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 2019 (OF, NF)
In addition to the estate's Rieslings, they also produce a delightful Silvaner. There is a very nice aroma profile of linden, white flowers, honey, and mild grapefruit. Flavors include lemon, apple, and pear along with hints of coconut. This very refreshing wine has a medium to full mouthfeel, perfect balance, and very food friendly acidity.
Food pairings would include shrimp, crab, sole, sea bass, halibut, creamy fish dishes, lobster bisque, Asain stir fry and noodle dishes, vegetable stir fry, Indian appetizers such as Pakoras or Samosas, creamy vegetable dishes, cream soups, salads, mild cheeses, and fruit desserts.
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 2019 (OC, NF)
Aromas are of white flowers, honeysuckle, camellia, gardenia, juicy honeydew melon, and star fruit. Flavors include honeydew melon, white peaches, kiwi, lychee, and hints of green apple and pineapple. There is a medium body which is perfectly balanced across the palate, perfect acidity, and a full and refreshing finish.
Food pairings would include crab, shrimp, sole, scallops, clams, seafood pasta, seafood salads, veal and pork cutlets, chicken, creamy pasta dishes, Asian noodle dishes and vegetable salads, Indian chicken and vegetable curries, chicken and pork enchiladas, steamed vegetables, green salads, and mild to medium cheeses.
Winkeler Hasensprung Riesling 2017 (OC, NF)
There is a very nice aroma profile of gardenia, honeysuckle, and cut hay. Flavors are of Meyer lemon and honeydew melon. This is also a bit more "delicate" than other more concentrated Corvers-Kauter wines as it has a medium to light mouthful but it is very refreshing with perfect acidity.
Food pairings include crab, shrimp, sole, halibut, sea bass, seafood salads, veal, pork cutlets, creamy pasta dishes, Asian vegetable salads, and green salads.
Rauenthaler Baiken Riesling 2019 (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 2019 Baiken Trocken has aromas of camellia, honeysuckle, white flowers, narcissus, and hints of gardenia, vanilla, grapefruit, and Meyer Lemon. The initial entry has flavors of Meyer Lemon, white grapefruit, and white peach which then progress across the palate into a perfectly balanced and fully saturated finish. The balance seems to understate the acidity but there is also perfect acidity for lots of food pairings and a very refreshing overall sensation from the wine.
Food pairings would include crab, shrimp, scallops, lobster, sole, halibut, swordfish, sea bass, fish soups, seafood pasta and salads, veal, pork, chicken, pasta with cream sauces, creamy and slightly spicy Indian curries, Tandoori dishes, Asian vegetable salads, pork, chicken, and seafood stir frys, creamy Mexican food, chile verde, fish tacos, green salads, and pretty much all cheese from mild to rich.
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.
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.