Auction Riesling

Thanks for the… uh… lob, ArieS.

The quick answer would be what grunhauser said. Or, did you mean to ask, “What’s the difference between Riesling Spatlese and Riesling Auslese?” Here’s a brief answer for the revised question, which touches on Germany’s complex wine classification system.

Riesling Spatlese and Riesling Auslese are both wines made in Germany from the Riesling grape.

When you locate Germany on the map, you’ll notice that it’s pretty far north where the summers are fairly short and chilly. This means that the grapes have a hard time ripening before the autumn rains and frosts.

Since ripeness is hard to achieve, ripeness -- the amount of sugar in the grape at harvest -- became the measure for the top quality category of German wines. The wines in this top category are all labeled QmP or Qualitatswein mit Pradikat, which means roughly “quality wines with special attributes.”

What does the harvest have to do with ripeness? Basically, the later the grapes are harvested and the more selective the pickers are in harvesting the grapes, the more sugar is concentrated in the grapes. To get only the ripest grapes, some vineyards are harvested up to seven or eight times throughout the autumn.

What effect does grape ripeness have on the wine? The amount of sugar in the grapes at harvest is related to the wine's mouthfilling richness; the higher the sugars in the grape, the richer and more full-bodied the wine.

Within the QmP category, there are six levels of ripeness. Three levels go with dinner and three levels go with dessert.

The dinner wines, in order of increasing ripeness and body, are:

Kabinett: At the entry level of the QmP wines, Kabinetts are usually low in alcohol, with a tangy acidity at the finish. The wines can be dry (you might find the term for dry, “trocken,” on the label), off-dry (halb-trocken) or sweet. Usually the drier the wine, the higher the alcohol.

Spätlese: Literally "late harvest," this wine is usually richer than Kabinett. The wines can be dry, off-dry or sweet.

Auslese: Translated as "selected harvest," this wine is made from carefully selected bunches of late harvest grapes with higher-than-average sugar concentrations; the wines are usually off-dry or sweet.


Briefly stated, the dessert wines within the QmP are:

Beerenauslese: BA for short, means select berry harvest

Trockenbeerenauslese: TBA for short, means dried berry harvest

Eiswein: means ice wine and is made from high-BA- or TBA-level grapes that were frozen on the vine

Hopefully you’ve found that explanation helpful, ArieS? Does that raise more questions?

The Riesling-heads in this forum know that this answer barely scratches the surface of the topic, which has been the subject of tomes that compete in weight with the Gutenberg bible. They are welcome to weigh in with their own insights… because there’s always more to learn.
Gloria,

Although you provided ArieS with some very good information, I do not think you answered his question. He wanted to know the difference between a "regular" German wine and an "Auction" wine. Here is some info I posted on the board last year:
quote:
Every September, wine auctions are held in Germany. There are 4 main wine auctions held. 2 for Mosel wines, 1 for Rheingau and a combined auction for the Nahe and Ahr. They are open to the public but you must get tickets in advance (about 300 tickets are available). They are very serious and collectors and top merchants attend to try and get their allotment of these wines. Eventually you will see some of these "auction" wines make their way onto retail shelves. If you are an individual you cannot bid directly but must go through an importer who will bid through an official commissioner.

Of course there are tastings connected to these events and you will be able to try all of the rare and exotic beauties while talking to the winemakers. The tastings are held in the morning before the auction. Interestingly, each wine is also poured as it is being auctioned.

These auctions began as a way for wineries to commercially sell their wine. In the past all of the wine produced by the participating estates was sold through the auctions. Now most is sold through normal distribution channels and only a few small production wines are sold at the auctions. These are usually the rarest and best bottlings from the estate. Occasionally, they also include wines from older vintages but for the most part the wines are from the most recent vintage. These auctions are not charity events. Wineries use them as marketing and promotional tools and stand to make money if their wines sell well.

Although the quality of the wines and estates represented is very good, not every winery in Germany participates and some mediocre estates have wines at the auctions as well. Furthermore, the auctions are only held in certain regions. A region like the Pfalz does not have an auction.

Wine Spectator has a number of reviews for these auction wines on their website. Most of them will be Gold Kap or Long Gold Kap wines. Since the wines are so rare, WS does not publish the reviews in the magazine and they are "web only" reviews. WS will state that they are "auction wines" right in the review.

The entire thread and discussion can be found here.

VM
i'm sorry but i think this question is still not answerd Razz,

some german producers are in a winecomunity called " verein deutscher prädikats winzer " short VDP
all the members of this comunity can give there wine for the auction (witch is every year in trier germany).
normaly (but not always) a winemaker would give his best fillings (fillings are makes with the "fuder-number" the second last of the several on label) ot the VDP-auction because he hopes to get a highter price as trying to sell it to the retailers!
this is the diffrence!

cheers.
quote:
Originally posted by ArieS:
The reason I was asking that is I'm wondering if I should pull the trigger on a few bottles of 2003 Wehlener Sonnenuhr Spatlese Auction, JJ Prum knowing that I have already a few of the non auction one.
What do you think?

What's the price? And how much was the non-auction version?

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