The filigreed 2020 vintage generated some stunning dry Riesling … among which this beauty by the still underrated Kruger-Rumpf Estate.
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.
Our 2020 dry German Riesling report underlined the limitations of the vintage but also highlighted its potential, among which the stunning 2020er Münsterer Im Pitterberg GG by Kruger-Rumpf.
Weingut Kruger-Rumpf can trace back its roots in the Nahe region to at least 1708. Part of its current facilities were built in the 1830s and the Estate was one of the most renowned and largest in the Nahe at the turn of the 20th century. After World War II, the Estate slowly went into decline. By the 1980s, it was in dire financial straits, when it was mostly selling its wine in bulk. Stefan Rumpf took over the 7-ha Estate in 1983 and started to bottle his production. He quickly gained notoriety and the Estate slowly regained some of its past glory. In 1999, he was able to buy top vineyards from the privatization of the State Estate in Niederhausen, including the Pitterberg in Münster. His son Georg joined the Estate in 2008, followed by his other son Philipp in 2015.
Georg Rumpf, who studied viticulture and is now responsible for viticulture and oenology, explains the recent changes he introduced at the Estate: “First of all, I think that the conversion of the vineyard to organic viticulture has a massive impact on the quality of the grapes. We have been working here for several years more strictly on the production of ripe, healthy grapes that have a good balance. For two years now, one notices a clear improvement in the quality of our grapes: The grapes are smaller, the thicker skins thicker, and the seeds sometimes larger (in relation to the smaller berry size).”
The Estate also made some changes at harvest and in the cellar. When talking with Georg about the GGs, he adds: “All the wines are fermented in 20-45-year-old barrels and matured in these barrels until they were filtered / filled in July. Furthermore, the aging process is relatively similar for all wines. The grapes for all our GGs are now slowly pressed for at least 8 hours in most cases for up to 14 hours, compared to the 2 hours regime before. The resulting juice is very clear which allows to start the fermentation without any use of enzymes or SO2 and clarification. In recent years this has proven to be the best method for pressing very ripe grapes. This type of grape processing enables us to keep the acidity on the one hand and to extract the ingredients from the peel of the berry on the other.”
The use of SO2 in must and grape processing has also been reduced in recent years. The wines usually finish their fermentation earlier (before Christmas), only relying on ambient. The wines are then transferred into old barrels without any fining and are left on their gross lees for their maturation. SO2 is used only once, just before bottling, and this in significantly smaller quantities than before. All these changes have led to significant quality improvements in recent years and the Estate has been going from strength to strength.
One of the flagship vineyards of the Estate is the Im Pitterberg, a 2.5-ha parcel in Münster solely owned since 1999. Georg Rumpf gives more details about the vineyard: “The Im Pitterberg is on a subsoil of blue Devonian slate. The vines are from the 1960s, some even from the 1940s. The vineyard is facing south to south-west and its slope goes up to 60%.”
The 2020 vintage yielded beautiful ripe and clean grapes, harvested at 93-95° Oechsle in the Im Pitterberg parcel. The wine was fermented and matured in old Stückfass before being bottled in July 2021. It has hugely impressed us when we first tasted it at the end of August. We have been able to confirm this incredible quality through further tastings since. But, also, the other GGs from Kruger-Rumpf proved huge successes in 2020.
The superb set of GGs from Kruger-Rumpf
was reviewed in the Mosel Fine Wines Issue No 59 (November 2021).
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Münsterer Im Pitterberg Riesling GG
The 2020er Im Pitterberg Riesling GG, as it is referred to on the consumer label, comes from old vines planted in the 1940s and 1960s and was fermented and aged in old Stückfass (1,200-liter oak barrel) on its gross lees until July. It offers a very complex and beautifully attractive nose of almond cream, candied grapefruit, anise, cherry, violet, minty herbs, and honeysuckle. The wine is superbly balanced and delivers great presence on the anise-driven palate. It is imposing and even a touch powerful, but not over the top. The finish is hugely long, structured, and quite compelling. This is a very impressive dry Riesling. 2024-2035
© 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.