2015 Weingut Georg Breuer, Riesling Trocken, Artist Label, Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg, Rheingau, Germany.
The dry Grand Cru Schlossberg Riesling from Breuer, as mentioned here, is one of the most serious terroir driven wines in the world and its stony austere personality can only really be full understood with extended aging, it is why I hardly ever review them when they are young, and I’ve tasted this 2015 version a few times now and think it is ready and worthy of more attention, coming from one of my favorite vineyards in the world. The first time I hiked up to the castle in 2009, I was forever changed, and going back there again in 2016 cemented my admiration for this amazing vineyard on, as Johannes Leitz calls it, magic mountain at the Rudesheimer Berg overlooking the Rhein. Teresa Breuer’s 2015 Rudesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling is steely, stony and earthy, seductive and pure with racy citrus, with lime and kumquat, white peach, quince and verbena on the medium bodied crisply focused palate. Added elements of rosewater, muskmelon, wet flint, saline, almond and cloves add to the complexity, tension and depth in this very singular Rheingau classic. As mentioned, I have twice now spent time here, back in 2009 and more recently at harvest time in 2016 and both visits included tasting with the Breuer’s (at the old cellars) in downtown Rüdesheim, unforgettable experiences. Breuer’s Schlossberg parcel with its slatey and rich in quartzite soils, is farmed using organic methods and are certified by Fair N Green, it sees tiny yields to promote that depth and complexity, while retaining loads of natural acidity. Physiological and “aroma ripeness” are more key elements that Teresa looks for, more so than must weight and the grapes are picked when she feels the fruit is perfect, and the results have proved her great insight into this fantastic vineyard. Again, as I’ve said before, there is a raw sex appeal and natural force to Theresa’s wines and I seem to be more and more drawn to them, especially this extremely rare artist label Schlossberg bottling, which has a fanatical cult like following, not unlike Keller’s, and it’s terribly difficult to find.

The picturesque Schlossberg Grand Cru is located on the steeper western end of the Rüdesheimer Berg majestically overlooking the bend of the Rhiein, what the Breuer’s say is the so-called “Binger Loch”, west of the old town and opposite Bingen, the confluence of the Nahe River, and the Mäuseturm. Here, the Rhein changes direction and flows North again after its Rheingau East-West Intermezzo, when it has its widest point. This vineyard is very steep, surrounding the castle ruins and the rows of vines rise up from the Rhein here with an impossible 65 percent incline and soaks in the sun with a perfect Southwest exposure giving the wines, which are mostly dry here power and density. As noted before in my reviews, I have long been a fan of this historic winery, which was originally founded back in 1880 and I admire the direction Theresa Breuer has taken the Georg Breuer label with her more holistic approach in the vineyards and in the cellar, while continuing to be faithful to her late father’s vision. 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, sadly died way too young, but his legacy is alive and well with Theresa’s own talents honoring him. She has taken her dad’s ideas to heart (and next level) and has been raising the quality here with each vintage, through grit, hard work and natural practices in the vineyards and a gentle hand in the cellar. Bernhard was a huge proponent of this GG style of wine, and believed that the Rheingau was perfectly suited to producing very fine, single site, elegant and flavorful dry Reislings. The fermentation(s) are old school and natural or started with pied de cuve, basket ferments in the individual vineyards, with fermentation and élevage being done in large used barrels for the top wines such as the Monopole Nonnenberg, Rottland, Roseneck and this outrageously good Schlossberg bottling. I love visiting Rudesheim and the Rheigau, and I highly recommend putting it on your bucket list, along with this unicorn bottling, but don’t miss Breuer’s other Rieslings!
($175-275 Est.) 97 Points, grapelive

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