Before we continue thematically more focused again, we push a bottle of Riesling in between. It comes from the Rheingau from the Georg Breuer winery and is indeed the first bottle of wine from the Rheingau in the blog. The white spots on the map of German wine-growing regions are becoming fewer and fewer. With just over 3000 hectares, the Rheingau is a rather small growing area in German comparison. Here, on the Rhine west of Wiesbaden, mainly Riesling vines grow on the slopes. The grapes for today’s wine come from the Berg Rottland site west of Rüdesheim on the northern side of the Rhine. If the vineyard were on the southern side of the Rhine, but east of where the Nahe flows into the Rhine, it would be Rheinhessen grapes and west of the Nahe it would be grapes from the Nahe region. Three wine regions are really quite close here. The vines stand on a mixture of loess loam, slate and sandstone and face south. Theresa Breuer, who is now the fourth generation to run the winery, which was founded in 1880, manages the vineyards with her team in a way that is close to nature and as sustainable as possible. Despite the warm and dry year of 2018, the wine itself has only 11.5% alcohol and it was aged in used, large wood. Moreover, it is still relatively easy to purchase at winery prices. This is not at all the case, especially with the Berg Schlossberg. And whether one can or wants to go along there in particular on the secondary market everyone must decide for themselves. I won’t.
After opening, the wine needs a moment. It starts super restrained and very fine on the nose. There’s stone fruit and some elderflower. The acidity, on the other hand, gets going right away, claws at the tongue and then lingers forever. Air really does the wine good and a hearty slurp then also brings a good portion of structure into play. It is often the case that the first sip then also changes the smell again strongly and this is also the case here. The wine seems more open, more mineral and also more fruity on the nose. From the warm year, however, nothing can be felt. The length is really impressive. Even the smallest sips linger and linger and linger. This is a candidate for three evenings.
The wine seems more direct a day later. What was hinted at has continued. Oxygen really brings something to play here. The fruit becomes denser, going more towards citrus now. What remains is the delicacy. And that, too, is exciting to see every time. How different winemakers then deal with the years quite differently and some also manage to get a very fine, fresh, actually cool wine from such a year. Berg Rottland has a lot to offer, but it expects and needs attention to be able to do so. I really like that.
And even on the third evening, this is a quiet bundle of energy. It has become more mineral again and the fruit has taken a bit of a back seat once more. The acidity continues to be biting and you have to continue to engage with the wine and listen to it. Simply drinking alongside is not going to turn out great. I would also not really know what I would put as food next to it. Therefore, the so solo over three evenings way to drink fits quite well I think. Beautiful wine.