The Rheingau has historically been considered one of Germany’s premium wine regions. The presence of the Cistercian religious order, of course better known for their work in the Côte d’Or in Burgundy, probably has a lot to do with this. It may be surprising that the Rheingau was initially a Spätburgunder-growing region, based on Pinot Noir vines taken from Vougeot. Near the end of the 19th century however, when German wine was booming worldwide, prices commended for Rheingau Rieslings frequently rivaled those of the famous wines of Mosel and Saar.
The downside of being a well-regarded region is that the wines may sometimes not live up to expectations. It’s an issue often encountered in a hotspot, were less than meticulous winemakers take advantage of a reputation built on history instead of actual merit. Of course, for those willing to persevere there are gems to be found at affordable prices, especially when you look for up and coming winemakers.
Eva Fricke never thought that she would end up in the wine business. Originally from Bremen, she actually started off in the beer business for a brief period, only to end up in the wine world via an internship in South Africa. Upon her return in Germany after a couple of stints abroad, she became leading winemaker at Leitz. In 2006 however, she could not resist creating her own wine and started off with about 800 bottles as a side project. Through careful acquisitions, the cultivation of relationships with fellow winemakers and evening business classes she accumulated the experience to start on her own in 2011. Since then she has shown proof of true ambition, making no cutbacks on quality and rigorously pursuing the perfect match between style and terroir.
The Kiedricher 2012 is incredibly pale in the glass., almost waterlike. I did not get a whole lot on the nose, a bit of flintiness, and only a tiny hint of fruit. Texture-wise it starts of incredibly delicate, a bit racy but focused, with a tight and razorsharp stony acidity carrying on straight to the finish. The wine comes across as deceptively simple but there is a depth and complexity in here that may not be noticeable at first as it is so perfectly in tune with the other elements. You really get a sense of completeness, a crystal-cut clearness that is just amazing! Prices have been steadily rising over the past years so if you were to encounter a bottle, snap it up!
Other Rheingau wines talked about: