A CHRISTMANN RIESLING 2012
Ray Jordan90 points
Light (Light)Full (Full)
Low Tannin (Low Tannin)Tannic (Tannic)
Sweet (Sweet)Dry (Dry)
Low Acidity (Low Acidity)High Acidity (High Acidity)
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Germany is fully capable of producing some of the world's great white wines. One hundred years ago the demand for and thus prices commanded for the wines from the finest vineyards in Piesport, Morcobrunn and Rudesheim rivalled the best wines from Bordeaux. Largely due to the lack of government regulation into the quality of wine output, Germany over the past century became known for producing sweet sugar-water wines at cheap costs, flooding the world market. This has had a negative effect on the perception of German wines worldwide, but rest assured we only choose to stock German wines of high quality.
The Riesling grape with all its versatility is the main grape variety, and whilst many countries make Riesling, none can match the mouth-watering freshness and supreme delicacy achieved in a Mosel Kabinett from a top producer. Germany's dry Rieslings as a rule tend to be very graceful and elegant as compared to Rieslings from other countries, with an emphasis on finesse, not power. Standout producers such as Robert Weil make the headlines, but Donnhoff, JL Wolf, A Christmann and Dr Loosen are too worth seeking out.
Another most interesting contribution from Germany was Eiswine (ice wine), which until the 1970s was a freak of nature, though is now carefully managed. To produce Eiswine, parcels of vines are left out exposed to the frost, and although the production cost is astronomical they remain very popular. Robust Pinot Blancs and Pinot Gris are also produced in the whites and Pinot Noir, referred to as Spätburgunder is also grown.
The climate in Germany is, for the most part, cool, the exception being in the Pfalz and in Baden. As a result, vineyards are carefully selected with good sunlight exposure a must. For example along the banks of the Mosel River, vines are only planted on one side, as there isn't enough sunlight exposure to ripen grapes on the north-facing side.
Key regions include Mosel and Nahe where extraordinary Rieslings are produced.
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About the brand A. Christmann
Biodynamic producer, Steffen Christmann is the current president of the VDP and his biodynamically produced wines are truly terroir-focused, clean and immense. A. Christmann’s history dates back to 1845 when Prof. Dr. Ludwig Häusser, professor of history at Heidelberg University and a member of the Vorparliament of the Pauluskirche together with his cousin Johann Martin, founded a small winery in Gimmeldingen as a hobby. During the next generation, winegrowing grew to become their main profession. In 1894 Eduard Christmann married Henriette Häusser, the granddaughter of the founder. Today the estate bears the name of her son Arnold, and Steffen runs it as seventh-generation custodian.