Impressive new wave German wines from this Rheinhessen estate


Thörle is a family domaine based in Saulheim in the Rheinhessen, and since 2006 it has been run by Christoph (pictured below) and his brother Johannes. The vineyards are managed organically, and the domaine is being taken in a biodynamic direction. Soils are interesting and varied, with light clay, limestone, red sandy loam and even flint and schist.

All are short ferments, and Christoph does skin contact for the single-vineyard wines. 90% of the production is fermented in stainless steel and 10% in barrel, and natural ferments are practised.

These notes are from two tastings, one in January 2015, the other in October 2013. This is the new face of German wine, and I really like it.


Thörle Riesling Gutswein 2013 Rheinhessen, Germany
12.5% alcohol, 3.9 g/l sugar. This is from heavy limestone soils, and it shows lovely rich citrus and grape notes, with some honey. Nice pure citrus, herbs and minerals. 91/100 (01/15)

Thörle Schlossberg Riesling 2013 Rheinhessen, Germany
A vineyard at 180-240 m, with heavy clay, limestone and flint. 12.5% alcohol, 2.6 g/l residual sugar. Very fine, fresh and mineral, and not all about the fruit. It tastes lean, stony and lemony with lovely precision and nice acidity. There’s freshness here but also grape and herb notes. 93/100 (01/15)

Thörle Hölle Riesling 2013 Rheinhessen, Germany
Hölle is in a small, protected valley at 150-220m, with 35 year old, deep-rooted vines. 13% alcohol, 1.8 g/l residual sugar. Very intense and precise with lovely pear, melon and citrus fruit. Really linear with a strong mineral core to it. 94/100 (01/15)

Thörle Spätbrugunder 2013 Rheinhessen, Germany
13% alcohol. Fresh, vivid, red cherries, raspberries and berry fruits. Faint hints of meat and tar with a bright grippy presence. Lovely vivid fruit and nice purity, with glace cherries and a hint of damson. 92/100 (07/15)

Thörle Hölle Spätburgunder 2012 Rheinhessen, Germany
Pinot Noir from limestone, 13.5% alcohol, one-third new oak. Real finesse on the nose. Fresh and fine red cherries with some minerals and a hint of spice. Very refined and stylish. 92/100 (01/15)

Thörle Silvaner 2012 Rheinhessen, Germany
Nicely aromatic with apple and pear fruit. Textured and soft with smoothness and lovely balance. 88/100 (10/13)

Thörle Weissburgunder 2012 Rheinhessen, Germany
Fruity and lively with nice weight of rounded apple and pear fruit. Dry but textured, this is uncomplicated but very nice. 87/100 (10/13)

Thörle Grauerburgunder 2012 Rheinhessen, Germany
Lively and textured with nice fruit. Rounded with some sweet grapiness. Pure and lovely. 89/100 (10/13)

Thörle Kalkstein Chardonnay 2012 Rheinhessen, Germany
This is described as village quality level, and it has a higher percentage of limestone and older vines, fermented in oak (50% new). Toasty nutty nose shows lovely aromatics. The palate is rich, toasty and shows lovely citrus fruit with some figgy notes and a bit of spicy oak. Very fine. 91/100 (10/13)

Thörle Riesling Feinherb 2012 Rheinhessen, Germany
Citrus and melon fruit bolstered by good acidity, with a bit of minerality and a hint of sweetness. Nice purity and texture. 89/100 (10/13)

Thörle Riesling 2012 Rheinhessen, Germany
Lively limey nose with a hint of spice. The palate is fresh, pure, limey and quite textural. Dry but precise with sweet fruit. 90/100 (10/13)

Thörle Kalkstein Riesling 2012 Rheinhessen, Germany
30-60 year old vines, fermented in old barrels. Fine aromatic lemony nose with some herbs and nice finesse. Textured, fine palate with lemons and a hint of apricot, as well as some mineral notes. Pure and fine. 92/100 (10/13)

Thörle Hölle Riesling 2011 Rheinhessen, Germany
This is a single vineyard wine from a southern slope at 150-200 metres. Fine, pure lemony fruit on the nose. Really fresh and pure with a mineral palate. Intense and lemony with great precision. 95/100 (10/13)

Thörle Schlossberg Riesling 2011 Rheinhessen, Germany
Single vineyard from loam, clay and limestone soils. Real finesse on the nose with lime, melon and a bit of honey. The palate is smooth textured. Quite profound with lovely rounded fruit, and honey and spice backing up the lemony fruit. Dry but rich. 94/100 (10/13)

Thörle Spätburgunder 2011 Rheinhessen, Germany
Fresh, vivid, cherryish nose is sweet and pure with a bit of spice. The palate is pure and elegant with bright supple cherry fruit. 91/100 (10/13)

Thörle Hölle Spätburgunder 2011 Rheinhessen, Germany
Pale coloured. So elegant, mineral and fine with pure cherry fruit and lovely precision. Nicely focused with fine red cherries and minerals. 94/100 (10/13)

UK agent: Carte Blanche

See also:

Visiting Germany's wine regions (series)
The Ahr Valley, Germany (series)

Wines tasted 01/11  
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