A. Christmann Riesling Pfalz 2018
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Christmann's 2018 Riesling Pfalz opens clear, fresh and herbal on the stony and crystalline nose, with hazelnut aromas. Clear and (bone) dry on the palate yet with a yeasty texture and fine concentration, this is a refreshing, linear, persistently salty and pure Riesling with moderate 11.7% alcohol but a lot of character and length. Tasted in Gimmeldingen, December 2019.
In 1845 Prof. Dr. Ludwig Hausser and his cousin Johann Martin founded a small winery in Gimmeldingen as a hobby, and over the course of the next generation winemaking became their main profession. In 1894 Eduard Christmann married Henriette Hausser, the granddaughter of the founder. The Estate bears the name of her son Arnold, and is run in the 7th generation by Steffen Christmann.
Devotion to soil vitality and the preservation and individuality of the terroir has lead them to practice organic agriculture, strict vineyard management, and severe yield reduction. In the cellar they employ long and gentle pressing with low pressure, clarification through natural sedimentation, and a slow, not too cool fermentation sometimes until as late as June with only one filtration. Today, A. Christmann Rieslings and Pinot Noirs are widely regarded as Pfalz's finest.
This sunny and relatively dry region served for many years as a German tourist mecca and was associated with low cost, cheerful wines. But since the 1980s, it has gained a reputation as one of Germany’s more innovative regions, which has led to increased international demand.
Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining its identity. A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, this versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Somm Secret—Given how difficult it is to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling from the label, here are some clues to find the dry ones. First, look for the world “trocken.” (“Halbtrocken” or “feinherb” mean off-dry.) Also a higher abv usually indicates a drier Riesling.