2015 Weingut Wittmann, Riesling Trocken, Rheinhessen, Germany.
Phillip Wittmann’s entry level dry Riesling is a pithy fresh wine that delivers crisp detail and pure flavors, while it lacks to thrilling concentration of the GG’s this lovely little wine gives a gateway insight into Wittmann’s style, vintage markers and terroir. Having tasted with Phillip Wittmann last year and tasting his signature Morstein I had a good base in which to taste this Rheinhessen Trocken that starts with driving citrus, loamy notes and white cherry before opening on the palate with more yellow fruits and mineral elements in a vibrant and juicy acid burst. The 2015 is still rather austere and tight, a bit surprising, but still charming and a solid value for a wine from a great vintage and pedigree, best to have with cuisine where it shine more clearly, especially with cured meats, oysters or light to medium spicy dishes, it is really vital and refreshing in a lighter frame than the more impressive and deep Grosses Gewachs and single vineyard Trockens. Wittmann began organic conversion in the 1980’s, got 100% organic in the early 1990’s and went full biodynamic in 2004, their adoption of Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy and farming has lifted Wittmann to new highs and the wines show amazing energy and class, making Philip one of superstars of Germany who has lifted the region’s reputation as well. The Rheinhessen has small pockets of terroir that is as good as it gets, and there is no doubt Weingut Wittmann is the leading light. The soils here are more limestone and clay giving the Wittmann wines their unique expressions, in fact Morstein always has a Chablis like steely quality and is a vineyard that was first mentioned way back in 1282, there is a stunning history here, Wittmann’s other top sites include areas of iron rich red volcanic and sandy loam and a bit of loess which adds to the complexity of each Cru, with the basic Trocken getting a bit of each in most vintages. This zesty Riesling Trocken has brisk mouth feel and vigor along with faint white flowers, tropical tones, peachy notes and spices finishing dusty dry and lingering rosewater, mango and biting bitterness. I can see myself enjoying a few bottles of this one on hot summer days, also look for Wittmann’s very rare Trocken Rose of St. Laurent and Pinot Noir, one of Germany’s most geeky fun wines!
($22.50 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive

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