Pasteuning 2022 Wine Tasting and Winemaker Dinner

Pasteuning 2022 Wine Tasting and Winemaker Dinner.

Last November we visited the yearly portfolio tasting of one of Amsterdam’s most famous wine stores: Pasteuning. Erik Muller and Marjolijn Blom are at the helm of this beautiful store, which is located near Amsterdam’s Museumplein.

Twice per year they organize a big winetasting (followed by a winemaker dinner), often at the best locations in town, to show their customers a selection of the wines they import and sell. A must visit event, which is organized in cooperation with a number of their suppliers. What is worth to mention is that these wineries are often represented by their owners and winemakers, which illustrates the strong and personal connection Pasteuning has with their suppliers.

For this edition they ventured to one of the best hotels in Amsterdam, the Conservatorium Hotel. They selected 6 wineries to be present and concluded the afternoon with a special winemaker dinner at the Conservatorium’s restaurant Taiko with Chefs Schilo van Coevorden and Pedro Banzuzi.

Pasteuning Wines & Spirits

For those who live in Amsterdam and love wine Pasteuning probably is a well-known name. But their clientele can be found far beyond the city’s borders, and with their webshop they even ship nationwide with the help of their staff of 4.

The Pasteuning story started in 1876 as a grocery store, after which their business turned into delicacies and catering. Slowly but surely wine got a more prominent role and since the last 5 years their focus is purely on selling wine, both to consumers as well as restaurants.

Since 5 generations this family company has found its way to dining tables delivering their own selection of fine wines. The work completely independent and import a lot of their wines themselves, directly from the wineries. With these short lines they are able to guarantee a steady supply of wine for their customers.

The selection and tasting of the wines are done internally, where quality trumps regions or trends. The 5 main criteria in their selection process are: energy, pureness, recognizability, fruit profile and uniqueness through terroir.

In their store you will find mainly “old world” wines, supplemented with some strong labels from South Africa and USA. Cool climate wines are also well represented in the portfolio.

2022 Wine Tasting

For this edition of their Autumn tasting Pasteuning choose one of Amsterdam’s finest hotels, the Conservatorium Hotel. During the whole afternoon a selection of different wineries and wines awaited the guests. Pasteuning themselves manned a table with some of their latest discoveries and classics and 6 wineries flanked them with a selection of their finest wines. Below you can find an overview of these 6, and some notable wines we tasted.

Johannes Leitz, born in 1964, propelled this winery to great heights since he took over the family estate in 1985. He grew the estate from just under 3 hectares to 43 hectares, adding various illustrious vineyards such as Berg Schlossberg, Berg Rottland and Berg Kaisersteinfels (all classified as Grand Cru). Johannes received further recognition after he was awarded as “Winemaker of the Year” by Gault Millau in 2011. Leitz is also well known for their increasingly popular alcohol-free wines which are praised and sold internationally.

We tasted a selection of their wines, including Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc), Chardonnay, Sauvignon and of course their focus wines: Rieslings. Winner of the tasting was the Schlossberg GG Riesling they brought.

If you talk sparkling wine in Germany there is one name that always surfaces, that of Volker Raumland. Mr. Sekt is respected and widely known as the best winemaker when it comes to sparkling, and has successfully produced for others and of course under his own name. For the winery he was joined by his wife Heide-Rose. They started the winery together in 1990 and now their two daughters have found their way into the family company.

No less than 7 sparkling wines where available for tasting, plus a number of alcohol-free alternatives (Zerozzante). Our favorite? The Grand Cuvee Triumvirat Brut.

Sauvignon Blanc lovers pay attention. Pouilly Fume does not an introduction, and the Patrice Moreaux Domaine has its residence here since 1677. Now 12 generations later this family winery remains a strong force in the region, led by the brothers Arnaud and Julien Moreux.

Old vineyards and the typical chalk rich soils from the basis of their characterful wines, made from grapes that are grown with the utmost respect for nature, and processed with least interference as possible. A nice representation of Pouilly Fume and Sancerre wines crossed the table here.

This Rueda winery is fairly new (started in this shape in 2018) but builds on a rich background. They are on their way to become the first biodynamically certified winery in the Rueda region. What is also interesting is their choice of grapes. Verdejo is no stranger to the region, and plays an important role in their portfolio, but the regions key variety is flanked by Godello, Sauvignon and Tempranillo,

Their experimental mindset is not limited to the different varieties they grow, also in their style of winemaking they try to experiment and use different techniques and materials. An interesting winery with a clear mind of their own.

An iconic name from Piemonte. Massimo Rivetti houses in the Barbaresco appellation but also has vineyards in Barolo and Barbera. Their wines represent some of the best areas in those regions, but the price still remains modest.

In total they have 25 hectares of vineyards, with vines ageing between 35-75 years. A collection to be proud of. From these vineyards they produce regional as well as single vineyard wines, both white and red. If we had to pick one favorite we surely could not pass on their star “Barbera d’Alba Superiore Serraboella”. Tastes like a dream!

Closing up the line is one of the iconic wineries from Tuscany’s pearl Montalcino. The house of Casanova di Neri has become an iconic name and ranks between the top of this praised town for years now. Year after year the produce some of the best Brunello’s, in an area that is already excellent on itself.

Federica Capacciolli was gracious enough to pour us their Rosso and their Brunello’s (regular and Tenuta Nuova). For the Rosso the 2020 was selected and for the Brunello’s we got the opportunity to taste the 2016 and 2017 side-by-side. A fitting finale to an excellent tasting.

Besides these six we saw some nice alcohol-free alternatives from Leitz (Germany), Ginamis (Netherlands) and Jukes (England).

The Winemaker Dinner

For the lucky ones who booked a ticket to the winemaker dinner a real treat was awaiting them in Restaurant Taiko, who have their residency in the Conservatorium hotel and are one of the finest Asian restaurants in Amsterdam, founded by Schilo van Coevorden.

We enjoyed a marvelous 6 course dinner with matching wines from the winemakers present. They each passionately introduced their own wine and you could tell they loved being at this event. For this occasion, the chosen wines were leading and the dishes selected according to their profile.

Below the menu and wines, including our ratings:

  • Nigiri selection

Akai and Hiramasa kingfish | Akasha roll

Katharina Brut Nature | 2016 | Sekthaus Raumland

DWA score: 93/100

  • Thai style langoustine

Sesame toast | Lime | Chili

Varron Cuvee Especial | 2019 | El Lagar de Moha

DWA score: 92/100

  • Seabass

Miso | Aubergine | Persian sour berries | Winter porcelain

Pouilly- Fume La Loge aux Moines | 2017 | Patrice Moreux

DWA score: 92/100

  • Lobster

Gyoza | Red Curry | Holy basil | Paksoi

Berg Schlossberg Riesling GG | 2018 | Leitz

DWA score: 93/100

  • Duck Szechuan 

Lotus rice | Carrot

Barbera d’Alba Superiore Serraboella | 2018 | Massimo Rivetti

DWA score: 94/100

  • Wagyu tartar

Onion | Mushroom | Shitake stock | Nigri wagyu Aburi

Brunello di Montalcino | 2016 | Casanova di Neri

DWA score: 95/100

Partners and Friends

This afternoon and evening showed Pasteuning at their best, a wonderful group of people with a nose for good wines. As mentioned earlier it was clear that there is a strong personal connection between Pasteuning and their suppliers, which forms the basis for longtime partnerships.

We would like to thank Marjolijn and Erik for their hospitality, the excellent tasting and marvelous dinner. And of course, we would like to thank all the wineries and winemakers present, as well as the staff of the Conservatorium Hotel and Restaurant Taiko, under the leadership of Schilo van Coevorden.