Gut Hermannsberg - Just Riesling 2021
We are extremely excited to feature, for the first time in America, one of the crown jewels of Germany: Gut Hermannsberg, an apex producer of dry Riesling in the Nahe. The estate consists of 30 hectares on seven different vineyards, all of which are Grosse Lage (the German equivalent of Grand Cru). Two of these vineyards, Hermannsberg and Kupfergrube, are monopoles. The domaine is a founding member of the VDP (Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter), Germany's most prestigious association of producers. Enviable vineyard holdings, dedicated farming and conscientious winemaking combine to make Gut Hermannsberg legendary.
Gut Hermannsberg was founded in 1902 as a State Domaine of Prussia. Many of their vineyards took incredible labor to construct: south-facing volcanic hillsides were cleared of shrubs, rocks and soil (often with the use of explosives), partially terraced and (in 1905) finally planted with Riesling; the first vintage was in 1907 and it wasn't until 1914 that construction of vineyards and the cellar was complete. Today, the estate is owned by Jens Riedel; Karsten Peters, who knows every inch of their incredible vineyards, is the extremely talented winemaker. This is a Riesling domaine first and foremost: 95% of the vineyards are planted to this noble grape. Karsten sees Gut Hermannsberg's vineyards as their greatest treasure; as he says, "we want our wines to reflect the character of the landscape in which they have grown." The result is some of the most elegant and pure Riesling in the world.
Gut Hermannsberg's Just Riesling is a blend of parcels from the varied soils of the estate's Grosse Lagen (Grand Cru) vineyards. All plots are separated and vinified individually in small stainless steel tanks, then blended after extensive analyses. Karsten Peter's winemaking style is minimal; he says "we do mainly nothing." The Just Riesling pours a brilliant lemon color with a clear, water-white rim. Aromas of fresh cut apple, fine herbs, white flowers and lime explode from the glass: unmistakably classic Riesling notes. The palate is dry with flavors of citrus, white peach, lilies and chopped herbs that wash across the palate on a tightrope of invigorating, crystalline acidity. This is a slender, racy Nahe Riesling that captures the essence of the region: a perfect example of the drinkability and finesse of great, dry German Riesling. In the hands of such a prestigious estate as Gut Hermannsberg, it is no wonder Riesling reaches such grand heights.