If you are into bubbles, you should seriously consider Germany as a great source. Winzersekt, the country’s highest category in the sparkling wine segment, has silently joined the international elite of excellent bubbles made according to the traditional method.
Germany looks back at nearly 300 years of sparkling wine production – Sektkellerei Kessler, founded in 1826 is the oldest known sparkling wine producer in the country. The leading winemakers of France’s famous champagne houses also came overwhelmingly from Germany, including Veuve Clicquot’s cellar master Anton Mueller who later married into the Ruinart family and founded its own champagne house; Joseph-Jacob Bollinger, who founded Renaudin-Bollinger Champagne House, champagne house Mumm was founded in Reims in 1827 by German brothers Gottlieb, Jacobus and Philipp Mumm, and champagne house Krug was established in 1843 by Johann-Joseph Krug, a German from Mainz.
Yet, German sparkling wine never really made it to the top internationally. Until a new category of sparkling wines – Winzersekt – introduced at the end of the 1980s started to slowly change the international perception of German bubbles. Only the highest standards are applied to this category and to carry the name, the wines must be made according to the traditional method of bottle fermentation.
Background: Reichsrat von Buhl Winery
You should always have a bottle of von Buhl Sekt in your fridge for special occasions, even if that occasion is just that you have a bottle of von Buhl Sekt in your fridge
I love this quote on the Reichsrat von Buhl website. It is as classy as the whole Reichsrat von Buhl appearance.
From the elegant bottles spotting elaborate and classy labels to the carefully curated tasting room and shop at their historic location in the small historic wine town of Deidesheim in the Pfalz wine region, Reichsrat von Buhl clearly exudes a style rooted in century-old history yet fully adheres to the standards of state-of-the-art, sustainable and biodynamic winemaking.
If you want to learn more about one of Germany’s most lauded family-owned wineries, just read my recent post Kicking off Riesling Birthday with a glass of Reichsrat von Buhl Suez Riesling.
It’s been checking some facts about the winery for that very post that I came across their Prestige Sekt bundle of three outstanding sparkling wines.
This carefully created trilogy of Prestige Sekt (sparkling wine) reflects the winery’s high attention to sustainable, quality wine making. The grapes for each of the three varieties are coming from the best vineyards, have been carefully selected before they underwent a first fermentation in stainless steel tanks and 500 litre tonneaux barrels, followed by a second fermentation in the bottle.
Tasting Notes: Reichsrat von Buhl Prestige Sekt
I seriously could not tell you which of the three was my favourite. Each was exquisite, expressing its own distinctive aromas and each was a pleasure to taste.
Reichsrat von Buhl Suez Vintage Brut Nature
The winery’s first Brut Nature sparkling wine is made with 100% selectively hand-picked Riesling grapes. The base wine was fermented in stainless steel and 500 litre tonneaux barrels, followed by traditional bottle fermentation on full lees for 40 months.
The first vintage of the Suez Vintage Brut Nature was released for the first time in occasion to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the opening of the Suez Canal (on 17th November 1869) where during the opening reception in Egypt Reichsrat von Buhl wines were served.
In the glass, a yellow fruity shimmer with a fine perlage that rise quickly to the surface.
On the nose, juice yellow fruit notes and aromas of brioche.
On the palate, a creamy and fine pearly texture with fresh acidity and a long finish.
Reichsrat von Buhl Blanc de Blanc Brut
Made from selectively hand-picked Pinot Blanc and Chardonnay grapes, this cuvée was first fermented in stainless steel tanks and used 500 litre tonneaux barrels before it underwent the traditional bottle fermentation on full lees for 80 months.
In the glass, a rich, shiny golden tone with a fine perlage that quickly rises to the surface.
On the nose, the Sekt displays the typical brioche notes and fine roasted aromas from the long yeast fermentation, followed by delicate almond notes.
On the palate, fruity citrus aromas, honeydew melon and a hint of elderflower. Displays a fresh acidity and a long finish.
Reichsrat von Buhl Rosé Prestige Sekt
Made from 100% selectively hand-picked Pinot Noir grapes, the Rosé Prestige Sekt was bottle fermented on full lees for 68 months.
In the glass, a radiant raspberry pink with a beautiful evenly rising perlage.
On the nose, aromas of red berries, rose hips and brioche.
On the palate, a creamy fine pearly texture with fresh acidity and a long finish.
Sparkling wine is very versatile with food and can be paired with starters, mains and even desserts.
Looking at dry or extra dry sparkling wines (and Sekt), it works perfectly with savoury and spice dishes.
Whilst you could drink each of the Reichsrat von Buhl Prestige Sekt varieties also alongside main dishes, I still prefer appetizers and nibbles to go with sparkling wines.
Trying the three varieties, I paired them with some delicious mini asparagus-ricotta quiches which complimented the bubbles nicely without taking the attention away from the main stars of the tasting.
Mini Asparagus-Ricotta Quiches Recipe
For 6 small quiches
1 package puff pastry (frozen)
60 g ricotta
30 g grated hard cheese
60 g cooking cream
2 tablespoons dill
6 green asparagus stalks
salt and pepper for seasoning
Take puff pastry from freezer around 2 to 3 hours prior to use.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Line 6 holes of a muffin pan with baking paper (alternatively you can also use paper muffin cups).
Slightly dust a working surface with some flour, roll out the puff pastry and line the 6 holes of the muffin pan with the pastry, covering both the bottom and edges.
In a large bowl, mix eggs, ricotta, grated hard cheese, cooking cream and one tablespoon of the dill. Season with salt and pepper and distribute into the 6 muffin holes.
Wash and dry the asparagus. Cut off the tips, then slice the tips in halve and distribute over the egg mixture.
Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes until the mixture has set and taken a slightly golden-brown colour.
Serve with the remaining dill on top.