First, a little history

After the defeat of Germany in May 1945, one of the curious sights amongst the ruin and rubble were people chipping away at Stucco. En-stucking, was the practice of removing a buildings outer layer of decorative stucco. Usually full of flourish and ornamentation with allusions to historical aesthetics, Stucco was a product of prosperous times, only to be doomed by the catastrophes of Depression, Nazism and world war.

The post war period of rebuilding and renewal, exemplified by En-stucking continued throughout the reconstruction of West Germany and the GDR, with buildings exteriors and interiors alike built as simply and cheaply as possible, to fulfill needs rather than cultural embellishments.


Precision and control

Nothing exists in isolation. Two of the defining characteristics of contemporary European wine are twenty years of hot, dry and early vintages and the relentless obsession with “expressing the site”. Site expression may be translated in any number of ways, but it has coincided with the growing trend for dry wines and the methodology and marketing of the VDP.

For Grosses Gewachs wines (Grand Cru) this means wines are released on 1 September after harvest, give or take a year old. So the style is essentially modern, with very short ageing. Traditionally, dry wines would be aged on lees in Fuder, for up to a decade, often with a small amount of unfermented sugar. Contemporary winemaking in Germany is therefore one of precision and strict control, without the embellishments of winemaker or time in the cellar.


Power vs Poise

One of the features of recent warm vintages is the winemaker’s attempts to maintain freshness. In other words to capture acidity, so necessary for balance, texture, driving length and structure. The downside is that many wines have been immense – intense fruit profiles, coupled with dry extract and rippling acidity. The wines taste wonderful, but drinking them is tiring.

Power in wine, need not be so obvious, and Burgundy too is now making wines of never before seen intensity and drive. I miss the wines of poise, with evocative gentle flagrance, rich mellow palates, unobtrusive structures and soft textures. The irony is that cork and cellar condition permitting, these wines will outlive the more elemental and buoyant wines of the last twenty years or so.


Fricke 2022

Tasting Eva Fricke’s 2022’s was like walking in the rain on a warm day – delightful and refreshing. Much as I have admired her wines over the years, they were certainly of the contemporary school of power, extract and thrust; and tasted together, a fascinating drink through some of the Rheingau’s grandest vineyards.

2022 is my favourite release yet. Rich succulent and full bodied, with great palate breadth, and textural complexity. Silky, mellow, tender and deep, with less dry extract than previous years, the fruit is so gorgeous, pure and unctuous.

Balance is a feature of this release, the acidity certainly evident, but without making a fetish of it. I found many of the single vineyard expressions to have hints of the Mosel, notes of flowers, spices, compost and smoke.

So too the fruit profiles were not limited to stone and citrus, the hallmarks of the Rheingau, but also cherry, blackcurrant and green mango. Poised and grand its as if those angular structures and jutting fruit power have been stuccoed with cream and silk. Ageless and peerless, they will captivate wine lovers for generations.


Eva Fricke Rheingau Riesling Trocken 2022

Classic Eva Fricke of old, and she described this as a wine for a picnic or a casual party. Well, I’m sure this would be perfect, but this is also very serious wine. Lime, slate, white peach, white flowers and green mango aromatics. Incredibly intense and incisive. Salty and mineral with cumquat, apricot and grapefruit pith. The sort of presence just not found in dry Riesling anywhere else in the world and this is only the estate wine! Salivating.

At first a touch of youthful leesy funk, but this really benefits from aeration, releasing aromas of white tree fruit, fresh garden herbs, citrus and spring flowers. Remarkable structure and energy for an entry-level wine, the medium-bodied palate creamy and racy. Impressively long finish with notes of preserved lemons and rhubarb.” 91 points, Stuart Pigott,


Eva Fricke Kiedrich Riesling Trocken 2022

It’s a feature of this release that as we go through the wines, the palates deepen, gaining breadth and tenderness. Lifted aromatics of citrus zest, tonic herbs and yellow flesh. Rich and deep, a feeling of effortlessness. Great precision, the acidity drawing a fine bead on the rich yellow fruit. Indian spices and silky texture. But this is only the first unwrapping. I believe this will age extremely well and there is far greater complexity to come. Very fine.

A stunning village wine! The complex nose of orange blossom, nectarine and talc gently pulls you into this impeccably balanced, medium-bodied dry riesling that glides over your palate. Then comes the very long, Amalfi-lemon and salty finish.” 93 points, Stuart Pigott,


Eva Fricke Lorcher Riesling Trocken 2022

A departure from the first two wines. Spring Jasmine, potpourri, compost, earthy, smoky, baking spices and mushrooms. Rich, succulent, slightly nutty, creamy and broad. Italian peach, blood orange, apricot, yellow peach and lime. Texturally complex, alongside the creaminess is a zesty line of acidity. A thoroughly complete wine and in a way, emblematic of the estate with its dark fruits, evident richness, strong structure and creamy edges.

Super-flinty with stacks of Amalfi lemon and nutty apple in the very youthful nose, this is an excellent village wine. Sleek and filigree, with staggering wet-stone minerality. It is at the lower limit of medium-bodied, but with a very long, diamond-bright finish. Excellent aging potential!” 94 points, Stuart Pigott,


Eva Fricke Melange Riesling Trocken 2022

Always one of my favorite wines of the release, with its exotic fruit profile and decadent palate. Kiwi, grapefruit, lemon squash, cherry and dried apricot aromatics. As always rich and broad, controlled opulence. Darker fruits on the palate, brought together by rippling passionfruit. Base notes, curves and lovely fleshy movement.

Stunning nose of Amalfi lemon, nectarine and white peach, together with notes of flint and freshly baked baguette. At once concentrated and firmly structured, this has so much earthy minerality that it already tastes very harmonious, although there’s plenty of acidity here. Only medium-bodied, but it makes a bold statement. The long, harmonious and precise finish fully confirms this.” 95 points, Stuart Pigott,


Eva Fricke Lorchauser Seligmacher Riesling 2022

A first taste for me of this great vineyard and it reminds me of the Mosel, except for that little bit of Rheingau heft and oomph. Super exotic. Cherry, passionfruit, kiwifruit and spring jasmine. So sensual, rich and luscious, with enveloping smoke and cream. Slightly off-dry, although the sweetness is faint, aiding gentleness and helping the wine to hold the palate for minutes. Without a doubt, my favourite wine of the tasting.

“What an extraordinary nose of pink grapefruit, Thai basil and flint. This medium-bodied dry riesling is extremely focused and racy, but also wonderfully juicy, and the interplay of these two sides is like ying and yang. Electric energy powers the extremely long, stony and spicy finish. Great aging potential!” 97 points, Stuart Pigott,


Eva Fricke Lorch Schlossberg Riesling 2022

Bright and luminous with a pure translucence. Cherry, blackcurrant, pawpaw, kiwi, yellow peach, cream, fresh apricot and cumquat. Broad, the flavours like an incoming tide of power. Silky, gentle flow with the most delicate line of acidity. Composed and effortless. A great wine.

“How can you resist this barely off-dry riesling beauty? It’s brimming with peach, nectarine and spring blossoms, plus a hint of fresh baguette yeastiness. Wonderfully juicy, thanks to the cornucopia of fruit, and extremely vibrant, thanks to the racy acidity on the medium-bodied palate. Extremely long finish with a super abundance of peach-skin and wet-stone character. Enormous aging potential.” 98 points, Stuart Pigott,


Eva Fricke Lorch Krone Riesling 2022

Eva believes this needs a Burgundy glass, and now I think about it, all the single vineyard wines would benefit from such a glass. The Krone spends longer on lees than all the other wines. The power of the site is evident as there is still some dry extract and faint peach skin texture, despite the longer aging. Honeycomb, passionfruit, jasmine, blackcurrant, kiwifruit, lemon, lime, grapefruit, musk, a hint of caramelised walnuts. Fleshy, silky and smooth, such flow invites the most satisfying drinking. Gaining texture and weight across the palate and the finish is so long, Incomparable.

“At first intensely flinty, after some aeration in the glass a citrus microcosmos, populated entirely by ripe lemon, bergamot, pomelo and yellow grapefruit opens up. Extremely concentrated and radical on the medium-bodied palate, this knocks almost all of the dry rieslings of the 2022 vintage off the table with its gigantic energy. The wet-stone minerality and Amalfi-lemon freshness build and build to a giant crescendo at the mind-bending finish.” 98 points, Stuart Pigott,


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