28./29.8.2015, presentation of the 2014 vintage »

Presentation of the 2014 vintage

We were looking forward to this year’s vintage presentation and were extremely pleased as most of our guests seemed to enjoy it.

Many thanks for visiting us and your interest in our winery, our wines and the wines of this years guest wineries: Angela Fronti from Istine, Myrtha Zierock from Foradori and Johannes Hasselbach from Gunderloch. We were honoured to have had these wineries presenting their wines alongside ours this year.

Friday morning we were still busy with the final preparations: setting up the stage in the backyard of the winery, delivery of the grand piano for the classical concert in the evening with Yorck Kronenberg and preparing the tasting room.

Two weeks before the vintage presentation we came up with the idea of a classical open-air concert, as opposed to a concert in the ballroom of the winery. Together with the pianist, Yorck Kronenberg, we felt that we would create a very special and unique atmosphere between the artist, the grand piano and the audience with fabulous background vineyard scenery. Mother nature didn’t let us down and our decision to have an open-air concert with a 2.5m concert grand piano (delivered by Pianohaus Marcus Hübner in Trier) was rewarded with a clear blue evening sky.

A very warm thank you to the team and Mrs. Thöing of Pianohaus Marcus Hübner for great support and great service.

Wine tasting started at 3 p.m. on Friday. The wine tastings were complimented by a fabulous selection of cheese from Blomeyer’s Käse and a variety of fine food from the Restaurant Cavallerie. In preparation for the weekend we had discussed the possibilities of entertaining a very diverse group of guests. When York Kronenberg subscribed to our idea of letting him play a grand piano in an unusual environment, we knew we had a great idea. An so it was that 100 guests listened to Mr. Kronenberg play Beethoven’s “Waldstein Sonata” and Bach’s “Goldberg Variations”. The only competition to the concert, was a flock of swallows hovering above the garden.

After a short break, Stuart Pigott entered the stage and gave us a lively and interesting talk on the subject: „terroir“. He explained to us how Gunderloch and Immich-Batterieberg combine terroir and individual wine making in their wines: two flagship wines could be tried by the guests and were commented by Stuart. Gunderloch presented 2014 GG Pettenthal and Rothenberg and Immich-Batterieberg 2014 Steffensberg and Ellergrub. It was a great wine journey with one of the top class wine journalists.

Like Friday the wine tasting began at 3 p.m. on Saturday. The weather was gorgeous and we welcomed interested and knowledgeable guests. In the back of our minds we were looking forward to that evening’s concert with Niels Frevert.

Niels Frevert is one of Germany’s 90’s music heroes. His former band „Nationalgalerie“ significantly influenced German pop music during this time. After leaving his band: „Nationalgalerie“, he has been one of the deepest and sophisticated singer/songwriters in Germany….. also one of the nicest!

Niels Frevert, accompanied by Stefan Will on the keyboard and Ladis Cinzek on the Cello, put on a fabulous concert for a crowd of 200 people (many of them knew every song by heart!) And although we would have loved to have heard more music, we were thrilled that Niels and his band enjoyed a glass or two of wine with us after the concert.

For those of you that were at the winery, thank you for coming and for those of you who were not, we hope we were able to get you curious to know more about Immich-Batterieberg. We will hope to see you in Enkirch at the end of August, 2016. Kind regards, Fay, Ute, Gernot, Volker & Roland

New German Rieslings somewhere between dry and sweet »

Jon Bonné via SFgate
Germany’s universe of wine is difficult to understand even in the best of times. And these are particularly complicated times for German wines.

We have come to think of German Riesling, particularly from the Mosel Valley, as at least a bit sweet. Many, including some of the world’s best wines, are just that.

But if you believe the current structure of German wine rules, it is dry Riesling that the country does best. For about a decade, wines primarily known as Grosses Gewachs (“great growths”) – the country’s equivalent of a grand cru – have been mandated to be dry.

This reflected a belief, not entirely accurate, that Germans prefer their Rieslings dry. Sweeter wines were primarily sent across the border.

But the world is not so simple. In this most traditional of wine cultures – Riesling has been grown near the Rhine since at least the 15th century – a growing roster of wines is defying easy classification. Often they exist in a complicated realm between dry and sweet. Certainly they can appeal to lovers of both.

What they are struggling with, like winemakers elsewhere, is that sweetness has become a bad word. It is why they often describe the slightly sweet nature of many Rieslings as fruchtig, or fruity. Even that comes with risk. Somehow, dryness has become a default.

“Unfortunately,” says Johannes Leitz, who makes Riesling in the Rheingau area, “most people want to see the word ‘dry’ on a label, even when the wine itself would taste better with 11 or 12 grams (of sugar) and they would like it more.”

Logical purpose

It may be disconcerting to consider a wine that’s neither dry nor sweet. But the purpose of such wines, at least in Germany, is utterly logical.

Thanks to a combination of climate and better farming, it’s now far easier to fully ripen grapes in northern Germany, even in regions like the valley of the Saar, a Mosel tributary known for wines that were alternately ethereal or sour.

The prospect of dry Saar wine, once considered tart enough to put Sour Patch Kids to shame, has been finessed by small producers like Erich Weber of Hofgut Falkenstein. Falkenstein’s wines, aged in old wooden casks, can flirt at the edge of dryness. The fully dry, or trocken, bottles are as bracing and deep as great Chablis.

These are complicated wines to understand, given Germany’s current wine laws, which presume a wine to be sweet unless marked otherwise – and set specific, and painfully complex, limits for what constituted dryness.

If a wine wasn’t fully trocken, it could be halbtrocken, or “half-dry.” It could also be feinherb, which, just to confuse things, has no official definition but tends to indicate wines slightly further along the path to sweetness.

No surprise that many see the limitations of current law – as well as the strict rules imposed by the VDP, the country’s powerful winegrowers’ association. This has led to a raft of producers making at least some wines that don’t fit comfortably inside the rules.

Among them are so-called estate wines. These bottles, meant as a winery’s everyday effort, are typically sourced from younger vines and less profound sites.

Because their labels rarely say anything about geography, ripeness or sweetness, they have become a chance for today’s winemakers to dabble in a bit of impressionism – often leaving just enough sugar to add charm without being distinctly sweet. This includes bottles from some of the country’s greatest producers, including J.J. Prum in the Mosel and Donnhoff in the Nahe. They are now considered an insider’s secret, one of the best unheralded values in wine.

Snapshot of a place

At the same time, there are more so-called village wines that show a snapshot of a particular town, if not a single vineyard, like the Dhroner Riesling from A.J. Adam. The tiny production focuses on the village of Dhron, which is a few miles from the famous town of Piesport but whose wines have been mostly forgotten.

Owner Andreas Adam focuses on sweet wines, about 60 percent of his production, but also makes a dry wine from his top site, the Hofberg. As for the Dhroner, it often hovers between dry and just short of dry, mostly because Adam would rather leave a bit of extra sugar than tinker with the wine’s acidity. The Dhroner serves a purpose to “show more than only the grape variety,” he says – specifically, the “texture of the main soil from one village.”

Then there are wines like those from the recently revived Immich-Batterieberg estate in the middle Mosel town of Enkirch, including its CAI, a blend from several vineyards that flirts with dryness but doesn’t fully commit. Or those from Weingut Peter Lauer, in the Saar town of Ayl.

Lauer has gained an American fan base for its asterisks – like the Barrel X, its version of an estate wine, which often lands around 18 grams per liter of sugar (a typical dry wine would have half that). There’s also its Fass 6 Senior Riesling, made from the famous Ayler Kupp vineyard, which hovers in that no-man’s-land just beyond dry.

“You don’t force the wines to be bone-dry,” says Florian Lauer, who makes the wines for his family’s property. “We accept a certain level of residual sugar, like my grandfather did in 1919.”

The long view helps to explain why sweetness has become so confusing. While we now often consider Germany’s wines to be sweet or fruity, those were an anomaly until modern winemaking arrived after World War II. When vintners relied on indigenous yeast in the cellar and vineyard, their great hope was to complete fermentation and have a dry wine.

Changing tastes

The introduction of commercial yeasts, and the ability to halt fermentation, prompted a midcentury thirst for sweet wines. In 1968, the book “Wines of the World” noted the winemaking of the time yielded “a sweeter type of German wine than was known 40 or 50 years ago.” Indeed, a precursor to modern wine law passed in 1958 limited the amount of sugar that could be left to 25 percent.

Back to our complicated relationship with “dry.” In wine, the balance for sugar is acid, something German Riesling has in spades. It’s only reasonable, then, for wines like the Barrel X or the estate wine from Von Winning in the Pfalz to use sugar, quietly, to finesse a balance of tart and sweet. They can’t call themselves dry, but they have no reason to be considered sweet.

This extends to some top wines. Leitz’s bottling from his Kaisersteinfels vineyard, and back in the Mosel town of Zeltingen, bottlings by Selbach-Oster’s Johannes Selbach of single-vineyard parcels like Anrecht and Rotlay, simply don’t discuss relative sweetness on the label, even if they retain a small amount. The belief is that terroir trumps sugar.

In a way, these are more honest responses than the phantom sweetness that has crept into many American wines. Because so many wine lovers insist on loving “dry” wines, despite revealing their sweet teeth, we have seen the rise of wines like Gallo’s runaway hit Apothic Red; with its 19 grams per liter of sugar, it would qualify as fully sweet if it were white wine. Indeed, if the German sugar judges descended on Zinfandel, many bottles would technically be halbtrocken.

Back in Germany, there are baby steps to untangle this thicket. After significant blowback from its insistence that Grosses Gewachs all be dry, the VDP unveiled alternative rules to allow sweet versions designated from those same top sites. Sound confusing? That might explain why those revisions have yet to be fully enacted.

But the real story behind this middle ground between dry and sweet is that it marks a return to the traditions of the past – namely, to the old-fashioned cellar work, with native yeasts and old wooden casks, that was once shunted aside.

It is why after a 30-year career, Florian Lauer’s father, Peter, gave up commercial yeasts in 2000 at his son’s urging, and allowed the wines to find their own balance between dry and sweet – a decision for the future guided by a lifetime of following the rules.

“In a winemaker’s life, there’s a certain point where you’ve seen everything, you’ve tasted everything,” Florian says. “It was something decided by both my father and me together. I think my father was thankful I had this idea.”

From the notebook

Here are seven German Rieslings that flirt with sweetness but come across as perfectly dry.

2012 Von Winning Estate Pfalz Riesling ($22, 11.5% alcohol): This ascendant estate makes some of the best dry Grosses Gewachs in the Pfalz under the hand of Stefan Attman, but the estate wine is their secret treasure. Showing a ripe texture that’s the mark of the winery, it has perfect integration: cassia, talc, dried lime, verbena, pippin apple. The 14 grams of sugar come through more as weight than sweetness. (Importer: Terry Theise/Michael Skurnik Wines)

2012 Hofgut Falkenstein Niedermenniger Herrenberg Feinherb Mosel ($20, 10.5%): If dry Saar Riesling sounds too trippy, this is a perfect example of feinherb’s charms – frothy and salty and showing a subtle nectary sweetness. Fuji apple, rose hip, talc and a lime-leaf exoticism, plus that remarkable Saar mineral bite. (Importer: Lars Carlberg Selections/USA Wine West)

2011 Peter Lauer Barrel X Saar Riesling ($19, 11%): Lauer wines are still rare on the West Coast, but keep an eye out for the forthcoming 2012. The Barrel X is as friendly a wine as you’ll find from the Saar; this vintage exudes jackfruit and strawberry flavors, and a sappiness to the texture that reflects deft work with that hint of remaining sugar. (Importer: Vom Boden/T. Elenteny Imports)

2012 A.J. Adam Dhroner Mosel Riesling ($28, 12% alcohol): Andreas Adam leaves about 12 g/l sugar in this village wine, which shows itself more as a fullness of texture (also aided by aging in cask). The style veers between austere and juicy, with a rush of yellow plum and tangerine fruit. (Importer: Terry Theise/Michael Skurnik Wines)

2012 Von Schubert Maximin Grunhauser Mosel Riesling Feinherb ($24, 11%): Carl von Schubert’s Grunhauser property, by the Ruwer tributary of the Mosel, has made iconic sweet wines for centuries. But the forthcoming release of its feinherb estate wine is both approachable and intense – chive, sweet lime, austere honeydew skin and citrus pith, and a hint of nectary sweetness for perfect balance. A beautiful example of feinherb. (Importer: Loosen Bros.)

2012 Okonomierat Rebholz Dry Pfalz Riesling ($19, 12.5%): The Pfalz is a stronghold for dry Riesling, and Hans-Jörg Rebholz one of its major proponents. But there’s surprising weight and richness here, thanks in part to the great 2012 vintage – sweet melon to balance the nutmeg spice, celery and peach. (Importer: Rudi Wiest/Cellars Intl.)

2011 Immich-Batterieberg C.A.I. Mosel Riesling Kabinett ($22, 11.5%): The label would hint at its being sweet, but this is Germany’s new dryish side in a nutshell, from Gernot Kollmann’s revival of a historic Mosel site. The dense flavors burst, with tons of nectarine and key lime, lavender, and a sense of sharp-eyed Mosel minerality that’s vibrant without being stark. Keep an eye for the 2012, appearing soon. (Importer: Louis/Dressner Selections)

30./31.8.2013, presentation of the 2012 vintage »

Presentation of the 2012 vintage

30./31.08.2013, special guest: Bosse

Another breathtaking weekend: Under clear blue skies, fans of Batterieberg, wine dealers, wine press, tourists of Enkirch and the Mosel river, fellow winemakers and our families and friends enjoyed the 2012 vintage for the first time. This year the wine tastings were extended to the inner courtyard, as we had felloe winemakers: Eva Fricke of Weingut Eva Fricke, Matthias Adams of Weingut von Racknitz and Johannes Lochner of Weingut Köhler-Ruprecht joining us. More than 200 guests took the opportunity to taste the latest wines from different regions without leaving our premises. The highlight of this year’s presentation was the Friday evening concert with Bosse. It must be the unique combination of a living room concert and wine drinking atmosphere which makes moments like this so special. Bosse performed all his current hits like „Schönste Zeit“ and „So oder so“ as well as  classics like „Frankfurt/Oder“. After the concert, Bosse took time to give autographs and answer question always with a glass of Batterieberg in his hand. It must have been a good warm up for Bosse, as a week later, he performed at the German “Bundesvision Song Contest” and was elected number one by the TV audience.

31.8./1.9.2012, presentation of the 2011 vintage »

Presentation of the 2011 vintage

31.8./1.9.2012, special guest: Johannes Strate (Bandleader Revolverheld)

This weekend was dedicated to pure enjoyment: it started with a five course gourmet dinner presented by star decorated chef Hubert Schmid of Schloss Monaise in Trier. The different courses were accompanied with our Riesling wines and Pinot Noirs by Henrik Möbitz, a winemaker and friend from Baden-Württemberg. The tasting of these magnificent wines started at 10 am on Saturday. Again Gernot of Batterieberg and Henrik Möbitz took their time to explain the true story about every bottle opened. The whole day had been accompanied with special presentations focusing on other fine foods like herbs, chocolate and the secret of making sausages on your own. In the evening a “Gunfighter” (Revolverheld) got on our backyard stage: Johannes Strate, lead singer of the German Band, Revolverheld. It was a private concert offering a living room atmosphere. Some early guests and neighbours were able to enjoy the soundcheck in the afternoon and could already imagine what the evening would offer: great songs like “Es tut mir weh,  dich so zu sehen”, “Guten Morgen Anna” or the ballad “An Rosalinde” he performed in the middle of the audience. After the concert, Johannes signed plenty of wine bottles and enjoyed the rest of the evening with Batterieberg Riesling.

Wild und wurzig. »

Stephan Reinhardt via www.weinwisser.com

SR. – Das Enkircher Weingut wurde im Jahre 911 erstmalig urkundlich erwähnt und war zwischen 1425 und 1989 im Besitz der Familie Immich. Seit 2009 gehört es zwei Hamburger Familien, die Gernot Kollmann zum Betriebsverwalter und Kellermeister machten.

Die kleine Gemeinde Enkirch verfügt über vier erstklassige Lagen, die bereits in der preussischen Kartierung von 1868 herausgehoben wurden: Steffensberg, Ellergrub, Grub Zeppwingert und Batterieberg. Immich-Batterieberg hat in allen vier Lagen Besitz, insgesamt 5 Hektar, nichts als Riesling, 90 % davon sind wurzelechte Reben. Die Böden spielen sämtliche Schieferfarben von Grau bis Rot durch. Im Batterieberg kommen Quarzite dazu, den feinsten Schiefer aber findet man in der steilsten Lage, der Ellergrub.

Kollmann bewirtschaftet seine Flächen ökologisch, die Ertragsreduzierung erfolgt allein mit dem Anschnitt im Winter. Im Jahrgang 2009 betrug der Gesamtertrag lediglich 35 hl/ha, jahrgangsbedingt (verzettelte Blüte), aber auch wegen der alten Reben, die im Durchschnitt mindestens 60 Jahre alt sind. Die Lese erfolgt in kleinen roten Bütten, nach der Mühle kommt die Maische für 2-24 Stunden auf die Presse, der Most geht dann per Falldruck für 3-24 Stunden in Edelstahltanks zum Klären. Klärhilfen und Schönungsmittel wie andere Zusätze werden nicht verwendet. Die Vergärung erfolgt spontan im Edelstahl sowie in gebrauchten Barriques, da die alten Fuderfässer nicht mehr zu gebrauchen waren. Wir haben Kollmann Ende September besucht, die meisten Weine waren da gerade erst abgefüllt.

2009 CAI Kabinett: 11,5 Vol.-%. Von jüngeren, etwa 40-jährigen Weinbergen. Helles Strohgelb. Saftige Rieslingfrucht mit würzigen Sponti-Noten und zartem Schieferton. Vollmundiger Gaumen mit feiner Schieferrasse und salzigem Finale, deutliche Restsüsse, intensiver, recht nachhaltiger Geschmack. Sehr guter, recht fülliger Kabinett. (9 EUR) 16/20 trinken -2020

2009 Steffensberg: Gemischter Schiefer mit höherem Anteil von rötlichem Schiefer, tieferer Boden als sonst. Die Lage wurde flurbereinigt, allein die unterste Parzelle blieb verschont, daher gibt es hier noch wurzelechte Reben. Ausschliesslich von deren Trauben stammt dieser Wein, während die anderen Trauben im Escheburg oder CAI verarbeitet werden. Nur 4 g Restzucker, 12,5 Vol.-% Alk. Holzfassvergärung und -ausbau in fünf alten Barriques. Kräftiges Gelb. Tiefe, substanzreiche, würzig-mineralische Nase mit satter, saftiger Stein- und Kernobstfrucht, reife Birnen, mit mehr Luft feine Kräuternoten vom roten Schiefer. Stoffiger , aber gnadenlos trockener Gaumen mit leichtem Hefeschmelz und zarter Barriquewürze, besitzt viel mineralische Substanz und eine noch zurückhaltende Frucht. Im Ende fehlt die Länge. Dekantiert besser? (22 EUR) 16+/20 2013-2022

2009 Batterieberg: Je zur Hälfte im Edelstahl und in gebrauchten Barriques ausgebaut. 12 Vol.-%, 16 g Restzucker. Recht ausgeprägte Sponti-Würze, kühle Mineralik, helles Kernobst, Knäckebrot, mit mehr Luft immer feinduftiger werdend, getrocknete Apfelringe. Am Gaumen mit spürbarer Fruchtsüsse und angenehm mineralischer Fülle, elegant, reife Säure, pikant, schöne puristische Länge, ausgewogen. (22 EUR) 17/20 2016-2030

2009 Ellergrub: 80 % Barrique, 20 % Stahl. Extrem flachgründiger Schieferboden, stark verwitterter grauer und blauer Schiefer, nur wenig roter und wenig Quarzit. Klares helles Gelb mit grünlichen Reflexen. Sehr feines Rieslingbouquet, kühle, klare Schiefermineralik mit deutlichen Kräuternoten und feiner reifer Frucht von weissem Kern- und Steinobst. Am Gaumen schlank, aber fest, komplex und nachhaltig. Zeigt einen tollen Purismus mit feingliedriger Rasse, delikater Mineralität und einer bemerkenswert feinen Fruchtausprägung. Geradlinige Eleganz. (24 EUR) 17+/20 2018-2030

2009 Enkircher “Escheburg”: Dieser Wein ist die Synthese aller Toplagen, aber eben deren B-Selektionen. Doch auch für diesen Wein werden nur Trauben verwendet, die von wurzelechten Reben stammen. 90 % Edelstahl. 11,5 Vol.-%, 29 g Restzucker. Kräftiges Gelb. Satte, gelbfleischige Frucht mit feiner Schieferwürze, wild. Saftiger, mineralisch strukturierter Gaumen, leicht salzig, reifer und getrockneter Apfel, schöne Länge, sinnlich. Spassig und komplex zugleich. 4 000 Flaschen. (14,50 EUR) 17/20 trinken -2030

2009 Batterieberg Auslese: 100 % sauber ausgelesene Botrytis, 128 g Gesamtalkohol, 100 g Restzucker, 10 Promille Säure, 9 Vol.-% Alk. Kollmann: “Ich will etwas Weiniges im Süsswein haben. Diese Schmerzen an den Zähnen brauche ich nicht. Auch nicht diese in der Gärung gestoppten Fruchtkörbe.” Sehr helles Gelb. Sehr klare und feine Frucht. Am Gaumen delikat und vornehm, dichtes, fein strukturiertes Fruchtfleisch, feinste Rosine, sehr klar und angenehm rassig, filigraner, hochfeiner und eleganter Typ, enorm trinkig. Delikater Nachhall. (48 EUR/0,375 l) 18/20 2020-2040

Mosel of the Month – Enkircher Ellergrub. »

Report via www.moselfinewines.com by Jean Fisch and David Rayer.

2009 Enkircher Ellergrub, 92+ Pt.

This offers the most wonderful nose of white peach, white flowers and a delicate touch of fresh herbs. The wine is remarkably elegant and playful on the palate, with great finesse and length. The aromatic purity is remarkable and intriguing at the same time, and this makes it so fascinating to drink. This is a beauty which could ultimately gain further from bottling. It is that good. 2012-2019.

2009 marked the rebirth of one of the historic Estates of the Middle Mosel, the Immich-Batterieberg in Enkirch. The Estate had gone through some rough times after its owner went bankrupt and it is only at the end of 2008 that things took a turn for the better. It was acquired by two wealthy German families, who appointed Gernot Kollmann as Estate Manager. He had already made a name for himself at the Van Volxem and Knebel Estate.

The Estate is now focusing on dry-tasting Riesling and 2009 proved a remarkable success with a stunning collection at all levels (see our Issue No 13 of October 2010 for further information). We were particularly impressed by the Enkircher Ellergrub.

Kawumm vom Berg Und Riesling aus 2009. »

Bericht unter www.captaincork.com von Manfred Klimek.

Warum soll Maat Mally heute nicht überstunden machen und die Mosel talwärts rudern? Da macht er Halt bei Gernot Kollmann und kostet die letzten Rieslinge aus dem Jahr 2009. Zuschlagen!

Es war Flaute. Das machte nichts. Ich bewegte mich flussabwärts. Die Mosel hinab. Auf den Spuren des Captains. Er ist ein guter Kapitän, der seiner Mannschaft sein Wissen um den guten Rebensaft erzählt und ein gutes Gespür beweist. Ein Gespür für Talente und Newcomer. Und damit meine ich nicht mich. Der Captain schrieb als einer der ersten über Gernot Kollmann und über das Weingut Immich Batterieberg, wo Kollmann seit 2009 für die Jahrgänge Verantwortung trägt. Hier gibt es nur Riesling. In allen Lagen. In allen Kategorien.

Dass hier ein erfahrener Weinmacher am Werk ist, einer, der die Kunst der Spontanvergärung perfekt beherrscht, das erkennt man in jenem Moment, in dem man das Glas zur Nase führt. Was für ein Geruch!

Hedonismus einer anderen Dimension

Hier beginnt Hedonismus einer anderen Dimension. Wollen Sie auf Batterieberg vorstellig werden? Schnallen Sie sich bitte gut an, denn bei Kollmann nimmt man als Copilot eines Kunstfliegers Platz.

Das Weingut? Sieht unbedeutend aus. Kein Betonchateau, keine coole Architektur. Ein kleiner Innenhof, etwas Platzmangel. Sicher nicht der Ort (so denkt man), an dem große Weine entstehen. Doch falsch. Denn Kollmann profiliert sich nicht mit schlechter und uniformer Architektur.

Eröffnend servierte uns Kollmann seinen Einstiegsriesling – ein klassischer Riesling, wie er besser nicht sein könnte. Saftig, vibrierend toll. Aber das erzählte uns bereits der Captain.

Steffensberg schmerzt

Darauf folgte der Riesling Steffensberg. Ein Wein, den ich besonders hervorheben möchte, weil er fast schmerzt. So trocken, wie er ist. Ein guter, fast erotischer Schmerz, der den größten Romantiker in einen nach Bestrafung lechzenden Masochisten verwandelt.

Der Steffensberg ist im Holzfass vergoren und wurde anschließend in fünf alten Barriques ausgebaut. Der Wein ist stark von der Lage geprägt, die massiv eisenhaltig ist. Ein Unikat mit einer deutlichen Frucht nach Steinobst, danach Golden-Delicious-äpfel. Mit mehr Luft noch Kräuter, Koriander und Dill. Genial und noch jugendlich verhalten mit einem Hauch von Holzwürze.

Batterieberg braucht

Der Riesling Batterieberg wird erst mit viel Luft zugänglich. Meiner wurde gerade frisch geöffnet. Da heißt es warten. Und es beginnt, wie großer Wein beginnen soll: sehr reduktiv. Und das ist gut so.

Große Weine dürfen nach dem öffnen auch mal übel riechen. Der Batterieberg riecht sofort übel: Zeichen und Zeuge der spontanen Vergärung. Und wieder ein wichtiger Beweis für Reifepotenzial.

Doch dann öffnet sich der Batterieberg. Ich hab’s erlebt. Und dann zeigt er viel Kraft und Mineralität. Erhaben mit einer (blödes Wort) betörenden Rieslingsfrucht, die viel Grapefruit, Weingartenpfirsich und ätherische Thymiannoten mitbringt. Am Gaumen (noch mal das blöde Wort) betörend fruchtsüß mit salzigem Nachhall. Ein Garant für 20 Jahre pures Trinkvergnügen. Da spricht schon die Reduktivität für.

Ellergrub ewig

Am Schluss noch die Ellergrub: Rosenblüten mit Pfirsich, nur helle Früchte kombiniert mit Heilkräutern und Salbei. Dazu auch Tannenzapfen und reife Orangen. Ein (zum dritten Mal das blöde Wort) betörender Hauch von Ewigkeit. Ein extremer Wein, bei dem alles ausgereizt wurde. Dazu eine feine, fast kitzelnde Säure. Aber auch heftig cremig und gigantisch im Nachhall. Hier fehlt es an nichts und nichts ist zu viel.

P.S.: Kollmanns Reben wurzeln in Schiefersteillagen. Einige Rebstöcke aus den Lagen sind wurzelecht. Das heißt, sie überstanden die Reblauskatastrophe in Europa. Wurzelechte Weine sterben aus, da ein EU-Gesetz aus vorbeugenden Gründen das Auspflanzen von unveredelten Rebstöcken verbietet. Das macht Kollmanns Weine zu den letzten ihrer Art.

Real goof Schildknecht/Parker rating in our first year »

David Schildknecht via www.erobertparker.com:

Few German wine lovers or even wine growers under the age of 45 are likely to know much about the family-run estate once officially know as Carl August Immich-Batterieberg, even though it farmed one of the traditionally highest-taxed and highest-rated concentrations of vineyards on the Mosel; boasted a history not to mention labels as colorful as any in Germany; and was guided in its final generation by a soft-spoken gentleman who rendered some of the finest exemplars of – and offered some of the most profound insights into – Riesling of any I have been privileged to imbibe.

To go by the recent, lavishly-produced, multi-authored Weinatlas Deutschland, the stretch of vineyards once managed by Immich is scarcely worth mentioning. At one place along this sheer, once-celebrated expanse of blue and red slates the Prussian demolitions expert for whom the estate was named blasted apart what became known – if at first mockingly – as the “Batterieberg.’

The circumstances surrounding Georg Immich’s 1989 sale of his family’s estate and its subsequent fate make for a tale of personal betrayal, divorce, decline, and criminal deceit too intricate and sensitive – perhaps too sorrowful – and certainly too long for retelling on the present occasion. And besides, the welcome news last year that oenologist Gernot Kollmann and two friends had purchased the by then prostrate estate has now been followed by an astonishingly successful inaugural range of 2009s under the newly-simplified estate name “Immich-Batterieberg,’ and if you-re entirely ignorant of history or local terroir (as, apparently, are even some self-styled experts) these new wines will tell you everything essential.

Kollmann (who will continue to closely advise the Knebel estate in Winningen) would love to have vinified his new wines in fuder, but the few that remained in his cavernous facilities were unusable, and the approach he took out of expediency – tanks supplemented by seasoned barriques – succeeded far beyond my skeptical imagination. Halbtrocken and trocken Rieslings from Georg Immich’s cellar often remained fresh as well as riveting for 20 or more years, but I have remained very conservative in my projections for this latest collection, since there is no track record under the current regimen.

The estate’s acreage in Enkircher Zeppwingert has been replanted, and following some re-acquisitions this year, total holdings under the new owners correspond closely to those formerly associated with the Immich estate, minus the portion of Ellergrub that is farmed by Weiser-Kunstler under an arrangement with Georg Immich’s widow, and has been described in my recent reports on that young estate. (Incidentally, Terry Theise imported Georg Immich’s Rieslings during his latter years as proprietor.)

Mosel Wine Merchant Trier, Germany (various importers); tel. (413) 429-6176; +49 (0) 651 14551 38

2009 Immich-Batterieberg Enkircher Batterieberg Riesling

A Riesling Dry White Table wine from Batterieberg, Enkrich, Middle Mosel, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany.
Review by David Schildknecht eRobertParker.com
# 192 (Dec 2010)
Rating: 93
Cost: $52

The -new Immich- 2009 Enkircher Batterieberg Riesling – half of which was brought-up in older barrique – saturates the senses with Bartlett pear, fresh lime, and tartly-edged Maine blueberry wreathed in heliotrope and honeysuckle. Silken-textured and suggestively creamy; caressing, yet lively; palpably extract-rich yet practically delicate (at 12% alcohol) this veritably wafts into its long, luscious, minerally shimmering finish. Plan on following bottles for at least a decade but don’t be surprised it the wine proves a good deal more resilient than that.

2009 Immich-Batterieberg Enkircher Batterieberg Riesling Auslese

A Riesling Sweet White Dessert wine from Batterieberg, Enkrich, Middle Mosel, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany Review by David Schildknecht eRobertParker.com
# 192 (Dec 2010)
Rating: 94

Picked over several of the ten principle days of harvest here October 20-29, the Immich-Batterieberg 2009 Enkircher Batterieberg Riesling Auslese exudes lemon, pear, and quince in fresh and preserved forms, offering a striking counterpoint of creaminess of texture and honeyed gloss with citric brightness. Even at 9.5% alcohol, 100 grams of residual sugar were left behind (no, former proprietor Georg Immich would not recognize this, not even as a Beerenauslese!) an amazing balance is achieved, along with considerable sense of invigoration. -That energy and clarity are what led me to bottle this as Auslese,- rather than B.A. explains Gernot Kollmann. Impingement of pear skin and crystallized ginger as well as hints of wet stone all add to the fascination of this buoyant wine as it soars to a saliva-inducing, spirit-lifting finish. I expect it will be worth following for at least 30 years. What a return the Batterieberg has staged in its new incarnation!

2009 Immich-Batterieberg Enkircher Ellergrub Riesling

A Riesling Dry White Table wine from Ellergrub, Enkrich, Middle Mosel, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany Review by David Schildknecht eRobertParker.com
# 192 (Dec 2010)
Rating: 94
Cost: $52

From the site with Immich-Batterieberg’s highest proportion of old, ungrafted vines, their 2009 Enkircher Ellergrub Riesling offers even more exuberant, almost explosive generosity of citrus – here grapefruit, lemon, and pineapple – than were found in its generic counterpart; and the interactive dynamic of that fruit with crystalline, saline and stony minerality displays scintillating energy. All the while, suggestions of pit fruits, fruit pits, iodine, peat, and deep nuttiness well-up in mysterious waves, the whole coming together in a finish of vibratory, mouth-watering persistence. I imagine the shade of Georg Immich smiling at this superb accomplishment, which happens to feature the halbtrocken balance and 12% alcohol he generally favored and believed (dare I hope, yet prophetically?) would find widespread future favor. But I’m sure he would be as astonished as I was to learn that 20% of this wine was raised in tank, and the rest in seasoned barriques. Look for at least a dozen years of excitement from bottles of this beauty.

2009 Immich-Batterieberg Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling

A Riesling Dry White Table wine from Steffensberg, Enkrich, Middle Mosel, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany Review by David Schildknecht eRobertParker.com
# 192 (Dec 2010)
Rating: 91
Drink: 2010 – 2018

The Immich-Batterieberg 2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling – which finished deep into trocken territory – is also the sole bottling in the current collection to evince a distinct note of oak from its barrique component, yet I was surprised to experience this as complimented the particular pungency and piquancy of smoky crushed stone, mineral salts, herbs and spices that have traditionally characterized Immich wines from this red slate site and that stimulate the salivary glands no end. The fruit component of this substantial (at 12.5% alcohol) yet lithe Riesling is metaphorically cool and winter pear-like, a perfect foil for the mineral as well as piquant aspects (no doubt reinforced by the 10-12 hours of skin contact typical for this collection) that seem to positively shimmer in its protracted finish. I would anticipate at least 6-8 years of high-performance here.

2009 Immich-Batterieberg Riesling C A I

A Riesling Dry White Table wine from Enkrich, Middle Mosel, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany Review by David Schildknecht eRobertParker.com
# 192 (Dec 2010)
Rating: 91
Cost: $25

The 2009 Riesling Kabinett C. A. I. (employing the former winery’s initials) is as fine a generic Riesling of its vintage as I have tasted, so given that assessment as well as the fact that this excellent value represents a debut, I take the liberty to go into unusual detail. Typical for the entire range of the new estate is discrete, spontaneous fermentation (i.e. no cross-inoculation) of each component lot and a refusal to be distracted from quality considerations by worrying whether a wine will finish to legal Trockenheit (which this year’s -C.A.I.- didn’t – which, opines Kollmann, is likely to be the norm) nor to employ the terms -trocken,- -halbtrocken,- or -feinherb- on any labels. Why -Kabinett- (although that word is admittedly only on one of this wine’s two labels)? -I have to do something,- explains Kollmann, -to distinguish my introductory level wine even at first glance from the majority of Gutsrieslinge that even from top estates are being sold at a price to which I cannot, with my costs and small volume, afford to descend.- This cuvee incorporates the lower sections of Batterieberg, which were replanted with clonal selections in the 1990s, and even here there is around 10% wood by way of a barrique-aged component. Exuberant lime, tangerine, and pineapple soar from the glass and burst onto the palate with vivid fresh juiciness followed by a cascade of saline, crushed stone and somehow crystalline mineral matter, setting up an animated and animating interplay that turns out to be typical for the entire 2009 Batterieberg collection. Residual CO2 enhances the sense of invigoration, yet a subtle creaminess is evidenced throughout, engendering a textural counterpoint that mirrors the wine’s flavor dynamic. This will reel you in for the next sip before you can finish taking its finish’s measure, and it should be capable of behaving that way for at least the next 4-5 years.

2009 Immich-Batterieberg Riesling Escheburg

A Riesling Medium Dry White Table wine from Enkrich, Middle Mosel, Mosel Saar Ruwer, Germany Review by David Schildknecht eRobertParker.com
# 192 (Dec 2010)
Rating: 89
Drink: 2010 – 2015
Cost: $37

A 2009 Riesling Escheburg – whose name comes from that of the great stone former fortress housing Immich-Batterieberg – represents largely ungrafted vines from steep but to some degree less-favored slopes. This is the only wine in its collection – save for the Batterieberg Auslese – to display significant sweetness, which however nicely supports pineapple, musk melon fresh lime, and ginger on a creamy yet refreshing palate, with distinct wet stone notes offering contrast in the finish. The sort of interactive dynamic that characterizes the other Immich 2009s is missing here, however, at least for now. The pleasure in this instance is of a more soothing sort, and I would plan on enjoying the wine over the next 3-5 years, although time might certainly tell a different story.

Jahrgangspräsentation und Wiedereroffnungsparty. »

Jahrgangspraesentation 2009

Am ersten Septemberwochenende fand unsere erste Jahgangspräsentation und unsere Wiedereröffnungsparty statt. Das bunte Programm aus Eröffnungsmenü, Weinpräsentation, Seminaren, Konzert und Gartenparty hat viele Familienmitglieder, Freunde und Kunden ins Weingut nach Enkirch gelockt.

Wir bedanken uns bei Allen, die mit uns geschlemmt, gefeiert, uns geholfen haben, und die mit Ihrem Kommen Ihr Interesse an unserer Arbeit und unseren Weinen gezeigt haben.