While recent months have brought their share of uncertainty, some winemakers have also received a fair amount of recognition. Henri Ruppert, for example, has been showered with awards and outstanding ratings outside Luxembourg.
Speak to any winemaker and they’ll tell you: “it’s not about the medals!”. That said, many still enter their wines for competitions and it’s always better if the stickers are on your bottles rather than those of competitors! Since 2020, Henri Ruppert has hit a winning streak in this little game that, contrary to outward appearances, is actually something of a big deal.
His success has been all the sweeter since he takes a less than obsessive approach to competitions: “I don’t send samples to many competitions, just the more professional ones where seasoned tasters perform blind tastings,” he explains. “There are loads of competitions being held pretty much everywhere – with more and more springing up all the time – and there aren’t that many with any true value.”
The most recent praise for his work has come from the Austrian Falstaff magazine (which also has a very large readership in Germany and Switzerland). In its March/April issue, the publication featured a new tasting of wines from the Luxembourg Moselle region. After the special issue on fizz published before Christmas, in which Luxembourg crémants figured prominently (we’ll come back to this), this is becoming something of a habit, which is definitely good news!
In the recent tasting, the Schengen-based winemaker never scored less than 90/100 with no fewer than six wines up for rating. The scores were as follows: 2019 Barrique Auxerrois: 93 points, 2017 Ma Tâche Pinot Noir: 92.5 points, La Brute crémant: 92 points, 2016 Barrique Pinot Blanc and 2019 Quartz Riesling: 91 points, and 2019 “Sélection 12” Pinot Gris: 90 points. Such incredible consistency across several grape varieties, wine types and vintages is testament to fine craftsmanship!
In the same magazine’s special autumn edition on sparkling wines (“Sparkling Trophy”) his La Brute white crémant and the Gëlle Fra rosé and white cuvées were all rated 93/100 (La Brute was actually given 93+/100). “When I saw the results, I was obviously very happy,” smiles Henri Ruppert. “These crémants don’t always do so well in national competitions and I find it interesting that they are given a different reception abroad. While they may not be considered classics in Luxembourg, I now have confirmation that they are in fact fine wines!”
The results of the AWC Vienna competition prove that the Austrians are big fans of Henri Ruppert. In 2020, he scooped nine medals, seven of which were gold. His estate was awarded the maximum overall score of three stars and he was named “Best national producer”. Gold medals were awarded for his 2018 Barrique Auxerrois, 2018 Barrique Chardonnay, 2018 Barrique Pinot Blanc, 2018 Wintrange Hommelsberg Pinot Gris, 2015 Ma Tâche Pinot Noir, 2018 Vendanges Tardives Riesling, and 2018 Wintrange Fels Riesling.