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That quality is created in the vineyard is a truism, often tried 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 especially in Rheinhessen, the vintners were able to cope with the conditions perfectly. There is hardly any other German growing region where the percentage of top estates, where young, highly trained winemakers are in charge, is as high as here.

Vineyards near Nierstein (Photo: DWI)

The list of first-class 2010 Rieslings from Rheinhessen is long. In the Wonnegau region, where Philipp Wittmann and Klaus Peter Keller always fought out the top positions among themselves in the past years, Hans Oliver Spanier (Battenfeld-Spanier winery), another relatively young vintner, has established himself at the absolute top in 2010 at the latest. The so far little-known vineyards 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, it 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 be at the end of their potential yet. In the end, they could turn out to be the best Rieslings that have been produced in the Kirchspiel so far.