The wine trade is all about celebrating excellent winemakers but what about strong influential female winemakers? Sybille Kuntz is just that. She is one of the many excellent winemakers/vineyard owners in the world, leading the charge in a predominantly male industry. In Germany however, she is still one of the very few female winemakers in the Mosel. Because of this, Sybille had to stick to her guns and forge her own path when she took over her father’s vineyard in the late 1980s. She had to be bold and more ambitious than all of her competitors. She has always been very much ‘hands on’ and very good vineyard management has been the key to her success. Modern vine training was implemented and canopy management was integral in extracting as much flavour from her grapes.
One of the first things she did was to start producing dry Rieslings, when the market was greedy for sweet wines and in 1990, she started using practising organic viticulture. In 2011, Sybille applied for certification. She then went on to use biodynamic methods (eventually receiving certification in 2016) and continued to make her interpretation of the best dry Mosel wines. Judging by Sybille’s accompishments now, we would say that her wines are not only modern, fresh and clean but we should also acknowledge the simple label designs on the bottles. This was a marked leap away from the stuffy Riesling labels that can quite rightly, sometimes bamboozle buyers, trying to negotiate the German quality control wine classification.
As soon as Sybille’s wine were brought to our attention, we could not get enough of them. It would be fair to say that we had not been as excited about German wines until we tried them. The marketing and quality of the wines are outstanding.
For those who are not familiar with the ‘dry’ levels of Riesling, here is a quick breakdown –
Qualitätswein means a wine of superior quality. Kuntz’s quality wine is a blend of her single vineyard sites in Kues, Kardinalsberg and Weisenstein. This Riesling Qualitätswein is picked at the beginning of harvest and is a fantastic entry level wine. It is crisp, fresh and a great balance of acidity.
Kabinett is mainly from old vines from the steep vineyards in the Paul valley, a side valley formed by the River Mosel some thirty-five thousand years ago. Today it is part of the single vineyard site Lieser Schlossberg. In earlier centuries a ‘Kabinett’ was a very good Riesling stored in a separate ‘cabinet’ of the wine cellar or room. It is basically the German equivalent to a Reserve wine because it is of superior quality.
Spätlese is also vinified dry and, as the German designation indicates, is picked late at harvest. Only the best grapes with the longest ripening period on the vine will be selected for the Spätlese from Niederberg-Helden. Due to a later harvest Spatlese is richer and fuller bodied with a residual sweetness.
For more information/tasting notes/prices on these wines, please contact our office – 01875 595 100 or drop us a line – firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Carignan Revival
Carignan is a varietal which originates near Catalonia and the Spanish have a good track record of making excellent wines in Aragon, Priorat and Monstant, to name a few. The variety eventually made its’ way over the border in Languedoc Roussillon where the French Catalans decided to give this difficult grape a go. In February’s edition of Decanter, Miquel Hudin gives a great insight into why Carignan is now thriving in the South of France.
Miquel Hudin also mentions the Carignan from Domaine Sainte Croix in the Hautes Corbieres as one of his top picks:
From the Hautes Corbieres area in Languedoc. Dark cherry and prune fruit, crunchy limestone notes, wild forest herbs, touch of mushroom, orange peel and generally fleshed out very well. Fresh fruit on the palate develops with a touch of sweetness, crisp acidity and a lingering finish. DRINK 2020-2025 ALC 14.5%
Please contact the office on 01875 595 100 or e-mail email@example.com to find out prices and more info on Domaine Sainte Croix.
Janis Robinson has published a great article on her website about the latest addition to our Spanish range- Bodegas Aldonia from Rioja.
We love these Grenache dominant Riojas but we are really pleased to see an influential wine writer loving them too.
Sadly we have not been listed as stockists, but we have written to her pointing out the oversight!
You can buy all three from de Burgh and welcome anyone needing more info, to give us a call – 01875 595 100 or e-mail- firstname.lastname@example.org
With an imminent visit from Andy Cook (that’s him on the right!) for various tasting events lined up in the Autumn, we thought we would shout about the fantastic wines from Tramontane/Consolation and Mas Cristine.
Even in the initial stages of setting up de Burgh Wine Merchants we were very keen to work with Andy Cook. Andy has proven himself to be a talented young wine maker, bringing out varietal character in his single varietal wines whilst his blends are super refined, polished and complex. A few are “Not for the Shy” but all are, we think delicious and a must try for any wine lover. We believe that his wines represent superb quality and fantastic value for money, especially when compared to the prices of good Rhone Valley wines.
Before turning wine maker extraordinaire in the sunny south west French region of Roussillon, Andy ran a wine shop in St Andrews. He now resides with his family in the beautiful seaside town of Collioure only a few miles away from his new purpose built winery ‘La Belle Vie’. Andy, with a little help from his partner Phillipe Gard (an agricultural engineer and winemaker), works hard producing wines from several domaines in the area. Their flagship range is Consolation which changes each year as they select the best parcels of grapes from their and their friend’s vineyards. Mas Cristine is a separate estate which Andy manages. Finally the Tramontane wines are parcels of wine sourced through the local Co-operative which Andy managed to save from being blended with the whole year’s harvest. The wines themselves are categorised by different appellations- Cotes Catalanes, Cotes du Roussillon & Rivesaltes.
Although Roussillon is synonymous with Languedoc, it has history, rich with Spanish influence and a strong regional identity. The regions’ inhabitants are Catalan rather than French or Occitan and they identify closely with the Spanish Catalans just across the border.
Roussillon’s topography is unlike the flat coastal plains of its’ neighbour to the east-Languedoc. Vineyards are interspersed between soaring mountain ranges and coastal areas in Roussillon. The climate is France’s hottest and driest with an average of 320 days’ sunshine a year, so this warm, dry climate is perfect for producing healthy ripe grapes. The Tramontane wind (their equivalent of the Mistrale in the Rhone Valley) cools things down, and also helps keep the vineyards bug-free. Soils vary from pure schist to granite, clay and loam. Plantings of individual varieties are often determined by the soil type.
Click below for the range of wines –
For more info and prices, please contact email@example.com or call 01875595100
Wines for Summer
Summer is well and truly here. We are sure that most of you have enjoyed sharing a glass or two in the garden recently. With that in mind, it must be time to replenish your fridge?! We have compiled a mouth watering list of ‘perfect alfresco drinking’ wines for you to choose from, just in time for the next bout of sunshine! They are wines we love and hope you will too..
BROWSE WINES – 2017 Summer Offer- ( This offer has now finished)
Feel free to e-mail us for our full portfolio – firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard W H Bray – Author Salt & Old Vines: True Tales of Winemaking in the Roussillon
Available for purchase on-line (Amazon) or at all good book stores – it’s a super book, we hugely recommend that you buy a copy.
The International Wine Challenge 2014
The International Wine Challenge 2014 have announced the 41 Champagnes and sparkling wines to win a coveted Gold medal at this year’s competition.
All fans of top fizz should take note, our very own Henriot won 4 gold medals!
10% of the over all winners came from this super house. Those looking to splurge on a big name should try and get their hands on the non-vintage Champagnes Blanc de Blancs (RRP £44), Brut Souverain (RRP £36) If you are feeling a little wicked or flush the 2005 Rosé Millésimé (RRP £59) and its 2005 Brut Souverain (RRP £55) are simply devine wines which so deserve the gold status.
When a house like Henriot achieve such excellence, we tend to get a little excited in the office. It confirms, there and then, why we wanted to work with such a superb Champagne House!