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2007 Kiedricher Gräfenberg EG: Rheingau or Condrieu?

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One reason why I think Riesling is such a great grape is that it can take on so many different appearances. Terroir, vinifaction and vintage influence can lead the style more into one or another direction. On occasion you realize this in drastic manner when you open a bottle and you feel like it evokes some specific other region, grape or type of wine you know or think you know, and are not sure anymore about the true origin of the wine. Like, let’s say, when you feel that the wine seems Burgundian for example.

I recently had such a moment with a bottle of 2007 Kiedricher Gräfenberg GG from Robert Weil from my “home turf-region” Rheingau. This wine which I had quite a few times actually really surprised me that day because it obviously metamorphosed during its stay in the cellar and now reminded me of a textbook Condrieu from the Northern Rhône (which is predominantly made with Viognier grapes).

The nose already showed clear tendency towards maturity with slight petrol but also with still enough (still typical Riesling-like) apricot fruit. Well actually, the single aromatic components in the nose were pretty hard to name (admittedly: it’s always 50% guessing), but what struck was this great intensity and the impression you could feel vibrancy and tension in the wine from that point on.

This rendition seemed then to recur on the palate. Some typical Rheingau-Riesling attributes were of course there and showing quite nicely. Intense apricot fruit, a fascinating minerality coming from the Rheingau Terroir and also a slight smokiness which lend the wine depth. First indication that this wine was particular was a slightly sweet anise touch in the finish that accounted for freshness. Now that is not Rheingau, is it? Rather a tone I know from Southern French Whites… But then, what really struck anew here is what we already sensed from the nose: this vibrancy and tension, and then a tingly minerality in the finish; there was a constant agitation in this wine but at the same time it was getting smoother and more balanced with each sip. A liquid oxymoron! And suddenly I had the impression I’m drinking a Riesling that feels like Condrieu, or was it a Condrieu that reminded Riesling? Confusing and fascinating! Admittedly, there is always lot of subjectivity and personal taste in those kinds of assessments, but I’m quite sure more than one other person would have had the same impression. Most importantly though’, and detaching this tasting note from any label of origin, this was a great wine that had it all! And I’m very curious to see how the next bottle will taste. Definitely more than 90 points for this one!

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Categories: Germany,Rheingau

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