Leon Gold - Halbstück 2018

We drink Riesling Halbstück 2018 from the Leon Gold Winery from Gundelsbach in Württemberg.

We continue on our wine discovery tour through the local Württemberg. At first dining table only, but as soon as it is possible again, it is of course also possible to stop by the winegrowers we have newly discovered or rediscovered. It would be close by anyway. Today’s winemaker is definitely a candidate for a new discovery. We drink from the Leon Gold winery from Gundelsbach, which is located east of Stuttgart in the Rems valley, the Riesling Halbstück from 2018. The grapes come from the Gundelsbacher Koih. Never heard of the vineyard before. The young winery, which was only founded in 2013, operates close to nature. The wine is fermented spontaneously with the vineyard’s own yeasts and then aged in the Halbstück, a 600-litre wooden barrel. The wine is left on the lees for a long time after some maceration on the skins, which is supposed to provide fullness and structure. Let’s see if it worked.

Since 2018 happened not that long ago and the label already announces that the wine needs air and time, the bottle is opened one evening before the actual first evening. Immediately after uncorking, the Riesling has an intense mineral, spicy smell with only a little yellow fruit. In the mouth almost even more spicy than in the nose. Saltiness on the tongue, crisp, fresh and very dense, closed and especially at the edges of the tongue also still rough. But already during the first small tasting sip it relaxes a little after an hour and becomes rounder. The saltiness remains, herbs get into the nose. That starts off well.

Even after a night in the fridge the wine is enormously firm in the nose, dense, intense, you can almost chew it, even without drinking the wine. There is citrus fruit, mirabelle, pineapple. Around the fruit remains the spice, a little iodine, a few floral notes and a lot of stone. The wine is complex, the wine is multi-layered and demands attention. When drinking it, it is much clearer what developed during the night in the fridge. Here the gruffness has disappeared and with a lot of juiciness and draught the Riesling flows down the throat. And what is then left behind stays there forever.

One day later, it is still the spiciness and minerality that dominate the smell. Perhaps more floral than the day before, in between jelly bananas with chocolate around them, then ripe pineapples again. You can already tell that things are happening. On the palate there is now a minimal sweetness, a little more fruit and a nice creaminess. Of course it is still straight and juicy. The aroma is completely clean from the first sip and focused in the density that becomes more accessible over the days. Nevertheless, the feeling remains that the wine has not yet really wanted to open up. This is a wine with deep complexity and a lot of tension, which is certainly still at the very beginning of its Riesling life. Despite the rather warm year 2018, the wine is cool and fresh. With so much depth, it is easy to imagine that the next few years still have a lot in store for it.

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