Weinhof Herrenberg, Schodener Herrenberg, Riesling "Cruv", 2008
Weinhof Herrenberg is Claudia and Manfred Loch's place, a tiny winery with just two hectares in Schoden on the River Saar that they have built up more or less from scratch, plot by plot, and with somewhat precarious resources. This is a very different history from the Van Volxem enterprise, which came with heavy investment, grander plans and more ambitious marketing from day one. Still, both outfits share some similarities. Both were willing to look beyond the winemaking traditions of the last few decades. Both managed to create a new kind of Saar Riesling that was actually a recreation of the pre-1950s style: Ripe wines with more powerful fruit and less prominent acidity than has been, and still is, "traditional" on the Saar. With their enthusiasm and nonconformism they have, between them, managed to break open the wine scene on this Mosel tributary, which had been dominated by an establishment of aristoricatic estates with a somewhat patrician attitude. High time we had a closer look at what Herrenberg has to offer, then, and we'll start with one of their mid-range dryish Riesling (they only make Riesling):
Deep, almost golden colour. Very ripe lemons and oranges in the smell. With that comes the wonder that is this wine's minerality: It's slatey, but without any of the petrol-stinky-stink, instead, we got freshly cut celery roots and parsnips, a savoury and zesty vegetable component that reached unsuspected levels of elegance and polish on the second day. On the palate, an abyss of minerality, a physical feeling of stone, gripping acidity and hyperconcentrated Riesling fruit. I guess this wine would be technically off-dry, but never has this mattered less: The minerality simply swallows up the residual sugar, I'm sure it could swallow double the amount, leaving a dry finish.
A stunner. So far, my personal Riesling revelation for this year. Insane value, too.