(2006) Very pale. Pear and apple skin aromas, with a slight waxiness and plenty of fruit. The palate is flooded with sweet fruit, with delicate sweet-edged nectarine and peach, but still that white fruit cleanness and firmness at the core. Acidity is lovely, with plenty of verve, but the sweetness balances to give a soft, elegant finish.
(2006) Cask sample. Some yeasty ferment aromas. Ripeness and roundness is obvious, with a lovely floral note here and plenty of minerality coming through. The palate is flooded with a peachy ripeness of fruit, with a downy, softness and a riper pear fruit that is fleshy and mouthfilling (for a Riesling) before some beautiful dry, mineral acidity.
(2006) Cask sample. Again some yeasty banana notes, with a touch of sulphur too, all of which will resolve when bottled. Really ripe, slightly honeyed white fruit on the nose, with a weighty flood of broad-textured fruit: lots of intensity and fruit richness here, with slight clove and spice coming through. Gorgeous complexity and hints of exoticism, with delicious ripeness, sweetness and balancing acidity. 105 g/l RS and 9% acidity. Made from 100% Botrytised grapes, picked in January (so technically a 2006!)
(2006) Slightly yellowey, green tinged. Opulent richness and ripeness here, with exceptional Botrytis character coming through, and plenty of smoke and minerality and just a touch of yeasty character. The palate is crammed full of gently figgy, nectarine and mango fruit, with a delightful mouthfilling richness and plenty of crisp, clean acidity giving a long, gloriously focused finish.
(2006) The 2005 is still fermenting, so tasting the 2004. Dramatically dark, syrupy tawny colour. Incredibly thick, unctuous, honey and liquidised raisin and fig aromas. Laden with marmalade and hints of clove and spice. The palate is as thick as honey and as sweet, with formidable intensity of sweetness, but such complexity too, with nutty flavours, quince and ripe, bursting fig. The acidity is like a spine of glacial steel running through this, in an utterly compelling wine.
(2004) The 2002 vintage was a Wine of the Month on wine-pages, and St Gisbertus have turned in another little cracker from the warm 2003 in the Rheinhessen. Made mainly from Ortega and Optima, this has a very elegant botrytis nose with notes of orange and honey, barley sugar and deep-set apricot and fig. On the palate it is delightfully fresh, with plenty of fruit, a lovely shimmering sweetness, and fine but gentle citrus acidity to balance. This actually has decent length too, and is an inexpensive wine I'd be happy to sip with - or instead of - dessert.
(2003) A blend of Riesling and other varieties from organic vineyards in Rheinhessen, where legumes are planted between rows of vines to loosen the root structure and encourage the take up of Nitrogen. Pheremone traps and natural predators control pests. It has quite a nice nose, with lots of herbal notes and a touch of nettle over clean, bright fruit. Off-dry on the palate, with plenty of fruit and a very commercial style with lowish acidity.
(2003) Rheinhessen again, and a blend of Dornfelder and Portugieser gives a bright cherryish colour and a gentle, fresh, summer berry nose with little rose-hips nuances and a certain herbal edge. The palate is soft and creamy, with crisp red fruits and a soft, low acid finish.
(2003) The first of the "terroir series" wines, which is based around Kendermann's programme to match soil and micro-climate to vine and wine style. Roter Hang means "red slope", and the soil is indeed red slate, rich in iron. Lots of work goes on in the vineyard here, with green harvesting and three passes through the vineyard at harvest time. Each picking was fermented separately before blending. It has a sweet, ripe, concentrated floral and peach blossom nose, with a lemon-drop edge and incisive fruit quality. On the palate there's a real fruit sweetness that pushes through to the finish, with balanced, if softer acidity. Very easy to drink though with character.
(2003) Very pale straw/green. Quite subdued but gently floral nose, with a nice nutty apple quality and hints of juicy peach. On the palate it is off-dry, with light, grape and apple flavours, and hints of nectarine. Sufficient acid to balance, this is refreshing and quite crisp, with a soft yet persistant finish.