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We award the "Collections of the Year" to those wineries that have recently caught our eye in a particularly positive way and that have impressed us with their particularly independent wines and ranges. These can be famous top producers, but also up-and-coming wineries whose performance gives us the impression that they are establishing themselves at the very top of the region.

The "Discovery of the Year" is awarded to wineries that we either did not know until recently, or that have recently caught our attention with the greatest leap in quality in the respective region and that we can only recommend to every wine lover who wants to get to know new, not yet widely known top winemakers. Whether we can award a prize also depends on how representative the wine entries from the respective region are, but also on how complete the eligible wineries have submitted and how good the overall standard is. It is therefore possible that we have no award winners at all for some regions and possibly only one collection or one Discovery of the Year for others.

The winners of the
2023/2024 tasting season

Collection of the year Ahr

Jean Stodden - The red wine estate

Following Alexander Stodden's change in style, his wines are leading the way on the Ahr. Despite moderate alcohol, they possess substance, power and depth, which was anything but easy to achieve in 2021. And most importantly, they are completely independent, fully committed to their origin and completely unpretentious. When you taste them, you can't help but get the impression that this is what they should taste like.

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Collection of the year Baden

Bercher Winery

With their rather quiet character, the wines of the Bercher brothers often fly a little under the radar. Yet only a few Kaiserstuhl producers produce first-class wines so reliably year after year and across all varieties. The winery is proving this once again with the excellent red 21s and the whites from 2022, neither of which are easy vintages. But apparently nobody told the Berchers that.

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Collection of the year Franconia

Weltner Winery

Paul Weltner makes Silvaner wines that only reveal their greatness on the second or third sip. Because they are so fine and unobtrusive, you only gradually realise how concentrated, deep, mineral and expressive they really are. The best Chablis in Franconia is produced here. Except that it tastes like Silvaner.

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Discovery of the year Franconia

Florian Reus

Founded in 2018, the winery has just one hectare of vineyards. So you can't call what the passionate long-distance runner Florian Reus does here "drawing from the full". Nevertheless, he has recently crept almost unnoticed into the front row of Franconian wine community with some of his wines. The Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc in particular have real class.

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Collection of the year Moselle

Van Volxem Winery

In a vintage that left many winemakers with wines that lacked complexity and backbone, Van Volxem produced Rieslings with a depth, expressiveness and tension that we have not often experienced here. This is the most impressive series we have tasted this year from the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer. We take our hats off.

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Collection of the year Nahe

Emrich-Schönleber Winery

Honour to whom honour is due. Some observers may get bored, and we ourselves can't remember exactly how many times Schönlebers have received this award. But what can you do? In this truly difficult vintage, Frank and Werner Schönleber's wines are once again beacons in the German Riesling landscape. Their "Auf der Ley" is one of the few truly great white wines of the vintage. But what else should surprise you here, when the local wines are already better than many a Grosse Gewächs?

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Collection of the year Palatinate

Winery Dr Bürklin-Wolf

With its Rieslings, Bürklin-Wolf is further removed from fashion than almost any other winery in Germany. How well this concept of unwaveringly going one's own way works is particularly evident in a difficult vintage like 2022. The wines are completely unpretentious, bone-dry, truly at peace with themselves, yet possess a depth, complexity and expressiveness that few others in Germany can match. The entire 22 Riesling series is actually a single statement: "This is where I stand, I can't help it!" We are a little bit impressed.

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Collection of the year Rheingau

Winery Künstler

The "Collection of the Year" for Gunter Künstler is primarily for his remarkable Riesling collection and our delight that the wines are back at the absolute top of the Rheingau wine community after a phase where they sometimes seemed a little too smooth. As the "Grosse Gewächse“ wines in the Rheingau have only recently been released a year late, we mainly tasted the excellent 21s here. But there is already a foretaste of 2022: the magnificent 22 Marcobrunn bucked the trend, surpassing all 21s and making it into the top ten dry Rieslings of the vintage in Germany. And this is not a single positive slip-up, because even the still fairly inexpensive 22s "Erste Lagen" have unusual class for the vintage.

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Collection of the year Rhine-Hesse


Every wine from Simone Adams makes it clear that someone here obviously knows exactly what they are doing. The Pinot Noirs in particular are of remarkable quality. Precise, generally cool and fine red Burgundies are no longer a rarity in Germany, but few wines of this style have a similar density, genuine complexity and depth and such a firm, tart core that inevitably bring to mind the great role models from Burgundy. German-speaking wine critics are often overly generous or at least premature with the attributes "great" and "world class", and this is also the case here. But if the Ingelheim vineyards are capable of producing great red Burgundies, Simone Adams will be the first to let us know. She is on her way.

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Collection of the year Württemberg

Karl Haidle Winery

Moritz Haidle, it seems, has found his style. His wines are firm, expressive and polished, even the powerful examples always possess coolness and elegance, while the slender wines never lack substance. This applies not only to the outstanding red wines: The 21 Pulvermächer is one of the best dry Rieslings we know from Württemberg.

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Collection of the year Emilia Romagna


If you want to know what good orange wines can taste like, Denavolo is one of the top addresses. Even its opponents rarely deny that natural wine can be concentrated, multi-layered and exciting, but only rarely is it as incredibly stimulating as here. If you don't become a fan of Denavolo's wines, you will be lost to Orange forever.

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Collection of the year Piedmont

E.Pira & Figli - Chiara Boschis

On her 14-hectare vineyard in Barolo, Chiara Boschis produces wines that defy general categorisation as "modern" or "traditional". Although new barriques are also used here, their influence is just as prominent in terms of flavour as that of the great Grands Crus from Burgundy, for example. Barolo wines are produced here that could hardly be more noble; rarely do you experience such a balance of power and finesse, polish and complexity, depth, pressure and finesse as here. Even when young, they are beguiling like few others, and yet they need bottle age to show what they are really made of. In 2019, Boschis has created an outstanding series that no Barolo lover should miss out on. The Cannubi is one of the world's great wines.

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Collection of the year South Tyrol

Schreckbichl Winery - Cantina Colterenzio

Are we mistaken, or are the wines at Schreckbichl undergoing a cautious but noticeable development? At a time when it is becoming increasingly difficult for wineries to maintain finesse and freshness in their wines, we are experiencing astonishingly differentiated red and white wines with life, tension and polish - across all quality levels. Particularly striking: Schreckbichl produces one of the top wines of the season in almost every category. The decision on the collection of the year was unusually easy for us.

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Discovery of the year South Tyrol

Winkler sparkling wine factory

Michael Winkler revived the sparkling wine cellar, which was shut down in 2001 by his father who was seriously ill at the time, in 2017 and launched his first own sparkling wine, Lamm N°12, at the beginning of 2021, which has just been joined by a rosé version, Anna-Katharina N°15. With both wines, the family business immediately made it into the top group not only of South Tyrolean, but of all Italian sparkling wine producers. We will no doubt be hearing more from Verena and Michael Winkler in the future.

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Collection of the year Tuscany

Salvioni - La Cerbaiola

Salvioni produces something like the essence of Brunello, and not just in great vintages. There are perhaps a handful of wineries in the region that produce world-class traditional Brunello with such reliability - and that is a generous estimate. We have never been disappointed here. In 2018, a deep, self-contained masterpiece of quiet grandeur and noblesse has been achieved here, the likes of which would hardly be thought possible in this vintage.

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Collection of the year Veneto


Giannitessari not only produces very good Soave and other remarkable white wines, the estate is also the flagship of the DOC Lessini Durello, a pure sparkling wine appellation in the east of Lake Garda, which was only founded in 2011 and whose first top wines have not been on the market for long. With its great sparkling wines, Giannitessari is mainly responsible for the fact that Lessini Durello must already be counted among the most important and independent sparkling wines in Italy.

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Collection of the year Austria

Herbert Zillinger Winery

Herbert Zillinger has long been producing wines that have little or nothing to do with the mainstream in the Weinviertel region, both in terms of character and quality. But recently he must have tweaked a few things. The current series is as profound as we have never experienced before, even from a master like him. The wines combine power and substance with subtlety, life and inner calm; they possess a depth and complexity that is rarely found, and not just in the region. But it is not only in the "classic" terrain that few can hold a candle to Zillinger: With his 16 "Radikal", he presents a wild, extremely multi-layered, impetuous masterpiece, one of the best wines of its kind ever.

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Collection of the year Spain

Palacios Vinos de Finca

Founded in 1999, the winery has three vineyards in Rioja and Ribera del Duero, totalling 300 hectares. So it's no wonder that a wide range of wines of all classes are produced here. What is more surprising is the consistency with which top quality is pursued here. Even the basic wines are reliably of remarkable quality, whether white or red. You can practically buy blind here, you won't go wrong.

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Collection of the year Sparkling wine

Raumland sparkling wine house

Volker Raumland has started a true revolution in Germany. Not only has he helped some top estates to produce first-class sparkling wine, the likes of which had never been seen before in Germany, he has also set new standards with his own sparkling wine estate in Rheinhessen. He has shown (almost) everyone how it's done. And continues to sail ahead.

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