Praise the coming of the divine 2019 estate Riesling

How exciting to have these 2019s arrive with Steffen and Sophie Christmann surfing the crest of a wave. The father-and-daughter team from Gimmeldingen in the Pfalz had their ‘19 Idig GG named best dry Riesling of the Year on the way to landing the Winemaker of the Year title.

Judges at Germany’s Vinum wine guide praised the Christmanns’ entrepreneurial vision and craftsmanship in handing them the award. “Despite our hundreds of years old tradition in winemaking as a family estate, we consider it our duty to question ourselves and our work constantly, always striving for improvement,” says Steffen. “We are therefore especially pleased that, after Sophie joined me as the next generation in the Christmann family, we have received all this positive feedback affirming us in our chosen path.”

Their chosen path is paved with golden Riesling brilliance. 2019 was one of the warmer years but without extremes, and yielded wines with higher acidity than any vintage since 2013. The family are always the first to start picking their vineyards and easily the first to finish. Harvesting their 20 hectares in 2019 took just 16 days, where the norm these days is closer to 21- 24. “Getting the right picking day is probably the most important thing,” says Steffen, adding that the estate uses a disproportionately large team of pickers, with stringent sorting also a vital ingredient.

“The wines of ’19 are quite straight, with good structure and dancing acidity,” says Sophie. Herbal, salty, stony and full of Pfalz fruit, they are ripe for maximum enjoyment.

2019 A. Christmann Estate Riesling $43

Smoky and flinty with a lot of tension, these characteristics beautifully interwoven with the lemon and tart pear aromas. Long, clean finish. From biodynamically grown grapes with Respekt certification. Drink now. Screw cap.

92 points. Stuart Pigott,

2018 A. Christmann Gimmeldingen Riesling $53

Although floral and fruity aromas are always present in Christmann’s Riesling wines, it’s their filigree herbal expression I find the most fascinating. The 2018 is already very impressive at Ortswein (village wine) level. Healthy acidity and fine phenolics give the Gimmeldinger plenty of backbone.

17/20 Michael Schmidt,

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