Did you know that sparkling wine consumption per capita in Germany is one of the highest in the world? Local sparkling wines: sekt and schaumwein are extremely popular. When I think of German sparkling, I think of Rotkäppchen Sekt (the little red riding hood), the cheap supermarket sparkling that I bought during my many trips to Berlin around ten years ago. That was vile stuff, but no matter, it cost only a few euros and was available in every corner kiosk in town. Today, the trend with German sparkling is more towards quality and differentiation. Vintners often select individual, small, high quality batches of wine for their sparkling wine production and favor the traditional method of second fermentation in the bottle. Exciting!
Last weekend we opened a bottle of sparkling Riesling that had been haunting us in the wine fridge for several years. The bottle of Schloss-VAUX Steinberg single Vineyard Riesling Brut was purchased at at a small shop in Londons Maida Vale called The Winery, which specialize in German high quality wines. We have bought many nice bottles of spätburgunder there, so the expectation on quality was quite high.
Schloss VAUX is small producer of sparkling wines made solely in the méthode traditionnelle. The single vineyard cuvee comes from Steinberg, where wine has been made for decades. The vines thrive in a unique microclimate and deep slate soils within old monastery walls. The result is fruity and aromatic, with racy acidity and a sublime minerality. Especially the long and full aftertaste of the wine makes an impression.
It does not beat a good champagne or exquisite Cava, but I would return to Schloss VAUX any time. Both M and myself thought it was really refreshing trying out s sparkling Riesling with such great quality.