Corvers Kauter produces possibly the most "precise" wines that I have ever tasted. Dr. Corvers apparently understands the complete potential of every parcel and then creates amazing expressiveness in all of his wines. This is also quite a find as Dr. Corvers was originally was very polite in letting me know that "he has no wine" as each year's production is largely allocated to private clients.
We then started talking about wine, however, and he decided to open some bottles. Four hours later, I guess Dr. Corvers had enjoyed hearing about the focus of my importing activities and what I tasted was so impressive that he agreed to let me import 12 of his wines. The Rieslings are all delightful and have a wonderful range of flavors and food pairing ideas but even more impressive are the multiple Pinot Noirs that are the equivalent of some of the most prestigious Premier Cru and Grand Cru sites in Burgundy.
The current estate also has a long history as the tradition of winemaking in the Kauter family, from the village of Winkel, goes back 250 years. Winemaking in the Corvers family, originally from Rüdesheim, reaches back equally as far. Dr. Corvers, although respecting the two families history and traditions, prefers to look ahead. His main focus is first the wines, and then their potential to be paired with foods, and that is exactly our focus as well with our overall portfolio of food friendly wines.
Passion and imagination guide Dr. Corver’s care for the wines at every stage of growth, giving every vintage his own personal signature. The "food friendly" focus is then driven by his wife Brigitte's culinary skills in their restaurant's kitchen by creating and offering their guests a diverse selection of dishes accentuated by fresh local foods of the season and her love of Mediterranean cuisine. These combined talents then coax out the hidden secrets of the vineyards in Oestrich, Winkel, Hattenheim, Rüdesheim, Rauenthal, Erbach, and Assmannshausen.
To maximize the potential of each wine, the estate emphasizes organic viticulture and gentle handcrafting of their Rieslings and Pinot Noirs. In the vineyards, Dr. Corvers continually monitors the combination of climate, soil-type, microclimate, grape biorhythm, transferal of energy, and time as he knows these are the constants, the major factors determining the flavor and aroma sensations a wine will impart. His overall approach can be described as follows:
"Every day a new task presents itself to me as a winegrower. And every decision I make invokes a reaction. My thoughts and actions are intrinsically bound to nature’s cycles. In the winter I decide how best to prune the vines, choosing how extensive the fruit set will be in the spring. When cultivating and fertilizing the soil, I strive to match the natural humus content of the vineyards, creating the foundations for healthy vine growth. In the summer, careful canopy management guarantees that the soil nutrients go from root to grape and not into excess leaf production. At the same time it ensures good ventilation in the vine rows. Grapes can dry quickly after a rainstorm, thereby naturally avoiding unwanted fruit rot. Everything I do, from pruning to harvest, leaves its imprint on the wine. Everything is reflected in the taste. It makes my work exciting every day of the year. One thing follows the next. It’s a fascinating mixture of poetry and the everyday, of intense work and delightful results, which inspire me in my work day after day."
The overall philosophy is that nature is in perpetual motion and that their work in the vineyards and with their vines is also a perpetually changing process, differing from year to year according to what the conditions demand.
The vineyards themselves are also extraordinary as the vineyards of the Rheingau rise up through the lower foothills of the Taunus Mountains along the Rhine River. At almost exactly the 50° latitude mark, the Rhine changes to a east-to-west course for 15 miles. In the east – from Hochheim to Rüdesheim – deep-reaching, fine sandy soils influence the characters of the wines. In the west – from Rüdesheim to Lorch – meager soils, often with a high slate content, lend the wines their distinctive properties. Riesling dominates almost everywhere and covers over 80% of the total vineyards in the Rheingau. This position is challenged only in Assmanshausen, where Pinot Noir thrives on the small town’s steep slopes.
This special environment results in perfectly situated south-facing sun-kissed vineyards with steep slopes and residual slate soil that give the Rüdesheim and Assmanshausen wines fine fruit flavors, elegance, and flair. Deep loess-clay and quartzite soils in Winkel, Oestrich, Hattenheim, Erbach, and Rauenthal produce wines ranging from spicy fruit to full-bodied with abundant extracts and which are complex and rich.
Steep slopes going down to the Rhine. The sun reflecting off the river ripens the vineyards from below.
A view of the deep cut in the topography that the Rhine makes through the Rheingau
Berg Roseneck vineyard looking east
Lots of different types and sizes of fermentation tanks and barrel for precisely expressing each year's grapes
A very precisely organized cellar!
Matthias in the celler
Rheingau Silvaner 2020 (OF, NF)
In addition to the estate's Rieslings, they also produce a delightful Silvaner. Aromas include white flowers, honeysuckle, clover honey, narcissus, citrus blossoms, and lime zest. Flavors include white peaches, honeydew melon, cherries, and hints of pineapple. There is a medium body, good balance and acidity, and a refreshing full finish.
Food pairings would include shrimp, scallops, clams, mussels, sole, seabass, red snapper, seafood pasta, salads, and soups, veal and pork cutlets, pork tenderloin, creamy chicken dishes, Asian seafood, pork, chicken, vegetable, and noodle dishes, creamy yellow curries and Indian appetizers, Thai food, Mexican pork and chicken dishes, green salads, and mild, medium, and creamy cheeses.
Rheingau Riesling "Remastered" (R3) 2018 (OC, NF)
R3 is a blend from different vineyards across the Rheingau and it reflects the geological structure of the area as well as the microclimate of the estate's best vineyards in the towns of Oestrich, Winkel, and Rüdesheim. Initial aromas are of honey and linden which then evolve into flavors of lemon, tangerine, and honeydew melon. There is a medium to full mouthfeel along with crisp acidity which results in versatile food pairings.
My pairing ideas include sole, shrimp, crab, sea bass, lobster, fish tacos, pork cutlets, pork tenderloin, veal, baked chicken, pasta with cream sauce, pasta salads, Asian vegetable salads, grilled vegetables, vegetable stir fry, and creamy Mexican dishes.
Oestricher Lenchen Riesling 2020 (OC, NF)
Aromas include Meyer Lemon, pink grapefruit, white peaches, pear, white flowers, and narcissus. Flavors include honeydew melon, white grapefruit, pear, and green apple. There is a medium body, perfect balance and acidity, and a very refreshing full minerally finish.
Food pairings would include shrimp, sole, halibut, branzino, clams, seafood soups, salads, and pasta, veal scalloping, wienerschitzel, veal piccata, port cutlets, chicken piccata, Asian pork, chicken, vegetable, and noodle dishes, Thai and Vietnamese food, and mild, medium, and creamy cheeses.
Hattenheim Riesling 2020 (OC, NF)
This is from the village of Hattenheim and aromas include honeysuckle, jasmine, narcissus, clover honey, white grapefruit, white peaches, kiwi, and honeydew melon. Flavors include pear, apple, honeydew melon, white peaches, and kiwi. There is a medium to full body which fully saturates the pallet, perfect balance and acidity, and a refreshing full finish.
Food pairings would include shrimp, sole, halibut, seabass, branzino, swordfish, clams, mussels, calamari, seafood pasta, soups, and salads, veal, pork, chicken, duck, cassoulet, Asian seafood, pork, chicken, noodle and vegetable dishes, more delicate Asian food such as Thai or Vietnamese food, Indian yellow curries, Mexican pork, chicken, and seafood dishes, green salads, and mild to medium cheeses.
Rauenthaler Baiken Riesling 2020 (OC, NF)
Baiken, due to its very small size, is not as well-known as larger Rheingau vineyard parcels but it is typically considered one of the top five vineyard sites in the region and that is also confirmed by its Grosse Lage (Grand Cru) status. Its very steep slopes and nutrient poor soils infused with a rare combination of mica and quartz have long been known to produce extraordinary wines.
The 2020 Baiken Trocken has aromas of narcissus, jasmine, lime, pineapple, ripe yellow fruits, pineapple, and star fruit. Flavors include pineapple, honeydew melon, green apple, kiwi, and apricots. There is a medium to full body, perfect balance and acidity, and a full, refreshing, and minerally finish.
Food pairings would include sole, shrimp, scallops, lobster, halibut, swordfish, seafood pasta and salads, veal chops, pork chops and pork tenderloin, creamy chicken dishes and chicken cutlets, grilled sausages, Asian seafood, pork, chicken, noodle, and vegetable dishes, creamy yellow curries, Mexican pork, chicken, and seafood dishes, vegetable casseroles, green salads, and medium, creamy, and rich cheeses.
Rheingau Riesling Feinherb "Terra 50" 2018 (OC, NF)
The "Terra 50" theme is from the Rheingau's location on the 50th Parallel. This "Feinherb" (off-dry) wine has aromas of clover honey, honeysuckle, jasmine, really juicy Meyer lemons, kiwi, lychee, and hints of white grapefruit and pineapple. Flavors include honeydew melon, white peaches, grapefruit, star fruit, and a hint of cherries. There is a medium body but with a “weightless” feel as it progresses across the palate, good balance, perfect acidity, and a fully saturated and memorable finish.
Food pairings would include crab, shrimp, lobster, scallops, sole, sea bass, halibut, creamy seafood dishes, seafood pasta, veal, pork, chicken, creamy curries, Asian noodle and stir fry dishes, cream soups, potatoes au gratin, green salads and pasta salads, charcuterie, and both hard and soft cheeses.
Oestricher Doosberg Riesling Feinherb 2017 (OC, NF)
There is an interesting aromatic profile of various “fruit tree” blossoms such as citrus, almonds, and cherries along with additional notes of honeysuckle, white flowers, and yellow roses and hints of ripe melons such as cantaloupe and honeydew. The initial entry is very refreshing with a full saturated mouthfeel but while also being light and elegant on the palate. Overall this is more medium bodied, with good balance and perfect acidity, and mild citrus and melon flavors such as grapefruit, mild lemon, honeydew melon, and mild cantaloupe.
Food pairings are extensive and would include sole, crab, shrimp, halibut, sea bass, swordfish, scallops, lobster, seafood bisques, seafood pasta and salads, veal, pork, chicken, Asian pork, chicken, and vegetable stirfrys, Asian vegetable salads, mild curries, creamy Mexican food, green salads, and mild and soft cheeses.
Schwerelos Riesling Kabinett "Fruchtig" 2017 (OC, NF)
The “Fruchtig” description means “fruity” in German but with this wine it refers to a wide range of fruit aromas and flavors expressed in the wine instead of it being a sweet “fruity” wine. Schwerelos also literally means “weightless” and signifies the remarkable progression of deep aromas and flavors across the palate but which are perfectly balanced and not heavy or cloying. Aromas include white flowers and grapefruit and there are flavors of Meyer lemon along with hints of other tropical fruits, cherries, and cantaloupe. This is very refreshing with a medium mouthfeel along with perfect balance and acidity.
Food pairings would include shrimp, crab, sole, sea bass, veal, pork cutlets, creamy pasta dishes, potatoes au gratin, vegetable stir fry, medium to spicy curries, cream soups, green salads, and hard cheeses.
Rudesheimer Drachenstein Riesling Spatlese 2016 (OC, NF)
Very pretty aromas of white flowers then evolve into flavors of lush tropical fruits, fruit salad, grapefruit, and honeydew melon. This is another of the Corvers-Kauter very precisely made wines with medium to full mouthfeel, perfect balance, and incredibly refreshing minerality and acidity.
Food pairings are many and include crab, shrimp, scallops, sole, sea bass, halibut, tuna, veal, pork, pork sausages, grilled and baked chicken, Asian cuisine, creamy curries, vegetable curries, creamy pasta and other noodle dishes, rich vegetable dishes, potatoes au gratin, and quiche.
Roter Riesling 2020 (OC, NF)
Roter Riesling is a natural mutation of Riesling that was first noticed about 200 years ago. A winemaker in the Rheingau noticed some vines that had clusters with a range of red splotches on the berries to berries that had a pink tint to the them. The winemaker picked and vinified those clusters separately and found that there were both aromas and flavors of "red fruits" in the wine, such as raspberries, strawberries, and cherries that are not usually noticeable in Riesling and also a slightly fuller body. The mutation has been cultivated on a very limited basis since then and there are currently only about 30 acres of Roter Riesling vines in the Rheingau.
Aromas for the 2020 Roter Riesling include strawberries, raspberries, cherries, pink grapefruit, honeysuckle, lilac, and pink roses. Flavors include strawberries, raspberries, cherries, red peaches and plums, and hints of watermelon. There is a medium to full body, perfect balance and acidity, and a full, refreshing, and minerally finish.
Food pairings would include shrimp, crab, lobster, salmon, tuna, spicy seafood stews, seafood pasta and salads, veal chops, pork chops, grilled chicken, grilled sausages, Asian pork and chicken dishes, Indian creamy curries and appetizers, Mexican pork dishes, beef and pork enchiladas and tamales, and medium to rich cheeses.
Aromas of mocha, cocoa, and dark cherries and a hint of tarragon and mint evolve into flavors of cherries and dark plums along with a hint of cola. This has a perfectly balanced medium mouthfeel and complex tannins which add to the flavors. By the finish, however, you are struck by a deep rich mix of flavors that fully saturates your entire palate.
Food pairings would include Filet Mignon, New York Steak, Rib Eye, beef stew, short ribs, beef dishes with noodles, lamb, duck, venison, pork chops, sausages, charcuterie, salmon, pasta with butter or oil and garlic, grilled vegetables, and hard cheeses.
Assmannshauser Pinot Noir 2016 (OC, NF)
Initial aromas of roses and violets perfectly complement the rich deep flavors of plums, dark cherries, and chocolate. This is another very concentrated example of the Corvers-Kauter wines with its medium to full mouthfeel, perfect balance, and very memorable finish.
Food pairings include Filet Mignon, New York Steak, Rib Eye, Roast Beef, beef stew, short ribs, veal chops, lamb, duck, roast pork, charcuterie, salmon, tuna, Asian beef and pork dishes, grilled vegetables, and hard cheeses.
Rudesheimer Drachenstein Pinot Noir 2015 (OC, NF)
Aromas of violets and cherries progress into bright cherry flavors with a hint of cola. The very rich but perfectly balanced tannins complement the medium to full mouthfeel. Perfect acidity then results in this being an incredibly versatile wine with food.
Food pairings would include Filet Mignon, New York Steak, Rib Eye, Roast Beef, beef stew, short ribs, veal chops, lamb, duck, roast pork, wild boar, charcuterie, salmon, tuna, Asian beef and pork dishes, mild Indian curries and Tandoori dishes, grilled vegetables, and hard cheeses.