The 2009 vintage in Germany has received lots of praise, in many cases way before the first wines were bottled and sometimes even before the last grapes were harvested. So it is high time for the Wine Rambler to more systematically explore what the vintage has to offer. Today's object of study, a Riesling (from the Rheinhessen region) that answers to the name of Ice Stream ('Eisbach'). It is one of the basic wines produced by the Battenfeld-Spanier winery, just a little above their range of entry wines. Over the past years, Battenfeld-Spanier have built up an impressive reputation, both for entry and grand cru level wines, so I was curious to eventually get round to try one of their Rieslings.
Even a first casual sniff demonstrates that the wine lives up to its name, with a bouquet that has lots of cool mineral. It was so fresh, it actually made our noses tingle a little. A little reserved at first, the wine soon opened up, adding an interesting fruit mix (candied stone fruit and somewhat unripe pineapple) to the menthol-y, herbal-y, petrol-y mineral.
On the tongue the Eisbach is focussed, really dry (less than 2g residual sugar) and crisp; over time it mellowed a little, moving slightly from a dry fruity bitterness to a slightly sweeter mouth-feel (this is where the pineapple resurfaces). It has very pointed acidity, which emphasises the focussed appearance. What I liked most about this wine was the really good finish that was almost more intense than having the wine on my tongue.
If you like your Riesling dry, fresh and focussed you should love the Eisbach. It is even more impressive if you consider the price.