It’s quite fascinating how neighbouring growers can be very different in their philosophies, and Daniel Wagner’s idea of great dry Riesling is not based as much on opulent fruit, as on a more herbal, vegetal and mineral interpretation with firm structure. Of course even the Heerkretz shows some sweetness of extract in 2018, but its dynamics are driven by animating acidity, salty minerality and a smidgeon of dried herbs to finish it all off. 18.5/20 points – Michael Schmidt, jancisrobinson.com.
The Heerkretz is the masterpiece of the range. Particularly in a vintage such as this one, the real class of this vineyard really comes to the fore. The slightly more reddish topsoil in the Heerkretz is comparatively a little more powerful than in the Höllberg site, with a higher proportion of clay, and correspondingly a greater ability to retain water. In addition, the entire site is open towards the Appelbachtal valley, and thus towards the mountains of the northern Pfalz region, allowing cold air to flow in, particularly at night. This means that the Heerkretz will show a refreshing cool character even in warm vintages. In the glass, the layers simply pile up on top of each other. Initially, there are the intense aromas of greengages, quinces, and sea-buckthorn, as well as herbaceous notes, black tea, floral notes and tobacco. In addition, there are flinty aromas, ashes and smoked bacon. On the palate, the wine is powerful without being particularly broad. A fine-grained tannin structure coats the palate precisely and noticeably, providing the structure in which the aromas can integrate themselves. It is the Grand Cru with the highest level of mineral vibrancy, and the most prominent acidity. A wine that appears to be totally unaffected by the vintage conditions, which has retained the cool, precise character typical of its vineyard site. Romana Echensperger MW.