TN: Checking out how 2020 GG Rieslings are coming along

This was a follow-up tasting to the 2019 version of the same theme. The initial 2019-themed event was a nice little tasting, but this time we wanted to have a more thorough observation, so we tried our best to acquire some serious GGs, only one bottle per producer, and we tried to get a bit more coverage from the regional perspective as well.

In the end we managed to find some very impressive wines indeed; although I’ve been to tastings where we have some seriously great wines, usually there still are some wines in the lineup that are not really up to par. However, in this tasting every single Riesling was superb - the only wine that was terrific in its own right, but maybe lagging a bit behind the others, was the Rings bottle, which was not only stylistically a bit different from the others, but seemed somewhat more evolved as well. All the others were still super young and most wines didn’t seem to be ready for drinking anytime soon. These are some really magnificent dry Rieslings, ranging from relatively lithe and precise wines to more concentrated blockbusters, which are full of intensity, structure and cellaring potential.

We also had a couple of blind extras before the Rieslings, as is quite usual for our tastings.

  • 2020 Planters Ridge Rosé - Canada, Nova Scotia (21.6.2022)
    A blend of Baco Noir, Frontenac Blanc and Lucie Kuhlmann, all hybrid varieties. 12% alcohol. Tasted blind.

    Very intense and deep pink-to-raspberry-red color. Fragrant and very fruit-driven nose with sweetish aromas of strawberries, some raspberry marmalade, light cherry jelly tones and a hint of blackcurrant Wine Gums. The nose reminds me of a very young Bardolino Chiaretto. The wine is fresh and slightly sweetish - perhaps medium-dry? - on the palate with a medium body and quite fruit-forward flavors of strawberries, some candied raspberry and blackberry jelly tones, a little bit of ripe blackcurrant and black cherry, light balancing bitter nuances a hint of cantaloupe and a touch of red licorice. The wine is fresh and firm with its high acidity, although the overall feel is even a bit lean and raw. The finish is juicy, fresh and quite long with off-dry flavors of raspberry marmalade, some strawberry tones, a little bit of blackberry juice, light cherry nuances and a candied hint of blackcurrant Wine Gums.

    A juicy, easy and fruity rosé. From the nose I thought the wine smelled like a Bardolino Chiaretto, but on the palate the wine didn't feel like one - the acidity felt atypically high for a Chiaretto and they normally aren't this high in residual sugar. I really had no idea where the wine came from - but nobody else did, either, as none of us had any previous experience with Nova Scotian wines! I was surprised how balanced and well-made the wine was - it didn't have any of the foxy qualities some hybrid wines might show and although the acidity felt a bit raw and the residual sugar was a bit to the fore, they balanced each other surprisingly well! A nice summer quaffer, really. Good value at 18,09 CAD (approx. 13,50€).
    (89 points)

  • NV Lilbert-Fils Champagne Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs Brut - France, Champagne, Champagne Grand Cru (21.6.2022)
    100% Chardonnay from Grand Cru vineyards. The wine is composed of 2019 base vintage (50%) and reserve wines from one or two previous vintages, i.e. 2018-2017 (50%). Disgorged in winter 2021/22, after approx. 15-20 months of aging sur lattes. 12% alcohol, dosage 3 g/l, lot 22-01-440.

    Youthful, pale and quite neutral whitish-green color. The nose feels dry and fresh with aromas of leesy autolysis, some ripe red apple, a little bit of creamy custard, light bready nuances and a hint of chalk dust. The wine is dry, firm and precise on the palate with a medium body and bright flavors of fresh red apple, some chalky mineral tones, a little bit of lemony citrus fruit, light leesy notes of creaminess, a hint of apple peel bitterness and an incisive touch of steely minerality. The high acidity lends good sense of focus to the wine and the mousse feels silky smooth and gentle. The finish is crisp, long and mouth-cleansing with dry and crunchy flavors of lemony citrus fruits and fresh green apples, some chalky tones, a little bit of steely minerality, light sweeter nuances of juicy white fruits and a balancing hint of apple peel bitterness.

    A youthful, bright and focused Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs that feels like it is showing ever-so-slightly more brightness and intensity than the 2020 disgorgement based on 2017 vintage. Although very lovely wine in its own right, that previous disgorgement felt a bit more accessible but also slightly less vibrant and intense than this one, that comes across as slightly less open-knit and perhaps calling a bit more age in a cellar. This is still a terrific BdB that is very approachable already now, but I would let the wine age at least a few years more so that it would pick up some additional depth and complexity while also resolving that slightly taut, coiled nature. Promising stuff and an excellent purchase at 26€.
    (91 points)

  • 2020 Gut Hermannsberg Schloßböckelheimer Felsenberg Riesling Großes Gewächs - Germany, Nahe (21.6.2022)
    12,5% alcohol. Tasted together with eight other 2020 GG Rieslings.

    Pale, youthful greenish color. Somewhat restrained and slightly spicy nose with slightly closed aromas of lemon marmalade, some beeswax notes a little bit of apple jam and a hint of petrol. The wine is racy, firm and steely on the palate with a medium body and somewhat concentrated, palate-cleansing flavors of sharp Granny Smith apple and ripe lemony citrus fruit, some steely mineral notes, a little bit of apple peel bitterness, light nuances of beeswax and a hint of zesty grapefruit. The bracing acidity lends tremendous sense of freshness and structure to the wine. The finish is long, lean and quite acid-driven with flavors of lemon and grapefruit, some tart Granny Smith apple tones, a little bit of honeyed richness, light primary notes of fruit candies, a bitter hint of apple peel and a touch of spicy minerality.

    A very lovely but also noticeably tightly-coiled and even somewhat austere GG Riesling that is all about freshness, tension and bracing acidity. Although very impressive, the wine is more about aging potential than immediate charm. A very promising 2020 GG that most likely will need some 8-10 years from the vintage before it really starts to unwind, although I can imagine this will be quite terrific even before that. Priced according to its quality at 42,50€.
    (91 points)

  • 2020 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhäuser Herrenberg Riesling Großes Gewächs - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (21.6.2022)
    All fruit is sourced from the Herrenberg vineyard, a 19-hectare monopole vineyard owned by Maximin Grünhaus. 12% alcohol. Tasted together with eight other 2020 GG Rieslings.

    Youthful, luminous yellow-green color. Very fragrant and perfumed but also slightly reductive nose with aromas of apple blossom, some pineapple, light mango tones, a little bit of acacia honey, a flatulent hint of reduction and a touch of sour apple candies (and one person described the nose as "airplane toilet" without elaborating any further). The wine is silky and surprisingly weightless on the palate for a GG, yet very firm and precise with a light-to-medium body and intense flavors of honeyed richness, nose pineapple tones, a little bit of tart lemony citrus fruits, light reductive notes of gunpowder smoke, a hint of steely minerality and a touch of crunchy Granny Smith apple. The wine is structured and pretty high-strung with its high acidity. The finish is lively, clean and precise with dry, acid-driven flavors of Granny Smith apple, some mineral notes of wet rocks, a little bit of honeydew melon, light floral notes of apple blossom and a sappy hint of herby spices.

    A clean, firm and precise Riesling that is surprisingly light in weight for a GG, yet not lacking a bit in intensity or concentration. Despite the reductive nuances, the wine is quite a crowdpleaser with its fragrant nose, yet on the palate the wine is leaner and more tightly-coiled, showing more promise of a better future than immediate drinkability. This is a lovely GG Riesling from the lighter end of the spectrum, brimming with potential, but at the moment coming still a bit too lean and linear for real enjoyment. This'll be so much better with some more years under its belt. A good purchase at 33,50€.
    (90 points)

  • 2020 Weingut Rings Ungsteiner Weilberg Riesling Großes Gewächs - Germany, Pfalz (21.6.2022)
    Made with organically farmed fruit, whole-cluster pressed and fermented spontaneously in stainless steel tanks and old oak fuders. Aged in old, large oak casks, bottled unfiltered. Total production 1510 bottles and 40 magnums. 12,5% alcohol. Tasted together with eight other 2020 GG Rieslings.

    Quite youthful, luminous medium-deep lemon-yellow color. Quite big and noticeably ripe nose with sweetly-fruited, slightly tropical aromas of pineapple, some waxy tones, a little bit of beeswax, light apricot notes, a hint of stone dust and a woolly touch of damp old wood. The wine is ripe yet very crisp, lean and high-strung on the palate with a slightly viscous medium body and intense flavors of lemony citrus fruits, some ripe nectarine tones, a little bit of apple peel bitterness, light pithy notes of grapefruit, a hint of steely minerality and a concentrated, slightly spicy touch of extracted bitterness. The bracing acidity lends impressive sense of structure to the wine and great intensity to the flavors, yet still the wine comes across as surprisingly ripe and also slightly more evolved compared to other 2020 GG Rieslings. The finish is crisp, lively and steely with bracing acidity and a brisk aftertaste of steely minerality, some lemony citrus fruit notes, a little bit of extracted bitterness, light peachy nuances, a hint of honeydew melon and a touch of wool.

    This was a very brisk, racy and focused GG Riesling, yet still it came across as a bit all over the place. The bracingly-high level of acidity stood in stark contrast to the surprisingly ripe fruit flavors and concentrated, even slightly viscous mouthfeel of the wine. Furthermore, in our tasting of nine 2020 GG Rieslings, this wine felt slightly more evolved than all the other wines we tasted. Not by much, but almost all the other wines felt like they were bottled yesterday, whereas this wine seemed like it already had a few years under its belt. Not that it matters now, seeing how the wine feels like it could use some additional aging - however, I still think it might be a bit worrisome if one wine seems somewhat more evolved than its peers? Or maybe it's just the winemaking speaking, I don't know. A fine wine, but feels somewhat pricey for the quality at 48,50€.
    (89 points)

  • 2020 Weingut Battenfeld-Spanier Kirchenstück Riesling Großes Gewächs - Germany, Rheinhessen (21.6.2022)
    Made with biodynamically farmed Riesling from the Kirchenstück Grosselage vineyard. Fermented spontaneously, aged in stück and doppelstück casks. 12,5% alcohol, 3 g/l residual sugar and 7,2 g/l acidity. Tasted together with eight other 2020 GG Rieslings.

    Pale, youthful yellow-green color. Somewhat restrained and slightly herby nose with nuanced aromas of apple blossom, some Rhône-like aromas of chamomile and noble hops, light crunchy green apple tones, a little bit of pomelo-driven citrus fruit, a subtly wild hint of vague waxy funk and a touch of fresh white fruits. The wine is ripe, broad and quite voluminous on the palate with a moderately full body and dry, concentrated flavors of white peach, some honeydew melon, a little bit of ripe apricot, light stony mineral notes, a hint of fresh pineapple and a touch of apple peel bitterness. Despite its relatively big size, the wine doesn't one bit heavy or ponderous, all thanks to its fresh, racy acidity that lends it great sense of structure and energy. The palate-cleansing finish is firm, long and steely with dry, concentrated flavors of fresh pineapple, some lemony notes of citrus fruits, a little bit of ripe nectarine, light stony mineral notes, a floral and subtly herby hint of chamomile - reminiscent of Marsanne-driven whites - and a touch of chalk dust.

    A noticeably ripe but also very fresh, balanced and promising GG Riesling. The wine might feel a bit clumsy, if it weren't for the almost bracing acidity, which keeps the wine effortlessly so bright and balanced. Instead of coming across as too big, the wine is just very impressive with its combination of power, freshness, elegance and harmony. This is very drinkable already now, but I can see the wine benefiting from further aging as well. Excellent stuff, priced according to its quality at 48,50€.
    (93 points)

  • 2020 Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Ruppertsberger Gaisböhl Riesling - Germany, Pfalz (21.6.2022)
    Made with biodynamically farmed Riesling sourced from the Gaisböhl vineyard, a monopole of Dr. Bürklin-Wolf and considered to be Grand Cru-level ("GC") by the winery. 12,5% alcohol, 0,7 g/l residual sugar and 7,1 g/l acidity. Tasted together with eight other 2020 GG Rieslings.

    Medium-deep yellow-green color. Complex and subtly sweet nose with attractive, layered aromas of pineapple and ripe red apple, some floral notes of apple blossom, a little bit of greengage, light aromatic herby notes, youthful hints of pear and grapey fruit and a touch of petrol. Lots of things going on here. The wine is impressively concentrated, precise and high-strung on the palate with a medium body and ripe, focused flavors of steely minerality, some ripe red apple, a little bit of beeswax, light honeyed tones, a youthful hint of grapey fruit and a touch of fragrant savory spices. The racy acidity lends tremendous sense of tension and structure to the wine. The finish is firm, crisp and lively with very long and quite acid-driven flavors of ripe lemony citrus fruits, some steely mineral tones, a little bit of red apple, light grapey tones, a hint of tangy salinity and a touch of honeycomb.

    A very powerful, impressive and dead-serious GG Riesling that packs quite a bit of punch with its ripe fruit, yet managing to feel remarkably fresh, delicate and light on its feet. This is really a head-turner for people who think GG Rieslings are big, ripe, soft and clumsy wines - this wine is anything but! Well, it does show some ripeness, but it doesn't translate to weight or softness in any way. On the contrary, this wine is a great example how one can make astonishing wines that may be rather ripe, yet they don't have to be huge, powerful and extracted to be so impactful. The wine is still so very nervy and tightly-knit that it doesn't feel like it is going to show its potential anytime soon. While a beautiful Riesling already now, I'd say this is a wine that shouldn't be approached until 8-10 years after the vintage. Not particularly affordable at 56,5€, but delivers for the price.
    (95 points)

  • 2020 Van Volxem Wiltinger Gottesfuss Riesling Großes Gewächs Alte Reben - Germany, Mosel Saar Ruwer (21.6.2022)
    An old-vine Riesling from the Wiltinger Gottesfuss Grosse Lage. The parcel vineyard owned by Van Volxem is planted 120 years ago and the low-yielding vines are ungrafted, growing on their own roots. 13% alcohol. Tasted together with eight other 2020 GG Rieslings.

    Quite pale yellow-green color. Fragrant, maybe not that open yet still wonderfully characterful nose with nuanced aromas of ripe red apples and lemon zest, some mineral notes of cold steel, a little bit of youthful grapey fruit, light leesy notes of creaminess and a hint of floral spice. The wine is quite ripe, concentrated and substantial on the palate with its moderately full body, yet showing great sense of firmness, freshness and precision at the same time. There are classically styled flavors of juicy citrus fruits and ripe grapey notes, some steely mineral nuances, a little bit of fresh white peach, light flint-smoky notes of reduction, a hint of tangy salinity and a touch of honey. The high acidity makes the wine feel very firm, structured and focused. The finish is long, firm and complex with dry, palate-cleansing flavors of ripe lemony citrus fruits and some white peach, a little bit of tangy salinity, light mineral notes of wet rocks, a smoky hint of reduction and a touch of fresh nectarine.

    A quite big and ripe effort for a Mosel Riesling, yet still wonderfully harmonious and classically styled in comparison to the typically bigger and weightier GG Rieslings. I understand how some can criticize Van Volxem for making such bold and concentrated wines in Saar - a region known for its lithe and weightless Rieslings - but when you look at this wine as a GG Riesling, not a traditional Saar Riesling, this is nothing short of excellent. While the 2020 GG Rieslings as a whole seem to be superb by any standards, this was still among the best wines in our 2020 GG Riesling tasting. Priced according to its quality at 46€.
    (94 points)

  • 2020 von Winning Forster Ungeheuer Riesling Großes Gewächs - Germany, Pfalz (21.6.2022)
    Fermented and aged for 10 months in 500-liter oak barrels. 13% alcohol, 6,4 g/l residual sugar and 7,2 g/l acidity. Tasted with eight other 2020 GG Rieslings.

    Pale lemon-yellow color with subtle greenish highlights. The nose feels quite intense, fragrant and slightly exotic with layered aromas of ripe lemony citrus fruits, some creamy notes of oak, a little bit of toasty spice and smoke, light honeyed nuances, a mineral hint of wet rocks, a touch of ripe grapey fruit and a lifted whiff of pine resin. The wine is broad, concentrated and juicy on the palate with a full body and firm, dry flavors of pineapple and apricots, some grapey notes, a little bit of creamy oak, light toasty notes of smoky spices and salty liquorice, a hint of zesty citrus fruits and a touch of honey. Despite its ripeness and big body, the wine stays very firm, fresh and structured, thanks to the high acidity. The finish is long, complex and juicy with intense flavors of pineapple and ripe apricot, some honeyed tones, a little bit of creamy oak, light caramel nuances, a hint of salty liquorice and a woody touch of savory oak spice.

    A juicy, complex and very characterful GG Riesling with a lot of depth and concentration - a real powerhouse of a wine. The wine really stood out amidst the GG Rieslings due to its somewhat obvious oak influence, but here the impact of wood was a far cry of the overdone, rather heavily oaky style from the early von Winning wines from the late 00's. Here the oak was perceptible, yet not overwhelming at any point, only lending the wine great sense of complexity and breadth without taking away its freshness or precision. Impressive stuff, although the wine could use some additional aging to integrate the woody nuances even better with the fruit. Let the wine wait for at least another 5-6 years, if not longer. An excellent purchase at 36,50€.
    (93 points)

  • 2020 Wittmann Westhofener Aulerde Riesling Großes Gewächs - Germany, Rheinhessen (21.6.2022)
    Made with biodynamically farmed fruit sourced from the Aulerde Grosse Lage. 12,5% alcohol. Tasted with eight other 2020 GG Rieslings.

    Youthful and somewhat concentrated medium-deep color. The nose feels clean, somewhat cool and slightly perfumed with rather intense aromas of zesty citrus fruits and ripe yellow stone fruits, some stony mineral tones, a little bit of cantaloupe, light fragrant nuances of apple blossom and a vague hint of something perfumey. The wine is ripe and concentrated on the palate with a medium-to-moderately full body, yet at the same time remarkably fresh, rather tightly-knit and surprisingly light on its feet. There are very intense and juicy flavors of lemony citrus fruits, some waxy tones, a little bit of honeydew melon, light sweet nuances of apple jam, a hint of mineral spice and a touch of extracted bitterness. There seems to be a tiny bit of something perhaps gaseous as well - maybe a bit of SO2 showing? The bracing acidity lends a tremendous amount of freshness, energy and structure to the wine. The finish is brisk, firm and lively with a long, racy and even somewhat piercing aftertaste of steely minerality and tangy salinity, some lemony and grapefruity citrus fruit notes, a little bit of sharp Granny Smith apple, light mineral nuances of wet rocks, a hint of honeydew melon and a floral touch of apple blossom.

    A very crisp, intense and remarkably tightly-knit GG Riesling that is still a mere baby, years away from its apogee. With this much ripeness and concentration, you'd want to call this wine a powerhouse, yet it is is so crisp, steely and relatively light on its feet that it would leave a somewhat wrong impression. While I've always enjoyed Wittmann wines, I've never found them that exciting - just nice and well-made wines. This was different - this was very impressive and exciting, ultimately ending up as a WotN for many in our small GG 2020 tasting. Superb stuff that is still just painfully young and too primary for immediate consumption. This wine is really built to age and it really calls for additional cellaring. While it is already very impressive, I'd say this wine might hit its optimal drinking window only 10-15 years from the vintage. A terrific purchase at 43,90€.
    (95 points)

  • 2020 Dönnhoff Kreuznacher Krötenpfuhl Riesling Großes Gewächs - Germany, Nahe (21.6.2022)
    13% alcohol. Tasted with eight other 2020 GG Rieslings.

    Youthful pale yellow color with faint greenish highlights. The nose feels fragrant, characterful and somewhat floral with youthful yet quite dry aromas of pear, some cantaloupe, a little bit of white peach, light perfumed notes of apple blossom and exotic flowers, a hint of apple sauce and a touch of marmaladey yellow fruit. The wine is youthful, crisp and surprisingly airy on the palate with a light-to-medium body and concentrated, slightly primary flavors of sweet white peach and cantaloupe, some tangy saline mineral notes, a little bit of fresh apricot and pear, light candied gummi bear tones, a cool hint of wet rocks and a touch of ripe lemon. The bracing acidity makes the wine feel very structured and almost electric while giving the flavors tremendous energy. The finish is long, firm and dry with crisp flavors of lemony citrus fruits, some pear, a little bit of fresh white peach, light steely mineral notes, a tangy hint of salinity and a sweeter touch of apple jam.

    A very crisp, lithe and elegant GG Riesling with laser-like focus. In our tasting of 2020 GG's, this wine was definitely from the lighter end of the spectrum - along with 2020 Maximin Grünhaus GG Herrenberg - but not lacking one bit in depth, structure or intensity. There's definitely some ripeness here, but maybe a bit less than in others, making the wine feel more about minerality and quite high-strung acidity rather than power or fruit concentration. That, however, also makes the slightly pear and candy-like primary flavors stick out a bit, making the wine feel somewhat too young for its own good. Even if the wine feels somewhat more expressive and open for business than the slightly more closed 2019 GG Krötenpfuhl, I'd definitely let the wine wait for another 7-10 years, just to get it drop those primary qualities and perhaps also unwind that tightly-coiled structure a bit more. All in all, a beautiful, impressively structured and very promising effort. One of my favorites of the evening. Solid value at 36,50€.
    (94 points)

Posted from CellarTracker


Besides the Rieslings, the tasting note on 2019-base Lilbert was very timely!

Two weeks ago I wrote the domaine and asked when they expected to release the 2019 Millésimé and the 2019-base Perle, this is the answer I received:


Vintage will be available around march-april

For Perle :

Around next year, blend will be 1/3 2019 - 1/3 2018 – 1/3 Reserve Wines

And the next blend will be 70% 2019 – 30% reserve wines…availability…hard to say !..depend of sales !.. :wink:

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I don’t have much experience with the Rings wines, but I did open a bottle of 2015 Saumagen GG recently, and at first, it also had some unusually evolved notes for its age. The wine seemed to freshen up with air, the way older whites can sometimes do, which was unexpected but pleasant. It was so overly reductive on release that I didn’t enjoy it at all, but now I’m liking where it seems to be headed. After aeration it seemed like it had quite a few good years ahead, with potential for improvement.

This is the second time someone has mentioned the von Winning wines showing more integrated oak than the wines of years ago, which I thought were really strange. Maybe the first was you too? In any case, I’m interested to try them again.

That Bürklin-Wolf Gaisböhl sounds wonderful. Your description really fits their style in general, from what I’ve had. They really are singular wines. Imagine how good it will be in 15 years, not to mention how good the Kirchenstück must be!

Are you sure. I don’t have the 17 yet…

I asked, and that was their reply, copy-pasted.

Thanks for a great write up. I have been trying the Gut Hermannsberg wines lately and I keep thinking nice wines but what makes them unique? And do I need them in my cellar. I buy a lot of Schafer-Frohlich and Emrich-Schonleber and even though I have cut back on Donnhoff overall, I still buy a few GGs because I do find them to be different than ES and SF…less acid more exotic ripe fruit flavors to over simplify.


This wine certainly did benefit from some aeration, as it seemed the most evolved right at the start of the tasting. The fruit flavors took some time to emerge, making the wine feel less old by the end of the tasting. However, even then the wine did seem somewhat more aged than the other wines.

Most likely it was me. I first tasted them in the early 2010’s and the wines seemed to be clumsier and showing more oak influence then. The wines still show oak influence, but these recent vintages haven’t been nearly as impactful as the first von Winning wines were when it comes to oak. Instead many of these manage to combine intense Riesling structure and zesty aromatics quite wonderfully with quite Burgundian oak character seemingly effortlessly. I’ve enjoyed these new von Winning wines quite a bit - even if I can understand they might not be everyone’s cuppa.

Hear hear! They do make some astounding wines. I remember tasting one of their lower-tier village-level Rieslings (Wachenheimer) for the first time, among a bunch of other Riesling from the same price point. I was floored by the quality and complexity in that wine. Nothing truly spectacular or anything like that, but still noticeably more than any other wine we tasted at the same time showed. These wines really seem to punch consistently above their weight!

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My experience with Gut Hermannsberg has been somewhat limited. I can understand the more exotic fruit part, but not really the “less acid” part - none of the Gut Hermannsberg wines I’ve tasted has been lacking in acidity one little bit. This Felsenberg 2020 was perfectly in line with the house style I’m familiar with.

I can understand the appeal in Emrich-Schönleber and Schäfer-Fröhlich wines, but conversely, for some reason, I’ve never been particularly thrilled about these wines. I’ve found these wines very reliable but somehow quite predictable and often, well, just “nice”. Nothing beyond that. They’re something I can always happily drink, but nothing I’d normally fill my cellar with.

When it comes to Nahe, my top three are: Diel with their quite austere overall style and aggressive minerality; Dönnhoff with their fine-tuned, classical style; and Gut Hermannsberg with their slightly more exotic yet very focused and structured style.

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Wow that is fascinating. You have the opposite view as me which is cool.

Also the less acid and more exotic fruit flavors was referring to Donnhoff and specifically to the top GGs I do find them different enough that I still buy some.

I don’t drink much Diel, will have to try some.

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All these experiences can always be attributed to my relatively small sample size, as I don’t drink Nahe as often as I wanted to.

If you like acidity and cool minerality, Diel should be up your alley. I haven’t drunk that much Diel, but whenever I’ve had their Rieslings, they’ve always been really acid-driven. In some vintages they can be almost aggressive and too austere soon after bottling and I prefer to give them some time. Great stuff to fill your cellar with while you drink other, more early-drinking producers.

They make some serious Weissburgunders and Grauburgunders, too. Typically true to the house style, ie. quite lithe and mineral for the grape varieties. And their Cuvée MO is one of the most impressive German bubbly wines I’ve tasted!

Fascinating. Schaefer-Frohlich is a top 10 holding in my cellar and I absolutely love the wines (my favorite dry German producer), where I find the Donnhoff GGs consistently….not great. I’ve not had a huge amount of Diel, but what I’ve had has not tempted me to change that.
I find E-S slightly tougher to evaluate as they need so much time, but an 08 mag Sarah brought to a birthday dinner last year was spectacular.
As always, thanks for the notes Otto.

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Turns out the different wines hit people differently. While I like Schaefer-Frohlich, their GGs (other than Kupfergrube) don’t thrill me. The Felseneck Spatlese GK is actually my favorite Schaefer-Frohlich wine. Schonleber is similar for me. The GGs have never struck a chord.

Donnhoff was how I learned Nahe wine, and so had a huge advantage in terms of me getting excited to try and buy the dry wines.

Just starting to try the Gut Hermannsberg wines. Have enjoyed the limited samples I have tried. Not enough data for a judgement as to whether they take a permanent place in my cellar.


Thanks, Otto! Although the quality seemed pretty consistent across-the-board, it sounds like you were able to curate a selection comprised of a nice variety of presentations. Did you find the r.s. in the Battenfeld-Spanier or Von Winning noticeable? The note on the B-S tends to suggest “no,” on that one, but I’m still curious, particularly given its spot in the lineup next to the very dry Burklin-Wolf.

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Greg and I agree on Donnhoff GGs and Schaefer-Frohlich, though I give the edge to Emrich-Schönleber over SF. They do need a lot of time. One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that they seem to age all of a piece, all aspects in tandem, like a picture you enlarge without changing the aspect ratio; whereas other great GGs seem to be to grow and stretch in various directions separately, before coming into proper alignment again.

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Interesting comment, and I think I understand what you mean. What are some producers, in your opinion, whose wines go through these growing pains?

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Whoa, man! Trippy … :wink:

I find it extremely difficult to put Schönleber and S F,
Mr 10000 Volt, in the same sentence

This is amazing :clap:

I wouldn’t say growing pains so much as different rates of growth for different aspects. Like some kids seem to get a bigger nose and then a bigger forehead before coming together, whereas others just seem to evolve into larger more mature versions of themselves.

I’d say many others of my favorites, such as Keller, SF and Von Schubert, tend to evolve in one directon and then another, perhaps broadening and then deepening instead of doing both at once. Or evolving structurally before fruit calms down. Unfurling one limb and then another. So maybe growing pains is more apt than I first thought. It’s not a negative, just an observation.

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Thank you for your notes, Otto. Always great.

On my soapbox again: can I encourage you to expand on your descriptions of the perception of dryness for these wines when you do Riesling reviews?

You do mention that the Battenfeld has a 3 g/L of RS and 7.2g/L of acidity and you describe it as “full body and dry”, but I have to question that as my own Riesling, which I describe as fully dry, only has 0.7g/L of RS and about 7g/L of acidity. It is my suspicion that you’re describing this as dry, only within the canon of Riesling, not compared to any other dry white. That would, for me at least, be useful and consistent information.

I can already tell by the numbers that there is no way I’d classify this as a dry wine.

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