Germany 2014 en primeur offer

Ernst Loosen loves the 2014 vintage. Although challenging from a growers’ point of view, the hard work in the vineyards brought the reward of good yields of perfect grapes at Kabinett level in particular and after extensive tasting of succulent, refreshing wines that are low in alcohol, we are pleased to offer this small and carefully chosen selection. We join Ernst in his regret that German vintages tend to be rated by how well the rarefied wines at the top of the tree, such as Auslese and
Trockenbeerenauslese, perform. Anyone basing their buying choices on just one percent of production is missing a great treat and some wines which offer superb value.

Here we list our selection in three style categories, with notes from our Master of Wine, Nicola Arcedeckne-Butler MW, to guide you through the wine styles, drinking dates and serving  suggestions. To order, call 01353 721 999, email or contact your salesperson direct.

Prices are per case of six bottles, in bond London and these wines will be shipped later this year.

Kabinett is the “everyday” level of German Riesling with less sugar than the other styles, designed for earlier drinking. With their lower alcohol levels (7.5%-9.5% in general), Kabinetts make excellent apéritif wines but they also work brilliantly with spicy foods, particularly Chinese and Thai, where the sweetness of the fruit complements the spice in the cooking and, whilst they drink beautifully early, they can mature and evolve for a good decade or so.

Wine   Bts per case ABV £ per case in bond
Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Kabinett, Dr Loosen
Fresh, bright floral white fruit on the nose with a distant hint of citrus, leading to a palate of sweet ripe fruits underscored by substantial acidity, floral and fresh, with a long, fine finish. Currently the sweetness has the upper hand, although this will tone down in time. Drink 2016 - 2022
2014 6 7.5% £50
Wolfer Goldgrube Kabinett, Daniel Vollenweider
From a Domaine established as recently 2000, and grown on a mix of blue and grey slate with an iron rich core. Sweet, floral white fruit on the nose, alluring, with a plump yet racy palate of roses, white flowers, with lovely sweet-sharp balance, going to a long, mouthwatering finish. Delicious. Drink 2016 - 2020
2014 6 8% £55
Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl Riesling Kabinett, Weingut Dönnhoff
Very pale in colour with a lovely nose of sweet, floral notes, intense and lightly chalky, leading to a fresh, racy palate where the sweetness is toned down by the fruit, with a hint of lychee behind. Classic and expressive with superb poise and balance going to a long, fresh finish. Drink 2016 - 2022
2014 6 9% £62
Maximin Grünhäuser Abtsberg Kabinett, Schlosskellerei Carl von Schubert
Gorgeous, leafy floral white fruits on the nose, classic von Schubert, leading to a palate of broad, leesy white fruits, juicy with notes of freshly picked roses, beautifully defined with lovely balance between the sweetness and acidity going to a long, light, refreshing finish. Drink 2016 - 2022
2014 6 7.5% £63

Spätlese translates as ‘late harvest’ and the grapes must be picked at least seven days after the Kabinett fruit; generally semi-sweet, they tend to be fuller bodied than Kabinett wines and more weighty, with the ability to age for at least a decade or more in good years. Different regions of Germany have different rules, but all define minimum fruit sugar levels in order for the wine to be allowed to use the Spätlese designation, and alcohol must be at least 7%. Being weightier and sweeter, even though the sweetness may not be obvious thanks to the balance with acidity, Spätlesen are more suited to have with food than on their own. One of the few styles of wine which can compete with smoked salmon, it is a style which works well with spicy dishes, from all around the world, as well as with cheeses and fruit – a real all-rounder.

Wine   Bts per case ABV £ per case in bond
Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Spätlese, Schlosskellerei Carl von Schubert
Fresh, plump, floral fruit on the nose, bright and vibrant, leading to a gorgeously rich palate, concentrated with a distant hint of lychee and tropical fruits, mineral and citrus too, with a floral overtone, going to a long, precise, tight finish. Drink 2018 - 2030
2014 6 7% £67
Wolfer Goldgrube Spätlese, Daniel Vollenweider
Tight, stony white fruit on the nose, mineral and very primary, leading to a more overt palate, with beautifully creamy white fruit, sweet and rich with lovely balance, racy and refined. Spectacular wine. Drink 2018 - 2030
2014 6 8% £75
Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Spätlese, Dr Loosen
Fresh, light floral fruit on the nose, linear and precise, with a distant mineral note, leading to a rich, intense palate of racy, again mineral fruit and lime flowers, with a lovely balance of sweetness and acidity, intense and delicious with a spectacularly long finish. Sublime. Drink 2018 - 2030
2014 6 7.5% £98
Oberhäuser Brücke Riesling Spätlese, Weingut Dönnhoff
Fresh, floral white fruit on the nose, leading to a rich, sweetly fruited palate with hints of rose petals and white flowers, intensely sweet but with racy acidity to balance, going to a long, poised, taut finish. Delicious. Drink 2018 - 2030
2014 6 8.5% £130
Niederhäuser Hermannshöhle Riesling Spätlese, Weingut Dönnhoff
Bright with a green glint and a nose of sweet green stone fruits, floral and fresh with again a trademark hint of roses, leading to an intense, mineral, fresh floral palate, the sweetness and acidity very well integrated and on to a long, evolving finish. A definite step up. Drink 2018 - 2030
2014 6 8.5% £150


The direct translation of Auslese is ‘select harvest’, and these wines are made from individual bunches which are harvested later than for Spätlese and will usually be partially or completely affected by noble rot which causes the grape to shrivel and thereby concentrate the flavours. Minimum fruit sugar levels are required for a wine to use the Auslese designation, and they tend to have lower alcohol levels because the high sugar content inhibits the yeasts and halts the  fermentation. Auslesen have the ability to age for decades, supported by the natural high acidity of Riesling as well as the sugar content, and can take years to show their full potential. They are, however, equally delicious when young and are particularly well matched to rich, unctuous dishes as their acidity levels cut through the richness; they are a perfect partner to foie gras, rich pâtés, full fat cheeses (particularly soft ones) and fruit dishes – in fact, everything that is traditionally hard to match with wine!

Wine   Bts per case ABV £ per case in bond
Karthäuserhofberg Auslese, Weingut Karthäuserhof
This showed incredible intensity on tasting, and only later we discovered that it had been destined to become  Beerenauslese, which explained it all. Deeper gold in colour, with a nose of tight, leafy fruit, some noble rot notes and floral tones, leading to an incredibly rich palate, intense and lightly honeyed, with the sweetness almost entirely counterbalanced by racy acidity, going to a long, evolving finish of exquisite concentration. Amazing value too. Drink 2020 – 2032+
2014 6 7% £97
Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese, Dr Loosen
Fresh and floral on the nose, roses and lime flowers, leading to a fresh yet intense palate of sweet floral fruit, intense and rich, layered, with a hint of honey behind, going to a superb, rich finish. This is a stunning wine. Drink 2020 – 2030+
2014 6 7.5% £130

To order, call 01353 721 999, email or contact your salesperson direct.

The 2014 Vintage

After a mild winter, budbreak in 2014 was early and flowering happened towards the end of May rather than the more normal June; May and June were warm and very dry but then July brought much needed rainfall, although perhaps rather more abundantly than the growers would have wanted. July was very hot, and the combination of heat and water led the vines to grow extraordinarily fast, as well as encouraging the presence of rot on young grapes. For the growers, this was a time of intense activity in the vineyard, reining in the vines whilst managing the risk of disease. August was cooler than July and wet, but temperatures rose again in September leading to rapid ripening of the fruit. The harvest started earlier than usual, at the end of September, with growers employing extra hands to help bring in the grapes. This combination of wet and warm weather dealt a blow to production of the top wines as they need ‘good’ rather than grey botrytis to produce Spätlese, Auslese and Beerenauslese styles and, as the vineyards were struggling with the presence of grey rot, many growers avoided the risk by leaving little fruit on the vine to harvest later. Some, by dint of their soils (free draining slate, for example) suffered less and made some deliciously poised sweet wines.

Prices are quoted per case of six bottles in bond and the wine will be shipped in the Autumn of 2015.

Wines may be stored in bond or delivered Duty Paid. Duty, VAT and delivery will be payable on delivery to your home address.

Private Cellar’s en primeur terms and conditions apply.

This offer may not be used in conjunction with any other Private Cellar offer and is valid until Friday 7th August or while stocks last.


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