IMW Auction: German super lot trip
The German super lot from the Masters of Wine Endowment Auction at Bonhams in November 2017 offered an unforgettable experience to its Chinese bidders.
On 2 August 2018, Tianfan Jiang and his wife Ying together with their friends Dun Kai and his wife Jinzi Zuo started their tour of four days through four German wine regions. It included VIP ‘meet and treat’ at the best wineries of Germany guided by three German Masters of Wine: Caro Maurer MW, Markus Del Monego MW and Jurgen von der Mark MW. Our guests were driven in two Mercedes oldtimers, sponsored by Christoph Hillebrand from JF Hillebrand who is a passionate collector. VDP was so generous to sponsor the two chauffeurs.
It was literally a hot start in Rheingau with a fine picnic set up in the Steinberg vineyard of Kloster Eberbach before CEO Dieter Greiner gave his visitors a tour through the historic monastery with its historic Cabinet cellar and guided a tasting of old vintages back to 1937. Their first night the two Chinese couples spent in the VIP apartements of winery Robert Weil, located in the romantic half-timbered tower of the original building. At dinner Wilhelm Weil insisted to open one of the only 40 bottles he produced of the famous 2003 Trockenbeerenauslese, harvested with spectacular 316° Oechsle.
The next day lead us to the Mosel valley: tasting sweet wines and home cooked lunch at Joh. Jos. Prüm with three generations of Prüms at the table. Later, Nik Weis from winery St. Urbans-Hof brought the wines for dinner to the outstanding restaurant of his sister and her husband Harald Ruessel in Landhaus St. Urban above the Mosel valley – which brought a welcomed cooling down after 36° Celsius in the valley.
Next morning one of many the highlights of the trip was a visit and tasting with wine legend Egon Müller. After a stroll through his famous vineyard Scharzhofberg he opened Auslese from 1988, 2012 and 1971 and finally a TBA from 1990 – even for the MW escorts, the best reasons not to spit.
But the trip was not only about tasting, it also was about making wine. After arrival in Pfalz all four Chinese guests got the chance to make their own blend under the guidance of winemaker Stephan Attmann at winery von Winning in Deidesheim, being bottled and labelled especially for them. This experience was followed by a legendary tasting at winery Bassermann-Jordan: old vintages including 1900, 1893, 1889 and 1811.
Mathieu Kaufmann, former chief winemaker of Bollinger, now winemaker at Reichsrat von Buhl, gave an introduction into base wines and the sparklings he is making out of them.
The grand finale took place in Baden. Joachim Heger, Fritz Keller and Julian Huber introduced their visitors into the world of Baden Pinots. Tasting Pinot Noirs from recent vintages back to 1990 showed the development of Pinot styles. Pinot Gris and Chardonnay impressed as well. Our Chinese guests finished this glorious trip with Konstantin Baum MW and the owners of the wineries with a great Big Bottle Dinner at Fritz Keller’s Michelin Star Restaurant Schwarzer Adler.
With the exception of the German breakfast culture Tianfan, Ying, DK and Jinzi loved their journey. They experienced a different country than on their previous visits: “The places we travelled this time made us feel a different Germany! The people were warm like the weather!” With a temperature peaking at 38 degrees Celsius this was the most wonderful compliment for the successful super lot.