2018 Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Kabinett, Münsterer Rheinberg, Nahe Germany.
One of my favorites, Kruger-Rumpf’s Münsterer Rheinberg Kabinett is an excellent value and offering with subtle fruit sweetness and loads of mineral driven personality, which is all here in this 2018 vintage that is developing nicely, showing flinty stony character, a hint of diesel and rounded white orchard fruits. This pale gold Kabinett starts with crisp citrus, peach and green apple on the lighter and brighter framed medium bodied palate with zesty acidity that helps hide overt sweetness and gives the impression of a drier style, while still having a certain fleshy mouth feel, making it refreshing and flexible with a range of cuisine choices, it goes nicely indeed with spicy and or briny dishes. I last visited Georg Rumpf and the winery at harvest time in 2016, when I was able to see most of his vineyard sites, that are farmed with sustainable and organic methods, including the area where this Münsterer Rheinberg comes from, it’s pretty close to where the Nahe flows into the mighty Rhein River. Georg has really done an amazing job with these Kruger-Rumpf wines and there’s sublime array of top notch Rieslings to chose from here, with his classic Kabinett and Spatlese being exceptional examples, as well as his set of GGs and Erste Lage single vineyard Trockens, that are outstanding, with the Dautenpflänzer Grosses Gewächs and the Abtei Erstes Gewächs being my absolute favorites.

The Münsterer Rheinberg area has weathered quartzite and sandy loam soils with mostly southeast facing vines on very steep slopes on the higher sections to gentle slopes with richer soils in the lower sections, which gives complexity, along with a good balance between ripe fruit concentration and electric acidity. Kruger-Rumpf’s Rheinberg Kabinett is sourced entirely from the quartz dominated higher sections of the Rheinberg hill and from mature vines that are close to 25 years old, making this slightly off dry Riesling a delight, easy to love, but still serious in style, as this 2018 version shows. The Kabinett grapes get whole bunch crushed directly, according to Rumpf, and fermented half in older Hösch stuckfass (oak casks) and half in stainless steel tanks. The fermentation is natural and spontaneous with no added yeasts, after which the Riesling is racked to the stainless steel and cooled to stop it from going dry. Then, after fine lees aging, in late April the Kabinett offerings are sorted out and bottled to preserve freshness, aromatics and clarity. This 2018 has gained poise and purpose and I enjoyed it with Sushi, especially with Saba and Spicy Tuna roll, where the faint residual sugar matched up nicely the saline and flavors of the sea and the heat. Kruger-Rumpf, based in Münster-Sarmsheim, a small village, near Bingen, on the western side of the Nahe River, as mentioned, and a stones throw from the Rhein, across from the famous Rudesheimer Berg on the northern bank, with vines overlooking three regions, Rheinhessen, Rheingau and the Nahe. If you are a Riesling fan, this is a winery to follow, plus they do an awesome Scheurebe, which I trie not to miss!
($22 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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