Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 50

YEAR'S BEST
RHEINGAU RIESLINGS
Our blind panels tasted 70 new-release rieslings from Germany's Rheingau over the last 12 months. Our critic, Tara Q. Thomas, rated
24 as exceptional (90+) and 3 as Best Buys. Find a complete list of wines tasted and all reviews at wineandspiritsmagazine.com.

90 | Schloss Johannisberg $25

Q BA

277116

93 | Eva Fricke

$70

2018 Rheingau Lorchhäuser Seligmacher
Riesling QbA ^ From a grand-cru site of gray
slate and quartzite in the western Rheingau,
this riesling has a luxurious feel. That's tied
to the sumptuous texture-maybe from the
seven months Fricke left it on the lees-
and to the way the flavors play over it, salty,
sweet, zingy and chewy all at once. It tastes
of pink grapefruit and salt-water taffy, of sun
and summer and steep slate slopes. ¤ Bonhomie Wine Imports, South Orange, NJ

2018 Rheingau Gelblack Riesling QbA
Feinherb ^ Johannisberg's Gelblack (yellow
seal) hits a fine balance between sweet citrus and racy acidity in 2018. The flavors last,
steadfast on their mineral underpinnings. ¤
Freixenet Mionetto USA, White Plains, NY
277240

88 | Leitz

$14

2018 Rheingau Riesling QbA (Best Buy) ^
This is a classic Rheingau riesling at a great
price: pure and tangy in its lemon-lime flavors, firm and direct. ¤ Schatzi Wines, NY

T R OC KEN/
GR OSSES GEWAC HS

92 | Schloss Vollrads

$20

2018 Rheingau Riesling QbA ^ (Best Buy) ^
Dr. Rowald Hepp, the managing director of
Schloss Vollrads, reported that 2018 was the
earliest vintage on record at Schloss Vollrads,
and that even the first grapes in were picked
at Kabinett levels. That intensity is on full display in this QbA, so dense it feels creamy at
first. As it sits in the glass, it begins to unpack
all its detail, unraveling notes of quince blossoms and green apple, pink grapefruit and
rhubarb. At the same time, the acidity tightens it up, leaving the wine feeling refreshing
and elegant.   Delicato Family Wines, Napa, CA
276970

90 | August Kesseler

$27

2017 Rheingau The Daily August Riesling ^
If only more "Daily" wines were like this one:
A blend of fruit from top vineyards, from
Lorch to Hattenheim, fermented in stainless
steel, this is as bright, snappy and juicy as a
bite of a crisp apple, with a sunny ease that
belies the firmness of its structure. ¤ Vineyard
Brands, Birmingham, AL
276942
50

WINE & SPIRITS

JUNE 2020

95 | Domdechant Werner

$49

94 | Domdechant Werner

$30

2018 Rheingau Hochheimer Kirchenstück
GG Riesling Trocken ^ This grows in a 6.4acre parcel of loess over limestone known
for firm yet delicate rieslings, and this one
lives up to its reputation: While the texture
is rich and round, the flavors are fragrant
and pure-lemon, lime leaf, a hint of passion
fruit, lifted by an acidity that keeps everything buoyant and firm. (W&S 4/20) ¤ Sabaca
Beverage Group, Buffalo Grove, IL
275984
2018 Rheingau Hochheimer Kirchenstück
Erste Lage Riesling Trocken ^ Give this riesling an hour in a decanter if you open it now;
it's tight and herbal, the acidity giving the
fruit a sour tang. But with time, it grows supple, notes of pear and green apple juicing up
to meet the pithy notes, the acidity turning
into energy. (W&S 4/20) Sabaca Beverage
Group, Buffalo Grove, IL
277041

94 | Georg Breuer

93 | Domdechant Werner

$103

2017 Rheingau Rüdesheim Berg Schlossberg Riesling ^ This grows in the Rheingau's
steepest vineyard, where Breuer's old vines
cling to 70-degree slopes. They produce a
tough riesling, spicy and compact as a boxer
in fighting stance; when it's finally coaxed to
come out of the corner, it throws punches
of red fruit and dark stones in quick succession. Give it a couple hours of air and it
settles down, no less intense but less jittery,

$35

2018 Rheingau Hochheimer Dompräsenz
Erste Lage Riesling Trocken ^ From a parcel
of heavy clay marl, this wine is succulent and
youthful, its juicy tropical fruit held tight by
vibrant acidity. The flavors last on a savory
mineral note, the length and vibrancy promising that the wine will age well. (W&S 4/20)
Sabaca Beverage Group, Buffalo Grove, IL
276967

93 | August Kesseler

275976

275803

the fruit and mineral tones melding into a
deep, earthy whole. Super young, this needs
years in the cellar to fully realize its potential. ¤
Skurnik Wines & Spirits, NY
275979

$110

2017 Rheingau Lorchhausen Seligmacher
GG Riesling ^ Seligmacher, at the western end
of the Rheingau, is a steep 525-foot drop of
pure slate down to the Rhein River. In 2017,
Kesseler's parcel produced a profoundly deep
riesling that balances its dryness with opulent fruit. It's spicy and slatey, with a warm,
gingery succulence accenting the juiciness of
the melon flavors. With air, those notes take
on sunset hues of orange and red, suggesting
that this has plenty more complexity to come
with age. ¤ Vineyard Brands, Birmingham, AL
271451

93 | Schloss Johannisberg $75

2016 Rheingau Silberlack GG Riesling
Trocken ^ After a nail-biting vintage marked
by torrential spring rains and near-tropical
temperatures in August, Schloss Johannisberg came through with a show-stopping
Grosses Gewächs riesling. It's a generous
dry wine, pineapple-ripe and spicy, yet it's
not at all heavy. Instead, minty herbal notes
play around the edges, adding a breezy lift
while a mineral acidity keeps the wine firm
and savory. If you open it now, pair it with
something substantial, like a creamy seafood
risotto; otherwise cellar it for another five to
eight years. (W&S 8/19) ¤ Freixenet Mionetto
USA, White Plains, NY
276973

92 | August Kesseler

$30

2015 Rheingau Junge Reben Riesling QbA
Trocken ^ Winemaker Max Himstedt culls
this wine from the younger vines on August
Kesseler's 80-acre estate, although "younger"


http://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com https://www.schlossvollrads.com/?lang=en

Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - June 2020

Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 1
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 3
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 4
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 5
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 6
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 7
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 8
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 9
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Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - 11
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Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - June 2020 - Cover4
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