Coming from a steep vineyard in the village of Klingenberg and typically the most feminine of the Furst GGs, Schlossberg is planted with approximately 30% German clones, the rest French. Initially very reticent, with air a fine seam of flowers and red currant, wild strawberry and pepper emerges. Somewhat tight on the day of tasting this is going to require a little time to give up all its charms. Usually this sees approximately 60% whole bunch fermentation.
The Furst family is said to have been involved in winemaking since the 17th century, during which time Spatburgunder vines have been a constant presence in Burgstadt. The sudden death of Rudolf Furst in 1975 saw his son Paul take over, a tenure that saw the estate’s holdings increase in size from 6 acres to almost 40, and now Paul’s son Sebastian is taking the reins. As an estate known primarily for its outstanding red wines (though the whites are also very good), its primary holdings are the Centrafenberg Vineyard in Burgstadter itself, a red standstone, moderately steep, due south facing vineyard from where they produce both Centgrafenberg Cuvess and the Hunsruck or Hounds Back, a slightly ridged portion of the vineyard that they refer to as the fillet of Centgrafenberg.
The wines at Furst are some of the very finest, most elegant examples of Spatburgunder we’ve ever tasted. Through a combination of detailed manual vineyard work, some great vineyards, and the very lightest of touches in the winery, Paul and Sebastian are turning region’s reputation for somewhat rustic wines, on its head. Very often mistaken for Burgundy, albeit perhaps a little more texturally sleek, these are undoubtedly world class – and a must for any lover of Pinot Noir and Spatburgunder alike.
The modern era at this estate, under Rudolf's son Paul and his son Sebastian has seen purchases of parcels of vines in the historic Centgrafenberg and incredibly steep Schlossberg vineyards, both famed for their pinot noir production. Every effort is taken it the vineyards to keep yields low, including the replanting 10 years ago of 2/3 of the Schlossberg vineyard with Fin and Tres Fin Burgundian clones. High density planting, green harvesting and intense canopy management are all ways in which the Fursts like to make the vines suffer, in an effort to have them produce even finer, more intense fruit, and purer, finer more sophisticated wines. It is a policy that undoubtedly works, as the ever increasingly high quality output from this superb estate attests to.
Home to Horst Sauer, Franken lies in central Germany and was traditionally known as the centre for Germany's most serious Silvaner production. In the hands of Horst Sauer both Silvaner and Riesling are capable of producing excellent wines with greater power and structure than those found in the Mosel. Trocken wines are most common and can have superb intensity when produced here, but the BA's, TBA's and Eisweins, when produced are not to be missed.