2015leitzmagicmountain2015 Weingut Leitz, Riesling Rüdesheimer Trocken, Magic Mountain, Rheingau Germany.
This might be the best under $20 dry white wine in the world! After spending 4 days in the region and walking the steep slopes of Rudesheimer Berg where this gorgeous Riesling comes from, first thing you notice is how fantastic Leitz vines are tended, and how the grapes in his Cru blocks are some of the best on the hill, as well as having seen the attention to detail in the cellar, this is without question one of the most passionate vignerons in Germany, Johannes Leitz and his crew have raised the game to an incredible high level here, and while he could get snobby and offer only top wines, with his reputation and marketing prowess, but they continue to turn out amazingly beautiful value wines, especially this Magic Mountain, from three Grosses Gewachs crus in Rudesheimer Berg! Each site adds to the intrigue and excitement in the Magic Mountain, with Kaisersteinfels the highest site and home to the historic terranessen, Schlossberg near the ruins of the Ehrenfels castle closest to the Rhein and Roseneck in the heart of the Rudesheimer Berg, these are pure class and give the wine it’s nobility and depth, the soils here are a fine mix of slate, quartz and mineral rich top soil with pebbles, broken slate and big stones, the resulting wine is charming with spicy elements, mouthwatering saline and steely tones, less fruity and plumb than the upper Rheingau with more verve and driving energy, and if you crave the flinty and crisp wines of Chablis, you’ll love the Magic Mountain that has similar qualities, but at a much nicer price. The vitality and brisk mineral austere nature highlights the wines serious intentions, it’s transparent and super clear with laser like focus, but as with all of Johannes’ wine there is a playful, ease that shines through, making for a pleasure security blanket, you can’t seem to get enough of his wines! The light rosewater, apricot and green apple notes lead the way on the vigorous palate with lime blossom, tangerine, green melon and a hint of tropical essences giving the 2015 it’s exotic side along with salty flint, earth, savory tones, wet shale/stones and white tart cherry contrast well with the more lush nature of the near perfect vintage. I’ve been drinking Leitz for 15 years or more, and with each vintage I fall in love with the wines all over again, and it gets more personal as well, as I don’t think you can find a better person than Josi Leitz, his kindness radiates all over the world, he is truly one of the best guys around and his wines reflect his commitment and soul, he believes his wines are happy wines made by happy people, and I can say, after spending time with his team, this is true, and everyone at Leitz loves their job and give 120% to Johannes. The Magic Mountain Riesling is a brilliant wine, and a good sibling to Leitz’s famous and fruitier Dragonstone, With the natural acidity and intensity, you should also try the fantastic 2015 Kabinett and Spatlese too, forget your prejudice and sugar level, these are wonderfully balanced wines that don’t feel overly sweet, but offer terrific depth and lavish mouth feel, and of course if you want Grand Cru the GG’s are out of this world, but still too young to uncork, give them time, but if you want a glimpse of what they promise get the Magic Mountain! Bravo team Leitz, and thank you for allowing me to tag along during a stressful and busy harvest, I had access to every each of the winery and vineyards, and giving me such an excellent education on the Rheingau!
($18 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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