2015 Weingut Georg Breuer, GB Gris, Grauer Burgunder, Rheingau, Germany.
While known for their authentic and organic Riesling and Spatburgunder, I have to give a shout out to Georg Breuer’s Pinot Gris, which is absolutely delightful and much more serious than people would imagine, as this grape does fantastically well in Germany and is highly planted within some of the main regions, including here in the Rheingau. I remember on my last visit to Rudesheim finding many blocks of Pinot Gris, aka Grauer Burgunder within many of the Berg crus as well as seeing it throughout the middle Rheingau, where it gets also as dark as Pinot Noir on the vine and making you look very closely to identify it! This example by Theresa Breuer is vividly fresh and dry with crisp detail and a light to medium body showing ripe flavors and subtle aromatics along with a hint of smoky slate influenced minerallity. The profile is classically apple led, but adds peach, gooseberry, lemon/lime and quince and the texture is round, less intense than Theresa’s Rieslings, but still racy with natural acidity and some flinty spices and a touch of minty herbs. The Breuer’s have a beautiful set of vineyards with them being planted to about 79% Riesling, 11% Pinot Noir as well as a combination mixed grapes with close to 10% being made up of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, which goes into this wine, as well as rarities like Orléans and Heunisch. The Grauer Burgunder or Pinot Gris is set mostly on the historic slate soils of the Rudesheimer Berg as well as patches of shallow gravels, quartzite, clay and loess. The warm exposure and the ripe vintage give this Grauer Burgunder its delicious nature and it was made using spontaneous fermentations or started with pied de cuve (yeast that is started in the vineyard) and aged with stainless steel, while the single cru Rieslings see large German oak casks. Theresa, and her uncle Heinrich, along with cellar master Markus Lunden, a Swede have really done some incredible age worthy wines in the last five years making Weingut Georg Breuer one of the most important wineries in the Rheingau.
I have visited the Breuer’s tasting room in old town Rudesheim on both my extended stays in the Rheingau and always find something new to sample and this Grauer Burgunder was one of my favorites last time, along with a amazing selection of vintages of Theresa’s Rieslings from her estate sourced vines, both in the Rudesheimer Berg Grand Crus as well as her unique parcel in the Rauentaller Nonnenberg, which has become one of the most prized in her collection. The Breuer’s have a beautiful tasting facility above their old cellars as well as a great restaurant in town, along with a new cellar, which is a work in progress and is bustling with excitement, if you’ve never traveled to this wonderful wine village on the Rhein, you must and this winery is one of the sites you will want to discover. In the cellar, Theresa has gone down the path of her generation, using natural methods and focuses on the vineyards with holistic farming techniques and biodynamic principals to create dry soulful and transparent wines. In the 1980s Bernhard Breuer, Theresa’s late father, who sadly passed at age 57 in 2004, was one of the key members of Charta, an organization formed to promote a drier style of Rheingau wine, which have gained traction over the last 20 years and have become some of Germany’s most collectable, especially wines like Breuer’s Schlossberg, Roseneck and the Monopol Nonnenberg. Bernhard was a proponent of this style of wine and believed that the Rheingau was perfectly suited to producing very fine, elegant and flavorful dry Rieslings, and now Theresa, who leads this 130 year old estate, has taken the wines to the next level. This GB Gris Grauer Burgunder is not an easy get in America, sorry about that, but the Georg Breuer Rieslings and Pinot Noirs are and they deserve your attention, especially the latest vintages from 2015 to 2019, which are a stellar selection of wines.
($18 Est.) 90 Points, grapelive