Friday, February 5, 2016
Tour and Tasting at Weingut Gut Hermannsberg in Niederhausen, Nahe – Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015)
Weingut Gut Hermannsberg goes back to the year 1902 when the Prussian government founded the domain on steep, rugged land in the central Nahe valley. Planting vineyards here was an extraordinary effort: rocks had to be blasted and huge masses of earth moved. Until well into the 1980s the domain stayed in public hands.
Owner was the State of Rhineland-Palatine as the successor of the Prussian State. The estate was privatized in 1998. In 2010 it changed hands again and was renamed Gut Hermannsberg. The new owners invested heavily and brought the estate back to its glory. The vineyards cover 30 hectares and all of which are located in Grand Cru sites. The legendary Kupfergrube, the monopol site Hermannsberg, and the unique Traiser Bastei number among the best Riesling sites in Germany and of the world.
Christian Patsch was our host. He showed us around and led a tasting.
Winemonger is the US importer of Weingut Gut Hermannsberg. Winemonger has a nice write-up about Gut Hermannsberg on its web site.
Weingut Gut Hermannsberg
Winemonger: A new incarnation of the old Königlich-Preussische Weinbaudomäne Niederhausen-Schlossböckelheim, Gut Hermannsberg possesses thirty hectares of vines, mostly Riesling, in some of the very best vineyard sites in all of Germany: Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube, their monopole Niederhäuser Hermannsberg, and the Traiser Bastei.
All of Gut Hermannsberg's vineyards are rated as Grosse Lage. These hillsides frequently show 50% incline, along with the Nahe's customary kaleidoscope of soil types and terroir possibilities. A member estate of the VDP— Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter— Gut Hermannsberg combines an attractive and modern style with the most scrupulous respect for traditions both national and regional. "Estate" wines are bottled from Riesling and Weissburgunder, "Village" wines and the prestigious "Grosse Gewächse" exclusively from Riesling.
Owners and Winemaker
Under the new ownership of proprietors Jens Reidel and Dr Christine Dinse, the domain's 110-year history has entered a chapter that promises to be full of development. This chapter began when the owners engaged Karsten Peter as cellar-master and vineyard manager.
Herr Peter, from Bad Dürkheim in the Pfalz, was born to the vine, and has over the course of three successive vintages shown a keen eye, nose and palate for the techniques and practices that are each year perceptibly more successful in bringing the great potential of these extraordinarily fine vineyard sites more vividly into the bottle. Particular attention is paid to canopy management and the choice of in-house-manufactured compost.
In addition to their modern and very well-balanced dry Rieslings, Gut Hermannsberg bottles a beautifully articulate range of Kabinett and Spälese wines from sites that are particularly suited to these traditional styles.
Christian Patsch: Gut Hermannsberg today owns an approx. 30-hectare vine area in the communities of Schlossböckelheim, Niederhausen, Traisen and Altenbamberg. Wine-growing is our craft, but it's frequently a grueling task. Here, in the central Nahe tributary, Mother Nature provides us with the ideal starting conditions to harvest perfect grapes. Extremely time-consuming leaf work in the vineyard and the use of compost we produce ourselves are just a few of our endeavors to produce wines that are in harmony with and that respect nature. Wine is nature and great wines are created in vineyards.
Christian Patsch: Even if the great wines are created in our vineyards, they are given their ultimate form in our cellar. The perfect grapes that come from our vineyards are treated by us in our wine cellar with the utmost care and preservation. For instance, we abstain from any kind of fining of the wines.
We don't want to ‘make’ a wine, but we want to give the individual potential of the individual vineyards the opportunity to develop. For example, we vinify many different vineyard plots individually in order to maintain the different characters of the plots within one site.
For us, it is less about implementing a certain wine style and more about the authenticity of the wines.
The Wines we Tasted
2014 Gut Hermannsberg Weisser Burgunder Gutswein
A juicy wine with a delicate structure and fresh minerality, thanks to the storied vineyard Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube. The density and creamy texture of this pinot blanc come, on the other hand, from the great and historically important Erste Lage site Winzenheimer Berg.
2014 Gut Hermannsberg Just Riesling Gutswein
Just Riesling! The calling card of Gut Hermannsberg. A wine that does not need to play hide and-seek to show how special it is: cheerful yet sophisticated, with plenty of depth. Reflecting the top quality of Erste Lage vineyard sites, this wine marries distinctive character with drinking pleasure.
2014 Gut Hermannsberg Niederhäuser Riesling Ortswein
A Riesling which harmoniously unites the two worlds of fruit and stone, thus creating a very distinctive profile. The wine is produced exclusively from grapes grown in the Niederhäuser Hermannsberg.
2014 Gut Hermannsberg Schlossböckelheimer Riesling Ortswein
A heritage wine right out of the picture book! The grapes come from the Schlossböckelheimer Kupfergrube, and thanks to these volcanic soils, the Schlossböckelheimer Riesling shows off a captivating personality.
2014 Gut Hermannsberg Bastei Riesling GG
This wine originates from the highest cliff-face north of the Alps. The Bastei vineyard is a natural fighter. During the day, temperatures can be excessively warm, and during the night, it becomes very cool. Yet the wine is by no means lean or restrained, yet displays an expressive aromatic character of tropical fruits, coupled with a vibrant body and steely mineral character.
2014 Gut Hermannsberg Hermannsberg Riesling GG
The Hermannsberg GG from the monopole site is an impressive result of intensive vineyard selection – especially during the harvest – together with the unique potential of the Hermannsberg itself. Incredible multi-faceted complexity with very clear, precise fruit. On the palate, the Hermannsberg GG yields a fine acidity structure, enourmous richness and a long finish.
2014 Gut Hermannsberg Riesling Kabinett Fruchtsüsser Wein
The Riesling Kabinett from Gut Hermannsberg is created from grapes grown in various vineyards such as Steinberg or Altenbamberger Rotenberg. These terroirs are perfectly suited to express the classical style of Riesling Kabinett.
2013 Gut Hermannsberg Steinberg Riesling Spätlese Fruchtsüsser Wein
The stone-laden porphyry soils for which the vineyard is named (Steinberg means literally “stone mountain“) nourish the grapes that evolve into this exceptionally distinguished wine. The Steinberg faces south/southwest, which means that it enjoys generous exposure to sunlight.
2012 Gut Hermannsberg Rotenberg Riesling Spätlese Fruchtsüsser Wein
2013 Gut Hermannsberg Rotenberg Riesling Spätlese Fruchtsüsser Wein
The Altbamberger Rotenberg is an extremely steep vineyard bordered by a protective forest. The upper part of the vineyard experiences a long growing season. When the grapes here mature to their optimal level, they are just perfect for Spätlese. The Rotenberg generates powerful, mineral-laden Rieslings that exhibit complexity, spice and long ageing potential.
Postings on the Germany-North Tour by ombiasy WineTours (2015) (Posted and Forthcoming)
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