Leitz Riesling Feinherb 2020
Tart Anjou Pear, Pineapple, Blood Orange Peel, Passion Fruit, and Wet Stones
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Where the Rhine River changes course on its way to the North Sea, the dramatically steep slopes of Germany’s Rheingau region catch every drop of sunlight. Carved into the mountainside 2,000 years ago, these terraced vineyards are a work of art in their own right. Couple that with the surging Rhine and the medieval architecture of Rüdesheim, and it’s easy to see why many visitors, on arrival, feel as though they have stepped back in time! However, despite the abundant beauty of the region, the Rheingau experienced a devastating period of near-dormancy after concentrated bombing in WWII meant there were few vines left, and even fewer people to work them. The region’s recovery rested in the hands of a new generation, and many young producers, Johannes Leitz being one of them, rose to the challenge.
Johannes set about clearing overgrown land and re-building terraces in his family’s best vineyard sites, determined to have quality triumph over quantity. Single-vineyard, mineral-driven Riesling, mostly on the dry side, became the Leitz family’s calling card and before too long there were many new vineyard parcels under Johannes’ care. The fruit for this Riesling comes from many of the estate’s top sites, including the imposing Rüdesheimer Berg, planted on the grounds of a ruined castle! The steepness of the vineyards necessitates harvest by hand and, much like the Prosecco above, the Leitz family is heavily committed to biodiversity in the vineyard. In the winery, temperature control is utilized to block malolactic conversion, preserving fresh fruit characteristics as the wine ferments in stainless steel. - J.P.