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Just in time for Thanksgiving festivities, we're pleased to share a little treasure trove of Rieslings from both the Rheinhessen and the Rheingau. Starting with the Rheinhessen, we travel
15 minutes south from Mainz at the Rhine's bend to the famous Roter Hang or Red Cliffs, home to the wines of Gunderloch (their entry level rieslings have been fave case stack and fridge items at CSW!).
I was fortunate enough to visit in April before the VDP wine fair in Mainz; Gunderloch was my first stop on German soil as Johannes so kindly picked me up from the Frankfurt airport 20 minutes away!
When we arrived up at the top of the Roter Hang, his crew was there excitedly watching the drone pilot and drone doing a test run spraying a biodynamic prep for the vineyards. If successful, all the vineyards could be sprayed in one day instead of all the crew having to climb up and down the steep slopes for three days with the spray packs on their backs. Needless to say, there was much celebration at the end of the day! The three Grand Crus are Rothenberg, Pettenthal and Hipping reknowned for their powerful red slate soils, the first hard slate and the latter from finer, crumbly slate. According to Johannes, Pettenthal in the middle is the coolest and steepest of the three and the wines from here tend to be more filigreed, lighter on their feet, yet powerfully firm and long lasting. We are thrilled to be able to offer a library release of the 2016 and 2021 Pettenthal. We also have their incredible blend from the younger vines of all three Grand Crus simply labeled Roten Schiefer (Red Slate) for the low price of $20.99!!!!! My suggestion is to take the 2016 for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, take some 2021s for cellaring and the Roten Schiefer for drinking now!
Moving north up the Rhine, then crossing to the northen bank and heading west, we arrive in the hamlet of Hallgarten in the middle of the Rheingau's southfacing slope. As I already reviewed Peter Jakob Kuhn Winery in August (click on the name link to read), I will just mention that we have their delightful Riesling dominant Blanc de Blancs Sekt Extra Brut for your holiday festivities at $29.99.
Lastly moving farther west along the Rhine, we arrive at Rudesheim and the Georg Breuer estate. One of the Rhinegau's historical estates dating back to the late nineteenth century, the 80s saw them as a founding CHARTA member promoting a drier style of Riesling and a classification system based on terroir.
The estate is now run by daughter Theresa Breuer with her uncle Heinrich as well as longtime manager and icon in the region, Hermann Schmoranz, and cellar master Markus Lunden. The majority of the estate's holdings are in the three greatest Grand Crus in Rüdesheim – Berg Schlossberg, Berg Roseneck and Berg Rottland, and the Monopole site, Nonnenberg in Rauenthal. These two distinct villages are a pair of the very finest in the Rheingau, bookending the region from east to west. We are pleased to offer their entry level dry Riesling Sauvage made with native yeasts and a mix of barrel and steel for the fermentation and elevage. A couple of these for everyday drinking should round out the case nicely; PROST! Giselle Hamburg
Pettenthal is one of the three Grand Crus from the Roter Hang region along the Rhine in the Rheinhessen south of Mainz. The coolest and steepest Grosse Lage, 2016 marks the first vintage with Johannes Hasselbach as the main winemaker taking over for his father. Explosive with notes of tangeine, grapefuit, peaches, exotic spices, herbs, smoke and petrol undersored with salty minerality and ample acidity on a lush, dense and creamy body. Perfect for all manner of holiday dishes , a real showstopper! GH
Pettenthal is one of the three Grand Crus from the Roter Hang region along the Rhine in the Rheinhessen south of Mainz. The coolest and steepest Grosse Lage, the 2021 is already showing hints of petrol with it's cool mineral, herbacous, flinty frame underscored by great freshness and zesty spices from the red slate soils. Layered, dense and powerful, one could drink now but it would definitely benefit from several years cellaring. A true stunner! GH
Gunderloch hails from the Rheinhessen's historical "Roter Hang" (Red Slope) area along the Rhine river just south of Mainz. This historical estate from the mid nineteenth century is now in the hands of the latest generation Johannes Hasselbach, who has converted to organic viticulture, native yeast fermentations and minimal handling and sulfur. The wines now have lower alcohol levels, no deacidification, less RS and are less baroque compared to his forefather's wines. In Nackenheim, they own the dominant portion of the grand cru Rothenberg (sixty-five percent of the estate’s holdings) which is planted completely to Riesling. Their GG from here is the flagship of the estate; 5 kilometers down the road in Nierstein, they also have the GGs Pettenthal and Hipping. The "Roten Schiefer" (red slate) is sourced from all 3 GGs,. Very dry with the red slate coating the tongue and adding spice and herbaceousness to the palate whilst the 12 hours of skin contact adds tannins and tension. Fruit salad and minty nose with explosive, spicy limeade on the palate. Bring on the spicy Thai papaya salad and jungle curried pork! Giselle Hamburg
Harvested from the higher, cooler vineyards at the very start of harvest time and made up of Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Auxerrois. The base wine is spontaneously fermented followed by the second fermentation in bottle with 24 months aging on the lees. A minimal dosage of 2.9 grams lends it a pristine, linear profile. Aromas of citrus, faint petrol and wet rocks are followed by flavors of brioche, lemon curd and crunchy minerality with zingy acidity and a sprightly mousse. Although perfect on its own as an aperitif, it's complexity begs for some food whether it be oyster and shellfish or schnitzel and fried chicken! An elegant alternative to Blanc de Blancs Extra Brut Champagne that will make your heart sing and your wallet smile! Giselle Hamburg
The entry level dry riesling from one of the founders of the Rheingau's Charta Association ushering in a drier style of Riesling in the Rhinegau. Flashing a pale green, Sauvage is all cristaline purity and brilliant acidity. This pops right out of the glass in a whirlwind of white rocks, herbaceousness, lemon peel and peach pit with the faintest spritz; simply breathtaking! GH