Becker Landgraf, "Herrgottspfad" Riesling 2019
A stunning single-vineyard Riesling from Julia and Johannes Landgraf, based in the Rheinhessen, Germany's premier growing region for world-class Riesling. The relationship to the church in German vineyards runs deep, as evidenced by the imposing name of the vineyard here: Herrgottspfad, or "the Path to God the Father."
Riesling devotees know that a good one is capable of years of aging in bottle. And make no mistake: this is one of the great ones. At first blush it shows mango pit, summer herbs, key lime, and flint on the nose. With such fresh and plump aromas the brain certainly tricks itself into thinking what we have is a “sweet” wine, but NO – the palate comes in dry, zingy and fresh, overloaded with mineral crispness, Meyer lemon zest, and electric acidity that enlivens the senses.
These lovely notes will surely develop into a cornucopia of more complex aromas and flavors over the years, evolving into the famed minerally-fusel oil spectrum of wet slate, herbs, and citrus zest that’s locked in now.
And there’s more to this wine than meets the eye: not only is it a biodynamic, 100% natural Riesling, but it hails from the single vineyard "Herrgottspfad," a site that technically could be a Grand-Cru Grosses Gewächs, but the Landgrafs are not members of the G.G. certifying body, giving us a ridiculous value loophole. If this were a Grosses Gewächs, you could expect the price to easily reach $60/bottle or more, making this all the more a delicious value play!
"GG" is the apotheosis of German Riesling. It stands for Grosses Gewächs – a designation that confers the equivalent of Grand Cru status on certain hallowed vineyard sites, produced by one of only 200 producers of the Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter (VDP), a member-led organization founded in 1910 that governs such wines. By law, a GG Riesling must be (1) absolutely bone-dry (not sweet!), (2) hand harvested, and (3) come from designated "Grand Cru" vineyards as listed on the label. To be designated a "G.G." one must be a member of the VDP association – and Becker-Landgraf is not a member, hence the under-the-radar quality of this single-vineyard gem. Cheers!