Rebholz: The Prime Source for Naturally Made, Terroir-Driven Wines in Germany

Evan Spingarn, our German Brand Manger, wrote up a great producer profile on Weingut Rebholz for our April price book and I wanted to share it with you all here.  I have added in some imagery to round out the story.  Enjoy!

Rebholz Family. Rebholz Family.

 

In its 3rd generation, Rebholz has lately become the prime source for naturally made, terroir driven, dry wines in Germany. Once an insider’s estate, they have attracted a cult following in New York among sommeliers and writers, who no longer think of them as just "great German wine" but as great wine, comparable in their grand cru incarnations to anything produced in the world. Everything they make is organic, everything is dry, and everything is worth tasting. A mere 6,000cs are produced here: Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Pinot Noir dominate production. Most bottlings are simply labelled with grape and vineyard, no pradikats required.

The Rebholz Label The Rebholz Label

 

The Pinot Blanc is revelatory—perhaps the most exciting version of that grape available anywhere. The Pinot Noir is resoundingly Old World, planted in shell limestone, and tastes it. The Rieslings are windows onto their terroir. The style on all the wines is linear, often austere in youth, unflinchingly mineral, and shiveringly clean.

Hansjörg Rebholz Hansjörg Rebholz discussing his various terroirs.

 

There are three distinct terroirs in the estate’s vineyards. In the “South-Pfalz”, where the estate is located, limestone terroir rules and it is ubiquitously present in one part of the Im Sonnenschein vineyard where Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc and to lesser amounts Pinot Gris and estate specialties, Gewürztraminer and Muskateller are planted.

Fossils in the vineyard Muschelkalk-Limestone with fossils found in the vineyards.

 

In the Ganzhorn, a small sub parcel of colored sandstone in the Im Sonnenschein vineyard, Riesling turns salty, savory and fantastically mineral-driven.

Im Sonnenschein vineyard. Im Sonnenschein vineyard.

 

Last, but not least, there is the Kastanienbusch with its rocky, rusty-red soil of the true primary rock from the lower strata of the “new” red sandstone. It simply produces some of the greatest dry Rieslings not only in Germany –but anywhere. The estate’s 22 ha are farmed bio-dynamically with a production of about 10,000 cases. Also, it must be known that Mr. Rebholz is one of the movers and shakers in the Grosses Gewächs movement in Germany. Available in the NY Market: Rebholz  Pinot Blanc Dry Estate 2010: Grown on muschelkalk-limestone and aged in steel, is one of the crispest, most minerally, elegant white wines. Rebholz  Pinot Blanc Dry Estate 2011 Rebholz  Pinot Blanc GG Im Sonnenschein 6/750ml 2008: "Delicate aromas of apricot skin, clove and mineral salts. The taut, juicy peach pit fruit vibrates with a refreshing acidity. Beautifully pure and dense, but still closed and deceptively long, this pinot blanc was the best of its variety in this vintage." (94pts, IWC) Rebholz  Riesling Dry Estate 2010 Rebholz  Riesling Dry Estate 2011 Rebholz  Riesling GG Im Sonnenschein 6/750ml 2008: "The Rebholz 2008 Siebeldinger Im Sonnenschein Riesling Grosses Gewachs comes from the parcel of old vines that informed last year’s Muschelkalk bottling (and made it a terrific bargain). Distilled pit fruits, orange blossom and zest, grapefruit, cardamom, and fresh ginger make for a striking aromatic display. This is more richly mouth-filling than the Ganz Horn bottling and utterly saturates the palate with citrus oils (not what I’d expect from this site), salt, and chalk, with such grip it finishes as though the wine just tasted you. Animating and saliva-inducing don’t come close to describing the impression here. At least you can take off your sunglasses when you get to this point in Rebholz’s 2008 line-up. I would plan to follow this for a dozen or more years." (92pts, WA) Rebholz  Pinot Noir Spätlese Dry "Tradition" 2006: "This is fresh and fruity, sporting cherry, raspberry and blackberry flavors, joined by a touch of spice. This is dense, with a light grain to its tannins and bright finish. Drink now through 2018." (91pts, WS) Rebholz  Pinot Noir Spätlese Dry "Tradition" 2008 Rebholz  Pinot Noir Spätlese Dry "Tradition" 6/1.5L 2008

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