2018 Weingut Spreitzer, Riesling Feinherb, Hattenheimer Engelmannsberg, Rheingau Germany.
These 2018’s by Spreitzer are lovely, dense and stunning Rieslings, especially their GG’s and their savvy set of Feinherbs like this Engelmannsberg, with its lush texture, ripe flavors and underlying mineral core, it is technically off dry, but feels more like a baby GG in the glass and it over delivers for the price. The Spreitzer estate, in the middle Rhein zone in the village of Oestrich, was founded way back in 1641 making it one of the oldest private family wineries in the Rheingau and is now run by Andreas and Bernd Spreitzer who took over the estate from their father Josef, when he retired in 1997. This estate has really turned on the quality in recent years and on my visit to their cellars in 2016 I found a winery that is upholding its family traditions, but also one that is innovating and ever improving with both farming and winemaking, the 2016, 2017 and now these 2018’s are taking Spreitzer to the next level and Riesling fans should really take notice. This Engelmannsberg Feinherb is full of fruit, stony elements and pleasing density, it’s a Riesling that while opulent has class and vitality with inner energy and natural acidity that gives life and structural integrity showing wild peach, green apple, apricot, lime and papaya fruits along with hints of lees, wet rock and verbena as well as saline, chamomile and lingering zesty/tangy tangerine. The nose opens with white blossoms slowly and backwards at this stage, this wine’s light sweetness is polished and adds greatly to the whole, this is a sleeper in the lineup at Spreitzer that should evolve in glorious detail over the next 5 to 10 years.
The Spreitzer family employs long fermentations, and with extended lees aging to protect the juice from oxidation in their historic cellar, also using mostly “Sponti” indigenous yeasts in their fermentation process, which is done in both temperature controlled stainless steel and classic stückfass, large oak casks of German wood. The Spreitzer’s have a great set of terroirs and Crus to chose from and they have a fantastic and differing collection of soils, with the Engelmannsberg in the Hattenheim area being on loess, loam and clay soils with some sand as well, going this wine its rich body and hints of exotic tropical notes. The Engelmannsberg was fermented solely in stainless to preserve absolute purity and vibrancy, while allowing it to have the luxurious mouth feel, which the residual sugar highlights. The vines here, that average 20 years of age, are farmed with sustainable practices, everything is done to ensure quality in this humid zone where the Rhein is at its widest point, giving an almost lake effect here and the less slate makes for very generous wines, like this one. This Riesling goes with so many food dishes, it is remarkably flexible and while I would drink it anytime and with anything myself, it goes fabulously with some spicy heat and or robust cuisine, including Thai curries and Singapore style chilli crab. Speitzer’s basic Kabinett and Estate Trocken are some of Germany’s best values as well, but for the money, you should also check wines like this one and their Alte Reben bottlings!
($29 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive