You are using an old browser that may not function as expected.
For a better, safer browsing experience, please upgrade your browser.

Log in Become a Member

A few months ago, the Hessische Staatsweingüter presented a series of decades-old Pinot Noirs from the Assmannshäuser Höllenberg, leaving little doubt that the wines from this famous vineyard can easily compete with first-class Pinot Noirs from Burgundy in terms of quality and longevity. What was missing was proof. Proof that only a direct comparison could provide.

So the colleagues from the wine magazine "Fine" searched mainly among private wine lovers for old Burgundies that could prove to be worthy counterparts to the challenger from the Rheingau. They found what they were looking for. Even if not every vintage was equally strong, some of the biggest names from this wine region, which is not exactly lacking in legends, were among the rarities from Burgundy.

On the ball for Wein-Plus: Editor-in-Chief Marcus Hofschuster

The Hessian State Wine Estates invited to a second tasting, this time in the Vinothek of Kloster Eberbach. In addition to the organisers, the invited wine journalists and private wine collectors, some of Germany's best vintners, the restaurant critic Jürgen Dollase as well as the two Masters of Wine Jancis Robinson and Philipp Schwandner took part in this memorable tasting.

Even though the participants of the first tasting in Assmannshausen could hardly have been more surprised by the quality of the Rheingau Pinot Noirs, the aplomb with which they passed this comparison was impressive. While many a Burgundy had not survived the decades without clear blemishes, most of the Assmannshausens still proved to be vital, not infrequently even in excellent condition. The Burgundian models were by no means always equal or even superior to their German counterparts; in the majority of cases, even the Rheingau wines offered the greater pleasure. A small sensation, even if the latter had the advantage of coming directly from the winery's cellar, while the path of the old Burgundies could not always be traced exactly.

The protagonists of the tasting

A detailed report on the event will be published in the April issue of "Fine", which will appear in time for the Prowein and will also be available at the Wein-Plus stand (Hall 4 J 12). The tasting notes are available here in advance.

59 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
90 Sweetish aroma of preserved plums and red berries with distinct candied notes, a little iodine and malt, tobacco, undergrowth and foliage. Slightly sweet, ripe fruit in the mouth, boiled down fruit, delicate spice, rock candy and some bitter caramel, fine acidity and fine tannins, wood tones on the palate, powerful and persistent on the palate, very good finish.

59 Clos de la Roche, J.-Henry Remy
85 Firmly woven and at the same time very fine on the nose, lively, spicy, with delicate wood tones and toasty notes, aromas of partly cooked red berries as well as mineral hints. Also relatively firm in the mouth, delicate, with light roasted aromas and wood tones as well as present, rather fine but slightly drying tannins, present acidity, lots of bite, not too deep, also quite spicy in the finish.

Head of the State Wine Estates: Dieter Greiner

58 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
84 Strongly herbaceous aroma of light caramel and some stone fruit with dried floral spice. Lean and relatively tart in the mouth, spicy, herbal with some acid bite and delicate wood spice, not too much fruit left, slightly drying on the palate, decent to good finish.

57 La Tache, DRC
87 Calm and mature aroma of dried red berries with sweet wood nuances, delicate vegetal tones and dried floral nuances, also tobacco and some minerality as well as mushroom tones with air. Relatively cool in the mouth, delicately juicy and with bite, noticeable acidity, fine, tart, slightly drying tannins, persistent on the palate, some depth, mineral hints, firm, tart and relatively acidic finish.

53 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
86 Strongly caramelised, sweetly spicy aroma of caramelised plums and some iodine. Also in the mouth caramel and plums, in addition some malt and delicate wood tones, slightly blurred on the palate, fine acidity, some drying tannin, quite good finish.

53 Gevrey-Chambertin, Monassier
76 Quite concise aroma of roasted potatoes and some wood. Tart, acidic and drying in the mouth, not much fruit, vegetal tones, somewhat earthy on the palate, slightly dull, passable finish.

52 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
90 Herbal spice and dried floral tones on the nose, also herbal malt, candy and iodine, quite lively, with mineral tones in the background. Finely juicy in the mouth, mature and clarified, delicately sandy but friable tannins, fine acidity, persistent on the palate, some depth, has melting, very good length.

52 Richebourg, DRC
94 Candied berries and stewed fruit on the lively nose, tobacco and a bit of leather, also mineral hints behind. Also quite lively in the mouth, very clear fruit, ripe berry tones and delicate wood tones, fine tannins and harmonious acidity, very persistent on the palate, excellent depth, firmly woven, harmonious and amazingly fresh, long.

Pekka Nukki% Ralf Frenzel and Thomas Schröder (from left)

47 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg94Lots of ripe, partly cooked and dried red fruit on the nose, sweet spice tones, dried floral aromas, coffee and mineral tones. Powerful, dense and juicy in the mouth, again very ripe fruit and coffee, some tobacco, fine, present, yet crumbly tannins, sweet melting, firm and persistent on the palate, excellent depth, mineral tones, firm construction, without any signs of age, very long.

47 Clos de Vougeot, van der Meulen
91 Clear woody tones on the nose, with smoky and almost burnt notes, also cedar, candy and notes of baked plums, mineral and minty nuances, gains depth with air. Roasty aromas also in the mouth, lots of coffee, tobacco, also rock candy and some caramel, tart spice and slightly drying tannin, relatively present acidity, quite powerful body with good depth, long.

46 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
90 Somewhat toasty and cedary aroma of red berries and cassis with mineral spice and a hint of soup herbs. Relatively firm, juicy, ripe fruit, some malt and wood, again a hint of soup herbs, fine acidity and slightly sandy tannins, mineral hints, quite persistent, very good finish.

46 Pommard
82 Slightly muddled on the nose, with distinct vegetable and also lactic tones, some wood spice and restrained plum-like fruit notes. Oxidative tones in the mouth, iodine, tobacco and toasty aromas, some coffee, on the palate with some melting and warmth, but not too deep, nutty chestnut-like tones, slightly drying tannins, good finish.

45 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
91 Tobacco aroma of ripe, dried red berries and plums with cassis tones, floral nuances and some minerality. Firm in the mouth, somewhat smoky-woody and tobacco, but also with relatively juicy fruit, powerful and persistent on the palate, good depth, fine sandy tannins, quite complex, very long.

45 Clos des Lambrays
86 Toasty and a touch lactic aroma of partly caramelised red berries with delicate cabbage-like tones and coffee. Also coffee-roasted in the mouth, somewhat vegetal and delicately juicy, with malty nuances and tones of candied herbs, fine acidity and fine sandy tannins, good persistence and depth, relatively clearly reminiscent of latte, very good finish.

44 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
81 Somewhat unclear on the nose, slightly pungent, with notes of preserved and dried red fruits, stone fruits, jam and tobacco. Tart in the mouth, with herbal and alongside again jammy-fruity flavours, present acidity and some sandy-rough tannin, some persistence but not much depth, a little drying finish.

The colour of mature Burgundy

44 Gevrey-Chambertin
88 Lively, firm, tobacco aroma of preserved and partly dried red berries and a hint of plums with mineral notes. Smoky-roasty in the mouth, fine juicy, partly candied fruit and herbaceous tones, light acid bite and fine sandy tannins, clearly matured and already a little bit disjointed in the contours, but still very good, somewhat vegetal, also with light mushroom tones, very good finish.

43 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
85 Sweet and spicy aroma of dried plums, cassis and a hint of pepper with hints of candied peel and minerals. Slightly woody and drying in the mouth, with tones reminiscent of soup stock and noticeable acidity, not too deep, a little drying on the palate, already noticeably mature but still with some length, tobacco finish.

43 Nuits-Saint-Georges "Les Pruliers", Morin Père et Fils
83 Clearly reminiscent of latte with notes of plums and preserved red berries. Milk coffee and red fruit also in the mouth, somewhat oxidative, with fine sandy tannins and some melting, not too deep, good finish.

42 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
84 Sweetly spicy, somewhat chestnut-like nose with notes of meat stock, dried crumbly plums as well as a hint of pepper and herbs. A little woody and acidic in the mouth, with delicate toasty flavours and fine sandy tannins, also candy and vegetal tones on the palate, not very deep, decent to good finish.

42 Clos des Lambrays
84 Very fine aroma of partly dried red berries with traces of light tobacco and mushrooms. Clear and fine in the mouth, rather slender but quite harmonious, with fine acidity, delicate wood tones and floral nuances, a touch metallic and green on the palate, but also relatively lively, not too deep, already relatively fragile, still good finish.

38 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
87 Lots of candy in the nose, some malt, cassis and delicate roasted aromas. Quite spicy fruit with notes of rock candy, Swiss herbal sugar and some wood, noticeable but integrated acidity and present but crumbly tannins, persistent on the palate, relatively good depth, a little malty in the very good finish.

38 Musigny, Frédéric Mugnet
86 Aroma of pickled and braised red peppers, Provence herbs and some malt. Clearly matured in the mouth, herbal-vegetable and some caramel, relatively soft style with very fine, relatively present, yet crumbly tannins, not too deep, but with a good finish.

37 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
92 Deep, sweet-spicy aroma of dried red berries, cassis, tobacco, sage, candy and some caramel with mineral tones. Quite powerful in the mouth, tobacco spicy with malt and candy tones as well as some wood aromas, firm and persistent on the palate, with very fine, relatively present tannins, good depth, excellent balance, long finish with light wood tones.

37 Bonnes Mares, Alexis Collas & Fils
59 Unclear, dull, lactic nose with notes of cheese and chestnuts. Also unclean, cheesy and dull in the mouth, with nutty tones.

35 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
87 Clear, slightly roasty-spicy cassis nose with red berry tones, herbal aromas and some candy. Slightly toasty also in the mouth, tobacco tones and restrained red berry fruit, noticeable acid bite, dried floral aromas on the palate, fine sandy tannins, some persistence, good finish.

35 Vosne-Romanée, DRC
83 Toasty and sweet-tobacco aroma with notes of cooked and dried red berries and some caramel. Clearly mature and somewhat oxidative in the mouth, slightly fishy tones and vegetal notes, sandy-rough tannins and noticeable acidity, still some persistence on the palate, somewhat drying finish.

28 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
81 Matured, malty, a little bit muddled nose with herbal tones. Also in the mouth already slightly tannic, with red berry fruit, some cassis, chestnut and wood tones, slightly drying tannins, still quite good, although again slightly tannic and drying finish. Not as fresh as a bottle tasted a few weeks earlier.

28 Gevrey-Chambertin, L. Moreau Fils
60 Unclear, earthy-dusty nose with fleeting tones, some nut and caramel. Already tasting quite old, acidic and sandy-dry, with dull tannins and barely perceptible fruit.

21 Assmannshäuser Höllenberg
89 Mature, tobacco and herbal nose with delicate vegetable tones. Fine juicy fruit with notes reminiscent of soup herbs, candy tones and a hint of cassis, also some wood, slightly drying, delicately sandy tannins, amazingly good depth and persistence, very good finish.

23 Romanée-Conti, van der Meulen
81 Already well developed, petrol nose with chestnut tones and some caramel. In the mouth already noticeably emaciated, little fruit, but still some melting and deathly sweetness, somewhat sandy but crumbly tannins, sweetish aromas of baked chestnuts, decent finish.

Related Magazine Articles

View All