Located in Hattenheim im Rheingau, the Balthasar Ress winery is in business since 1870 and has been passed from generation to generation since then. It now cultivates 46 hectares of vines, 90% of which are planted with Riesling, a bit above the Rheingau average (80% of the production being riesling). The rest of the production is divided between Spätburgunder (Pinot noir) as well as some Weissburgunder (Pinot blanc).
We finally opened it last week and it proved to be very impressive. Nobody would have guessed that this wine was 10 years old. The tropical fruit notes that we often see in young riesling were still there, underlined by a suprisingly lively acidity and a bright pale yellow riesling. It seemed like a wine fresh out of the winery. As the night went on, I (somehow!) managed to restrain myself from drinking it all in one gulp in order to see how it evolved. The result was lovely: the petrol notes started to come up and pushed the wine to another level of complexity, as it did not take over the fruit. Everything was really well balanced and formed a cohesive whole. It’s too bad that we only had a half-bottle though, as I would have liked to see it evolve even more.
I wish that this winery was available in Québec, as I was impressed by the quality of what we tasted. It will prompt me to find a way to discover a bit more about German wines, which I don’t know well. Ninety wines from Germany, ranging from 10$ to 211$, are available at the SAQ, which gives us a rather small playing field. Of these, would you have any suggestions for a novice-but-willing-to-learn-about-german-wine drinker?