I have talked about Riesling wines from the Pfalz before, mainly in the context of the Von Winning tasting I participated in a couple of months ago. Stephan Attmann, the winemaker at Von Winning is a proponent of creating opulent, majestic Riesling wines through the use of oak barrels, the Burgundian pièces. There is a certain complementarity to be found, as the warm climate we find in the Pfalz leads to more ripeness and sunniness in the grapes. It is like doubling down on a wine’s characteristic without going overboard while still opting for something bordering on radical.
Others will try to keep the wine in check through focusing on old vines and controlling yield, attempting to strike a balance between the subtlety and fruitiness that Riesling can offer so brilliantly. One of the most accomplished growers in the Pfalz, Hansjorg Rebholz uses this delicate interplay as a signature touch to all the wines his family produces. He wants the wines to be an honest reflection of their point of origin, the terroir and the vintage. To this end he works biologically and refuses interventions such as deacidification or chaptilization.
Vom Buntsandstein Trocken 2013 grows on red sandstone, a soil we encountered before at Furst in Franken. A harsh soil that does not retain a lot of water is perfect for keeping vine growth in check while still holding on to enough heat to ensure ripe grapes in the end. Smoky, even a little bit flinty on the nose, something zesty and ripe in the background. It starts of almost water-like in the mouth, which is deceiving as it gradually wins in depth, juicy in the middle with ripe sunny peach, only to end on a spicy, almost cinnamon-like minerality that keeps on lingering. In style it resembles Eva Fricke’s Kiedricher actually, focused on subtlety while not losing sight of keeping it in balance with sufficient complexity and depth. This is a really nice example of the delicacy that Riesling is capable of, even in a warm climate.
Other Pfalz wines talked about: