2006 Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Spatlese, Binger Scharlachberg, Rheinhessen Germany.
The library release of 2006 Scharlachberg Spatlese from Kruger-Rumpf is really showing well right now, it’s bursting with flavor and is very expressive, starting with a petrol/flinty note that quickly goes floral and into a refined opulent palate of secondary Riesling characteristics with a sweet and minerally charm, almost feeling like an exceptionally balanced Auslese without the honey edged cloyingness, but with a luxurious mouth feel and depth. These late releases from the Rumpf’s are incredible values that show terroir and maturity with graceful and seamless textural pleasures, this and their 2004 Dautenpflanzer (Nahe) Spatlese are without question class acts, I’ve tried them both now on more than a few occasions and they are really hitting the marks and finding themselves, proving to be lush and complex offerings, with the 2006 feeling sweeter and the 2004 being more subtle and delicate. Binger Scharlachberg located in Rheinhessen, across the Nahe from Kruger-Rumpf’s main holdings, is composed of quartz and red sandstone soils with a touch of slate that adds to the rich profile, but also has a striking crystalline sense that shines through, the Grosses Gewachs from this Grand Cru (Grosse Lage) site is also fantastic and otherworldly, one of the best in the Rheinhessen after the Morstein cru (famously done by Keller and Wittmann) and while still not as well known, it’s a glorious south facing vineyard that delivers very special wines, and the Kabinett and Spatlese from here are spectacular, as evidenced here in this 2006 Kruger-Rumpf. Binger Scharlachberg (Meaning Bingen’s Scaret Hill) is wonderful to view from across the river, it’s terraces looking ancient and profound in the sunlight, it was magical to see in person, I was there in harvest season of 2016, and it’s a place that has a personal impact, and this 2006 Spatlese is a gem with lavish detail and layers, it’s full and impressive with sweet apricot, honeyed lime, apple and creamy melon sorbet as well as steely notes, hints of apple butter, kumquat, quince, orange chiffon, lemon grass, light brine/sea salt, rosewater and wet rocks. It rocks with spicy/hot Asian cuisine and or smoked/cured meats, it’s a beautiful off dry white and pure Riesling, it is still youthful, but in a great spot right now, and you can’t beat the price! Rumpf favors sponti (native ferments) and aging in old stuckfass, which give his wines a soulful and authentic character, I think they display seductive textures and earthy tones. There is something scandalously good here in Georg Rumpf’s sweet/fruity Spatlese, it’s a style people seem to shy away from these days, it’s true old school, and it’s a shame, because this is glorious stuff, a German classic, and while people are being herded like sheep into only trocken/dry wines, these kind of wines aren’t getting the love and attention they certainly deserve!
($22-26 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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