2008 proves a remarkable vintage for dry Riesling with real brilliance at the top. This concerns in particular this amazing wine by Weingut Georg Breuer.
Our extensive 2008 dry Riesling retrospective underlines what a remarkable vintage this has turned out to be. At the top, near perfection was possible.
One Estate stands out like no other in 2008, Weingut Georg Breuer. It crafted, among others, a truly mind-blowing Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg.
Weingut Georg Breuer is one of the greatest sources for dry Riesling in the world. Already last year, it triumphed in our “10-Years-After” Retrospective in our 2007 retrospective and we featured its 2007er Rauenthaler Nonnenberg as "MFW Issue Highlight."
The Estate even topped this remarkable performance in 2008. No less than three wines made it into the top five of the vintage!
We asked Theresa Breuer about how the 2008 vintage turned out to be at their place: “2008 was the real anti-vintage. It was cold and wet. We delayed our harvest as much as we could (you can notice this by the fact the alcohol levels are comparatively high for such a slender vintage). We are not afraid of high acidity, but it needs to be ripe. However, we had to harvest eventually. The resulting wines were remarkably primary, with pungent acidity and quite some notes of earth. Only the Berg Schlossberg shine right from the start. Needless to say, the 2008s were anything but easy to sell.”
She was adamant that they did nothing different during winemaking than in other vintages: “There was no need to do anything particular in terms of winemaking. Our single-vineyard bottlings are all aged in oak and we leave them on their fine lees long enough – until July after the vintage – for the wines to have the time to develop.”
The Estate’s approach of harvesting only ripe fruit, not being afraid of acidity and only keeping the finest casks for its single-vineyard wines paid off massively in 2008.
The Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg vineyard is close to the heart of Theresa Breuer: “In many ways, the Berg Schlossberg epitomizes what the Rheingau is about. It is a hugely steep and fully south-facing vineyard with little top soil covering the typical stony base of slate and quartzite. It can suffer in vintages with drought but thrives in wet vintages such as 2008.”
The Georg Breuer Estate has the privilege of owning approx. 3.5 ha of vineyards in the Berg Schlossberg with parcels spread over the full vineyard. “We cover the full spectrum of the hill, from the bottom near the Rhine right up to forest crest”, Theresa explains, “this allows us to fully express the character of the vineyard in each vintage. If the vintage is hot, we will focus on the higher cooler parcels. If the vintage is cool, we will privilege parcels from the sector near the river for our single-vineyard bottling.”
We can only reiterate what we wrote earlier on. 2008 is a massive success at Weingut Georg Breuer, which managed to produce modern-day legends in this rather cool vintage. The Estate’s reputation is immensely high, but we are still surprised that one can still find older bottles on the market comparatively easily (and this for what are still quite reasonable prices, certainly given the quality!). We can only urge our readers to comb their usual sources and check for any availability. You may be surprised!
The full 2008 dry Riesling retrospective with over 30 wines revisited
can be found in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 40 (Apr 2018).
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Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg
This offers a breathtaking yet finely sizzled nose made of peach, pear, bergamot, sea breeze, flowery elements, mint and flint stone. The wine proves superbly elegant and refined on the palate. It develops density and a compact structure coupled to juicy complexity. Salty elements add freshness to the gorgeously focused palate. The finish is all about airiness, precision, focus and elegance. The overall balance is that found in the finest of Clos Sainte Hune or some of the mythical bottles of Künstler from the 1990s. This is a modern-day legend in the making! Now-2038
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling ... and beyond!"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.