For a very, very long time Liebfraumilch has been attributed as being a sweet, cheap, simple, low quality, German export wine. In fact, it is Germany’s largest export wine. Years of producing and exporting low quality, high yield Liebfraumilch has led to a poor reputation of German wine. A reputation that has cast a shroud over Germany and weakened the view of Germany’s fine wine. This is about to change.
Over the years very little Liebfraumilch has touched the lips of Germans. Why should it? German wine has become very innovative and high quality. The Germans have been producing very high quality Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Silvaner, Riesling and so on. Improved techniques, innovative thinking and a little help from climate change has led to some extremely high quality wine coming from Germany. So, until now there has been no reason for them to drink Liebfraumilch.
Fortunately there are a few fine wine producers who have taken on the monumental task of producing a high quality Liebfraumilch. One such producer is Christoph Hammel from Weingut Hammel & Cie. Hammel has really been working hard to advertise and promote this wine recently (I know this is the third time I’ve written about him, but I swear he isn’t paying me). What is especially telling is that he is promoting this wine within Germany. In fact I even saw it on the wine list in the Hammel & Cie tasting room. Liebfraumilch is definitely a wine that isn’t promoted much inside of Germany itself. Obviously there is something going on. I had to see for myself.
After seeing this beautiful label time and time again on my news feed and hearing a lot of hype, I bought a bottle directly from the estate. So, I got home, chilled the wine to a nice 10° Celsius and cozied up to my tasting table. The first thing that I noticed is that this is a very aromatic wine. Nice and clean fruity aromas were coming through. Apples and honey really stood out to me on the nose. These were some aromas that I did expect, however they were coming through beautifully. The palate was something I did not expect. Not nearly as much sugar as one would normally get with a Liebfraumilch. This wine was delicious and had no need to hide behind a ton of sugar. I was tasting pears, apricot and honey. I am calling this wine a masterpiece. I would have never imagined using that word to describe a Liebfraumilch, but I am and I also stake my reputation on it.
Liebfraumilch, It Just Got Serious!
Christoph Hammel is doing a great job in his mission to bring back Liebfraumilch to the glory it held a couple of hundred years ago. This isn’t just a lot of hype, it is a lot of hard work which has resulted in a premium product. Hammel isn’t the only one working on this quest either.
In closing I say this, put your old reservations and opinions of this wine aside. Take everything that you know about Liebfraumilch and forget about it. This is Liebfraumilch done right. This is the Liebfraumilch you should be putting in your glass.
Written by Hassell L. Butcher
Pulled Corks LLC.
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