Two Bottles Lassak

We continue to drink our way through Württemberg. This time with a bottle of Spätburgunder and a Riesling Hambach from Weingut Lassak, both 2020.

The fact that Stefanie and Fabian Lassak make really good Lemberger, we have already established. A wine that I had long on the list is the Pinot Noir (Spätburgunder) of the two. However, it was always sold out when I wanted to buy it. Although the winery exists only since 2016, it has spread pretty quickly how good the wines are. With the 2020 vintage, however, it worked out and we also have the Riesling Hambach in the glass. The vines of the winery are located around Hessigheim in terraces amidst steep slopes on the Neckar River. Although it’s not that far away, we somehow haven’t made it to Hessigheim yet. Something we definitely have to make up for. But I know what the terraces above the Neckar in Esslingen look like, and they mean a lot of manual labor and physical effort. The vines are located around Hessigheim on calcareous clay soils. The Pinot Noir is fermented spontaneously with half whole grapes for three weeks and then aged in used barrique for 18 months on the full lees. It is bottled unfiltered. Riesling Hambach is fresh in the range with the 2020 vintage and comes from the best sites of the old Hambach vineyard. The grapes are also vinified on the full lees for 18 months and then bottled without filtering.

The Pinot Noir needs a bit of time and doesn’t want to come right out. There’s cherry, something ethereal and a good amount of dirt. But the fruit becomes more intense and dense in the first few moments. And the ethereal note also becomes more intense and more reminiscent of eucalyptus. In the mouth, the wine has hardly any tannin and packs a neat juicy punch. This is super fresh and has so much draw that it clings to the tongue, tightens your cheeks and then just stays there. I can already understand why this was always sold out.

The wine gets rounder over the night and a bit more velvety on the nose. There’s more forest floor and dirt now and less cherry on the nose. There’s a bit of lactic to it, which the better half really likes. The cherry is becoming more of a sour cherry and the juiciness is not inferior to that of the night before. Just works really well especially as a wine for simple dinner we call Vesper here with bread and charcuterie and the likes. Fortunately, I have another bottle and I’m curious how this will look with a bit more maturity to it. Also, I’d love to try this one step above, but it’s not available in the range, as this is the only Pinot Noir at the winery at the moment.

The Riesling has a slight natural touch to the nose. There’s a little bit of mellow, slightly sweet apple and a fair amount of spice. The wine comes across as very cool and straightforward. It’s reduced and intense at the same time, and reminds me a tiny bit of Riesling from Odinstal or even what Matterne and Schmitt are doing on the Mosel. Different terroir, of course, but in terms of the idea, the wines are pretty close for me. In the mouth, like the Pinot Noir, this is extremely juicy and super long. This has lots of minerality, great acidity and lots of texture that you can almost chew on. And between all the intense spice and minerality, there’s always an idea of yellow fruit shining through between exotic and yellow apple. This is extremely strong and one of the most exciting Rieslings in a while.

A day later, there are more herbs on the nose. There is only a hint left of the fruit, and the coolness and minerality dominate even more clearly than they did the first evening. The wine is not about fruit at all but about herbaceousness and spice and what it does in the mouth. The great mouthfeel it has retained, of course, and you can continue to chew on the texture for minutes afterward. I wrote it above, but this is really really good. I’m super excited to see what else is coming to the portfolio. I seem to remember that the two have also planted Chardonnay and if that is as good as the current wines, then you probably have to click even faster than already.

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