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Wittmann Kirchspiel, Riesling GG 2017
Kirchspiel is a slightly cooler vineyard & this is reflected in the discreet, mineral and everso slightly smoky aromas. On the palate there's a squirt of fresh lime juice, yellow peach and lots of herbs, chervil and green gooseberry. It's energetic, powerful and, engaging with ripe fruit juiciness, fresh nectarine, very fine-grained mineral, robust structure and a great integrated acid, the lime stays long on the tongue, one of the best efforts in recent years!
The Kirchspiel grand cru site opens toward the Rhine like an amphitheatre. Its southern and southeastern exposure protects the vines from cold westerly winds. It also accounts for the excellent microclimate of the vineyard. The soil structure is similar to that of the Morstein site, marked by clayish marl interspersed with limestone. Limestone is the predominant component of the subsoil, too.
The Wittmann family has been growing grapes and producing wine in the small Rheinhessen village of Westhofen since 1663. Today, the estate cultivates 62 acres of vines in the rolling limestone hills found in the southern part of the region, just west of the Rhine river valley. They have been pioneers in developing the full-bodied, well-balanced style of dry wines for which the region has become known. And they were early adopters of organic (1990) and biodynamic (2004) viticulture. Riesling is the dominant grape variety, accounting for 65% of the estates vineyard area. They also produce the three Pinot varieties (Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir), as well as Silvaner. In addition, small quantities of Scheurebe, Chardonnay and some minor varieties are grown. The estate has as its foundation the pursuit of balanced wines that have tension, depth and intensity, but at the same time fresh and elegant. Philipp Wittmann looks for natural balance in the vineyards, in order to slow the ripening process and harvest grapes that have fully developed flavors, but are not overripe. The Wittmann family has developed a deep bond with the land they cultivate. This respect for nature and commitment to quality earned Philipp Germany's Winemaker of the Year 2014.