Eva Fricke Schlossberg Riesling Halbtrocken 2021
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Incredibly fine white-peach and mirabelle nose with very delicate jasmine and lemon-blossom aromas. Super-vibrant, compact and precise, with tons of lemon-zest freshness. Totally crystalline finish, with so much energy and wet-stone minerality it takes your breath away. Decades of aging potential ahead of it. From organically grown grapes. Vegan. Drink or hold.
Unlike many of Germany’s renowned wineries, Weingut Eva Fricke is a young estate that was founded only in 2006. However, what makes things even more interesting is that its founder Eva Fricke was born to two doctors, not a winemaking family, and in Bremen, a place better known for beer and cars.
Her story begins when one fateful summer, Eva got bit by the wine bug while working at a winery in South Africa when she was 17-years-old. The memorable experience led her to the famous Geisenheim University, studying viticulture and oenology. During her time there, she had practical training in all different corners of the world. Upon graduating in 2001, she then set off to Australia to work at another winery. In 2002, she returned to Germany, taking on the assistant manager role at J.B. Becker in Rheingau before moving to the well-known Leitz estate as the vineyard and operations manager two years later.
At this time, she envisioned establishing her own estate. This dream became a reality in 2006 while still employed at Leitz—when Eva produced her first vintage in the town of Lorch in the northern part of Rheingau. Since then, Eva’s winery grew gradually to 17 hectares (42 acres) that she farms organically, and she also enjoys being the new star on the German wine scene, specializing in Riesling.
Practically one long and bucolic hillside along the northern bank of the Rhein River, the Rheingau stretches the entirety of the river’s east to west spread from Hocheim to Rüdesheim.
Variations in elevation, soil types, and proximity to the Rhine cause great diversity in Rheingau Riesling. Some of the better Rieslings in warmer years come from the cooler and breezier sites at higher elevations. In cooler years, sites closer to the river may perform better.
In the village of Rüdesheim, slopes are steep and soils are stony slate with quartzite; Rieslings are rich and spicy, intense in stone fruit and show depth and character with age. World class Rieslings come from farther east on the river through Geisenheim, Johannisberg, Winkel, Oestrich and past Erbach as well, where soils of loess, sand, and marl alternate. Long-living, floral-driven and mineral-rich Rieslings come from the best of these sites.
Rheingau growers became early activists in promoting the dry style of Riesling, low yields and the classification of top vineyards, or Erstes Gewächs (first growths). Proximity to the metropolitan markets of Mainz, Wiesbaden, and Frankfurt keeps Rheingau in high reputation. While dry wines are the style here, Rheingau isn’t short of some amazing Auslesen, Beerenauslesen, and Trockenbeerenauslesen.
Rheingau doesn’t mess with many other grapes—in fact 79% of its total area is dedicated to Riesling. But it produces some fine Pinot noir, especially concentrated in Assmannshausen, a bit farther west from Rüdesheim.
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.