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A German Lost & Found in Burgundy

Wineries & Winefolk

Weingut Dr. Burklin-Wolf with Christian Von Guradze, Proprietor

These wines have nothing in common with German Rieslings other than the fact that they are Rieslings produced in Germany. Although they are aimed at the Burgundy market, I would surely pick them out as wines of Alsace, France, if blindfolded. They are bone dry. They are floral, mineral, and complex with a crisp steely acidity.

Founded in Wachenheim in 1597 by Bernhard Burklin, Dr. Burklin-Wolf is the largest family-owned wine estate in Germany. Holdings total 110 hectares (275 acres) in the Mittelhardt, in Upper Pfalz.

The Burklin-Wolf Estate has been working by environmentally-friendly guidelines for over 20 years, not using herbicides and adhering to a disease-tolerance concept. In 2001, four Riesling vineyards with a total area of 7 hectares were converted to biodynamic viticulture. Burklin-Wolf is convinced that it can enhance the expression of terroir in their wines. Abandoning “artificial influences” in winegrowing will benefit the wine, the vineyards, and nature as a whole. When the 2006 vintage is released, every wine will have the legal biodynamic seal on it.

The Estate is in search of Burgundy clientele. Among its holdings are 8 Grand Cru vineyards, including 1 monopol, and 6 Premier Cru vineyards including 1 monopol. As with the French wine laws, vineyard classification takes priority over must weight. This classification falls under the headings G.C. (Grand Cru) and P.C. (Premier Cru). The grapes are harvested with Spatlese and Auslese ripeness. Since 1998, medium-sweet Rieslings have not existed at the Burklin-Wolf Estate. Dessert wines are still classified with the traditional descriptions Auslese, Beerenausle and Trockenbeerenauslese. Natural grape sugar content defines the wine style.

These are deliciously dry, refined, and pristine sipping machines that are more Alsatian in style with a Burgundian courtliness. They might disappoint someone looking for the typical “dry” German Riesling. (WineRight, Inc.)

Burklin-Wolf website

In order preference.
1. ’02 Weingut Burklin-Wolf Ruppertsberger Gaisbohl $52 A -10 041006
2. ’02 Weingut Burklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Rechbachel $30 A -3 *
3. ’03 Weingut Burklin-Wolf Ruppertsberger Gaisbohl $55 A -23
4. ’04 Weingut Burklin-Wolf Wachenheimer Rechbachel $33 A -7
5. ’04 Weingut Burklin-Wolf Riesling Estate Dokter (Wht Lab) $15 A- -1 *
6. ’03 Weingut Burklin-Wolf Riesling Estate (silver lab) $20 A- -7

(originally posted April 2006)

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