Thörle Saulheimer Kalkstein Riesling, Rheinhessen
Kalkstein means ‘limestone’ and this Riesling is sourced from limestone-rich vineyards planted between the mid-1950s and the mid-1980s around the Thörle home village of Saulheim. The grapes are hand-picked and crushed, then left for 24 hours on their skins to extract maximum flavour. Components are fermented spontaneously with natural yeast -- 60% in stainless steel tanks (750 to 2000 litres) and 40% in 600-1200 litre oak vats up to 50 years old. The wine is bottled after six months maturation on fine lees.
The wine is firm and dry and noted for its power, length and minerality. Typically, the wine is balanced and well-structured with a fine-edged, apricot-scented aroma followed by a long mineral-accented palate. Drink young or cellar for up to 10 years.
The Thörle family has been making wine at Saulheim in Germany's Rheinhessen region since the 16th century. Christoph Thörle and his brother Johannes have been running the estate since 2006. The vineyards are managed organically.
On the smoky nose this is just beginning to blossom, but on the palate this already has a stunning interplay of orange and nectarine fruit with complex, chalky minerality and super-refreshing acidity. Very long, super-clean finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold.
94 points, JamesSuckling.com (October 2021)