2018 Weingut Spreitzer, Riesling Kabinett, Lenchen, Rheingau Germany.
After focusing more on the old vine and dry wines at Spreitzer in my reviews, I noticed I hadn’t mentioned one of my favorite wines in their lineup, this Lenchen Kabinett, and that is an almost unforgivable oversight, as this 2018 vintage is a beauty and a fabulous Summer wine. One of the oldest family wineries in the Rheingau, Weingut Spreitzer, located in the tiny hamlet of Oestrich in the middle Rheingau is run now by Andreas and Bernd Spreitzer, who took over from their father Josef in 1997 and have really done an amazing job elevating this historic estate. One of their prize holdings, is the Lenchen Vineyard with its VDP Grosse Lage Rosengarten being the elite parcel here, it is set on mostly of loam and loess soils and not far from the Rhein and the winery itself. There are numerous underground streams here that ensure that even in dry years the vines have plenty of refreshment and a natural source of water for the roots to drink up. The Lenchen delivers a lovely concentration of flavors and the Kabinett with expressive fruity character drinks almost as impressively as a Spatlese with a serious palate impact and structure, while still feeling bright and brisk, not cloying or overtly sweet with apricot, apple, pineapple and racy citrus fruits along with touches of gingery spices, lemongrass, lime sorbet, wild mint tea and rosewater. This Kabinett has a sunny personality and makes you smile with comforting yellow fruits, but there is an underlying mineral focus and stoniness that reminds you that this terroir is very special.
I last visited the winery with Andreas in the 2016 harvest and tasted in the ancient cellars and in the modern tasting lounge, it certainly is a fantastic and beautiful place to visit when you tour the Rheingau region, it should be on your short list of paces to taste when in Germany and not far from some other famous spots like Kloster Eberbach and Schloss Vollrads, as well as being close the Geisenheim University and just up River from Rudesheim, one of the Rhein’s most picturesque villages. The Lenchen parcels overlook the widest part of the Rhein and this area gets an almost lake effect climate, warmer and moist, usually allowing for high sugars and early ripening grapes, making for flexibility in picking so the Spreitzer’s can make a wide array of styles from the Grand Cru dry Grosses Gewachs to a lush and intensely sweet Auslese, as well as this traditional Kabinett. The vines are littered here with pebbles as well as heavy tertiary, iron-containing clay marl and quartzite that adds complexity to the profile that leans toward exotic in nature. The Spreitzer team used a combination of old fuder (German oak cask) and stainless steel tanks to ferment and age the Lench Kabinett to retain fresh detail as well as give texture, which this vintage manages to convey to near perfection, making for an ideal Kabinett Riesling that is both fun and quaffable along with having complexity to thrill the senses and goes brilliantly with food, classic German dishes and especially spicy Asian cuisines like Thai.
($24 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive