Pettenthal, certainly one of Germany’s most en vogue Riesling-vineyards these last years is one of various styles. Some of its wines are more zesty, others more herbal. If these differences are rather linked to micro-Terroirs, or to the winemaker’s signature is still a mystery to me. But of course, in a strict sense, the winemaker is part of the Terroir definition anyway so logically it’s inevitable to have various styles with the exact same soil.
Anyhow, I don’t want to get into Terroir-talk here. What I actually want to say is that the Pettenthal wine in question here – Kühling Gillot‘s Great Growth Riesling – has always been one on the more herbal and “masculine” side. This 2006 vintage is a wine I had on several occasions already since I bought a couple of bottles back in 2007. They always held for a great experience. And so it was again today.
The wine shines in the glass with an intense color between straw and gold. From the moment you approach your nose, a delicious lush smell of ripe apricots mixed with a hint of cantaloupe and a good dose of blonde tobacco catches your full attention.
On the palate, the first sip feels like an instant awakening of all senses, this sensual liquid stimulating all possible tastebuds at the same time. There’s acidity, a little bitterness, ripe fruit and an intense tickling minerality. The full possible spectrum of the varietal.
Then comes the caress of a nearly oil-like texture, that seems to get more and more intense. This also makes for a fascinating contrast to the very masculine appearance of the wine, developing notes of herbs and tobacco. A touch of bitterness even reminds the scent of Cuban cigars – and I suddenly get this image of a Cuban cigar-box filled with this mineral-loaded red earth from the Pettenthal vineyard (within the Roter Hang). But to add even more complexity to this flavor cocktail, other layers with hints of bee wax and pepper slowly emerge in the meantime.
This Riesling shows incredible presence and a breathtaking length that you rarely get in a wine. There’s lots of power, which feels like a continuous wave pushing on your palate, swirling around loads of minerality.
It keeps on evolving, becomes more and more homogeneous with time, but without losing any of its enticing and juicy complexity, constantly drawing your hand to the glass, until the bottle is empty. That happens way too fast and as if the wine wanted to tease you, the empty glass smells on for a long time!
Simply a great Riesling! And with the selfconfidence of a James Suckling I have to shout out: “95 points!”
Now let’s get back to that Terroir-talk quickly. Recently, I tasted the 2010 vintage of this Pettenthal and it also shows these powerful tart and herbal aromatics ( and could definitely mature in the same amazing way).
But as I said before, there are other styles (also dry) from different estates are that are less herbal, maybe more lean and on the fresh mineral side, but equally tasty. I can recommend for example Schätzel‘s version of the Pettenthal or as well Braun’s specimen. They also come at much friendlier prices.