Of course the vineyard itself is by no means new – and it has been classified as Grosse Lage by the VDP for quite a while. But up until now it had not met the high standards of cellarmaster and general manager Karsten Peter. ‘Since 2009 we have cultivated the Rotenberg in a very deliberate manner, and paid a great deal of attention to building up the humus layer. Year after year, we have seen progress: the vines becoming healthier and more vigorous, the grapes become more aromatic and the wines a bit more complex each year.’
With the 2015 vintage, the Altenbamberger Rotenberg has now realised its full potential. The wine has been – for the first time in the recent history of Gut Hermannsberg – declared as Grosses Gewächs.
Five personalities with distinct pedigrees
With this, Gut Hermannsberg now has five VDP Grosse Gewächse: their eponymous Hermannsberg, then Kupfergrube, Bastei and Steinberg – and now the Rotenberg. Because of the extraordinary variety inherent to the geology of the Nahe River Valley, each of these vineyards exhibits a very different mineral composition. Thus each of the five Rieslings radiates its own totally distinctive personality.
The great vertical range of this site gives Rotenberg a particular role to play in the ensemble. The vineyard is located the farthest from the estate, in a side valley off the Nahe, the Alsenztal. The slope is extremely steep; the soil is characterised by quartz-porphyry, mixed with Rotliegendes (red sandstone-based soil, hence the name of the site) and argillaceous schist. The climatic conditions on this slope are fascinating and varied: in the lower reaches, clusters of Riesling can develop powerful ripeness, while vines in the upper portion, surrounded by protective deciduous woodland and favoured with cooling winds, will ripen rather late. This dynamic tension imbues Rotenberg Riesling with a particular complexity: it marries depth and full ripeness with cool, refreshing notes and enlivening acidity. And last but not least, the smoky note in the wine bears witness to long aging potential.
The VDP permits its members to launch their Grosse Gewächse in September of the year following the vintage. But since Karsten Peter knows from experience that the wines from Gut Hermannsberg are no overnight sensations, but require time to develop and unfold, more and more frequently now he holds wines back an additional year before release. So this autumn, the following Grosse Gewächse are available:
Vintage 2015: Riesling Steinberg GG 2015, Riesling Rotenberg GG 2015
Vintage 2014: Riesling Hermannsberg GG 2014, Riesling Kupfergrube GG 2014, Riesling Bastei GG 2014
At the VDP’s Preview PresentationWi in Wiesbaden (at the end of August), therefore only two GGs from the 2015 vintage at Gut Hermannsberg will be available to taste: the opulent Rotenberg GG 2015 and the mineral-driven Steinberg GG 2015.
Bezugsquelle von Gut Hermannsberg-Weinen in Österreich:
Mariahilfer Strasse 99/4