Weingut Johann Baptist Schafer Dorsheim Pittermannchen Riesling Kabinett 2017
The Johann Baptiste Schäfer estate is located in Burg Layen, along the lower Nahe, (the winery is across the street from Schlossgut Diel, and they share the same crus). Sebastian Schäfer took over from his father in 2002, and is the fourth generation of the family to run the estate, (the first vintage was the glorious 1921).
Many of the vines here are over 40 years-old, (their sites in Dorsheim have been classified top sites for more than 200 years), and root deeply in the steep, weathered, south-facing slopes. The Dorsheimer Pittermännchen impresses with its clay soil, interspersed with slate and gravel, while the Dorsheimer Goldloch is composed of solid rock and a quarzite conglomerate.
Sebastian is yet another conscientious young winemaker that wants the vineyard to do the talking, and feels the best method of vinification is that which stays out of the way of terroir. That being said, there is no one, continuous recipe for any wine, so whether the wine is aged in steel or wood, with indigenous or cultured yeast, is decided on a case by case basis each vintage.
With great vineyards, and a winemaker with the grace and touch like Sebastian, the wines display fruity opulence, filigree mineral complexity, and thrilling acidity. Almost all wines are dry, but luscious, sweet rarities are produced when conditions allow.
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.