2019 Weingut Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Trocken “Abtei 1937” Erstes Gewächs, Bingerbrücker Abtei im Ruppertsberg, Nahe Germany.
Kruger-Rumpf’s Abtei VDP Erste Lage Riesling Trocken, sourced from an ultra steep parcel tucked into the most northwestern site in the whole Nahe region just across the river from Bingen and almost a stones throw from the mighty Rhein and set on metamorphic rock with slate infused soils, and as I have said before, this might be one of the most distinct sites in this celebrated area and this wine is the equal of many much more expensive offerings with an amazing sense of depth and energy. This 2019 is impressive with elegance and delicacy on display, but with an exotic background of tropical fruit and florals adding beautiful depth, complexity and aromatics here on this crisply and mineral toned dry Riesling, its lively medium bodied palate delivering a wonderful play between generous citrus and stone fruits and salty stoniness with white peach, lime, green apple and pineapple all revolving in the mouth along with wet flint, spearmint, verbena, clove, rosewater and a touch of leesy notes. This pale golden colored Riesling is dynamic and vibrant with a crystalline precision, this 2019 is drinking sublimely well already with seductive charm, divine weightlessness and personality bursting from the glass, making it compelling now, though it should get even better with another 3 to 5 years of bottle age, if you could be that patient, which I was not. This Abtei was a perfect way to start my Thanksgiving eve Chinese food feast providing a delicious refreshment to the array of flavors on over, while shinning all on its own, this is a serious wine that could easily be Grosses Gewachs and someday this vineyard certainly will be. Georg Rumpf has committed this small estate to organic farming and while they have been practicing organic for several years, they are now poised to full certification soon. They keep bees nearby the vineyards to facilitate pollination and aid in overall bio-diversity as well as having sheep roaming the vines helping to control underbrush growth and all of their vineyards are hand harvested to ensure that only optimally ripe grapes are selected.

The impossibly steep Kruger-Rumpf Abtei Cru, as mentioned, is the northern most vineyard in the Nahe, which is on the outskirts of Bingen, it was once an almost forgotten Abbey owned plot, across the Rhein from Rudesheimer Berg and is almost a mirror image soil wise to Schlossberg with a beautiful southern exposure. While still just a Premier Cru, this might be the best kept secret in the Nahe. The Rumpf’s have put a lot of blood sweat and tears into working this amazing site, completely rehabilitating this once poorly kept site that is set on phyllite, which is essentially mica slate, all farmed now with organic methods and only hand tending of the vines, do to the severity of the slope. Georg Rumpf, the winemaker, does a single block wine from this vineyard from vines that date back to 1937, hence the name, sourced from the vineyard’s oldest and steepest section of vines here. The Kruger-Rumpf estate, which has roots going back to the 1700s was really only founded as a winery in 1984, is located in Münster-Sarmsheim, a small village on the western side of the Nahe River and is highly regarded for their collection of Grand Cru plots and their traditional series of Rieslings, especially their hedonistic Spatlese bottlings and in recent years their collection of dry Rieslings along with their outstanding off dry Scheurebe. The dry Abtei 1937 Riesling, coming from these 81 year old vines, was fermented with native yeasts or Sponti, (spontaneous) in over 30 years old Stückfässern (German 1200L oak casks) with full lees aging, lasting a full nine months after harvest. Back in 2016, I got a chance to walk and visit this Abtei vineyard with Georg and after tasting the grapes (and wines) from here I was convinced Rumpf’s have a magical piece of land here, perfect for making exceptional single vineyard Rieslings, and this 2019 is all the proof you’d need. The Abtei, I think of, the same way I do other famous places, like Carl Loewen’s Maximin Herrenberg 1896 in the Mosel, Johannes Leitz’s Kaisersteinfels Terraces, Wittmann’s Morstein in the Rheinhessen and the Carl Von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Abtsberg to name just a few and it also compares well with Von Winning’s Paradeisgarten in the Pfalz. I highly recommend the Abtei bottlings, especially this one with its gorgeous label, from Kruger-Rumpf and I am excited to hear they are going to release a Spatlese version soon too.
($45 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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