If it isn't overly original of a German wine blog to bring you another Riesling review, then this one is at least as close to the heart of this whole enterprise as you're ever going to get. We bring you what is, despite our previous coverage, arguably the best unknown Riesling producer anywhere: Weinhof Herrenberg, the jewel of the river Saar. Please also note this outstanding micro-winery's fondness for bad puns. In Claudia and Manfred Loch, we salute two kindred souls.
And we duly salute this 2008 offering:
After savouring the unusually dark straw colour, the smell alone takes you for a thrilling ride: Ripe peaches, passion fruit, ripe grapes, topped up with hint of honey, and a river of molten rock flows through it.
Searingly mineral on the palate, the fruit generous and juicy, with a sweet-and-salty feeling and an unusually perfect integration of acidity and residual sugar, this for once fully vindicates the often clichéd, and sometimes plain wrong, Anglo-american concept of "balance" in Riesling (which is wrong in that a balance of sugar and acidity do not by themselves make good Riesling, it's minerality, backbone and aromatic polish that do that, and those apply to bone-dry versions just as to Trockenbeerenauslesen with 200g of residual sugar, preposterous in implying that really dry Rieslings like the Große Gewächse are by definition unbalanced, and imprecise also in that it ignores that there are vastly different qualities of acidity, from bitingly green to ripe and juicy. But this wine is just too nice to keep up such a ranting digression).
An outstanding, essential bottle of wine, displaying amazing tension and liveliness, but calm and confidence at the same time. The best Riesling at the Munich table for a long time. I'll say no more.