2021 Weingut Willems-Willems, Riesling Kabinett Feinherb, Saar River, Germany.
The pale greenish gold and aromatic 2021 Saar Riesling Kabinett Feinherb from Willems-Willems is slightly drier and more crisp than the regular Kabinett I tried most recently and shows of a bright peachy and lime fruit character along with loads of mineral, slate driven accents, wet stone and a hint of tropical fruit, chamomile and ginger spice. This light framed Riesling is slightly fruity and has a touch of earthiness, drinking pure and nicely, with that tiny amount of residual sugar helping fill out the racy palate and adding refreshment, making it a great choice with sushi and less hot Asian cuisine. I don’t have a ton of experience with this winery, but have very much enjoyed what I’ve tried so far from this Saar estate. As I found out last time I had their wines, five generations of women have managed and run this Saar estate with Carolin (Willems-Willems) Hofmann now firmly in charge here and taking care of all the business aspects of the winery with General Manager Peter Thelen looking after the grapes and the cellar. Today the property is a dedicated wine growing estate, but similar to other family wineries in the region it wasn’t until 1971 that it stopped being a mixed or multi-purpose farm. That was also the year the matriarch of the Willems estate, Maria Willems married Karl, who in a strange twist of fate shared a distant ancestor and thus the same last name, hence the Willems-Willems label.
The Willens-Willens estate, as I mention in my previous reviews, in the Saar region, not far from the Mosel, is a small family affair, making just about 4,500 cases a year, with some serious wines, like their beautifully expressive and crystalline Oberemmel Altenberg Kabinett, I had below, and this Kabinett Feinherb, which as noted, a slightly off dry Riesling that is driven by the slate underpinnings of this unique terroir. Weingut Willems-Willems does about 60% off-dry or sweet wines and 40% dry wines, with mainly Riesling sites, all being eco-friendly sustainable vineyards, but they also have 20% of Pinot Blanc, which has seen a dramatic increase in quality and popularity in the greater Mosel-Saar-Ruwer area, along with about 10% Pinot Noir. Again as I have said before, the Saar and Ruwer regions have many historic and famous names like Carl von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser, Egon Mueller and one of the more recent stars, Peter Lauer, which I adore, with along with others, that have made their wines seriously hard to get. So when you find a quality, under the radar producer, like Willems-Willems, especially value priced, you really appreciate them. The Rieslings here, as the winery notes, are the result of a special combination of extremely small yields, outstanding cru vineyards and slow spontaneous (wild) native yeast fermentation along with an extended lees aging, as cellar master Thelen and winemaker Miguel Louro prefers, allowing more personality, terroir nuance and mature flavors to shine through.
($24 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive