2012 J.B. Becker Kabinett Trocken Riesling ‘Wallufer Walkenberg’
Region: Rheingau < Germany
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; loam and slate soil, quick, warm fermentation, then the juice is racked into the traditional barrels of the Rheingau for at least two years of barrel age before bottling; <50ppm added so2; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Hans-Josef Becker
The estate was founded in 1893 by Hans-Josef’s grandfather, Jean Baptiste Becker. Becker (and his father before him) has worked the vineyards organically for many, many years (they have been certified since 2011). Yet this important fact is mentioned exactly nowhere – not on the labels, not at the estate. Nor does Becker talk about his insistence on wild-yeast fermentations and low so2 (both extremely rare in Germany). This is just the way he makes wine, the way the family always has. So basically Becker, one of the OG German wine elder statesmen, is right up there next to the young hipster-growers in terms of “nattiness”, but he wants nothing to do with these labels. Which totally doesn’t matter, because the wine speaks for itself – it is mind-blowingly good, and will change your mind about Riesling if you aren’t yet convinced. This one kind of reminds me of a great Chablis – and I’m not alone, considering the hashtag that’s often applied to Becker’s wines: #Chabliesling. Bone dry, savory and briny, with dark granitic minerals, fresh peach, lime, sharp granny smith apples and a gravelly finish. After about an hour the fruit opens up a little more. Even more on day 3! These wines taste like NOTHING else coming out of the Rheingau, and Hans-Josef Becker just doesn’t give a f*#k. Love him, love this wine. Which BTW ais an amazing value for aged, DRY Riesling. Perfect gift for your Somm or wine geek friend!