut-Brion, and Hervé Berland, who spent four decades at Mouton-Rothschild, to bring quality up even further. They undertook an extensive renovation project and converted the estate into one of the most environmentally conscious and energy efficient Château.

Pictures: Château Montrose, Appellation Saint-Estèphe, 2ième Grand Cru Classé

The Last Decade

Succeeding three generations of the Charmolüe family, Martin and Olivier Bouygues acquired Château Montrose in 2006. They loved its wines, to which they had been introduced by their father, Francis Bouygues. Aware of the potential of its unique terroir, they appreciated the advantages and riches of the estate and decided to invest in it. Under their impetus, Montrose entered the 21st century with a spectacular reconstruction.

The exceptional project took seven years, from 2007 to 2013, a timespan justified by the wish to respect the estate’s cycle of activity. The 10,000-m² renovation met four major challenges set by Martin and Olivier Bouygues: To give Château Montrose the finest vinegrowing and winemaking facilities, including a new 1,000-m², 11-metre-high main barrel hall where the premium wine can mature in ideal conditions; to identify and take advantage of every opportunity to save and produce energy, especially through a geothermal system and 3,000 m² of rooftop solar panels; to respect the environment and significantly reduce the estate’s carbon footprint; and to preserve the overall architecture of Château Montrose in the typical 18th century Bordeaux style.

Following on from their predecessors, Martin and Olivier Bouygues aim to further enhance this unique terroir, a single sweep in an ideal location on the banks of the Gironde estuary.

Under the direction of Mélissa Bouygues and managed by Hervé Berland, the estate benefits from a combination of youth and experience in a multi-generational team in which vinegrowers and winemakers rub shoulders with technical specialists and academic experts.

The vineyards cover 95 hectares, with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

Pictures: Touring Château Montrose, Appellation Saint-Estèphe, 2ième Grand Cru Classé

Hervé Berland

Hervé Berland was 30 years with Château Mouton Rothschild, before retiring there and moving over to Château Montrose and Château Tronquoy Lalande in April 2012, just a few kilometers from Mouton in Saint-Estèphe. Since 2006, Hervé Berland had been Managing Director of Mouton Rothschild and with the Rothschild family since 1977.

Pictures: Hervé Berland, his wife, Christian Schiller and Annette Schiller in Washington DC. See: Fête du Bordeaux of Calvert and Woodley in Washington DC, 2012, USA

Picture: Hervé Berland with Annette and Christian Schiller. See: Massive Château Montrose Vertical with Hervé Berland, Managing Director, and Panos Kakaviatos at Restaurant Ripple in Washington DC

Tasting

Following the tour, we tasted 3 wines.

Pictures: Tasting

The Wines we Tasted


2012 Château Montrose

wine-searcher US$100

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 92

Tasted at the château, the 2012 Montrose is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot picked between 24 September and 20 October. It underwent a particularly long maceration period between 26 and 28 days. It offers more fruit intensity than the 2011 Montrose with blackberry, raspberry and bilberry scents, quite backward and primal yet well defined. The aromatics almost mock you because returning after ten minutes, there are glimpses of underlying dried herb and mineral notes. The palate is medium-bodied, intense and very focused, clearly with more depth and sinew than the 2011, yet displaying impressive precision and energy on the finish, which bodes well for the long-term. Tasted September 2016.


Kevin Shin: Intense cassis driven nose, blueberry liqueur, cabernet floral dust, lead pencil, dark spices, caramel and earth. There is a very slight hint of over ripe fruit but not too bothersome. Excellent concentration, intense cassis driven palate impression, bright acidity, strong presence of mineral and a long sweet finish with cassis at the end. It is slightly coarse, certainly not the most polished wine. Nevertheless, excellent concentration and intense sweet cassis fruit make the wine quite promising. It is developing nicely. Will need minimum ten more years to reach the youthful peak. This is certainly not a sub 90 point wine in RP scale. If you can source at sub $70, this is a compelling value.

2012 La Dame de Montrose

wine-searcher: US$41

Château Tronquoy-Lalande

wine-searcher US$31


Château Montrose Vertical in Washington DC Earlier in the Year

The visit of Château Montrose was arranged by Annette Schiller, ombiasy WineTours, earlier in the year at a massive Château Montrose Vertical in Washington DC, organized by Panos Kakaviatos.

Picture: Hervé Berland, Managing Director of Château Montrose, Panos Kakaviatos, Wine Journalist, and Annette Schiller

For the past years, Panos Kakaviatos - based in Strasbourg, France - has organized a Grand Bordeaux Tasting in Washington DC at the beginning of the year, when he spends a few weeks in his hometown. In 2017,  Panos' Washington DC Grand Bordeaux Tasting featured a massive Château Montrose Vertical with Hervé Berland. Panos Kakaviatos is a highly respected Bordeaux expert, who regularly writes for the Decanter, Harpers Wine & Spirits – two excellent UK based wine magazines - and other wine publications.

I have reported about the sensational Château Montrose Vertical here: Massive Château Montrose Vertical with Hervé Berland, Managing Director, and Panos Kakaviatos at Restaurant Ripple in Washington DC. Below find comments of some participants.

Panos Kakaviatos on Facebook

Panos Kakaviatos on facebook: The 2010 was overall the greatest methinks (for the future) but we had very fine bottles of 1990 and the 1989 was just as good. I really enjoyed the 1995 with the savory terrine. Perhaps the best food wine combo was the second flight. The egg and truffle were amazing, matched well against the youthful 2010, 2009 and the more roasted, evolved 2003.

Picture: Panos Kakaviatos and Jose Aguirre, General Manager and Wine Director of Ripple

Bijan Jabbari on Facebook

Bijan Jabbari on facebook: Le millésime 1990 était la star du soir ! Mais 1989 était également exceptionnelle.

Picture: Massive Château Montrose Vertical

Howard Cooper on Facebook

Howard Cooper on facebook: Two or three years ago, I had the 1989 and 1990 together and thought that the 1989 was the much better wine. Last night, the 1989 that I had was not nearly as good as the one then. Note that, while the 1990s were sourced from the winery, the 1989s were sourced from people at the tasting, meaning inconsistent provenance. My sense for listening to people is that some bottles were better than others.

Picture: Massive Château Montrose Vertical

Kevin Shin on Wine-berserkers

Mr. Berland brought fifteen vintages of Chateau Montrose. Panos, Paul and Chris generously contributed the 89 each so we could compare to the 90. It was incredibly fascinating and educational to taste sixteen vintages of Chateau Montrose. It certainly was the first time where I tasted more than a few verticals of Chateau Montrose. My impression was that the wines of Chateau Montrose ages at a glacial pace. A hint of Cabernet green, lead pencil, strong mineral expression, very polished silky palate and youthfulness really reminded me Chateau Leoville Las Cases. Although I have experienced major inconsistency with the 86 and 90 Montrose in the past, these bottles were very clean and expressive. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the 76, 86, 98, 08 and 12 showed. As expected the 90, 00, 03, 05, 09 and 10 stole the show. The only minor disappointment was the 89 which was overshadowed by the 90.

Picture: Massive Château Montrose Vertical

Total Immersion in Bordeaux: World Class Wines and Exquisite French Gourmet Cuisine - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France Published and Forthcoming Postings)

Total Immersion in Bordeaux: World Class Wines and Exquisite French Gourmet Cuisine - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France

Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France

Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015), France

Bordeaux Wine Tour 2013 by ombiasy

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Schiller’s Favorite Seafood Places in Bordeaux City, France - An Update

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Schiller’s Favorite Wine Bars in St. Emilion, France

Bio in Bordeaux: Cellar Tour, Vineyard Tour and Winepairing Lunch at Chateau Beauséjour and Château Langais, AOC Puisseguin-St.Emilion, with Owner/ Winemaker Gérard Dupuy - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours

Tour and Tasting at Château Cheval Blanc, Appellation Saint-Emilion, Premier Grand Cru Classé A - Bordeaux Tour 2017 by ombiasy WineTours, France

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Tour with Dany Rolland: Château Le Bon Pasteur in Pomerol – Bordeaux Tour 2016 by ombiasy WineTours

Lunch at Château Le Bon Pasteur, Pomerol, with Dany Rolland and Benoit Prévot - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017, France

Tasting with Joël and Sandrine Duffau at Château La Mothe du Barry and Château Les Arromans in the Heart of the Entre-Deux-Mers Region - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2017, France

Visiting and Tasting at Château Climens, with Owner Bérénice Lurton, Bordeaux, France

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Visit: Château de Chantegrive, Appellation Grave, with Owner Marie-Hélène Lévêque - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France

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Lunch at Pinasse Café, Cap Ferret - Bordeaux Tour by ombiasy WineTours 2016, France

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Tour and Tasting at Château Montrose, Appellation Saint-Estèphe, 2ième Grand Cru Classé

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