This session looked at Rieslings produced on deeper, heavier soils, comparing (in some cases) wines made on shallower soils with those from deeper ones. It was full of interest.
First, a pair of WeilThese adjacent vineyards are derived from the same mother rock, metamorphosed slate with thin bands of mica. Turmberg is the steeper slope with thinner soils; Gräfenberg is less steep and has soils that are quite deep.
Robert Weil Riesling Turmberg Trocken 2015 Rheingau, Germany
This is from a steep slope with thinner soils. Precise but with depth to it, showing citrus fruit with some nice mandarin, and a bright finish. Combines depth and precision: a really lovely wine. 95/100
Robert Weil Riesling Gräfenberg GG 2015 Rheingau, Germany
From deeper soils. This has a stony edge with some pithiness. Very bright and expressive with some grapefruit and a hint of cabbage. Expressive with a nice acid line. Broad and transparent with subtle herby notes. 92/100
These three wines are from the same village, Hochheim. Domdechaney is adjacent to the Mainz Cathedral and has loess loam soils with lots of clay. They are water-retentive even in warm summers. Kirchenstück lies east and has a range of soils from loess loam to lighter layers of sand. Hölle is a steep slope and has clay marl soils with some lime.
Künstler Riesling Domdechaney Trocken 2016 Rheingau, Germany
Nice depth here with peach and sweet citrus fruit. Has nice precision. Smooth mouthfeel with a crystalline quality. 93/100
Künstler Riesling Kirchenstück Kabinett Trocken 2016 Rheingau, Germany
Bright, linear and very fresh with lovely citrus drive and purity. Has an amazing acid line. Precision and purity here. 95/100
Künstler Riesling Hölle Kabinett Trocken 2016 Rheingau, Germany
Very linear with some brightness. Has lovely clean fruit: pear, apple, citrus. Tight and fresh with some generosity. Mouthwatering. 93/100
These next two wines are from cool sites, with sandy soils. One is from Michigan’s Grand Traverse and the other is from a cool windy vineyard on the Central California Coast.
Left Foot Charley Seventh Hill Farm Riesling 2016 Old Mission Peninsula, Michigan
Lovely concentration of clean citrus fruit with a hint of apple and nice precise flavours. Good density here with bright fruit and good length. 92/100
Tatomer Kick-On Ranch Riesling 2017 Santa Barbara County, California
Generous with lovely pear and peach fruit. Very pure: has a hint of cabbage with nice precision and rich texture. Such a lovely fruit expression here with some apricot on the finish. A fruity style. 93/100
Next, some deep soils from the Finger Lakes. 400 million years ago, Western New York was covered by a warm shallow sea, and layered sediments over a long time created shale and limestone. More recent ice ages saw the Laurentide Ice Sheet march north and south, carving valleys on its advance and depositing debris on its retreat. These created some of the deeper soils that these wines come from.
Boundary Breaks Riesling #239 2016 Seneca Lake, Finger Lakes, New York
Clay rich soils on the east side of Seneca Lake. Lovely ripe citrus fruit here with a hint of apple. Some sweetness. Lively and expressive with nice lemony notes and some rich fruit. 90/100
Kemmeter Riesling Sheldrake Point Vineyard SanSan 2016 Cayuga Lake, Finger Lakes, New York
Wedged between two gorges on glacially-deposited gravelly loam. Sweet and pure with nice detail to the peach and pear fruit, as well as some citrus freshness. Off-dry style. 90/100
Dr. Konstantin Frank Margrit Riesling 2016 Seneca Lake, Finger Lakes, New York
Margrit sits on glacial till, deep, well-draining gravelly silt loam. Precise with concentrated citrus fruit and a bit of structure. Some pear richness. Nice intensity with a pithy undercurrent. 92/100
Keuka Lake Falling Man Riesling 2016 Keuka Lake, Finger Lakes, New York
Glacial outwash and gravelly loam loaded with shale. This has linear grapefruit notes with some pith and a touch of honey. Very fruity with a bit of pepper. Distinctive flavours, with a spicy edge. 89/100
Beyond FLX: three wines from other places in north America
Cave Spring CSV Riesling 2016 Beamsville Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Canada
Stony clay glacial till with some limestone. Lovely crystalline citrus fruits. Ripe but balanced with nice precision, and attractive pear and citrus fruit with a hint of peach. Great balance and nice acidity here. 92/100
Tantalus Old Vines Riesing 2016 Okanagan Valley, Canada
Planted in 1978 on deep silty soils. Apple and citrus nose. Compact palate with ripe citrus and pear fruit, and some peachy notes. Has great acidity and just a bit of sweetness. Lovely concentration and precision here. 92/100
Côte Bonneville DuBrul Vineyard Riesling 2018 Yakima Valley, Washington State
Ancient river bed in a valley formed by the Great Missoula Flood. It’s limestone and river rock over basalt. Concentrated, ripe and generous with ripe peach and yellow plum fruit. Nice acidity here with a bit of grip. Very stylish. 91/100
Find these wines with wine-searcher.com