2006 Weingut Georg Breuer, Riesling, Rauentaller Nonnenberg “Monopol” Rheingau Germany.
I have grateful memories of trying this wine, the golden Breuer 2006 Nonnenberg dry Riesling, while visiting Rudesheim in 2009 and it was awesome to re-try it recently with an incredible panel of Rheingau wines and it has really held up and excelled in the years in between then and now with a full depth of complex and secondary character showing now. In the last few years Theresa Breuer has been turning out some amazing wines, these later offerings have taken on a real natural and authentic appeal with lovely detailing and highlight her individual parcels and unique vineyard sites, like this one from the Rauentaller, a historic growing site that was brought back to the spotlight by the Georg Breuer winery, almost alone, it is a unique place in the Rheingau, as Terry These, one of the world’s most respected Riesling gurus, tells it, this commune is ground-zero for Rheingau underachieving, sadly, as it shows fantastic potential and can achieve greatness as this wine proves! The 2006 has entered full maturity and delivers smooth texture and has intriguing layers of apricot, seeped rose petals, persimmon, kumquat and peach tart along with lemony tones adding mineral notes, chamomile and verbena. There’s still a kick of saltiness, wet stones and gripping extract with just a faint hint of honey in a pure Riesling that keeps your attention in glass, it looks about right for its age and its mature character makes it wonderfully elegant at this stage and tasty with classic German foods, especially hams. Theresa Breuer, keeps things simple in the winemaking, her fermentations are natural or started with pied de cuve, using traditional elevage in large used barrels for the top wines, like this one, which shows exceptional quality and transparency. Any trip to Rudesheim, which I say is a must for wine lovers, must include a visit to Weingut Georg Breuer in the old town, there is always a special treat in store for you.
The sex appeal of Breuer’s wines are their amazing vineyard sites with a majority of the holdings located in the three greatest Grand Crus in Rüdesheim – Berg Schlossberg, Berg Roseneck and Berg Rottland, which are mostly slate driven and this Monopole (Monopol in German) site, Nonnenberg in Rauenthal, which is very different from the Rudesheimer Berg with a less dramatic view and slope over the Rhein, but with its own magic and prime hillside setting set on quartzite and schist soils. This area was part of the collection used by the famous Kloster Eberbach, the historic monastery that helped define quality Riesling under the church that was guardian of German wine for hundreds of years prior to secular rule. Teresa took over from her father, Bernhard Breuer, who, as the winery notes, was one of the key members of Charta, an organization formed to promote a drier style of Rheingau wine. Bernhard was a huge proponent of this style of wine, and believed that the Rheingau was perfectly suited to producing very fine, elegant and flavorful dry Reislings, which is obviously true, especially today as you can see in his daughters wines, as well as those of Kunstler, Leitz, Spreitzer and others. Bernhard was also a strong advocate for a vineyard classification system based on geology, historical precedent and quality of wines and was a visionary in believing in the Rauentaller and in particular the Cru Monopol Nonnenberg, which he brought into the wineries portfolio. Theresa Breuer has led an organic movement in the Rheingau and all of her vineyards are farmed organic, she runs the estate with her uncle Heinrich as well as longtime manager and icon in the region, Hermann Schmoranz and her Swedish cellar master Markus Lunden, making a tight crew of passionate persons that are committed to producing wines of place and purity, these are wines to search out. If you can find Theresa’s Rieslings with some age, all the better, but grab 2015, 2016 and 2017 versions, especially her Schlossberg and this Nonnenberg, all of which are fabulous and age worthy wines.
($60 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive