The Riesling today means future and tradition at the same time. Christian and Martin Hannemann are the fourth generation to take over the Heiligenblut winery, and the 2018 vintage is the first vintage at the winery for which they are responsible themselves. However, the winery, which has been in the hands of the Hannemann family since 1924, has significantly older roots. Vines were planted on the site as early as 746, according to records from the town of Alzey, and the winery itself dates back to 1826. The winery now has a focus on Scheurebe, Silvaner and Riesling. The Petnat made from Scheurebe is a real recommendation, but it disappeared so quickly that it wasn’t enough for a tasting note. Surely a consequence of the drier heating winter air and consequently higher evaporation. But now it is all about the Riesling. The vines, over 60 years old, from which the grapes for today’s wine were harvested, are located in the Heiliger Blutberg site, which belongs entirely to the winery. They grow on volcanic soil. The wine forms the top of the collection. It is hand-picked, fermented spontaneously and only enough is done in the cellar to let the wine become what it already was anyway. The two are also in the process of converting the winery to organic farming. In the bottle, it then ends up with a label that is again based on the design of 1842. As I said: Future and tradition.
The wine smells enormously mineral after opening. There is exotic fruit and lots of freshness. The acidity has decent bite on the tongue and delivers the freshness there as well. There’s pineapple, lots of citrus, some with the white, slightly bitter skins. Especially at the back of the tongue you can feel this. The wine is fun right away and becomes more spicy and structured with air. Air also rounds out the Riesling more and more. It becomes more harmonious and yet always retains the great freshness, minerality and the pull on the tongue. All the more impressive when you consider how dry and warm 2018 was.
As such it goes into the second evening. There’s a lot of power in the wine. Sure, there’s also a lot of acidity in the wine, but it doesn’t come across as spiky or unpleasant. You can tell that the timing was really good in the vineyard at harvest. The fragrance has become a bit more yellow-fruited and the minerality has receded somewhat. In return, spice and structure gain even more. Really a pity that we have only one bottle of it or better to say had at this point. I would be really interested to see how this Riesling matures. I would go out on a limb and say that there is still a lot of time ahead of it. And you should also keep an eye on the other wines.