There’s so much peach and apricot beauty in this glass of dry riesling that you feel thankful to the power of nature that made it possible. So deep and so vibrant, but it’s the elegance that makes it shine like a diamond. Very long, silky finish that doesn’t want to let go. From organically grown grapes. 96 points – Stuart Pigott, jamessuckling.com
Dry. Organic. This terrific Riesling comes from the renowned Bürgergarten vineyard on the lower slopes of the Haardt Mountains. It’s a site rated as Grosses Gewächs (or Grand Cru) and was first planted over 700 years ago, making it one of the oldest vineyards in the Pfalz. When a vineyard survives this long, it usually tells you something. While Müller-Catoir does make a GG from a small parcel in this sloping vineyard (the Im Breumel below), the lion’s share—culled from the Gehren and Aspen micro-terroirs—makes its way into this Erste Lage (or classified first growth) offering.
The topsoils of Bürgergarten are sandy and deep, with yellow sandstone bedrock below. It’s a soil that brings power, perfume and intense mineral freshness. In terms of winemaking, the wine was naturally fermented and raised in a mixture of steel tanks and five-year-old 600-litre Halbstück ovals (25%) for 10 months. Franzen finds this combination—allied with extended lees aging—results in more expressive, less reductive wines that are more approachable on release.
As you would expect from such a site in a great vintage, this is a superlative wine that is the very definition of this terroir. Combining lemon pith and white peach with hints of cayenne pepper and a stony/smoky mineral quality, this powerhouse is woven together with mouth-puckering acidity. It radiates with the generosity of the vintage, cut through with stunning clarity. In a word, magnificent.