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2007 Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg, Weingut Georg Breuer, Rheingau


The vineyards of Rüdesheim not only figure among the most famous of the Rheingau region, they are certainly also the steepest. And the section that takes the crown is Berg Schlossberg, where inclination reaches 70%, meaning that for each meter in distance, the vineyard climbs 70 cm. Also, with a nearly perfect Southern orientation -the Rüdesheim vineyards are located exactly where the Rhine river shortly interrupts its South to North trajectory for a neat East to West- it is also one with a great climate. Further, presenting a soil constituion of slate and Quartz with bad water retention, it is important here to have old vines with deep roots for yielding the best results.

Georg Breuer estate is known for its uncompromising philosophy of dry Rieslings. The late Bernhard Breuer (who passed away far too early in 2004) is also known as the spiritus rector of the single vineyard quality thinking in modern German winemaking. His winemaking, which is now pursued by his brother Heinrich, his daughter Theresa and the long time winemaker Hermann Schmoranz, is characterized by the very dryness and the longevity of his wines. And when I say dry, I actually mean bone-dry. Visiting the estate’s tasting room and trying their young Rieslings can be quite painful, as we recently experienced. But when tasting the latest vintage of Berg Schlossberg, which is Breuer’s top dry Riesling, one can instantly tell that there is much substance for ageing. Only when being patient, one is rewarded with the subtle richness and mineral exuberance of these dry masterpieces. Opening a 2007 as we did today actually still means opening a baby wine. One has to hold on tho his bottles as long as 5 to 10 years to see what they can yield.

But still. Especially after having recognized the huge potential when tasting the 2008 at the estate, I was more than curious to see how the 2007 would show. Also, after having been scared by the huge amounts of acidity in the young wines, it was time to chase these ghosts away and open myself to the greater world of dry Riesling. So here I was, standing at the gates of dry Riesling paradise, slowly pulling the cork.

The colour of the wine is rather one of a pale Riesling but with shiny golden and green reflections. At first, after popping and pouring, the nose is rather shy, silently suggesting exotic fruit and chalk-like minerality. Only on the second day it becomes more expressive and intense revealing more mango and pineapple: Riesling exoticness – this is addictive!

On the palate, the wine starts in a weird way. It is firm and characterized by an odd, nearly perfume-like musk tone side-to-side with exotic fruit. For my palate this nearly seemed repulsive. But oh my, at the same time it also shows a captivating presence with a mind-blowing mineral fierceness! It is as dry as one expects from Breuer but somehow there is still luscious exotic fruit caught in there somewhere.

After a few hours the musk tone luckily disappeared and the wine comes more and more together, appearing nearly monolithic. The elegance is now emphasized, with well defined exotic fruit and a great minerality that lingers on your palate for minutes: I nearly caught myself checking if there were stones inside the bottle.
And, as in every Breuer wine, there is of course this bloody acidity, and again it appears quite high. But there is something about it that makes it more than essential. It seems as if it is containing the mineral notes and fruit flavours. It represents the essence of this wine, and I instantly have to think this might be the core of great dry Riesling as Mr. Breuer would have conceived it.

What strikes as well is the paradox of lightness and strong aromatics. A wine from the rather clement summer of 2007 with only 12,5% alcohol and such light colour manages to carry such a powerful yet elegant explosion of flavour – incredible. And here again, blame this strong yet mystic acidity.

But even though it showed great, with a superb finish as well, I believe it could still profit from cellaring. It could become even more elegant showing a calmer acidity. But right now the acidity also opens up a few great food matching possibilities. I had to think of Ceviche as a great possible match as the lemon zest acidity drizzled over the raw fish might complement the wines’ vibrancy and put forward more of its elegance.

To put it in context. Even if there are lots of great dry Rieslings in Germany nowadays. Stylistically, this is another league and only a few other estates might come close. I have to think of Koehler-Ruprecht and Keller, and maybe a few other Rheinhessen wineries. Dry German Riesling out of the ordinary.

Note to myself: try to find a magnum and keep it another 5-6 years! Or even better, try to find some aged bottles!



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Categories: Germany,Rheingau
  1. Vimpressionniste Said,

    Ha! Stones in the bottle.. why not? I mean, they put pears in bottles of Williams.

  2. Tweets that mention 2007 Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg, Weingut Georg Breuer, Rheingau — Blind Tasting Club -- Topsy.com Said,

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alexander Haller, Vimpressionnistes. Vimpressionnistes said: RT @blindtaster: New post on my blog: 2007 Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg, Weingut Georg Breuer, Rheingau http://bit.ly/fw6el3 […]

  3. Blindtaster Said,

    Imagine what else you could find in a bottle when wines are described as smelling of barnyard, animal or even cat pee. I even read that a wine smelled like a hippie’s armpit! Delicious! :=)

  4. Wine Rambler Said,

    The “hippie’s armpit” is actually the only one of those I’d find scary. I wonder who came up with that one – hippies must be hard to find these days!

    Anyway, unusually colourful label for a German wine from a top winery. But as long as it is also unusually tasty, which it seems to be…

    Thanks, Alex.

  5. Blindtaster Said,

    The label is an artwork which is different each year. At the estate they explained, that they’re the second after Mouton Rothschild to use artist labels that way. I think it’s kind of funky. On their website you can see all labels from 1980 on, some are really nice. 2005 is pretty cool IMO.

    Hippie’s armpit only comes in “natural” wine of course! ;)

  6. The Wine Rambler Said,

    I will have a look. Thanks, Alex. If hippie is “natural” wine and “unfiltered” wine is, erm, a tramp, what would biodynamic wine then taste like, I wonder…

  7. Charlie Said,

    btw, berg schlossberg from above

  8. Sun__Art Said,

    Hi Alex, I follow your blog a couple of weeks now really like it.

    Do you have a feeling about the aging potential of this 2007 Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg?

  9. Blindtaster Said,

    Hi “Sun Art”. Thanks for your comment and your compliment. Nearly all Breuer wines are made to age. This 2007 is still very young and can be kept a few years, I would even say that it should be nice to drink in 2017. Of course it will have some petrol by then, but I’m pretty sure it will keep a nice freshness. Generally I would say that at any stage of their development these wines are interesting to drink. Best, Alex

  10. “Midnight in Paris” Blind Tasting: The Whites — Blind Tasting Club – Wine and Dine Blog Said,

    […] 2007 Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Trocken, Weingut Georg Breuer, Rheingau – I sense a little anise note in the nose but there’s lots more: some herbs, a glimpse of petrol, grapefruit, lemon… On the palate the wine feels tight and light but at the same time full with lots of minerals and fruit. Here’s Peach and citrus fruit again. The wine even has a tannic edge building up, could this be a way too young wine? Pleasure is great now, for sure: aromatics stick to the palate like glue and the empty glass smells on for minutes. You could qualify this one as “liquid rocks”. And the beautiful, balancing acidity makes me think of a “great white that requires some jaws” at the same time. Clearly the winner white of the evening, both for Didier and me. I guessed it a Riesling, wrong producer though. Should have known it’s that Breuer, already raved about it here. […]

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