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Paul Anheuser (whose family has been making wine since 1627 – he’s the 14th generation!), brought 4 Rieslings. Even the 2002 and 2005 vintages were tasting fresh and lively, thanks mostly to the higher acidity that’s the hallmark of cool-climate Riesling.

Willkommen zurück, meine Freunde, zu Teil III unserer deutschen Weinsage. (Welcome back, my friends, to Part III of our German wine saga.)

I hope the Riesling rundown we did in the last post gave you a good sense of the wine’s wide-ranging quality and sweetness, as well as its new(ish) naming system.

But don’t worry – there’s no test at the end. 😉

And you won’t have to remember which vowels get umlauts, nor pronounce any of those tricky, tongue-twisting consonant clusters. Just come on in and enjoy the tasting!

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I’m with Tom Elliot, our host for today’s tasting of German wines. I’ve been enjoying Tom’s tasting events for more than 20 years!

Our host for today’s tasting is my longtime friend Tom Elliot, of Northwest Wines, LTD, who also represents top wines and wineries from Oregon, Washington and other great growing regions, in addition to these beauties from Germany.

Attending Tom’s “walk-around” tastings has given me so many opportunities to taste scores of great wines at the same time – all in the same place – while being able to talk with the people who made them.

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As soon as I arrived, Tom handed me a glass, introduced me to a couple of the German winemakers and started me at one end of the U-shaped tasting area. Here’s your glass – come join me!

Usually I taste white wines before reds, but this lineup from Weingut Nelles looked so appealing, I decided to start with a few older Spätburgunders (German for Pinot Noir; labels can have either name, or both). 1491 refers to the year the winery was founded.

Vintner Philip Nelles with my good friend and fellow wine judge, educator/ writer/ consultant Deborah Parker Wong.

I was especially impressed with the Nelles 2012 “Blue Label” – silky and smooth, with delicate fruit and subtle earth, leather and toast undertones.

Philip Nelles commented that the ideal age for his Pinots is 6 to 9 years from the vintage date.

When I tasted his 2011 “B52” Spätburgunder and asked about his favorite food pairing, he quickly answered “venison.” (I tried the wine later with some rich prosciutto and wasn’t disappointed!)

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At the Weingut Drautz-Able table, Stéphanie de Longueville-Drautz greeted me with a huge smile, saying “Hi, I’m Steph.” To start, Steph poured me a taste of “Le Petit Pigeon” Blanc de Noir trocken, a light, lively dry rosé blended from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Trollinger, a German red grape.

Stéphanie de Longueville-Drautz, her husband Markus and his mother Monika run the family winery, Weingut Drautz-Able, founded in 1496 by an edict of Kaiser Maximilian.

I moved through an intriguing progression of wines, following the rosé with a crisp 2015 Sauvignon Blanc (Drautz-Able produces three different ones, plus a dessert version), then a 2015 Lemberger (a red with strong blueberry flavors) and a nicely aged 2010 Spätburgunder.

These led up to Drautz-Able’s flagship wine, called Jodukus after Jodukus Drautz, the winery’s founding father. A Bordeaux-like blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, plus two German red varietals, it was deep, full, rich and complex, with plenty of dark cherry, plum and berry fruit.

The buffet at E&O Kitchen and Bar offered several creative Asian appetizers.

Almost as soon as I began tasting, Steph and I started talking recipes and wine-and-food pairings.

One of her warm-weather favorites sounded like an amazing match for her rosé – an arugula salad with rare roast beef, sliced strawberries, basil and balsamic dressing.

Can’t wait to try it when the farmers market strawberries start getting really sweet!

Speaking of food pairing, I promised to fill you in on the appetizers on today’s buffet – pan-Asian and more – and see how they match up with this wide range of German wines.

But let’s save that for next time. After all, we still have several more of the German winemakers to meet, and lots more of their wine to taste…

So, until next time, my friends –
Cheers and happy tastings,
Rosina

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Cheers once again, my friends,
Rosina