Getting you through 2020 with Richards top Rieslings
Posted on September 19 2020
As a self-confessed Riesling nut and whilst in the midst of an Indian summer with a few more hot days in the forecast what better time to drink and indulge in German Riesling!
I have selected my personal favourite trocken (dry) Rieslings from the grapes homeland, Germany:
Tobias Knewitz was handed down this Appenheim estate recently and together with his younger brother Bjorn and his wife, Corina, are creating affordable yet cult wines. Some of the highest limestone content vineyards in not just this corner of the Rheinhessen, but all of Germany, bring a brightness and precision to this wine. Think crisp, refreshing, dry Riesling with a green apple note. Prices will only increase as they grow their reputation so buy some now before they go the way of Keller.
Sandra Horst Sauer makes underrated dry Riesling from the very steeply sloping vineyards wrapping around the pretty village of Eschendorf and the meandering River Main in the Franken region. Like her name, the ‘S’ Riesling has plentiful zesty, mouth-watering acidity but is perfectly balanced with a juicy pineapple flavour and hints of orange marmalade and pith. I adore the traditional, but increasingly rarely used, bocksbeutel, which allegedly derives its name from the term for a ram’s scrotum!
Andreas Adam, now joined by his sister Barbara, took over their grandparents’ winery in the Drohn, a tributary of the Mosel, in 2000. Suckers for punishment, they now farm their hard-to-work, steep, slate sites organically. Their uncompromising focus is on making wines that have low alcohol and freshness. Whilst their estate Riesling has expressive honeyed aromas, do not be deceived, as on the palate it has a feather lightness, razor-sharp precision, stunning drive and is bone dry.
Harald and Petra Hexamer took over the mixed family farm in Meddersheim, Nahe in the early 1990’s and had just a few hectares of vines back then. Their Schloss Bockelsheim No. 1 is all late harvested (at Auslese ripeness), from their best sites and fermented to dryness. This is a super expression of a ripely-fruited style with a generous core of sweet yellow plum. A spritzy freshness, herbal note and saline minerality gives the wine the beautiful balance it requires.
Klaus-Peter Keller has taken German Riesling to a stratospheric level and whilst so many of his cult-followers have created a severe supply shortage we have sourced some of his ‘Von de Fels’. As the name of the wine suggests, it is rooted ‘in the rocks’ with its serious, stony mineral edginess, like licking a 12-volt battery. This bony structured wine has such perfectionism. Please do not buy too much so we can share the Keller love!
Phillip Wittmann is the 15th generation incumbent of this prestigious Westhofen wine-making family. His Kirchspiel vineyard is classed as a ‘GG’ or Grosses Gewachs, the equivalent of a Grand Cru in France, which identifies some of the finest sites in Germany. It sits on the edge of a hill, has more limestone soil and gives great tension and racy acidity to grapes. Expect more weight and complexity combined with an enchanting ethereal quality.