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January 17, 2011

MyPfalz: Dr. Wehrheim Riesling Rotliegendes

MyPfalz (1) Monthly Riesling January:
Dr. Wehrheim
Rotliegendes Riesling S 2008

Birkweiler, Pfalz
ca. 13,50 €

Terroir! If you like a wine that tastes of where it comes from, this is your wine. Of course, you have to like Riesling, too, but would you be reading this if not?

Dr. Wehrheim Rotliegendes Riesling 2008 is a dry wine with a pale color of straw. Nice mineral, hay and yellow stone fruit aromas of medium intensity open the nose to continue on the palate, where also citrus fruit is coming into the picture. The typical high Riesling acidity is incorporated and the overall impression of this light- to medium-bodied wine is very pleasant, summery-fresh, with quite some length. (13% abv.) I really like it!

We had it with smoked ham and aromatic cheeses, but it will match any chicken or fish dish with herbal seasoning too. Salads with nice vinaigrettes, smoked salmon will also pair well. Or just enjoy it as it is!
Rotliegend (red colored sedimentary rocks) is the term for the soils on which the vines for this wine are growing.
These sediments date back to 280-250 mill years ago, when the Pfalz (and everywhere else) still was desert. Heat and pressure have formed metamorphic rocks, slate. Many millions of years later, when the earth opened up to form the Rhine valley, those old red rocks resurfaced, here at the southern border of the Haardt mountains. The soils are dark red, iron loaded and they store the heat. But otherwise poor, they allow for limited yields only (40 hl/ha).

The name of the vineyard site with Grand Cru status: Kastanienbusch
(translate: chestnut bush), named after all the countless chestnut trees growing in this area. Here, 14 parcels of vines (9 ha) belong to Dr. Wehrheim. The vineyard at ca 320 m above sea level has best possible conditions, sloping ca 30 % to south, south-east, and is protected by the higher mountains to the west.

The Kastanienbusch has a mixture of soils, other parcels are Spätburgunder sites. The total size is about 80 hectares.

Dr. Wehrheim, a VdP member, believes in sustainability and is in the process of changing to biodynamic wine making. Read more about the winery and the wines.

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