2012 Hattenheim Engelmannsberg

2012 Hattenheim Engelmannsberg

Grand Crus denote those wines from classified single vineyards that unmistakably reflect the influence of their microclimate and soil structure, and show especially high quality potential. Wines from these top sites are on a par with the finest international growths. In accordance with VDP guidelines, we use vineyard names only if the site meets the criteria for clasification set forth in 1999.

Producer

The producer is the renowned VDP wine estate Balthasar Ress. Founded in 1870 by the Rheingau Hotelier Balthasar Ress, the wineestate numbers among the large, family-operated enterprises in the Rheingau today. Consistently high standards of performance and reliability have been hallmarks of the estate since its founding. Today the estate is run by Stefan and Christian Ress, who represent the fourth and fifth generations of the founding family.

Vintage

2012 was a record harvest – at least in terms of length. Never before in the estate’s 140 years did picking continue as long as this year. On 26 September we started, on 22 November we stopped. For the most part, we ignored must weights, long considered a primary measure of ripeness. Instead, we relied on the actual taste and condition of the grapes. There was hardly any rot; must weights were not nearly as high as in recent years; and the weather during the harvest was nearly perfect. The size of our crop was fairly average. It was simply a joy to monitor the condition of the grapes: healthy to the core, completely ripened – nearly perfect. Stefan Ress (or, as we call him, “our senior”…father figure) said he couldn’t remember having seen such beautiful grapes since 1990. The year began with unseasonably mild temperatures until there was a brief, but severely cold, period of winter weather in February. March was again too mild. In April, there was a cold snap, which led to the latest bud burst in the last decade. Things warmed up again in late April, nearly too warm, and May brought some record temperatures. Until the end of May it was drier than average. The weather in June was too cool and wet; blossoming was extremely prolonged. During the end of July and most of August we enjoyed true summer weather with high temperatures and ideal conditions for grapes to ripen.

Vineyard Site

The name Engelmannsberg derives from Engelmann of Hattenheim, a knight who deeded his wine estates to Kloster Eberbach in 1321. The soil consists primarily of loess, loam and Tertiary marl. The Engelmannsberg wines are full-bodied, usually spicy and very elegant.

Harvest

The grapes are selectively harvested by hand and gently transported to the cellar in containers that can be emptied over the wine press, thus making it possible to completely dispense with crushing and pumping.

Vinification

Fermentation takes place for several months in small stainless steel tanks after the musts settle.

Analysis

Alcohol: 12.2% by vol
Acidity: 9.40
Residual Sugar: 7.70 g/l
Grape Variery
100% Riesling

Tasting Notes

Elegant, mineral notes with hints of yellow fruit aromas, juniper and distinctly spicy. Sweet fruit in the mouth, fine, lively acidity, herbal notes on the palate, very good persistence, great finish.

Food Match

Grilled seafood, octopus with lime oil, fish or even a steak is well paired with this dry Riesling. Best served chilled at 12°-14°C.