This Article Contains
Theo Minges, his wife Martina and their daughter Regine Minges
A range of Prädikat and dry single vineyard wines from some of the best vineyards you’ve never heard of in the Pfalz. Mineral and fruity, balanced and ageworthy. Lot’s of energy.
Cool to Moderate Continental
- Cold winters, hot, medium length, fairly rainy summers, with long, cool, dry autumns.
- This is the warmest region in Germany with more Mediterranean-like temperatures. You can even find fig and olive trees growing among the vines.
- Winters are usually not as cold as they were historically. Summers are much hotter, drought is a serious problem, and autumns start later and are often much wetter than they used to be.
- Moderate climate wines are relatively high in acid, with lower than average alcohols, medium to light in body, and often show a lot of mineral flavors along with ripe fruit notes.
- White grapes are the majority but there are some great light reds, like Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier that can also ripen well.
- Warmer vintages: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2015 produce wines with lower acidity, higher alcohols, and richer fruit flavors.
- Cooler vintages: 2021, 2013, 2010, 2008 produce what are now considered “classic” cool-climate wines
- 2022 is an enigma. It was hot and very dry for most of the growing season, but rain and long cold fall ended up giving us wines that taste more like “classic” cool-climate wines than rich, ripe wines.
25 hectares in their home village of Flemlingen
- Gleisweiler Hölle: Red sandstone, limestone. a hollow site undulated with streams, brooks, and vegetation more similar to that of Northern Italy than the flat-ish Pfalz.
- Burrweiler Schloßgarten: Loam, limestone
- Weyhrer Michelsberg: Slate
- Flemlinger Vogelsprung: Loam
- Unterer Faulenberg
- The King of White Grapes.
- High acid, semi aromatic
- A huge variation in style potential from very light and dry, sparkling to the most unctuously sweet wines on the planet.
- Divisive for its high acidity and sugar retaining capabilities
- Perfect in its dynamic nature, ability to transmit the slightest nuance of terroir and being capable of aging for hundreds of years.
Pinot Noir / Spätburgunder
- German Pinot Noir wines are vinified as dry red wines with complex cherry aroma with subtle hints of smoke and almond, slight tannins, and high acidity, with a long finish.
- Had a poor reputation thanks to high yielding, work-horse, clonal material.
- Now Burgundy clones dominate vineyards for the best producers showcasing this incredible variety's true potential.
- Moderately high acid
- Neutral in aromatics
- Responds well to winemaking, no matter the method
- Originally from Burgundy, France
- Does well on the limestone soils
Pinot Blanc / Weissburgunder
- A white skinned mutation of Pinot Noir
- The secret weapon of the Teutonics. They make the best versions of this grape, and they don’t share them.
- Germany is now the world’s leading producer of Pinot Blanc
- pale to straw yellow in color, and delicate on the nose. A slightly nutlike aroma is typical. Vinified dry, its medium to full body and fine acidity complement many types of food.
- Good examples age very well, although generally made with the aim of everyday fresh and dry wines in mind. Even these seemingly innocuous wines have the ability to age over decades..
- A crossing of Riesling and Bukettrebe (until 2012 thought to be Silvaner)
- Scheurebe was created by Georg Scheu in 1916.
- Though it was first bred in the Rheinhessen, it quickly became a favorite across the country when it was released to the public in the middle of the 20th century.
- Regions: Most of Scheurebe’s plantings are still in the Rheinhessen, though it’s also grown in the Pfalz, Nahe, and Franken.
- Styles: Initially bred to be an aromatic variety, Scheurebe is known for its pronounced, fruity aromas.
- It has fresh acidity and is often made as a lusciously sweet wine, though dry versions are becoming more common.
- Ancient variety
- Highly aromatic
- Low in acidity
- Makes for great sweet wines, but the Germans and Austrians make even better dry wines from them.
- They can taste like a day at the beach.
- Biodynamic practices
- Most vines planted 40 years ago
- All Mosel clones of Riesling
- Cover crops between rows.
Traditional - Low Intervention
- Light crushing
- Few hour maceration
- Gentle pressing
- Spontaneous fermentation in stückfass or stainless steel
- an extra long time on gross lees, at least one year
- extremely minimal sulfur use, and only at bottling.
A family winery since the 16th century now in the hands of the enigmatic Regine Minges and her father. The wines are classic interpretations of the relatively unknown, but worthy, southern Pfalz vineyards. But they seem to have a new energy and luster to them since Regine finished her studies at Geisenheim and joined her father at the winery.
These were some of the biggest “re-discoveries” for me on this last trip to Germany. Single vineyard, organically farmed grapes, made with low intervention techniques, sound, clean, pure, expressive for a fraction of the price of our beloved von Winning and Dr. Bürklin-wolf.
I went back to them again and again at lunch and I highly recommend they be given a chance for those looking for an entry way into the Pfalz without the hefty price tag.
Clean, pure, fruity, mineral, wholesome, not overly polished, but sound and energetic. The sweet wines are very balanced and not overwrought and the dry wines have the concentration to age without being austere.
Minges, Riesling Froschkönig, 2018 $41.99 $36.95
Minges, Riesling Gleisweiler Trocken, 2022 $21.99 $19.35
From a sandstone vineyard near the village. Dry, bright, great acid, white apple, linear, very crisp, waxy, good texture, salty, simple in the best way.
Minges, Riesling Pfalz Halbtrocken, 2022 (1L) $21.99 $19.35
Earthy, dusty nose, zingy acid, lemon and orange citrus, medium length. Simply gluggable. From the village of Flemingen, clay soils, 11% abv.
Minges, Riesling Pfalz Kabinett, 2021 $21.99 $19.35
A medium-density Kabinett, not fully Pfalz weight but a little heavier than in the north. Simple slurpable peach juice. From Geisweiller with sandstone soils. 8.5% abv
Minges, Riesling Pfalz Spätlese, 2022 $25.99 $22.87
Minges, Riesling Schäwer Grosses Gewächs, 2021 $48.99 $43.11
★★★ 12.5% abv. There are only 2 slate vineyards in Pfalz and this is one of them. Was previously owned by someone who only made bulk wine. He knew the Minges would cherish it and do something great with it, so even though a lot of people wanted it, he gave it to them. They got to work adjusting it for quality wines with lower yields. Super unique wine for the Pfalz, but gosh does Riesling love slate! White peach, apple, creamy but tart, mineral in a salty slate-y sort of way. Delicate texture, lifted structure, really good. Age at least 10+ years.
Minges, Riesling Unterer Faulenberg Grosses Gewächs, 2021 $48.99 $43.11
★ Has been made as a GG since 2012. Spontaneously fermented in stainless steel (will inoculate if it is stuck before dryness), no battonage, on fine lees until bottling, which is in July. 12. 5% abv from a vineyard near the forest with lots of cold air, sandstone soils warm the roots but there is not a lot of water access. Perfume, flint, ornate yellow and orange tree fruit, raspberries, mineral, for a spicy and highly texture wine. Great concentration, long aging potential, good structure, very young, has a long way to go. Punchy.
Minges, Scheurebe Feinherb, 2022 $25.99 $22.87
Ripe grapefruit, steely, waxy, short finish, hiding, not as good as the dry right now, needs time. She says 20+ years aging potential, this is what they open at weddings.
Minges, Scheurebe Gleisweiler Trocken, 2022 $23.99 $21.11
White flower, slight green, passionfruit, grapefruit, plenty of acidity. Actually very good, balance structured, I see where the Sauvignon Blanc comparison comes in. They claim it will age for decades, and should.