Special prizes awarded for the Best Red Wine Cuvées
The Hex vom Dasenstein wine cellar from Kappelrodeck in Baden presented the best red wine cuvée of the DWI competition with the “2017 Cuvée I - Christophe Meyer”. The Schenk-Siebert winery from Grünstadt in the Pfalz achieved second place for its 2017 Cuvée Trio, followed by the Baden winegrowers' cooperative Britzingen Markgräflerland, which came third in the competition with its 2014 Badenweiler Römerberg Red Wine Cuvée St. Peter.
DWI Managing Director Monika Reule emphasized at the award ceremony that there has been a trend towards cuvées in recent years, especially in the red wine segment. "Red wine cuvées can often be found in the premium category of wine lists, as the wines that are awarded today show," says Reule.
In the case of the Federal Wine Awards, one can also speak of a significant increase in the number of cuvées being entered. They have more than doubled in the last ten years and now have a share of around eight percent.
The Cuvée - or the art of composing a wine
The production of a cuvée is the art of creating a new wine from different wines with individual characters and often from different grape varieties that combines the best properties of the individual wine components. This composition requires great sensitivity and a lot of experience from the winemaker. It can provide different flavor accents, weakening or emphasizing the characteristics of a variety. The particular challenge is to work out from which year, which wines or grape varieties and in which quantities will harmonize optimally with one another. Depending on the vintage and degree of ripeness of the grapes, the proportions also vary. Thus, the exact composition often remain a secret of the cellar master.
More than the sum of the individual grape varieties
Another advantage of a cuvée is to be able to offer a wine with a similar taste profile over several years as opposed to a single wine made from one grape variety which will vary considerably from year to year, depending on the conditions of the season. In a cuvée with several grape varieties, the cellar master can compensate for these vintage differences, for example by changing the proportions of the individual varieties. This form of cuvée is used in particular in the production of branded wines and sparkling wines, where the consumer expects a consistent taste profile.
German red wine cuvées contain both traditional grape varieties such as Spätburgunder and Frühburgunder, Lemberger or St. Laurent, as well as increasingly more international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah, which can now also be found in German vineyards.
In the white wine sector, the composition of Burgundy varieties, such as Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay, is a Cuveé classic. The wines from new fungus-resistant grape varieties are also often offered in a cuvée.
In addition, there are white cuveés often in the form of fresh, fruity summer wines. For this purpose, classic grape varieties such as Müller-Thurgau, Riesling or Silvaner are often combined with an aromatic variety that gives the creation special aromas.
“With a cuvée, the consumer can look forward to a concentrated selection of varieties in the glass, which becomes a harmonious taste experience,” says Monika Reule.