2012 Hattenheim Nussbrunnen Riesling GG (Grosses Gewächs)

2012 Hattenheim Nussbrunnen Riesling "Grosses Gewächs"

The Nussbrunnen vineyard in Hattenheim has a south-southeast exposure. It lies well protected from cold northerly winds on the lower reaches of the slope, adjacent to the site Wisselbrunnen. Among the finest parcels of vines in the Rheingau. Its special soil conditions, e.g. deep, loam-less soils that guarantee an excellent water balance, as well as the prevailing micro- climate, are among the reasons that Nussbrunnen is such a top site.

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 Nussbrunnen vineyard has a south-southeast exposure. The name derives from a "Brunnen” or spring, that was once surrounded by nut trees. It lies well protected from cold northerly winds on the lower reaches of the slope. Among the finest parcels of vines in the Rheingau is the 1.6-ha/4-acre parcel within Nussbrunnen that is owned by the Balthasar Ress estate. Its special soil conditions, e.g. deep, loam-loess soils that guarantee an excellent water balance, as well as the prevailing microclimate, are among the reasons that Nussbrunnen is such a top site. Prerequisites that enable grapes to consistently yield top-quality wines.

Harvest

The grapes are selectively harvested by hand in several stages, then very carefully and gently transported to the cellar in 18-liter boxes that are manually emptied over the wine press.

Vinification

Spontaneous fermentation and aging take place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks with as little exposure to oxygen as possible, in order to preserve fruit aromas.

Analysis

Alcohol: 12.50% by vol
Acidity: 5.90
Residual Sugar: 8.60 g/l
Grape Variery
100% Riesling

Tasting Notes

Big, rich and spicy, this offers flavors of ripe apple and dried mango that feature plenty of toasty hints. Ripe lime and grapefruit elements chime in, leading to a finish filled with accents of tarragon cream. Unctuous yet balanced.

Food Match

Our Rieslings are known for their balance of acidity and sugar. It’s their acidity that allows to encounter and woo a variety of difficult pairing partners. The acid allows the wine to handle hearty sauces, highend meats and even lighter fare like appetizers and even off-set some of the tangy flavors of ginger and lime in Asian fare. It pairs well with the likes of: Chinese food, Cajun cuisine, Tex-Mex (with cilantro), roasted pork, roasted duck or goose, seafood, Thai food and even salad dressings with vinegar.