Awarded 96 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2019 edition article on Germany's Rheinhessen region (see blue link below).
Dreissigacker, Morstein Rheinhessen Riesling 2014 - August 2019 Decanter review
Jochen Dreissigacker has caused a considerable stir both in his native Germany and abroad, winning high praise and points wherever his wines are sold. His 21 hectares of vineyards are based in the Rheinhessen, which is currently undergoing what might be termed a 'Rheinhessen revival', with Jochen at its forefront. From the 2010 vintage, Jochen's wines all have organic certification and he also uses biodynamic methods for much of his estate (although he has chosen not to be certified). He reduced the yields in the vineyard to gain better concentration of flavour in the grapes and identified the best parcels of vines which he vinifies separately. As expected of an organic estate, his approach in the cellar is as natural as possible. He uses only wild yeasts to ferment the must and harvests only fully ripe grapes (rather than chaptalising, or adding 'süss-reserve' to sweeten the wines after vinification for the Auslese styles).
Dreissigacker has 1.2 hectares of 40-year-old vines in Morstein, the most prestigious vineyard site in Westhofen, with a great reputation for wines with fantastic ageing potential. The soils are clay-marl on a limestone subsoil and the vineyards are on a south-facing slope at altitudes of 180- 230 metres above sea level. Due to this relatively high altitude for the Rheinhessen and the vineyard’s exposure to cooling breezes, the grapes undergo a slow ripening process and retain the backbone of acidity which enables them to age so gracefully.
Due to warm, damp weather, the 2014 vintage was a challenging one. Budburst started in early April during a warm, dry start to spring. The flowering period was slightly earlier than usual, with great weather facilitating a good fruit set. An overabundance of rain in July and August (three times the normal amount in some areas) resulted in prolific growth in the vineyards, requiring a lot of canopy management. Despite all the wet weather, the grapes stayed healthy and achieved good must weights. A perfect start to September took an unexpected turn right before harvest, and rain forced fast picking to ensure the grapes were in by the first week in October. Quantity was on a par with the ten-year average and quality was very good, thanks to attention to detail and hard work in the vineyards.
The Riesling grapes were macerated on the skins for up to 60 hours prior to fermentation, this ensured maximum extraction of the aromas and flavours from the grapes. The must was then fermented with natural yeasts, 70% in 1200 litre oak barrels and 30% in stainless steel. Following a period of lees ageing, during which the wine gained further complexity, the 2014 vintage was bottled in September 2015.
A bright straw yellow with hints of gold. Intense and lifted aromas on the nose with a lean fruit character. The palate is extremely concentrated with a great acid balance and an attractive steeliness. The finish is complex, elegant and very long. This wine is drinking beautifully now but also has great potential to age for at least a further 15 years.
ABV = 13.0%.