Knebel - Röttgen 2018

We are drinking a Riesling GG 2018 from Winninger Röttgen made by the Knebel winery.

After the first 2018 GG was so good, it was time for a repeat. The grapes for todays wine come from the Terrassenmosel, more precisely from the Winninger Röttgen. A part of the Moselle that I have unfortunately not yet visited myself. But the pictures are spectacular and I have to make up for it. The sections of the Moselle I have already visited have shown that it does inspire awe when you see them in front of you, the steep slopes filled with slate rubble. In this part of the Moselle, the extreme steep slopes are interspersed with terraces. Not much can be done with machines here, hard manual labour is demanded of Beate and Matthias Knebel, and of course of all the other local winegrowers. The grapes harvested from these sites are fermented spontaneously at Knebel and then given time to develop.

The wine starts rather dark on the nose. One has the feeling of already smelling some maturity, but at the same time it is young and restless. Some apple peel and citrus fruit in the aroma. In the mouth, a crisp acidity bites, light bitter notes, also the apple. Enormously long. Already in the first minutes it becomes more filigree in the nose and more and more structure affects the tongue. The brief hint of ripeness has completely disappeared. The fruit is sparser and at the same time the wine is powerful and intense on the palate. There are now herbs and wet stone. The first hour changes the wine even more. It becomes lighter on the nose, finer, more delicate. The acidity remains, but at the back of the palate there is now a sparse, clear spiciness. Lots of minerality and somehow also a bit unapproachable. The Röttgen always needs a short moment in the glass after pouring. The first two or three sniffs are somehow strange and unsorted. Maybe we were a bit too early with pulling the cork, but since putting it back in is difficult, the bottle disappears into the fridge.

These teething troubles fade away overnight. It now smells slightly of apricot and you can feel crisp, green apple on your tongue. The freshness and mineral spiciness continue. We like it better and better, which is why we decide to give the wine a second night to develop.

And this decision was a good one. The Röttgen becomes even more complex. But somehow also more restrained. It demands attention and now offers mirabelles, grapefruit and ripe honeydew melon. It’s exciting that this took three days after all. In this state, with the fine interplay of fruit, minerality and elegance, this is on point. A really great wine that shows what is possible even in a warm year like 2018.

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