The filigreed 2020 vintage generated some beautifully elegant wines among which this superb Kabinett by Weingut Dr. Hermann.
The 2020 growing season was hot and dry and the harvest season mostly cloudy and rainy: The result is a unique vintage with incredible lightness, filigreed precision, subtlety, and a dash of ripeness.
Few wines epitomize these classic traits of Mosel Riesling as well as the amazing 2020er Ürziger Würzgarten Kabinett Alte Reben by Dr. Hermann.
Weingut Dr. Hermann is one of the great success stories of the last decade. The origin of the Estate lies in the split up of the historic Weingut Joh. Jos. Christoffel Erben in the 1960s. Mia Christoffel, who had married the medical doctor Rudolf Hermann, took her share into their separate Estate. Their son Rudi Hermann developed this tiny Estate into a sizeable Estate over the last decades.
As of 2000, young Christian Hermann joined his father at the Estate and has been instrumental in ramping up its quality. Over the years, he first made a name for himself through some awe-inspiring and often hugely rich noble-sweet wines, a stylistic direction at which the Estate simply excels.
More recently, the Estate has also started to produce truly remarkably playful fruity-styled wines as well as deep and balanced dry Riesling. While it continues to produce a full range of noble-sweet wines in every vintage, these wines have significantly gained in finesse and delicacy over the years.
Simply put, from its fine but humble origins, the Estate has grown into one of the finest addresses of the region. Its amazing 2020 collection tops anything we have tasted collectively at this Estate so far.
In particular, the Estate was able to read the DNA of the vintage and craft no less than six different Kabinett, all among the finest of the vintage! But the same can be said of its dry wines, of its sweet Spätlese and, of course, of its amazing noble-sweet wines. Few Estates managed this tour de force in 2020!
One of the secrets behind the quality of the Estate is Christian’s love for great terroir. The family was able to lay its hands on vines in the mythical Erdener Prälat and, more recently in the no-less famous Wehlener Sonnenuhr and Brauneberger Juffer.
But the heart of the Estate is in Erden and in Ürzig, where they own some of the finest parcels in particular of very old vines, as Christian explains: “Our roots are with the Christoffel family in Ürzig and the Ürziger Würzgarten is truly close to our heart. In the meantime, we have 3 ha in the main part of the vineyards downriver of the village. Of these, a good 1 ha is still planted with un-grafted and extremely old vines (80 years-old and older). I like to use the central part of the Würzgarten, on real red slate, for my Kabinett wines: It adds a beautifully fiery side.”
The 2020 vintage was made for Kabinett if you put the right focus on it: “One should not forget that 2020 was a warm vintage, as some of its predecessors. In the meantime, I have learned to focus the first part of the harvest on Kabinett in order to capture the necessary lightness and freshness which makes this style so unique. In 2020, we started early than ever, on September 21, and spent the first ten days harvesting fruit for Kabinett.”
The result is stunning. The wine retains all the freshness and cut that one expects from a great Kabinett underlined by a sense of depth that only old vines can bring. Yet at the same time, the wine has also an ever so light touch of impact which has proven the success of the Dr. Hermann Estate over the years. The Estate has really perfected its art in 2020.
As usual, great wines is rarely produced in gigantic quantities and this is no different for this Kabinett. While this wine may not be available in your part of the world, Dr. Hermann’s wines are available in many countries and, as we mentioned earlier in this article, its set of 2020er Kabinett is truly remarkable. Happy hunting!
The beautiful 2020 collection of Dr. Hermann
was reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 57 (July 2021).
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Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett Alte Reben
The 2020er Ürziger Würzgarten Riesling Kabinett Alte Reben was made from fruit picked at 84° Oechsle on over 80-year-old un-grafted vines in the Weltersberg and Urglück sectors of the vineyard and was fermented down to fruity-styled levels of residual sugar (55 g/l). It offers a gorgeous nose made of whipped cream, cassis, strawberry, earthy spices, herbs, and still quite some residual scents from its spontaneous fermentation. The wine develops the subtle creaminess, freshness, and delineation of an Auslese from the 1990s on the palate and leaves an incredibly complex and pure feel of minerals, red and black berried fruits, whipped cream, and tart fruit zest in the focused and finely chiseled finish. The aftertaste is still a touch hard but this should mellow away nicely with age. What a great success! 2030-2050
© 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.