Ökonomierat Rebholz, Riesling Natursprung, 2009

Ökonomierat Rebholz, Riesling Natursprung, 2009

Why the garden, you may wonder? There is a reason for why I took this photo in the way I did, but before we come to that let me say that is is a wine for those of you who think of German wine as sweet. Why? Because despite being a not too heavy Riesling, the Natursprung only has 0.7g of residual sugar per litre. It is not quite cola zero territory, but if, after all our preaching, your are still scared of sweetness then you can rest safely knowing that even after drinking seven bottles of this you still don't reach the sugar level of a cup of tea.

And now about the green in the photo. It is not to complement the green colour on the label and foil of the wine, but to comment on the pun that went into the Riesling's name...

And now begineth the German lesson. "Natur" is simple, it means "nature". "Sprung" means "jump", but that is probably not what the Rebholz people were thinking of when they named the wine "Natursprung". Another word comes into this, and that is "Ursprung" which translates to "origin", "provenance" or "birth". Born of nature is probably one way of translating "Natursprung", and this would link in nicely with the Rebholz philosophy of making organic wine. This is why I felt the wine needed some so called "nature" around it for the all-defining photo shoot. I wonder though if there is another level to it, and that is that "Natursprung" is actually a German word, and it describes the process of a stallion (or livestock in general) covering a mare (or other livestock as appropriate) in the "natural" way, as opposed to artificial insemination.

Now that I have put these thoughts in your head, let me say that the Natursprung Riesling has a lovely clean colour that is in no way insemination related. And it also smells lovely and clean and not of livestock at all. In fact the bouquet features the most lovely and well defined fruit (clean peach galore, flavoursome apples, faint grapefruit and did I mention peach?), delicate herbs and a certain spicy flavoursome floralness, like the tiny, spicy flowers that you will on occasion find spicing up a dish in a restaurant run by more imaginative chefs (this phrase is a clever cover-up for the fact that I forgot the flower's name). Light, fruity, fresh and a little sharp the nose is a delight, especially as it is balanced by what smells like soft custard aromas.

On the tongue there is a certain contrast as the Natursprung sheds some of the light, playful delicateness and presents itself in a very dry, lean and sharp fashion with grapefruit more prominent and a crunchy mineral texture coated with lime flavours. While it is sharp, the Riesling is at no point harsh and there is still some soft, juicy peachiness to please the tongue. It all ends on a nice finish that about a minute after you have put the glass down suddenly flashes back with lovely salty mineral.

Artificial insemination or not, for this price "Natursprung" is a delightful experience.


Submitted by Andrew Connor Thursday, 08/09/2011

I love Hansjörg Rebholz's wine. Had a bottle of 07 Kastanienbusch GG on the weekend which was fantastic but a little stupid, it's just a baby. I think he's one of the top top dry wine makers in Germany

I've not seen this one before, any idea what kind of soil it's grown on?

Submitted by torsten Friday, 09/09/2011

In reply to by Andrew Connor

Lucky you, Andrew! Julian had a Pinot Blanc GG a couple of years ago and was blown away by it; I haven't been that lucky... Yet! I don't know what vineyard the Natursprung is from, it may even be from several vineyards. There is much loam in Rebholz vineyards, but also slate and some are dominated by limestone.