The Rheingau is one of 13 designated wine regions in Germany and is completely dominated by the Rhine River. Around the town of Wiesbaden the river detours from its Northward direction to flow west for about 30 km. It is only on this short (West flowing) stretch of the South facing river banks that the vineyards of the Rheingau can be found on steeply terraced sites. You see it is only on the south facing banks that there is enough sun throughout the day for the grapes to come even close to ripening.
The 2012Rüdesheim is the type of wine that sommeliers just love. A winemaker who works at a larger established winery who moonlights to make their own wine. In this case, the winemaker is Markus Lundén, who is the chief winemaker for Weingut Georg Breuer, also based in the Rheingau. Through his relationship with the great growers in the area, he has been able to source fruit from some key vineyards. If you take a look at the picture above, you can see the west flowing Rhine River and the various vineyards that are listed. We were also able to get a direct quote from the winemaker:
“Rüdesheim 2012 is sourced from 4 different vineyards, the Klosterberg, Klosterlay, Magdalenenkreuz and Drachenstein. They all vary in climatic conditions and soil composition. The Drachenstein is the highest situated one with the lightest soils and gives elegant wines with good minerality. The Klosterberg and Klosterlay situated near the monastery in Rüdesheim are primarily loam soils and are a little bit warmer than Drachenstein which give wines with more fruit character and body. Magdalenenkreuz has the heaviest soils which are great for acidity structure and backbone.”
2012 is a classic Rheingau vintage, an elegant dry wine with beautiful acidity structure and very nice development potential. What amazed me about this wine was the sherbert like intensity on the palate, and the incredible balance of sweetness and acidity. Both are relatively high, 9 g/L residual sugar, 9.3g/L titratable acidity,but together they make for a perfectly balanced wine that is a joy to drink. On the German wine scale it is referred to as “Troken” or dry.