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It is due to the relaunch in March and the associated hardships and imponderables that we are able to publish our collections and discoveries of the year rather late this year.

As previously announced, the "Collections of the Year" are no longer always about the company with the absolute best series in the respective area. In the past, this led to many repetitions in some regions; both among readers and among the producers themselves, the titles that kept coming back were slowly and understandably losing their value. and of which we are sure that they are in the process of establishing themselves in the absolute top of the area.

The "Discovery of the Year" is awarded to those wineries that have recently attracted our attention with the greatest leap in quality in the respective region and which we can only recommend to every wine lover who wants to get to know new top winemakers who are not yet known everywhere.


Collection of the year: Kreuzberg Winery

If you only pay attention to the top wines at Kreuzberg, you are missing out. Because even at the base, the red Burgundies here are always remarkable, sometimes even exceptionally good. You can buy blind here, you will hardly ever experience a disappointment.


Collection of the year: Dr. Heger

The Dr. Heger winery has improved considerably in recent years. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are among the absolute best you can find in the country, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris are consistently excellent, and you have to take Heger very seriously when it comes to Riesling or Muscat. In addition, there are the best Silvaner wines in Baden. At least. A flawless performance.

Discovery of the year: Sven Nieger

Sven Nieger's Rieslings are likely to be quite polarising in their absolutely uncompromising, tart, sometimes wild, yet always almost completely fruitless style. Those who appreciate straightforward, fruit-driven Riesling of the kind that can be found everywhere in Germany will probably be put off. The models here are clearly of French origin, the wines complex and sophisticated. You have to take your time for them. That is an order.


Collection of the year: Winery Hans Wirsching

Wirsching has been a flagship of Franconian viticulture for a very long time, but under the new cellar master Dr Klaus-Peter Heigl, the wines seem to have gained even more finesse. Even the entry-level wines here already have a certain class. At the top, you can't get past Wirsching anyway.

Discovery of the year: Organic Viticulture Kraemer

Hermann and Stephan Krämer produce wines far from the mainstream: tart, strong in character and idiosyncratic. All organic and with as little sulphur as possible, but plenty of grip and bite. This may not be to everyone's taste, but you have to search a long time for better Silvaners or Müller-Thurgau.


Collection of the year: Fritz Haag

Whether dry, sweet or noble sweet: Oliver Haag's Rieslings are at the top of their game everywhere this year. A stunning collection of brilliant top Rieslings, which is also very, very rare in the Mosel in this range.

Discovery of the year: Lubentiushof

Andreas Barth produces on his own vineyard (he is also cellar master at von Othegraven) completely independent, distinctly characterful, predominantly dry Rieslings, which are now among the best you can find on the Mosel.


Collection of the Year: Winery Schäfer-Fröhlich

Tim Fröhlich made it easy for us to choose him this year: his brilliant series of dry and noble sweet Rieslings is almost speechless. It crowns the development of the last few years, which brought the estate to the forefront, not only on the Nahe. Even the upgrade to W+++ and thus to world-class producer took this into account. The collection of the year is only the logical consequence.

Discovery of the year: Sinß Winery

The current series is definitely the finest we have had the pleasure of tasting from Sinß so far. The Rieslings are equally convincing dry and sweet, but the estate has probably made the biggest leap recently with the Spätburgunders.


Collection of the year: Wageck-Pfaffmann

Over the past few years, Thomas Pfaffmann has gradually brought the Wageck line closer to the top of the region. The wines, almost all of which are tart, often still markedly yeasty and somewhat inaccessible when young, develop rather slowly, but are worth the trust placed in them by their depth, character and elegance. Today, only a few wineries in the Palatinate master the whole range from Riesling to red and white Burgundy varieties to sparkling wine at such a consistently high level.

Discovery of the year: Oliver Zeter

Oliver Zeter is one to keep an eye on. The fact that he produces Viognier, which would also win laurels on the Rhone, is more than just remarkable. But in other respects, too, one notices that Zeter likes to orientate himself towards our neighbouring country. With success: Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, but also white cuvées are always excellent.


Collection of the Year: Balthasar Ress

The development that the winery has undergone under Christian Ress and operations manager Dirk Würtz in just a few years is more than astonishing. Today, the large estate is one of the region's flagships, its Rieslings and Burgundies are among the absolute best in the country. The estate is also way ahead in terms of orange. And no one should expect to rest on their laurels here.

Discovery of the year: Bibo & Runge

Walter Bibo was director of Schloss Reinhartshausen for a long time before he decided to start all over again together with Kai Runge. The project has only existed since 2013 and does not even have its own vineyards yet, but it already has its own style of wine: serious, grippy, complex and more mineral than fruity. The Rheingau is no longer as sleepy as it is said to be. And Bibo & Runge have no small part in that.


Collection of the year: Schätzel Winery

Kai Schätzel is undoubtedly an enrichment for the Rhine front. At the same time, his rather cool-seeming wines, emphatically yeasty when young and often initially rather unsteady, often decidedly low in alcohol, are rather unusual for the red slope. But one should not confuse lightness with lack of substance here: the Rieslings and Silvaners of the house are consistently complex, firm and expressive.

Discovery of the year: Bischel Winery

Christian and Matthias Runkel belong to a new generation of top Rheinhessen winemakers from whom we will be hearing a lot. Silvaner and Sauvignon are already among the top wines of the region, and they are close to the Burgundy varieties (red and white) and Riesling. If you look at the development of the last few years, it's not hard to suspect that things will continue to go up here.


Collection of the year: Gerhard Aldinger Winery

Today, Gerd Aldinger, together with his sons Hans-Jörg and Matthias, runs a fairly complete winery with wines from a wide range of grape varieties, all of which they seem to have mastered. The same goes for different styles of vinification, as the grandiose Sauvignon "Ovum" or also the completely uncompromising Trollinger "sine" prove. Nevertheless, we experienced one surprise this year, despite all the certainties: a series of noble sweet wines, the likes of which cannot often be found in this class in the region.

Discovery of the year: Winery Knauß

A winery to keep an eye on. Not only the meanwhile astonishingly elegant and fine red wines deserve attention, also the whites have class again and again - and that with Burgundy varieties, Sauvignon and Rieslings alike. Not to forget the wonderful, bone-dry Schwarzriesling sparkling wine!

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