Riesling, Kalmit, 2011, Weingut Jürgen Leiner, Ilbesheim, white wine from Germany

6 points

This is the sister or brother of the Spätburgunder from Kalmit which I introduced yesterday. Therefore I don’t need to describe the winery and winemakers in detail here – you can read everything at https://avdwineandfood.wordpress.com/2015/04/03/spatburgunder-kalmit-weingut-jurgen-leiner-2009/.

Let me begin with a rather important statement: the vintage of Leiner’s Riesling vary quite substantially from each other. Maybe it is a philosophy how strongly you like to – call it as you want – interfere, manipulate, direct or manage the process of wine production. In northern regions like Germany, wine-making depends perhaps more than in other regions on the timing of the harvest – it is certainly much more critical than in the South. Unlike Italy or Southern France, it doesn’t usually happen that at the end of August or at the beginning of September rains falls for days and saturates the soil, or that the sun disappears for days which slows the ripening, or that thunderstorms occur that could damage vines. Is it talent, is it a nose, inspiration, experience or just luck to wait for the right moment to harvest grapes? Since there can still be sun and warmth at the end of September, it could have a great impact on the wine if one perhaps waits up to the second week of October. It is risky, of course, because fouling can begin at any time which could destroy your whole wine.

Minerality can be different due to different soils. This wine grows on lime stone. Try to imagine the consistency and taste of chalk. Maybe the memory appears of the fingers of your teachers when they wrote a long explanation on the blackboard – white, dry and skin contours of the fingers. I don’t know anybody who would put a piece of chalk  in their mouth or lick the teacher’s chalky fingers, but we all can imagine the taste. If you immediately disregard the visualization of licking the fingers of your former teacher but kindly imagine the taste of the chalk, you might agree with my finding elements of this in the wine. But it is covered by an amazing rich fruitiness including flavors of matured peaches and apricots, different herbs and even a  yeasty aroma. The coat of the wine is a wonderful freshness and delightful pearly sourness.

The wine appears rather creamy in the glass: this isn’t a wine for a sunny afternoon at a terrace, this is “damned” serious stuff which you either drink just with a good friend, instead of a red wine, or along a good dinner. Any heavier pork dish, sauerkraut, spatchcock chicken with a warm potato salad or very condimental prepared fish with some herb crust should fit it well (Steckerlfish). And (!) this wine must fit perfectly to any Chinese cuisine.

This vintage has been a very dynamic one! I haven’t opened a bottle since a year and must admit the time to drink now is very good.  It’s a very special Riesling! It isn’t easily comparable with any Riesling you might enjoy recently – coming from the Mosel of example. In a way this is a very earthy type of wine.

If you read my review about the Spätburgunder of Liener you will know about the little insect on the label of each wine of this vinery: this one is linked to Schlupweste (Ichneumonida).


You can buy this wine at Viniculture in Berlin (http://www.viniculture.de/). More information on the website of Weingut Leiner: http://www.weingut-leiner.de/.