This first Kabinett from this up and coming Estate was a highlight of the 2016 Bernkasteler Ring Auction. Here some background on this in many ways remarkable wine.
The Bernkasteler Ring has been holding an annual Auction almost every year since 1899, at which its members sell some of their finest wines. At this year’s 2016 edition, many wines came from the latest vintage (i.e. 2015) but also some great mature wines went under the hammer (see our Special Issue – Auction Guide 2016).
Overall, prices proved more than reasonable, with many of our favorite wines from the 2015 vintage not costing more than €20*. Also some of the mature wines proved more than reasonable in price. We will provide with a detailed account in our upcoming October Issue.
One of the highlights of this year’s Auction by the Bernkasteler Ring was undoubtedly the 2015er Bremmer Calmont Kabinett by Weingut Reinhold Franzen. Not only is it a gorgeously well-balanced Kabinett, but it proved an absolute bargain as it went for €13* per bottle!
The Weingut Reinhold Franzen has become a household name for delicately intense but still hugely elegant dry Riesling from its coveted holdings in the Bremmer Calmont and Neefer Frauenberg. We highlighted their superb 2013er Bremmer Calmont Riesling GK GG, one of the finest dry Mosel Riesling in 2013, as wine of the month last year.
So how come that we now put forward a Kabinett by this Estate? When asking Kilian Franzen, who has been at the helm of this Estate together with his wife Angelina since 2012, he simply laughed: “Yes, you may be surprised … because we were too! In fact, this tank of Bremmer Calmont simply stopped its fermentation at just above 50 g/l of residual sugar. We could have tampered with the wine, inoculate it with other tanks, etc. But this is not the way that we want to do things. So we waited and eventually cleared and filtered it as it was. And Ta-Da, there you have our first Kabinett. And you know what? Angelina and I both love it!”
The wine came from the upper part of “their” part of the Bremmer Calmont, the allegedly steepest vineyard in Europe. Their sector is called Fachkaul (pictured here below) and was classified in the highest categories on the Prussian Taxation map in the 19th century.
The Bremmer Calmont is so steep that one can only work it with the help of a monorail track. Around 2000, Kilian’s father Ulrich Franzen, who tragically died in a vineyard accident in 2010, decided to go against the flow. Instead of expanding in “easy to tend” vineyards, he decide to revive part of the super-steep original Calmont. He painstakingly consolidated a 1.5 ha vineyard in the Fachkaul ... by acquiring no less than 112 different parcels! This allowed him to revive the vineyard and, at the same time, to justify the investment into a monorail track to make it economically viable.
Today, Kilian and Angelina Franzen reap the benefits from so much foresight. They were able to harvest this 2015er Kabinett at a low 85° Oechsle in the upper and cooler part of the Fachkaul. This Kabinett proves simply delightful as it is packed with flavors yet retains true Kabinett style. The sweetness is there but already beautifully mingling with the dry extracts and the acidity.
We adore their dry wines and would hate seeing less being produced. But this Kabinett would be a very good reason to do so!
A full report on the Bernkasteler Ring Auction 2016 as well as many other recommended wines from the 2015 vintage, among others from the Reinhold Franzen Estate,
is published in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 32 (Oct 2016).
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* Prices indicated in this article are Hammer prices, i.e. before broker commission, sales tax and possible customs and shipping costs.
Bremmer Calmont Riesling Kabinett (Auction)
This beautiful Kabinett offers a rather reduced but elegantly floral nose of white pear, herbs and spices. The wine proves gorgeously well balanced on the palate, where some firm grip brings structure and the mineral side finesse to the experience. The finish is incredibly long and airy. This proves a gorgeous wine made in an irresistibly off-dry (rather than full fruity) style! 2020-2030+
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling ... and beyond!"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.