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AJ Adam Drohner, Riesling Trocken 2018
Andreas and Barbara Adam
There's fabulous honeyed fruit ripeness, and with five months of lees ageing, the wine has a beautifully creamy, textural quality in the centre. It's a very eye-catching wine, lean, tense and vibrant at first, opening quite exotically in the middle. Bone dry and very focussed but totally calm and approachable.
The Riesling grapes are sourced from selected plots of vines (average age 45 years) around the village of Dhron. After picking in mid-October the grapes are gently pressed, then typically around half the wine is vinified in stainless steel and half in Fuder (large, traditional oak casks) - with ageing on lees.
Andreas Adam's winery is in western Germany - in the Drohn valley region - which takes its name from this tributary of the Mosel river. It's around 50km north-east of Trier, so not too far from the border with Luxembourg. The steep, southwest-facing Hofberg was first recognised as a premium vineyard site back in 1868, and its fame continued into the 1950s and 60s. However, some of the vineyards were later abandoned as younger generations moved to the cities rather than farm the steep slopes - Andreas's parents included. However, Andreas took a renewed interest in his family's vineyard whilst he was studying at Geisenheim University, and he took work experience at some other notable German estates. His first official vintage was in 2000, aged just 21, from grapes grown in the one hectare vineyard that had belonged to his grandfather. Andreas invested in vineyards in the Dhron valley when land was inexpensive, as the slopes were steep and hard to cultivate. He now works alongside his sister Barbara (who also graduated from Geisenheim University in 2013), and they produce a fantastic range of Rieslings from 5 hectares of vineyards, divided into numerous parcels across Drohn and Piesport. Soils here are predominantly grey-blue slate and quartz.