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Stephan Reinhardt from Wine Advocate (R. Parker): 94 pnt
The straw-yellow colored 2016 Rheingau Riesling Hallgartener Hendelberg "Erste Lage" has a lovely clear, pure, fresh and slatey Riesling nose of great elegance and finesse. Aged for ten months on the full lees in 30-hectoliter oak, this is a medium-bodied, finely racy and delicate Hendelberg with a firm mineral structure and lingering salinity. The finish is electrifying: pure, tight, concentrated, fresh and very long and mineral. This is a great expression of a great terroir. Tasted at the domaine in October 2017.
Drink Date 2021 - 2037
2016 was a very difficult vintage with a lot of rain, thunderstorms and warm temperatures in May, June and July. This was an enormously difficult situation, particularly for organic and biodynamic producers who used almost every hour without rain to spray their teas. Kühn had a loss of 50% to 70% in the deeper vineyards with deeper soils, which especially affected the quantity of the 2016 Jakobus Riesling. Since the late summer as well as the autumn were sunny and dry, the rest of the grapes could ripen very well. The harvest started early around September 20th. The grapes were perfectly ripe and healthy, although the nights and days were warm and quite misty. "We like the 2016s due to their concentration and lovely fruitiness. They are fine, filigreed and calm, authentic wines," says Peter Bernhard Kühn. The acidity is fine, ripe, harmonious and rather low compared with the 2017s, 2015s and 2013s, says Kühn. The alcohol levels of the 2016s are nicely moderate.
The yields of the 2017 vintage are very low again, due to the frost in late April and the hail storm on 1st of August. The grapes were damaged and several berries didn't ripen out. They were sorted out in two steps, in the vineyards and on the sorting table. The total loss is again 50%. Kühn hired 38 pickers for 22 hectares. There total yield averages not more than 32 hectoliters per hectare.
From the 2016 vintage, readers shouldn't miss the Beerenauslese from the Lenchen as well as the dry Hendelberg, which is fascinatingly fine and crystalline, a spicy and expressive Riesling from Hallgarten.
Since they spend one year more in the barrels, the two "GG's" Doosberg and Schlehdorn are from the 2015 vintage, and they prove the greatness of the vintage. Wide and generous but pure, vital and tensioned, the Doosberg is intense, sensual and lush but with finesse and elegance in an almost weightless way like the Sankt Nikolaus.
Even more exciting are the rare selections from both crus, "Landgeflecht" and "Schlehdorn." Both wines age for almost three years in oak and have been released only recently. I have rarely tasted more fascinating dry Rieslings from Germany, and it should be fascinating to taste the finest 2014s in a row one day.
If you have the chance, check out the Spätburgunder "Frühenberg," which comes from vines planted in the Schönhell in 2006. It's pretty Burgundian in style—round, fine and silky but also firm and fresh—and will become a highly interesting red in the coming years.