Von Buhl Estate Riesling QBA Dry 2016

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About This Wine

It's hard to imagine a more perfect entry Riesling than this. With the arrival of ex-Bollinger chef de cave Mathieu Kauffmann, the wines of this celebrated Pfalz estate have shifted up yet another gear. Now drier than ever, Kauffmann's incoming regime includes longer lees aging, no pumping, very low sulphur additions, and even at this level the wines are bottled unfiltered. Here we offer a beautiful illustration of the new style, from a vintage that many commentators and producers are calling Vintage of the Century.

The grapes for this wine are drawn from Von Buhl's organically tended sandstone-rich parcels in Deidesheim and Ruppertsberg, which in 2016 yielded well below the regional average. The combination of a beautiful vintage with fully ripe grapes, not to mention Kauffmann's ultra precise winemaking - which includes a portion of the blend fermented in large, neutral stuckfass casks - has reaped perhaps the most exciting version of this perennial bargain we have shipped. Perhaps! It's a wine that offers aromatic and juicy grapefruit and racy lime notes. Penetratingly dry on the palate, yet there's plenty of succulent fruit padding, combined with mouth-tingling zestiness and some lovely, minerally, powdery grip and crunchy acidity to close. A super expression of dry Riesling that bats well above its price point.

Type White Wine
Varietal(s) Riesling
Country Germany
Region Pfalz
Brand Von Buhl Estate
Vintage 2016

About German Wines

Germany is the world’s northernmost fine wine producing region and thus requires its vines to endure some of the coldest temperatures. Fortunately, the country’s star variety, Riesling, does well in cooler climates and can survive even these freezing winters.

Germany Riesling is classified by ripeness at harvest which is also used to indicate the wine’s level of residual sugar. Picking earlier means the grapes have less time to ripen and the corresponding wines will be on the drier side; while picking later gives the grapes the opportunity full ripen and produce a lusciously sweet Riesling. The classifications from driest to sweetest: Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Trockenbeerenauslese and Eiswein (ice wine). While not as common to age white wines outside of Chardonnay, top tier German Rieslings can be aged for decades.

Other notable white grape varieties produced in Germany include Müller-Thurgau (a cross between Riesling and Madelaine Royale in the search for varieties that could withstand the extreme temperatures), Grauburguner (Pinot Gris) and Weissburguner (Pinot Blanc). The cooler German climate leads to earlier harvesting in general and gives German wines a distinctive character of higher acidity.

Historically red wine has always been harder to produce in the German climate. However, Pinot Noir grown in slightly warmer pockets of the country, has been highly successful in recent times. Going by the German name, Spätburgunder, German Pinot Noir can be elegant, structured and have vibrant acidity.

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