Riesling Trocken Escheburg
A blend of the remaining grapes from all single vineyard parcels: 80% ungrafted vines from Steffansberg and 20% ungrafted vines from Ellergrub and Batterieberg. Fermented in 1/2 stainless tanks and 1/2 barrels. Gernot does not make this every vintage.
Ripe quince, mirabelle and peach are wreathed with honeysuckle on the nose, anticipating the rich fruit and inner-mouth perfume that emerge on a flatteringly silken palate. Hints of lime and orange zest, along with salty, stony and smoky accents, serve for invigoration, intrigue and saliva-inducement on a lusciously, mouthwateringly and vibrantly lingering finish. At 12% alcohol, there is still a welcome sense of lift, while eight grams of residual sugar highlight the purity and intensity of fruit flavors, which have seldom if ever been more effusive in any Immich-Batterieberg wine during this estate’s decade under Kollmann’s direction. Indeed, this is one of those Rieslings I would describe as possessing efficacious and catalytic “hidden sweetness,” even though legally it is trocken. But all of that fruit is met by equally impressive floral and mineral elements, for what is far and away the finest “Escheburg” cuvée yet. (As usual, it incorporates fruit from all five of the estate’s prime vineyards.) “What you could call the second-tier raw material from the estate’s vineyards was of such high quality in 2018,” reported Kollmann, “that we decided to generate an Escheburg Reserve.” (I have not yet tasted the latter wine.)
The 2018 Riesling Escheburg is very ripe and floral on the nose and, due to the warm vintage, significantly warmer and more fruity than in previous vintages. However, the wine is seriously structured on the palate, where the generosity becomes finer and younger, revealing crystalline acidity and texture. This, again, is a bit more Alsatian in character but with the piquancy of predominantly ungrafted vines of four grands crus that make it into the Escheburg. This wine needs some years to gain finesse, but with the right dishes (cheese as well), this fruit-intense, salty-piquant and slatey Riesling with 12% alcohol will perform well today. Tasted in April 2020.