Germany’s Big Dry


Generation Riesling Picks

2014 Weissburgunder Trocken, Emmerich Koebernik

An exceptionally good Weissburgunder from the talented Christiane Koebernik, based at Waldböckelheim in the Nahe: not simply sappy, clean and pristine, but with a succulence to it as well, and subtle apricot and apple fruit. 89

2014 Riesling Vom Tonschiefer Trocken, Emmerich Koebernik

The slate-grown Nahe Riesling is pure, refined and lean, with smoky scents and alluringly citrussy, leafy flavours devoid of rawness or bitterness. 90

2014 Riesling Vom Porphyr Feinherb, Emmerich Koebernik

From a steeply sloping vineyard of soils derived from volcanic materials, this was a pristine, crisp-focus off-dry Nahe Riesling (Feinherb is defined at Koebernik as up to 20 g/l residual sugar) with rose and wild strawberry scents and flavours. The finish swings round towards pithy pink grapefruit, and has the kind of length which suggests generous extract. 93

2013 Spätburgunder Vom Löss Lehm, Emmerich Koebernik

The pick of the reds served with dinner thanks, I’m almost tempted to say, to its lack of (or sane) ambition: lightly coloured, soft, supple, round and drinkable rather than dark, taut and forbiddingly oaky. 89

2015 Weissburgunder Quarzit, Pflüger

Another rewarding Pinot Blanc (from Pfalz, this time): peachy, spicy and rich, though it finishes dry, while the extreme youth of the bottling gives its acidity a mouthwatering, fruited density. 89

2015 Riesling Buntsandstein, Pflüger

I loved this: it was vinous and sappy, almost like a Sancerre or a Chassagne might be, yet at the same time it had that classic Riesling amplitude of fruit, which under these skies and in these sandstone soils resulted in explosive orange characters. Again, its infancy is a plus: race it to table. 90

2015 Herrenberg Grosse Lage Riesling, Pflüger

Very clean, dry and drinkable (limestone soils almost evoke Alsace here), packed with slowly unfolding spice, and with orchard fruits dressed with just a squeeze of pineapple from that Pfalz sunshine. 90

2014 Riesling, Ungstein, Pfeffingen

Soft, chewy and delicious, packed with plush orange, a Pflaz wine that shows that ‘dry’ need not mean either neutral or austere. 89

2012 Geysersberg Grosses Gewächs Riesling, Winegut Winter

From a cool clay site in Rheinhessen, this was a dignified, dense, closely layered and resonantly dry Riesling which evoked stone and other non-fruit notes better than any of the other wines at the dinner. 91

Translated by Nina Fan Feng / 冯帆

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