Grapelive: Wine of the Day June 28, 2019

2018 Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Trocken “Abtei 1937” Erstes Gewächs, Bingerbrücker Abtei im Ruppertsberg, Nahe Germany.
The 2018 barrel sample of Kruger-Rumpf’s Abtei 1937 was stunningly gorgeous with brilliant details, ripe extract density, vivid mineral tones and vibrant acidity showing a purity and vitality of youth, but with the complexity and length of its old vine material. Georg Rumpf has crafted a Trocken beauty here with layers of delicacy and substance, this juice is on par with almost any GG, making it an incredible value already, be sure to book your allocation of this ultra limited bottling from Terry These and importer Skurnik Wines, you will not be disappointed, I know I will be hustling to get some myself. The regular Abtei offering is one of my new favorite Nahe Rieslings and while I love all the latest Kruger-Rumpf wines, especially from the Grosse Lage: Münsterer Dautenpflänzer, Münsterer im Pitterberg and Dorsheimer Burgberg, as well as exotic Rumpf’s Scheurebe plus their off dry Kabinett, Feinherb and wonderfully balanced Spatlese(s) I have become obsessed with the Bingerbrücker Abtei im Ruppertsberg vineyard and wines. This ’18 starts with subtle aromatic charm with orange blossom, rosewater, flinty stones, salt lick and quinces before thrilling the palate with energy and white peach, tangerine, lime intensity, verbena, mint tea and tart green apple. This light/medium dry Riesling is brisk and racy, at first but gains depth and builds with air in the glass adding some leesy texture, it is totally thrilling and will only get better with bottle age. Terry Theise adds that, Kuger-Rumpf’s vineyards are farmed sustainably; bees are kept nearby to facilitate pollination and aid in overall bio-diversity. Periodically sheep are allowed to roam the vines helping to control underbrush. All vineyards are hand harvested to ensure that only optimally ripe grapes are selected. Stefan believed that “you can’t improve wine in the cellar, only make it worse…” and Georg has continued his cellar work with this philosophy in mind, which to me shows in wines like this fantastic Abtei.

The impossibly steep Kruger-Rumpf Abtei Cru, the northern most vineyard in the Nahe, which is on the outskirts of Bingen, was once an Abbey owned plot, across the Rhein from Rudesheimer Berg and is almost a mirror image soil wise to Schlossberg with a beautiful southern exposure. While still just a Premier Cru, this might be the best kept secret of the Nahe, making for a wine with Grosses Gewachs intensity and quality, and the Rumpf put a lot of blood sweat and tears into working this amazing site set on phyllite, which is essentially mica slate, all with organic methods and only handworking of the vines, do to the severity of the slope. For the first time, Kruger-Rumpf are doing a single block wine from this vineyard from vines that date back to 1937, the vineyards oldest and steepest section, and it is an amazing wine from a vintage to looks to be one of best in years. The dry Abtei 1937 Riesling, coming from these 81 year old vines was all done with native yeasts or Sponti, spontanous fermentation in over 30 years old Stückfässern (German 1200L oak casks) with full yeast contact, lees aged, until the following June, nines months after harvest. After walking this site at harvest in 2016 and tasting the grapes here I was convinced Georg Rumpf had a magical piece of land for exceptional single vineyard dry Riesling, and this 2018 is the best yet, this is special stuff from a special terroir and years from now I believe people with talk about the wines from Abtei the same way as (we do of) other much more famous places, like Carl Loewen’s Maximin Herrenberg 1896, Johannes Leitz’s Kaisersteinfels Terraces, Wittmann’s Morstein and the Carl Von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg to name a few. There are some glorious wines coming from Germany’s 2018 vintage, with Spreitzer, Schlossgut Diel, Carl Loewen, Von Winning, Kunstler, Selbach-Oster and Georg Breuer all showing samples of greatness in a recent trade tasting in San Francisco, and along with them Kruger-Rumpf shined, be sure to keep an eyer out for them all, in particular this 2018 Abtei 1937 Trocken. Updated 4/9/20 (picture is the finished label/bottle in USA)
($45 Est.) 94+ Points, grapelive