Heymann-Löwenstein’s ‘Estate Wine of the Year’ released
“Erstaunlich gut!” said Vinum editor-in-chief Joel B. Payne of the newly released 2018 Heymann-Löwenstein Schieferterrassen Riesling. Which I think means he liked it.
Well, he definitely did, since he and his panel of judges awarded it the title of Estate Wine of the Year. As the estate Riesling is the “calling card” of an estate, Payne went on, “This honour says a lot about the other, even higher quality Rieslings of the house. Here the consumer can buy blind.”
We always wholeheartedly recommend investigating Schieferterrassen because it really is a window onto the heart and soul of Heymann-Löwenstein, sourced from premier-cru sites on its dizzyingly steep slate slopes. It therefore hums with the texture and energy of the grand-cru wines, each of which has an extra level of terroir personality.
In short, it’s an epic range – and we urge you to dig deep into these 2018s!
The 2018 Riesling Schieferterrassen comes exclusively from the Winningen single vineyards Brückstück and Hamm. The wine displays a yeasty bouquet with a delicate, crystalline slate aroma and intense yet elegant and refined fruit. Fresh and pure on the palate, this is a linear, refined and clear dry Riesling with fine tannin grip and a very good, intense and stimulatingly salty finish. The wine is light to medium-bodied but has remarkable intensity. This is a stunning wine for such a warm and dry vintage. “The must weights weren’t that high and the acidity not that low,” says Sarah Löwenstein. Tasted at the domain in September 2020.92 points. Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate
The Kirchberg site in Hatzenport is fascinating for its mineral and spice structure. Here the slate is reddish-brown and scattered quartz glitters in the stones.
Very peachy and concentrated on the nose with apple strudel and mango dessert. Mouth-filling and seemingly almost off-dry, but the ripe fruit is carried succinctly by mouthwatering acidity. Drink now.93 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com
The soft slate in Röttgen has a yellowish-brown to reddish-brown colour that indicates a high content of iron oxide. The wines from this vineyard are characterized by luxuriant fruit aromas that are always reminiscent of white peaches and ripe melons, with notes of flint and coffee.
Stunning concentration and power to the nose, which is saturated in lemon curd, oyster shell, dried apple rind, lime cordial and dried cloves. Very long on the full-bodied palate with resounding intensity, but focussed, knife-edged acidity that keeps this mineral and taut throughout. Drink now or hold.97 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com
Uhlen wines give concentrated fruitiness with a characteristic echo of sturdy mineral content. Protected from wind in a depression of the cliffs and girdled by trees, the vineyard forms an open amphitheatre facing south. Uhlen Blaufüsser Lay has blue, solid slate that gives the wine a very piquant, mineral note.
Another very floral and fragrant bouquet here of dried honeysuckle, apricot dessert and candied papaya. Rich and supple, but vertical and pure, this is a full-bodied Riesling with lots of density and a pastry-like texture. Drink now. 95 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com September 2019
Uhlen wines tend to develop concentrated fruitiness with a characteristic echo of sturdy mineral content. Protected from wind in a depression of the cliffs and girdled by trees, the vineyard forms an open amphitheatre facing south. Uhlen Roth Lay measures only 4 hectares. The soil is quartzy, dark-red slate, streaked with a light red ochre layer.
Smoky and mysterious in the nose, this is the still point in the centre of the storm. Wonderful harmony on the substantial yet graceful palate, then an exciting touch of “bitterness” climbs out of the depths at the very long, austerely mineral finish. A hint of butterscotch develops. Bottled after almost two years in cask on the lees. Drink or hold.95 points. Nick Stock, jamessuckling.com
Tasted as a sample ready to be bottled, the 2017 Uhlen R Terroir Roth Lay VDP Grosse Lage is fascinatingly wild and intense on the opening, with notes of iron, herbs and crushed stones. On the palate, this is a silky, crystalline, precise, intense and concentrated Roth Lay with a long, tight, intense, complex and very persistent dry finish. Highly promising. A mouth-filling yet precise and salty Roth Lay with warm, lush fruit and a coolish crystalline and flinty soul. This was filtered in early March and was set to be bottled at the end of March, about a week after my tasting on 20 March 2019.95-97 points. Stephan Reinhardt, Wine Advocate