A surfeit of Riesling is never a bad thing. It’s too bad we don’t drink more of the stuff, particularly from Germany. The range of Riesling produced in that country is akin to an entire worldwide compendium for most other grapes. A few younger producers in particular are changing the nature of Riesling – introducing more biodynamics, honouring the grape’s acidity and structure, but finding new dimensions in mouthfeel and texture. Eva Fricke, from the village of Lorch in the Rheingau, is one of this new guard.
Fricke learned winemaking from the oenological school at Geisenheim, but has also traveled many of the key regions of the wine world before landing as manager at Leitz, also in the Rheingau. It was from Leitz that she launched her own path in the Rheingau. Today she focuses on old vines planted on small plots on very steep slopes that require manual harvesting – having revived these vineyards herself. This spirit of reinvention of neglected old vineyards on a micro scale is part of the exciting new wave crossing Germany today.
That new wave arises in the remarkable intermixing of domestic pride, a long and successful domestic wine making tradition, and the increasingly prevalent global influences in Germany. Having recently visited the country and experienced the domestic wine scene in Berlin, I believe that Fricke is the perfect bridge between these worlds of tradition and global influence, anchored in the local.
Fricke’s wines are poised, remarkable achievements. They all have a sensuous, soft texture, despite their powerful minerality. These wines are so pure they feel like the first sip of spring water from a never-contaminated remote mountain source.
The Krone is a perfect example of this purity – and is quintessential Riesling for anyone wanting to understand how such a profound wine can also be so drinkable. One of the best Rieslings I have had in my years.
$70 at LCBO (also available at Metrovino in Calgary)