Estate wines are exciting. That’s one of the reason for todays selection. The first contact with Leiner was at a wine festival at the Kalmit some years ago, something that unfortunately is completely missing this year, and then the wines kept appearing on the radar and never disappointed. So I figured it’s time to write about them. The Jürgen Leiner winery has been cultivating its vineyards around Ilbesheim ecologically since 2005 and lives the philosophy that a healthy ecosystem around the vines also ensures good wines. The wines of the Handwerk Collection should reflect exactly this work and the vintage as typical representatives of their respective grape variety. The Weissburgunder, Pinot Blanc, and Grauburgunder, Pinot Gris, were both harvested in 2019, left on the mash for a short time after the harvest and fermented in stainless steel after pressing, where they were left on the lees until filling. Of course, the estate wines are bottled much earlier than the wines in the higher levels of the quality pyramid. For example, the estate’s online shop lists the 2020 vintage of Pinot Gris already.
We start with the Pinot Blanc: crisp, fresh and lively. Smells like pome fruit, is dry on the tongue with a beautiful structure. Drinks itself away just like that. Over the next few hours more fruit develops, the pome fruit, here mainly fresh apples, becomes clearer and citrus is also added. I like the freshness, the pull on the tongue and the fine fruit.
The Pinot Gris is clearly darker in aroma and also more reserved. Honeydew melon in the nose and much less acidity on the tongue. Also juicy, but lacks the kick that the Pinot Blanc offers. Instead more fruit develops. With air almost a bit of banana, then melon but all in all just as drinkable as the Pinot Blanc. I can imagine that it will appeal to even more people because of its lower acidity.
Both wines hardly change overnight. I did not expect that either. They remain just as drinkably delicious as they were from the first sip. This is a Landwein that goes with food, that works on its own and that you can take everywhere with you with the certainty that the bottle will not stay full for long. Although I am certain that it’s most beautiful, hopefully soon again, at the Kalmit wine festival.