Page 1

WEINGUT Wwe. Dr.H.THANISCH, ERBEN THANISCH 2018 VINTAGE, EN PRIMEUR


“There are really no secrets. The most important thing is the vineyard. Really great wines grow on very special soils.” SOFIA THANISCH


WEINGUT Wwe. Dr.H. THANISCH, ERBEN THANISCH

|

2018 VINTAGE, EN PRIMEUR

4

INTRODUCTION The 2018 vintage marks our third annual release as exclusive UK agents.


To find out more about Corney & Barrow visit www.corneyandbarrow.com

|

INDEPENDENT WINE MERCHANTS SINCE 1780

5

The estate’s impressively long name – Weingut Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch, Erben Thanisch – means the winery of the widow (witwe, abbreviated to “Wwe”) of Dr Hugo Thanisch, as passed down the Thanisch side of the family. Given that there is nearly four centuries of history here, I think we can forgive a little complexity. Sofia Thanisch and her daughter Christina represent the family’s 11th and 12th generations. Christina has recently completed her first year working alongside her mother, following international wine business studies at

Geisenheim University and work experience in Austria and New Zealand. Sofia and Christina are also the fourth and fifth women respectively to manage the estate, Sofia having taken over from her aunt Mechtilde in 1996. This year, there is much to fall in love with. 2018 was a sunny, warm, dry vintage, producing joyous wines of admirable definition. The lower must-weights in particular will hit the ground running once they arrive in the UK next year, but they all have more than enough structure for long-term ageing.

Guy Seddon October 2019


WEINGUT Wwe. Dr.H. THANISCH, ERBEN THANISCH

A BRIEF HISTORY

6 The estate was founded in 1636, against the backdrop of the Thirty Years’ War which ravaged central Europe. Over the following two centuries its reputation grew steadily until, by the end of the nineteenth century, Dr Hugo Thanisch’s wines attained the highest auction prices in the region. The imposing neo-renaissance house (pictured right), which faces the city of Bernkastel on the opposite bank, was built in 1884. Today, the cruise liners which trawl the Mosel during the summer months moor alarmingly close to the house which, I like to think, gazes back indifferently…

|

2018 VINTAGE, EN PRIMEUR


To find out more about Corney & Barrow visit www.corneyandbarrow.com

|

INDEPENDENT WINE MERCHANTS SINCE 1780

7


WEINGUT Wwe. Dr.H. THANISCH, ERBEN THANISCH

|

2018 VINTAGE, EN PRIMEUR

8 The Mosel, pictured from the top of the Doctor vineyard, with Bernkastel in the foreground and Kues on the opposite bank.

THE VINEYARDS The Doctor, so called since the 14th century for the restorative effect of its wine, is a 3.21 hectare jewel overlooking the city of Bernkastel. It is the smallest by far of the Mosel’s Grosse Lagen, the top classified sites of the region.


To find out more about Corney & Barrow visit www.corneyandbarrow.com

|

INDEPENDENT WINE MERCHANTS SINCE 1780

9

The estate has nine hectares of vines, sitting within a stretch of the Mosel which is relatively straight, until it reaches the bend pictured above. This is a run of southfacing vineyards of world renown – Zeltingen, Wehlen, Graach and Bernkastel. As before, we have focused on two vineyards, at the varying ripeness levels, the better to get under the skin of the estate. Bernkasteler Badstube is named after historic communal bathhouses, public bathing having been imported by returning crusaders. The soil here, fine slate, makes for wines with racy acidity and long ageing potential.

The Badstube vineyards lie astride the famous Berncasteler Doctor*. This includes parcels which the Thanisch have owned for 200 years. In 1882, the family expanded their holding of the Doctor vineyard. The Doctor’s southsouthwest aspect and gradient of 60-70% maximise sun exposure. Its vines average over 60 years of age. The estate is sustainable, reserving the right to spray if needed. The vines are largely ungrafted. In the early twentieth century, Riesling from the steep slopes of the Mosel was in extraordinarily high demand, commanding higher prices than first growth Bordeaux. Undoubtedly, the quality is even greater now, making these an absolute bargain in today’s world of fine wine.

* Note the different spellings – Bernkasteler Badstube and Berncasteler Doctor.


WEINGUT Wwe. Dr.H. THANISCH, ERBEN THANISCH

10

|

2018 VINTAGE, EN PRIMEUR


To find out more about Corney & Barrow visit www.corneyandbarrow.com

|

INDEPENDENT WINE MERCHANTS SINCE 1780

THE 2018 VINTAGE “2017 was extreme in one way – hail and frost – whereas 2018 was extreme due to its warmth.” SOFIA THANISCH August 2019

A cold and wet 2017-18 winter charged the soil with water reserves. Spring started unusually early with warm weather in March, leading to an early bud break in the second half of April. Fortunately – and in contrast to 2017 – there was no frost. The warm spring prompted a very early flowering at the beginning of June. After recent low yielding vintages, 2018 promised an early, bountiful harvest. The dry and sunny spring also made for excellent vineyard health, with minimal disease pressure. Summer remained beautiful, the little rain being gratefully received. It turned out to be one of the warmest summers on record. This atypical weather brought new challenges: the grapes had to be protected against sunburn by leaving sufficient leaf cover on the vines. Some of the younger vines in the Kues vineyards struggled with the lack of water. Fortunately, the deep root systems of the old vines in the Berncasteler Doctor and Badstube vineyards ensured enough water. Vegetative growth during the summer made for the earliest harvest ever: this started on 17th September. Another first in 2018 was that harvest coincided with the annual wine auction in Trier. The team was therefore

split, Christina supervising the harvest together with winemaker Olaf Kaufmann. During harvest, barring one day of rain, the weather remained warm and dry until mid-October. This enabled unhurried selection in the vineyard. The early stages of harvest focused on the Kabinett wines. Sofia describes that in these early days, picking is determined more by acidity than Oechsle (fruit ripeness). In October, picking concentrated on the higher must weights and on the Bernkastel vineyards: Doctor, Badstube, Lay and Graben. Due to the very low rainfall, there was little botrytis. But the experienced team of pickers succeeded in selecting some highly shriveled berries, which in due course will make for an excellent Beerenauslese from the Doctor vineyard. Harvest finished on 17th October with the traditional Hahnen festival. When asked the traditional wine merchant’s question of whether any comparable vintages came to mind, Sofia replied without missing a beat: “Well, both 1976 and 1959 were technically off the charts [for their warm summers and relatively high pHs] but both have turned into beautiful vintages for keeping.”

11


WEINGUT Wwe. Dr.H. THANISCH, ERBEN THANISCH

|

2018 VINTAGE, EN PRIMEUR

TASTING NOTES

12


To find out more about Corney & Barrow visit www.corneyandbarrow.com

|

INDEPENDENT WINE MERCHANTS SINCE 1780

THANISCH ESTATE RIESLING KABINETT

BERNKASTELER BADSTUBE RIESLING KABINETT

The Estate Riesling comes mainly from vineyards around Kues, on the left bank of the Mosel. This hits the ground running – and does so while exuding that soft-shelled Mosel loveliness and clipped lemony precision. You can sense the warm 2018 summer here, in the ripe, ample apricot fruit. Drink this as soon as you get your hands on it – it will mellow and meld with bottle age but frankly, why wait when it’s this good now?!

This forms a pair with the Feinherb (below), the only difference being the length of fermentation. Here, it is halted earlier, which along with the ripe 2018 fruit makes for an exuberant style, sherbeted bright lemon cordial. 48g/l residual sugar. Whether you prefer this or the Feinherb is down to individual choice. On the day (in August 2019), I marginally preferred the Feinherb – although I would certainly drink this one more quickly!* Bottled at the end of June.

Corney & Barrow Score 16.5 Recommended drinking from 2020 – 2024

Corney & Barrow Score 16.5+ Recommended drinking from 2020 – 2030

£80/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK £90/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

* In fact, Jancis Robinson singled this out as one of her recommended 2018 Rieslings, in her FT column, July 2019.

BERNKASTELER-KUES RIESLING ALTE REBEN

BERNKASTELER BADSTUBE RIESLING KABINETT FEINHERB

Alte reben means old vines (they are 40 years old). This sits between the estate wine (above) and the single vineyards (see right). A slaty mineral nose leads into an upbeat, lively palate combining just enough rounded plumpness (9.5g/l residual sugar – pretty low), with a shapely body, well-defined by its crisp acidity. Bottled April 2019.

This Feinherb, ferments for slightly longer than the ‘straight’ Kabinett (above), resulting in a marginally drier style. Exuberant and upbeat on the palate, a meeting of citrus and apricot, with flashes of grapefruit. The palate is juicy, with a just-so clipped precision. Bottled in screwcap, as always, at the end of April. A no-brainer for early drinking, with a well-judged 25g/l residual sugar.

Corney & Barrow Score 16.5 - 17 Recommended drinking from 2020 – 2026

Corney & Barrow Score 16.5 - 17 Recommended drinking from 2020 – 2026

£89/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK £90/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

To Order LONDON

020 7265 2430 EDINBURGH

01875 321 921 HONG KONG

+852 36 94 33 33 EMAIL

sales@corneyandbarrow.com PLEASE NOTE These wines are released en primeur. Delivery dates to be confirmed. All prices are quoted in bond UK.

BERNKASTELER BADSTUBE RIESLING SPÄTLESE Ripe apricot and candied citrus on the nose, with a line of dry-earth minerality. The palate is expressively ripe and luscious, delectably chewable and if we are being hyper-critical, tending towards the showier end of the spectrum (although this was a barrel sample so it will inevitably evolve). Finishes broad and just a little plump. Great hedonistic drinking. Corney & Barrow Score 17 Recommended drinking from 2023 – 2027 £110/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

13


WEINGUT Wwe. Dr.H. THANISCH, ERBEN THANISCH

|

2018 VINTAGE, EN PRIMEUR

BERNCASTELER DOCTOR RIESLING KABINETT

BERNKASTELER BADSTUBE RIESLING AUSLESE

Richer than its Kabinett siblings but with a more pronounced bite of acidic tension and a salty tang on the finish, which works brilliantly with the slaty minerality. The precise finish is rounded out by a lovely fleshy fruit residue coating the mouth. Textbook high quality Kabinett, seriously good. Bottled at the end of April.

Badstube is a huge vineyard, running north to Graacher Himmelreich. The Thanisch holdings are all at the Bernkastel end however. Nervy and tightly packed when tasted, this has an explosive drive, matched blowfor-blow by its impressive volume of pear fruit, tinned peach and herbs. As Christina Thanisch explained rather modestly, “we try not to make it too fat” – this is wonderfully precise…

Corney & Barrow Score 18 Recommended drinking from 2024 – 2036 £145/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5 - 18 Recommended drinking from 2027 – 2036+

£160/CASE OF 3 MAGNUMS, IN BOND UK £145/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

14

BERNCASTELER DOCTOR RIESLING SPÄTLESE

BERNCASTELER DOCTOR RIESLING AUSLESE

A beautifully complete nose, of fine crushed earth minerality, ripe lime, gooseberry and apricot fruit. The palate is powerful from the off, drivingly intense and with an unabashed potency which is really rather exciting. This, as Sofia was quick to point out, is balanced by an intricate delicacy of acidic bone structure and mineral tension. Along with the Kabinett, this hits all the right notes, stunning.

The Doctor Auslese radiates an amber-gold shimmer. Wet-stone mineral notes and slate greet you on the nose. The palate is surprisingly delicate and precise for what is, after all, the high must-weight flagship of the estate. A deft but insistent sense of mineral-driven weight pervades the palate, complementing the spiced apricot and crystallised lime fruit, through to the long, focused finish. “We think it should still flow”, Sofia Thanisch says. I like that.

Corney & Barrow Score 18+ Recommended drinking from 2024 – 2035

Corney & Barrow Score 18 Recommended drinking from 2026 – 2046

£195/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK £210/CASE OF 3 MAGNUMS, IN BOND UK

£325/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK £340/CASE OF 3 MAGNUMS, IN BOND UK

BERNCASTELER DOCTOR RIESLING SPÄTLESE AUCTION BOTTLING On 20th September 2019, the VDP Mosel held its annual wine auction. This is an event at which the very best wines from the current vintage are offered, as well as some older rarities. From the 2018 vintage, Thanisch offered an auction bottling of the Doctor Spätlese. This is a selection from the regular cuvée, of which only half a barrel has been made. As with all VDP auction wines, it will carry a special ‘Auction’ sticker. We are pleased to say that we successfully bid for a small quantity of bottles.

We tasted this in August 2019 alongside the full 2018 Thanisch line-up. Measured by Oechsle (must weight), it could be an Auslese. According to Christina Thanisch, there is a greater sense of warm fruit than in the regular bottling. Her mother Sofia says there is more depth – and there really is. Although this bears the stamp of the regular Doctor Spätlese, it is as if the volume has been turned up, with an even greater sense of clipped precision. Without detracting in any way from its sibling, this astonishing wine really is on a different level.

Corney & Barrow Score 18.5-19 Recommended drinking from 2024 – 2035 £90 PER BOTTLE, IN BOND UK*

* As quantities here are very limited, we are offering this as individual bottles. These will be packed in a Corney & Barrow carton case.


To find out more about Corney & Barrow visit www.corneyandbarrow.com

|

INDEPENDENT WINE MERCHANTS SINCE 1780

15


WEINGUT Wwe. Dr.H. THANISCH, ERBEN THANISCH

16

Tasting Guide Our tasting notes provide full details but, at your request, we have also introduced a clear and simple marking system. We hope these guidelines assist you in your selection. For the benefit of simplicity, wines are scored out of 20. We will often use a range of scores (e.g. 16.5 to 17) to indicate the potential to achieve a higher mark. When a ‘+’ is shown it adds further to that potential. Wines from lesser vintages will, inevitably, show a lower overall score. Wines are judged, in a very broad sense, against their peers. Why? Well, you cannot easily compare a Ford with an Aston Martin, other than they are both cars and have wheels. It is not that different with wine. A score is a summary only. The devil is in the detail, so please focus on the tasting notes and, as always, speak to our sales team.

|

2018 VINTAGE, EN PRIMEUR


To find out more about Corney & Barrow visit www.corneyandbarrow.com

|

INDEPENDENT WINE MERCHANTS SINCE 1780

GROSSE GEWÄCHSE THE DRY WINES As last year, we will put the two dry “GG”s at the end, given their stylistic difference from the rest of the line-up.

BERNKASTELER GRABEN RIESLING GROSSES GEWÄCHS (TROCKEN) Bernkasteler Graben lies next door to the Doctor vineyard. A beautifully inviting nose of green citrus, apricot and white flowers emerges coyly from its shell but once out, revels in its loveliness. The palate has a marked sense of dry extract, slaty minerality and a brooding power which is just biding its time. Try this from 3-4 years of age, and then a bottle every year or two, for as long as they last! Bottled mid-June. Corney & Barrow Score 17.5 - 18 Recommended drinking from 2023 – 2038 £160/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

BERNCASTELER DOCTOR RIESLING GROSSES GEWÄCHS (TROCKEN) This is a step up in intensity. It seems facile to describe Mosel Rieslings as ‘slaty’, given that slate is all around you in the vineyards, but this abounds in that intensely mineral sense of focus which Riesling from this part of Germany does so well. Lemon rind and quince play second fiddle, rounding out what would otherwise verge on austere and making for a stunningly complete wine. Corney & Barrow Score 18+ Recommended drinking from 2024 – 2039 £195/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

17


WEINGUT Wwe. Dr.H. THANISCH, ERBEN THANISCH

|

2018 VINTAGE, EN PRIMEUR

CONTACT US

Our Locations LONDON 1 Thomas More Street London E1W 1YZ T +44 (0)20 7265 2400 sales@corneyandbarrow.com

EDINBURGH Oxenfoord Castle by Pathhead Midlothian, Scotland EH37 5UB T +44 (0)1875 321 921 edinburgh@corneyandbarrow.com

EAST ANGLIA Belvoir House, High Street Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 8DH T +44 (0)1638 600 000 newmarket@corneyandbarrow.com

AYR 8 Academy Street, Ayr Ayrshire, Scotland KA7 1HT T +44 (0)1292 267 000 ayr@corneyandbarrow.com

NORTH OF ENGLAND Sedbury Stables, Sedbury Hall Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 5LQ T +44 (0)1748 828 640 sedburyorders@corneyandbarrow.com

HONG KONG Unit D, 6th Floor 9 Queen’s Road Central Hong Kong T +852 36 94 33 33 hongkong@corneyandbarrow.com

18

Online

FACEBOOK @corneyandbarrow

TWITTER @corneyandbarrow

www.corneyandbarrow.com

INSTAGRAM @corneyandbarrow


To find out more about Corney & Barrow visit www.corneyandbarrow.com

|

INDEPENDENT WINE MERCHANTS SINCE 1780


www.corneyandbarrow.com

Profile for corneyandbarrowltd

Weingut Wwe. Dr.H.Thanisch, Erben Thanisch 2018 Vintage En Primeur  

Mosel produces some of the World's finest rieslings. We think Thanisch wines - one of our newest exclusivities, are exceptional.

Weingut Wwe. Dr.H.Thanisch, Erben Thanisch 2018 Vintage En Primeur  

Mosel produces some of the World's finest rieslings. We think Thanisch wines - one of our newest exclusivities, are exceptional.