Few wines and Estates epitomize the beauty of the 2009 vintage as much as Immich-Batterieberg, which nailed it in its rebirth year.
Our extensive 2009 retrospective with over 150 wines re-tasted underlined the beauty of its dry and off-dry Riesling, which can be big but also remarkably beautiful.
The 2009er Enkircher Ellergrub from Immich-Batterieberg proves a stunning success in this debut vintage for Gernot Kollmann at its helm.
Weingut Immich-Batterieberg is one of the classic Estates in the Mosel. Its roots go all the way back to the 15th century. Under the careful eye of the Immich family, the Estate produced some stunning wines, almost year-in year-out.
Unfortunately, the Estate went through a rough time in the 1990s and 2000s. Things reached a climax in 2007, when the Estate was taken over by its owner’s debtors.
In 2009, two investing families acquired the Estate and took the wise move to install Gernot Kollmann at its helm. He had already made a name for himself at Weingut Van Volxem and Weingut Knebel.
When we talked briefly to Gernot a few days ago about the early period, he was quite positive about it: “When the administrators took over at the end of 2007, they immediately leased the vineyards out to local growers on a yearly basis. I have to take my hat off to my fellow local growers. None really needed more vineyards at the time. But they saw the common interest of preserving these vineyards from being abandoned. We probably found the vineyards in a better shape in 2009 than they were in 2006, when the company collapsed. Also, the fact that the vineyards had not seen any fertilizers for certainly 15 years allowed us to immediately harvest nicely small and intensely aromatic grapes.”
He changed the portfolio and focused on high-end dry or off-dry Riesling made with ambient yeast and used barrique. This was quite a bold move, as Gernot admits: “We found some traditional Fuder in the cellar but they were all in a really bad state. During my time at Van Volxem, I already saw the advantages of smaller wooden casks, for instance in terms of micro-oxygenation. We therefore contacted Markus Molitor, who sold us some used, 5-6 year-old, barrique which he no longer needed.”
Although Gernot Kollmann rarely mentions it, he also changed the vineyard management to organic principles. He has so far not sought to be certified because of the grapes he purchases for his basic bottlings.
The success of the Estate came almost instantaneously. When we tasted the first vintage back in September 2010, we were simply bowled over by its finesse and elegance. We highlighted the Estate’s 2009er Enkircher Ellergrub as wine of the month back in 2011.
Ten years on and our early assessment of the 2009er Immich-Batterieberg Enkircher Ellergrub proved bang on (yes, this is bragging from our side here ... but just a little bit!). The wine developed beautifully well and is now simply singing.
As Gernot explained, “the vintage was quite a relaxed one. We were able to harvest clean grapes at approx. 94° Oechsle which I let to macerate for 12-18 hours before pressing. The wine was then fermented with ambient yeasts in used barrique. The fermentation was long, which proved beneficiary as the yeasts were constantly in movement and no batonage was needed. We then bottled the wine in mid-August.”
The old un-grafted vines, the quartzite infused soil, the blue slate: All these give the wine incredible appeal and elegance. A touch of residual sugar is still noticeable that needs to be taken into account when pairing with food. But the resulting wine is simply amazing.
The remarkable thing about the début vintage of Gernot Kollmann is that also other single-vineyard bottlings are stunning. The Estate’s 2009er Enkircher Batterieberg, which we also re-sampled, proved equally subtle and refined.
This also shows that these off-dry or dry-tasting Mosel Riesling really benefit from aging. At the hands of gifted growers, they develop their full fresh and lively finesse only after possibly a decade.
Our full retrospective of the 2009 vintage was published in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 45 (Apr 2019). You are a subscriber and miss this Issue? Simply send us a request by email and we will be happy to send you a copy. You are not yet a subscriber and wish to get this Issue? Subscribe free of charge by registering yourself here below and ask us for a copy by email.
Enkircher Ellergrub Riesling
The 2009er Enkircher Ellergrub was fermented down to 16 g/l of residual sugar. This hey-colored wine develops a beautiful nose of flint stone, candied grapefruit, pear, melon, apricot and mango, all wrapped into some delicately nutty and smoky elements of cream. The wine is gorgeously creamy and delicately zesty on the palate and leaves a superb feel of herbs and minerals in the gorgeously tart and delicately off-dry finish. The wine gains in grip and presence by the minute. This is plain gorgeous! Now-2039
© Text by Mosel Fine Wines "The Independent Review of Mosel Riesling"
Disclaimer: Mosel Fine Wines is an independent publication and has no commercial relationship with any Estate, association or organization featured in this article.