2021 Weingut Reichsrat von Bühl, Riesling Kabinett “Armand” Pfalz, Germany.
The Weingut Reichsrat von Bühl in the Pfalz is a historic premier estate with a collection of traditional wines and more modern dry style stuff too with top notch full VDP Grosses Gewachs leading the way, but I recently tried their Armand line Kabinett, which is named for their von Bühl ancestor that helped built the Suez Canal and who served a Riesling much like this at the opening ceremony! The lightly off-dry and fruity Armand Kabinett is bright and expressive with white blossoms, fresh picked apricot, tangerine, green apple and tropical notes to start along with crystalized ginger spice, steely mineral, wet stones and delicate rosewater. Very easy to quaff, this vintage may not have the concentration of other years, but still complex and pleasing to the palate with a fine salinity and clean acidity that helps with refreshing the senses, it is wonderful with spicy cuisine, especially hot Asian dishes, like chili pork dumplings. The von Bühl vineyard sites are where some of Germany’s best and greatest Rieslings come from and I always enjoy the lineup here. The winery, as noted previously, hired and put the talented Matthieu Kaufmann in charge of the cellar and winemaking in 2013 and the results have been impressive, as seen throughout the set of wines here.

The Armand Kabinett was all hand picked and carefully sorted with the grapes seeing a moderate amount of residual sugars, which convert to a finished 8.5 to 9% natural alcohol, and fermented in stainless steel tank exclusively, where the wine saw a short 16 weeks of lees aging before being bottled unfined or filtered to preserve freshness and purity. The Armand comes from plots of Riesling planted on the Pfalz’s classic sandstone soils with what the winery calls white and yellow variegated sandstone underpinning the vines here, which are grown all sustainable and meticulously cared for. As mentioned in previous reviews, the historic Reichsrat Von Bühl, one of my favorites, which was originally founded in 1849, is as noted one of Germany’s most famous family owned wine estates. Now owned by Achim Niederberger, von Bühl has assembled an amazing team to keep this winery at the highest level of quality in the region and (in) the country. Von Bühl’s collection of cru vineyards, in my opinion, rivals any estate in Europe, like neighbors Von Winning, including some of the best vineyard sites in Deidesheim and Forst, such as “Grossen Lagen” Forster Kirchenstück, Pechstein, Jesuitengarten, Freundstück and the Deidesheim sites Leinhöhle, Herrgottsacker, Kiesleberg and Paradiesgarten. I typically go for the Trocken offerings here, with some of less prestigious bottlings delivering savvy value, like the Trocken Forster especially, though I am a fan of the bargain Kabinett bottlings too.
($24 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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