WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

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WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Anders Källberg » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:13 pm

2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Weingut Immich-Batterieberg
One of the rising stars in the Mosel. The name of the weingut comes from the history of how one of their vineyards, the Batterieberg, was created, or shaped, rather, by blasting.
The nose is rather restrained but unmistakeably Riesling with roses, ripe peaches and a touch of grape fruit zest. A hint of petrol and some sea shore can be also found.
The taste is bone dry and tough, positively oozing with minerals. It is so tough and stony that it reminds me of the experiment Randall Grahm once made by adding crushed stone to his wines to increase their minerality. A bit like chewing seashells. The result is a tough, dry and bitter wine with great lenght. Definitely not charming, but with lots of character. Not a wine for the lover of luscious fruit, but more for the mineral lover. The restrained fruit is a bit surprising since much of the Mosel Rieslings from 2009 are rather driven by a ripe, sweet, voluptuous fruit.

Cheers, Anders
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Re: 2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling WG Immich-Batterieberg

Postby David M. Bueker » Fri Jul 29, 2011 4:18 pm

Anders Källberg wrote:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Weingut Immich-Batterieberg
One of the rising stars in the Mosel.


More like a phoenix, potentially rising from the ashes of a previosuly destroyed reputaiton.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:19 pm

Anders Källberg wrote:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Weingut Immich-Batterieberg
One of the rising stars in the Mosel. The name of the weingut comes from the history of how one of their vineyards, the Batterieberg, was created, or shaped, rather, by blasting.
The nose is rather restrained but unmistakeably Riesling with roses, ripe peaches and a touch of grape fruit zest. A hint of petrol and some sea shore can be also found.
The taste is bone dry and tough, positively oozing with minerals. It is so tough and stony that it reminds me of the experiment Randall Grahm once made by adding crushed stone to his wines to increase their minerality. A bit like chewing seashells. The result is a tough, dry and bitter wine with great lenght. Definitely not charming, but with lots of character. Not a wine for the lover of luscious fruit, but more for the mineral lover. The restrained fruit is a bit surprising since much of the Mosel Rieslings from 2009 are rather driven by a ripe, sweet, voluptuous fruit.

Cheers, Anders


Anders: In the first year or so, Immich-Batterieberg's 2009 Steffensberg still had a little touch of oak from small (used) Burgundian barrels. It's come a long way. Their 2009, 2010, and 2011 collections have been quite impressive. David Schildknecht already feels that Immich-Batterieberg is a star once again.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Andrew Bair » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:28 pm

Hi Anders -

Thank you for the interesting note. I've definitely liked what I have been able to try so far from Immich-Batterieberg in 2009 and 2010, but have not found the Steffensberg yet in any vintage.

David - I'll agree with Anders and Lars here - this estate is once again a star in my humble opinion. Perhaps you are merely exercising restraint and waiting for a few more superb vintages to put Immich-Batterieberg at this level, which would be understandable.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:02 am

Andrew Bair wrote:Hi Anders -

Thank you for the interesting note. I've definitely liked what I have been able to try so far from Immich-Batterieberg in 2009 and 2010, but have not found the Steffensberg yet in any vintage.

David - I'll agree with Anders and Lars here - this estate is once again a star in my humble opinion. Perhaps you are merely exercising restraint and waiting for a few more superb vintages to put Immich-Batterieberg at this level, which would be understandable.


Andrew: The former Mosel Wine Merchant didn't import 2009 or 2010 Steffensberg, although both wines are very good. I doubt Louis/Dressner will import the 2011 either. Moreover, Immich-Batterieberg has added Zeppwingert to go along with Ellergrub and Batterieberg. After the miniscule 2010 vintage, Escheburg is back, as well, but it's not a single-vineyard wine. It's an old-vine bottling from different sectors.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Tim York » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:01 pm

Anders, I notice that you don't quote any prädikat category or sweetness/dryness descriptor like "trocken", which based on your TN would be accurate for this wine . Is this a VDP wine, so that one can assume that it is dry(ish)?

Each time I think that I'm up to date in my understanding of German labelling, there seems to be a new twist which leaves me again confused.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:15 pm

Tim York wrote:Anders, I notice that you don't quote any prädikat category or sweetness/dryness descriptor like "trocken", which based on your TN would be accurate for this wine . Is this a VDP wine, so that one can assume that it is dry(ish)?

Each time I think that I'm up to date in my understanding of German labelling, there seems to be a new twist which leaves me again confused.


Tim: Immich-Batterieberg is not a member of the VDP. Steffensberg has neither a Prädikat nor a taste profile. It's a dry Riesling, but Gernot Kollmann prefers to avoid the word "trocken." The main reason is that in some vintages, certain wines might spontaneously ferment only to 15 g/l RS, for example.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:32 pm

Andrew - correct. I am just exercising restraint. I've heard so any tales of estates coming back to their former glory (how many times has that been said of Schloss Schonborn in the last 15 years - is this time the real time?) that I take it all with a grain of salt.

Not to mention, vintages have been so great lately that the rising tide flaots all boats. Also, I am not so much of an endorser of the trend to dry/feinherb in the Mosel. I buy some of the wines (including Immich), but really do find that the style is better done in the Nahe/Rheinhessen/Rheingau - at least to my palate.

So let's just say that I remain to be convinced.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:11 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Andrew - correct. I am just exercising restraint. I've heard so any tales of estates coming back to their former glory (how many times has that been said of Schloss Schonborn in the last 15 years - is this time the real time?) that I take it all with a grain of salt.

Not to mention, vintages have been so great lately that the rising tide flaots all boats. Also, I am not so much of an endorser of the trend to dry/feinherb in the Mosel. I buy some of the wines (including Immich), but really do find that the style is better done in the Nahe/Rheinhessen/Rheingau - at least to my palate.

So let's just say that I remain to be convinced.


David: The term "feinherb" comes from the Mosel, namely von Kesselstatt, which started using it for their off-dry Rieslings beginning with the 1998 vintage. For some producers, it might be a trend, just like sweet Mosel wines in the 1960s and 1970s. Immich-Batterieberg, however, has a very long history of producing dry Mosel Riesling and the current winemaker is outclassing well-known estates in this style of wine. As for the other regions, I think many knowlegeable tasters would put Immich-Batterieberg's recent vintages among the best in Germany, including those from the Nahe and Rheinhessen. And I don't know of any producer in Rheingau making better wines.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:25 pm

Lars - I know the history of the word feinherb. I know you like tto be a completist, but I don't have time to write the whole history of every activity.

As for "knowlegeable tasters", I have been at this for nearly 20 years, with deep immersion in German wines for 17. I started drinking dry wines from around Germany with the 1996 vintage.

I remain unconvinced in terms of track record.

As for the Rheingau, you may quibble over style (knowing you, I am sure you will - you have a business interest and prior motivation to trumpet Mosel wine over all others), but I prefer Leitz to just about anything dry/off-dry coming out of the Mosel.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:17 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Lars - I know the history of the word feinherb. I know you like tto be a completist, but I don't have time to write the whole history of every activity.

As for "knowlegeable tasters", I have been at this for nearly 20 years, with deep immersion in German wines for 17. I started drinking dry wines from around Germany with the 1996 vintage.

I remain unconvinced in terms of track record.

As for the Rheingau, you may quibble over style (knowing you, I am sure you will - you have a business interest and prior motivation to trumpet Mosel wine over all others), but I prefer Leitz to just about anything dry/off-dry coming out of the Mosel.


David: I'm curious. Where did you know the history of the word feinherb? I've yet to meet someone, besides the source, who knew that.

I'm not belittling your interest or knowledge. On the contrary, you write good posts, even if, at times, you've made some misinformed comments and seem rather defensive and biased in your opinions.

I've a business interest. Are you talking about my Mosel wine site? If you're wondering, I don't mind charging members for an online guide to the Mosel. It costs me a lot of my time, effort, and money. As with a wine grower, why should my work be free? Where do I "trumpet Mosel wine over all others"? Even when I started the former Mosel Wine Merchant, I never said or wrote something to that effect. Anyway, no hard feelings.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:29 pm

Lars,

A dear friend of mine is very friendly with Annegret reh Gartner (sorry about my spelling). The story has already been relayed to me.

Goodbye.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:57 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Lars,

A dear friend of mine is very friendly with Annegret reh Gartner (sorry about my spelling). The story has already been relayed to me.

Goodbye.


Cool. Annegret Reh-Gartner had told me the story. I knew it was a von Kesselstatt term, but didn't know all the legal issues back then.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:05 pm

Nik Weiss and I discussed feinherb (though not the backstory) at some length in 2003. Daniel Vollenweider as well.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Wed Oct 17, 2012 7:14 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:Nik Weiss and I discussed feinherb (though not the backstory) at some length in 2003. Daniel Vollenweider as well.


Great. Yeah, that was your big trip in '03. Daniel seems to be focusing more on either fruity to nobly sweet or, more recently, dry Rieslings.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Tim York » Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:38 am

Lars Carlberg wrote:
Tim York wrote:Anders, I notice that you don't quote any prädikat category or sweetness/dryness descriptor like "trocken", which based on your TN would be accurate for this wine . Is this a VDP wine, so that one can assume that it is dry(ish)?

Each time I think that I'm up to date in my understanding of German labelling, there seems to be a new twist which leaves me again confused.


Tim: Immich-Batterieberg is not a member of the VDP. Steffensberg has neither a Prädikat nor a taste profile. It's a dry Riesling, but Gernot Kollmann prefers to avoid the word "trocken." The main reason is that in some vintages, certain wines might spontaneously ferment only to 15 g/l RS, for example.


Why the :evil: doesn't he use "trocken" when it meets the rules for that term and "halbtrocken" when he has 15g/l RS? It would help the ignorant like me. Lack of dryness/sweetness information is a permanent subject for rant for me and, when in doubt, I don't buy and I suspect that there are many others who follow the same policy.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:51 am

Tim York wrote:
Lars Carlberg wrote:
Tim York wrote:Anders, I notice that you don't quote any prädikat category or sweetness/dryness descriptor like "trocken", which based on your TN would be accurate for this wine . Is this a VDP wine, so that one can assume that it is dry(ish)?

Each time I think that I'm up to date in my understanding of German labelling, there seems to be a new twist which leaves me again confused.


Tim: Immich-Batterieberg is not a member of the VDP. Steffensberg has neither a Prädikat nor a taste profile. It's a dry Riesling, but Gernot Kollmann prefers to avoid the word "trocken." The main reason is that in some vintages, certain wines might spontaneously ferment only to 15 g/l RS, for example.


Why the :evil: doesn't he use "trocken" when it meets the rules for that term and "halbtrocken" when he has 15g/l RS? It would help the ignorant like me. Lack of dryness/sweetness information is a permanent subject for rant for me and, when in doubt, I don't buy and I suspect that there are many others who follow the same policy.


Tim -- It's a good point. If you're in a restaurant and order a panfried fish with no sauce, you'd like to know if the wine you're ordering is dry or not. Of course, the waiter or sommelier should know this. Gernot Kollmann at Immich-Batterieberg is well aware of this problem. He complains about it himself, but doesn't want to follow the 1971 Prädikat levels and taste profiles. The terms can be straitjackets and are only ranges with arbitrary cut-off points. For some producers, it works well. Moreover, halbtrocken is totally out among the best Mosel producers and feinherb is undefined. What makes 9 g/l RS "dry." It depends on the wine. A wine with 15 g/l RS can taste dry, whereas one with 8 g/l RS can seem off-dry. Likewise, there can be a difference between dryness within the so-called "trocken" range. What makes 21 g/l RS less "half-dry" than 18 g/l RS? The line has to be drawn somewhere, but it often forces winemakers to get a wine under a certain mark. Before 1971, trocken and halbtrocken didn't even exist. Depending on the producer, most Naturwein, especially pre-sterile filter, were fermented dry to off-dry.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Tim York » Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:49 am

Lars, there is a body called the International Riesling Foundation which has developed a graphic scale http://drinkriesling.com/tastescale to help to consumer to know how dry/sweet a wine is before ordering. Something like this is urgently needed; it attempts to address the points you are making about subjective elements in perceptions of sweetness. Unfortunately "International" seems to exclude European producers who have mostly snobbed this initiative.

In Alsace where the problem is especially acute, some producers have recognised the need to help the consumer but there seems to be no consensus on the method and most producers continue to prefer vagueness in the same way as Gernot Kollmann. The best known of these systems is Zind-Humbrecht's "indice" number, which has the merit of giving weight to subjective impressions and of recognising two categories of "sec" within the < 9g/RS definition. That said, I have had bottles of "Indice 1" which do not strike me as bone dry but that may be due to Riesling's aromatics which sometimes give a perception of sweetness not supported by analysis.

To revert to the IRF's scale, is there any good reason other than NIH (=not invented here) for not adopting it?
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:14 am

Tim York wrote:Lars, there is a body called the International Riesling Foundation which has developed a graphic scale http://drinkriesling.com/tastescale to help to consumer to know how dry/sweet a wine is before ordering. Something like this is urgently needed; it attempts to address the points you are making about subjective elements in perceptions of sweetness. Unfortunately "International" seems to exclude European producers who have mostly snobbed this initiative.

In Alsace where the problem is especially acute, some producers have recognised the need to help the consumer but there seems to be no consensus on the method and most producers continue to prefer vagueness in the same way as Gernot Kollmann. The best known of these systems is Zind-Humbrecht's "indice" number, which has the merit of giving weight to subjective impressions and of recognising two categories of "sec" within the < 9g/RS definition. That said, I have had bottles of "Indice 1" which do not strike me as bone dry but that may be due to Riesling's aromatics which sometimes give a perception of sweetness not supported by analysis.

To revert to the IRF's scale, is there any good reason other than NIH (=not invented here) for not adopting it?


Tim, I'm familiar with IRF's scale. In fact, Maximin Grünhaus has started to use a similar scale on their back labels. Alsace is a good example of this problem. I've talked with Olivier Zind-Humbrecht about it on my visit to his estate a few years ago. By the way, Gernot is not against such a scale.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Tim York » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:53 am

Lars Carlberg wrote: In fact, Maximin Grünhaus has started to use a similar scale on their back labels.


Congratulations to Dr. von Schubert. Any help is better than none but real progress would only occur if all producers used the same method.

I find it hard to understand many producers' reluctance to help unless they fear that any wine not labelled "dry", "trocken", "sec" will suffer reduced sales. But that would imply a willingness to con consumers and I can't believe that....... :wink:

Incidentally Grünhaus Abstberg produced one of the very few convincing bone dry Rieslings which I have had from the MSR region.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Lars Carlberg » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:45 am

Tim York wrote:
Lars Carlberg wrote: In fact, Maximin Grünhaus has started to use a similar scale on their back labels.


Congratulations to Dr. von Schubert. Any help is better than none but real progress would only occur if all producers used the same method.

I find it hard to understand many producers' reluctance to help unless they fear that any wine not labelled "dry", "trocken", "sec" will suffer reduced sales. But that would imply a willingness to con consumers and I can't believe that....... :wink:

Incidentally Grünhaus Abstberg produced one of the very few convincing bone dry Rieslings which I have had from the MSR region.


Tim: True. But the same could be said of the VDP's vineyard classification, GG, and so on. In addition, it's another step that has to be made by putting a scale on their (back) labels.

I think it's good that some growers, especially on the Mosel, are confident enough to avoid putting "dry" on the label, even if the wine is dry. It makes people taste first, before dismissing a wine.

Are you referring to 2011 Abtsberg Riesling trocken or Abtsberg Alte Reben trocken? Both are good as well as the entry-level Maximiner Grünhäuser Riesling trocken. Yet there are many other delicious 2011 dry Mosel Rieslings.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:57 am

Lars Carlberg wrote:I think it's good that some growers, especially on the Mosel, are confident enough to avoid putting "dry" on the label, even if the wine is dry. It makes people taste first, before dismissing a wine.


Lars,

that may work for people such as you or perhaps me who buy lots and lots of the wines, and so purchasing "test" bottles to see what a wine is like works fine. For the general consumer, who buys a few bottles of Mosel Riesling (or any Riesling for that matter - they make some good Riesling in other parts of Germany, or so I am told by knowledgable tasters), the more information the better. Asking them to buy test bottles where a producer could easily give them information about which ones to buy to suit their perferences, especially for a niche category (and yes, dry German Riesling is a niche category outside of Germany) is frankly not a smart marketing strategy, no matter how you might feel about it. Of course German Riesling labeling has never, ever been accused of good marketing, so I suppose it's not really surprising that people are still confused about what's actually in the bottle.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Tim York » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:06 am

Lars Carlberg wrote:I think it's good that some growers, especially on the Mosel, are confident enough to avoid putting "dry" on the label, even if the wine is dry. It makes people taste first, before dismissing a wine.



Lars, I don't understand this point :? . The most likely reaction of many people when there is no dryness/sweetness indication is not to bother to taste at all. Even the lax "trocken" definition is better than nothing.

The Abstberg which I had in mind was Alte Reben Spätlese trocken 2008, which name incidentally provides good information to the consumer.
Last edited by Tim York on Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: WTN:2009 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling Immich-Batterieberg

Postby Salil » Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:14 am

Lars Carlberg wrote:I think it's good that some growers, especially on the Mosel, are confident enough to avoid putting "dry" on the label, even if the wine is dry. It makes people taste first, before dismissing a wine.

And one wonders why German Rieslings still are so often misunderstood or ignored by most non-geeky wine consumers. :roll:
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