2016 Battenfeld-Spanier Riesling Trocken
Region: Wonnegau < Rheinhessen < Germany
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified biodynamic farming; steep hillside vineyards on chalk & Limestone soils; traditional élevage in large, 2,400-liter wood barrels; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal So2; 12% ABV
Winemaker: Oliver Spanier & Carolin Spanier-Gillot
MOUNTAIN MAGIC: In our book, most German wine falls in the alpine/mountain category, as the region’s cool climate and rocky limestone soils drive a distinctive lean, crisp and often angular character in the wines that puts us in the fall-winter frame of mind. Don those lederhosen and drink Riesling!
Started by Oliver Spanier and his wife, Carolin, in 1992 with the help of the Battenfelds, they immediately began converting all of their hectares to natural farming. Throughout this transition, they’ve become one of the leading biodynamic pioneers in the Rheinhessen appellation. Their slogan, “Liquid Earth,” epitomizes the power and purity you taste in this wine, which buzzes with electric acid and crushed rock minerality.
100% biodynamic (super rare in Germany) and made in the old-school way —large wooden barrels, no manipulation -- this is classic and excellent Riesling, the kind somms and wine geeks drool over: bone-dry with citrus blossoms, fuzzy peach skin, petrol, white flowers and intense layers of crushed chalk and wet rock. It's gorgeous upon opening, but with 15 minutes in a decanter or glass, it becomes even more aromatic and minerally. If you're on the Riesling train (and you should be), pounce on this wine, for drinking now and over the next few years and far beyond. It’s an incredible value for the quality and depth, and will only get more beautiful with age.