For stereotypical American or Japanese tourists who also love wine, a visit to Schlossgut Diel has to equal the feeling of a child realising it has been locked in an ice cream parlour for lunch break. After all we are not only talking about one of Germany's top wine estates, we are also talking about a "castle winery", as that is what "Schlossgut" translates to. Castle Layen, where the Diel family has been based since the Napoleonic wars, was built in the 11th century. The wines in the cellar are not quite as old, but rumour has it some go back to the early 20th century, so the both lovers of medieval towers and old wine should be very happy there.
Sadly, I have yet to visit Schlossgut Diel (preferably leading a raiding party), but at least I managed to get my hands on a few bottles of their Riesling - this Kabinett Riesling from the "gold hole" vineyard being one of them.
After putting my greedy nose into the glass I found the name of the vineyard very fitting for the Riesling. Gold may not smell like much, but the delicious richness of fat sugary peach and tinned mandarin and pineapple give the wine an almost physical intensity. Add to that lovely herbal aromas, a touch of wax (paraffin first, honey and bees wax later) and a delicate minerality and to me the association with a glass full of gold seems quite apt.
Drinking the Riesling is a similar experience, with delicious flavours of caramelised peach, lots of juiciness and a long fruit sweet and mineral finish. With all this deliciousness it is a good thing that there is also well integrated acidity, to keep things lively, and a rich, almost salty minerality that adds a crunchy roughness. On top of that the Riesling still feels relatively light and balanced, even though it could easily take on many a late harvest wine in terms of quality and substance. More of that, please!