This stunning Kabinett by Vollenweider underlines what an epic vintage 2019 is at the top in the Mosel.
We already wrote this to in our sneak preview to our readers in the January Issue. Our tastings confirm it, published in a special vintage preview Issue: 2019 is an epic vintage at the top, and this thanks to not excessive Oechsle degrees, bright and ripe flavors, and impeccable sweetness-acidity balance.
One of the true highlights of the vintage turns out to be the Wolfer Goldgrube Kabinett from Weingut Vollenweider.
Daniel Vollenweider launched his Weingut Vollenweider exactly 20 years ago this year, with the 2000 vintage. This Swiss-born surveyor caught the wine bug after a bottle of Egon Müller Scharzhofberger Auslese. A few years later, he moved to the Mosel to become a wine grower. He set his focus on the then completely forgotten Wolfer Goldgrube (more on this fine vineyard later in this article).
His initial focus was on fruity and sweet wines, but he has added a wide portfolio of drier wines since. Besides being one of the nicest persons in the wine trade, Daniel is also a man of precision and dedication, and his wines quickly caught the attention of Riesling lovers. We also have regularly highlighted some of its finest successes, such as the 2014er Wolfer Goldgrube Riesling Kabinett. Vollenweider wines are also regulars on our list of vintage highlights, including in 2018 (see Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 49 – Jan 2020).
Overall, Daniel is quite satisfied with his 2019 vintage: “It was a vintage of extremes. Heat waves in the Summer and rain during the harvest. My older holdings in the Wolfer Goldgrube withheld these conditions quite well, but one did need to be quick and start the harvest already in September! Overall, the resulting wines have a beautiful tension between freshness and riper flavors. They do vaguely remind me of 2001 ... only that, in 2001, we harvested a month later!”
The Wolfer Goldgrube holds center stage at Weingut Vollenweider, and this for good reasons. Daniel holds nearly two-third of the vineyard (4.8 ha from a total of 7.5 ha tended). The Wolfer Goldgrube is quite unique. It forms a small amphitheater much like the Goldtröpfchen in Piesport. The eastern sector of the vineyard (called Jon), on the right of the picture here below, is exposed to the west, while the central part is exposed full south.
As you can see, the vineyard is steep and still holds quite some old vines trained on single pole. Also, the woodland above provides the vines with some water, a key feature in warm and dry vintages.
Daniel picked his 2019er Kabinett early (at the end of September), high up in the west-facing Jon sector. As usual, the wine was fermented in tank and left on its fine lees until April.
This Kabinett shines through a unique combination of freshness and juicy fruit ripeness. While being a tad intense for a truly light Kabinett (light Kabinett were not easy to produce in the low yielding 2019 vintage), the wine proves a remarkably engaging and elegant Spätlese-styled wine. The finesse and balance are simply remarkable and among the finest we have seen over the last few years. As so many other top fruity-styled wines, it is almost too easy to drink now but will only truly shine in a decade or more.
We hope to have enticed to try out this wine. It may well be that this wine is not yet available in your neck of the world, due to the pandemic restrictions and commercial prudency. Now is the time to pester your importer or merchant so that he or she stocks up on this and other great wines from the remarkable 2019 vintage.
This and other superb 2019er wines by Vollenweider
were reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 51 (May 2020).
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Wolfer Goldgrube Riesling Kabinett
The 2019er Wolfer Goldgrube Riesling Kabinett was made from fruit harvested at 87° Oechsle, and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (57 g/l). It proves still rather reduced and does initially only reveal some faint scents of white peach, ginger, herbs, mirabelle, and smoky slate, but this gains considerably with airing and shows depth and huge complexity. The wine is superbly racy and engaging on the palate, where fresh flavors of orchard fruits and some lemon zest are perfectly buffered off by a touch of whipped cream. The finish is all about this incredible floral “lemonness” (if this is not a word, it is now) of genuinely great fruity-styled Mosel wines in their youth. This amazing wine may have a bit of Spätlese Schmelz, but it proves oh-so pure, refreshing, and persistent. What a glorious effort! 2029-2049
© 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.