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That quality is created in the vineyard is a truism, often attempted and mostly true - but not always and exclusively. 2010 was a vintage that also had to be mastered in the cellar. So it's no wonder that Rheinhessen in particular was able to cope with the conditions perfectly. In hardly any other German wine-growing region is the proportion of top estates in which young, highly trained winemakers are in charge as high as here.

Vineyards near Nierstein (Photo: DWI)

The list of first-class 2010 Rieslings from Rheinhessen is long. In the Wonnegau, where Philipp Wittmann and Klaus Peter Keller have always fought out the top places among themselves in recent years, another relatively young winemaker, Hans Oliver Spanier (Weingut Battenfeld-Spanier), established himself at the absolute top in 2010 at the latest. The hitherto little-known sites of Hohen-Sülzener Kirchenstück, Nieder-Flörsheimer Frauenberg and Mölsheimer Zellerweg am Schwarzen Herrgott will also have to be remembered: Battenfeld-Spanier's Grosse Gewächse from these sites are all among the best that can be found in Germany this year. The immensely juicy and densely woven Kirchenstück is certainly the greatest wine the estate has produced so far and, together with the Rieslings from Brunnenhäuschen and Morstein by Wittmann, is at the top of the dry Rhine-Hessian Rieslings. The two Kirchspiele from Wittmann and Keller were hardly less impressive. Moreover, both wines do not seem to have reached the end of their potential. In the end, they could turn out to be the best Rieslings produced in Kirchspiel so far.

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