Fresh from the generation change at the Kurt Wolf Winery in Großkarlbach in the Palatinate, we drink two bottles of Riesling. The quantities that Dennis Wolf harvests in the Laumersheimer Kirschgarten and then brings into the bottles are quite small, the number of bottles is written by hand on the label, the AP number as well. Only 1100 bottles from 2016 and only 540 bottles from 2017 exist. As fancy as the design of these wines is, the homepage of the winery is still stuck in the previous generations, but that will certainly change as well. Dennis Wolf went through many stations on renowned wineries in the years before returning to the Palatinate and has now converted his parents’ winery to organic winegrowing. Certification will follow soon. The Riesling is fermented spontaneously after the harvest and aged in used wood.
We start with 2016. The Riesling smells of intensive, very yellow fruit, apples, almost a little sweetness with it and also already a slight ripeness. The fruit also arrives on the tongue, but much less than in the nose. On the palate, the wine has rather cool aromas and a strong, mineral framework, together with a strong acidity. The slight ripeness indicated by the fragrance is difficult to detect on the tongue. The wine is so fresh, super clear and straight that it could be freshly filled. We smell hibiscus and a note of tart grapefruit. To the salmon-leek quiche, spiced with lots of berbere, the fruit then plays up to its full potential. A great combination.
A lot happens overnight in the fridge. Incredible amounts of lychee now in the nose and on the tongue. The fruit is much more exotic than on the first evening, with papaya and mango and the crisp acidity.
The wine from 2017 smells much more like natural wine with its apple peel and the slight oxidation notes. But this disappears quickly and then becomes floral and herbal. Super exciting and reminds me of Rieslings from Odinstal in the associations the smell brings. The wine is great from the moment the apple skin fades away. Where the 2016 vintage is much more typical Riesling, there is so much excitement here, there is always something new in the nose and in addition there is an ever more powerful structure on the tongue and clear citrus fruit.
Over the following hours, bitter substances develop, which cloud the initial enthusiasm a little. Of the citrus fruit, mainly the white skins between the fillets remain. The better half celebrates this, I don’t like it so much. But after a night in the fridge the Kirschgarten is on point again. Aromas of tea, apples, herbs. Complex and with a lot of depth. We really like that.
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