The desire for Riesling has struck once again. Kühling-Gillot is the second half of the two wineries of H.O. Spanier and Carolin Spanier-Gillot. We’ve had wines from Battenfeld-Spanier in our glass here. What we haven’t had is a Riesling from either winery. And what else we haven’t had is a Riesling from the Roten Hang, one of the most famous terroirs in Rheinhessen. The name comes from the red soil, which in turn gets its color from iron compounds in the rock. Ölberg, the site from which the wine comes today, is located rather south in the Roter Hang near Nierstein. The vines grow on a south-facing slope and the grapes for today’s wine were harvested in 2016. The vines are, of course, organically farmed just as they are at Battenfeld-Spanier. The grapes are fermented spontaneously after hand harvesting and then spend time in large wooden barrels.
In any case, the Ölberg does not really want to come out of the glass after opening. What is already there is dominated by minerality, it is cool and focused. There’s a bit of yellow fruit, citrus notes and some tea. Every minute of air takes the wine a step further at this stage and you can practically watch it evolve. On the tongue it appears very direct, cool as well, and has a nice acidity with a delicate melt out the back. The fruit becomes more, the citrus note more intense and the yellow in the fruit seems more ripe. The stone continues to stand next to it. In the mouth, the Ölberg is really juicy now, pulling on the cheeks, on the tongue and demanding the next sip. For all the greatness in the mouthfeel, it does not really get rid of being a bit reserved in the nose.
Fortunately, the night in the refrigerator helps. The wine is now really mineral and in general it appears much more open. There is simply much more tension in the wine. In the mouth, it is crisp and fresh and now the fruit arrives here too. In addition, a slightly salty note has developed. It’s always amazing what a night can do. The wine even remains in the bottle and just stands around in the refrigerator. So the oxygen contact is quite limited. Nevertheless, it changes the perception completely.
And because the Riesling has already benefited so much from one more day, we add a third evening. This third evening is quite similar to the previous one. Lots of tension in the wine, some exotic fruit, passion fruit yogurt ice cream and stone. In the mouth it lingers and again there is that slightly lactic passion fruit and some apricots. Describing mouthfeel is not so easy, so just great will have to suffice as an attribute for now. The wine shows no age or fatigue at all yet. Quite the opposite. But what it shows once again is that I often find Riesling and 2016 quite a good match.