93 Points, James Suckling
The dynamic husband-wife team of H. O. Spanier and CarolinSpanier-Gillot is the driving force behind the BattenfeldSpanier Estate. Their “secret sauce” is hidden deep beneath the soil of this outstanding winery located in Rheinhessen, namely layers of lime that add precise, vibrant minerality across the spectrum of their varietals: Riesling, Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), and Silvaner. Cellarmaster H. O. has combined the perfectionism developed during an early career in sport with the trust in nature that goes hand-in-hand with the finest wine-making. When applied to organic and bio-dynamic vineyard and winery principles this combination of skill and intuition yields wines crafted almost single-handedly by a rich and unique terroir. The result is the estate’s incomparable Silver-label Riesling and vibrant Spätburgunder and Silvaner.
The Erste Lage classification denotes world-class vineyards of especially notable characteristics: Hohen-Sülzen lies along the Eisbachtal. This river flows from the Donnersberg massif and exerts a significant climatic influence on the valley. The fluctuations between daytime and night-time temperature are more pronounced in Hohen-Sülzen than in other districts. This gives the wines their freshness, elegance, and tension despite the rich ripeness of the grapes.
The vines grow on pure limestone with a generous deposit of loess and are characterized by their ripe fruit, fine spice, and nuanced acidity. The wine is selectively hand-harvested, wild fermented, and raised in Stück and Doppelstück barrels. Shades of pale yellow, with green hues and a silver rim show in the glass. Yellow stone fruit and spice weave an aromatic web around the nose of this Hohen-Sülzen Riesling. Peach, dried apricot, and Mirabelle plum shine, followed by dried herbs, light tobacco, laurel, and the delicate spice of mace and white pepper. A linear palate blends ripe, juicy fruit with savory spice and deep, smoky minerality. This is an unforgettable wine with delicate fruit, saline finish, and indisputable origin. Given its precise, cool, and refreshing nature, it offers countless options for pairing with fish dishes, sushi, or crisp mixed vegetables from the wok.
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