Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Sunday, 21 December 2014

The Rheingau: memories of July on 2014's shortest day

 Views of the Rüdesheim vineyards from the ferry across the Rhine.

Back in early July a little after the longest day of 2014 I spent several hours visiting Weingut Josef Leitz at Rüdesheim on the Rhine.

We were shown round by Tobias Fiebrandt, the general manager and who is responsible for exports to UK and Canada.

Johannes Leitz took over in 1985 from his mother when the family had 2.8 hectares. Apparently his
ambition then was to expand up to around eight or nine hectares. He has, however, rather overshot this target as the domaine now has 43 hectares with 98% planted with Riesling small amount of Pinot Noir. 

The Rhine runs for 30 kilometres east-west, so south facing slopes. The Upper Rhine has more loamy soils, here at Rüdesheim more quartz and slate. Biggest growth in the Leitz vineyards has been surface in Upper Rheingau. The Leitz estate has 350 different parcels. 
2013 Eins-Zwei-Dry Rheingau Riesling Trocken Upper Rheingau
Ripe texture lemon and lime, grip in finish. Attractive easy drinking. 7 gms residual sugar about 7gms acidity.

2013 Rudesheimer Magic Mountain Riesling Trocken
12% 7.2 rs, 6.9 acidity.
Mid-yellow, more volume good texture, good balance. Wine from steep slopes – second wine of the best sites. Deeply rooted vines.

Birthdate of Magic Mountain was 2003. 85% is sold in Germany.

2013 Rudesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling Trocken Katerloch
(prone to powdery mildew). Vines on quartz. Mid-yellow, quite peachy, clean, conc, good austere finish. (Cask sample)

Top 2013s need to time develop similar with 2012.

Leitz wines that are vinified and matured in wood are closed with a cork, while those made in stainless steel.

2013 Rudesheimer Berg Rottland, Riesling Trocken,Hinterhaus

From a site close to river. Botrytis pressure, red slate, quartz.
Tight, good potential, bigger presence, steely, stony character. Marked acidity in finish.

2013 Rudesheimer Berg Schlossberg, Riesling Trocken Ehrenfels Quartz

My/lg, silky concentration, lemon and lime, potential needs time as austere acidity in finish.


  Tobias, the general manager at Leitz


 Not one of the Leitz vineyards which are organic – 
looks as though it might have been weedkillered –  if so it's an odd decision 
to weedkiller on steep slopes due to the risk of increased erosion 
(above and below)

 Steep slopes and the Rhine

 2014 ripening grapes

 Leitz Vineyards (above and below)

Leitz Vineyards above the fortress by the Rhine 

 Straight down to the Rhine

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