- Tasting Notes & Technical Details
Jochen Dreissigacker has 45 hectares of vineyards in the Rheinhessen, 55% of which are Riesling. All of his wines are certified organic and he describes his transformation to organic viticulture as “the artisan path to purity”. From 2019, Jochen also started following biodynamic principles in order to create the optimal conditions for the grapes to thrive – an approach that he describes as “a long-term investment in nature and wines”. He reduced the yields in the vineyard by creating a much healthier soil, which in turn was lower in vigour. “The path to any truly great wine is to limit the amount of grapes that are allowed to ripen,” says Jochen.
As expected of an organic estate, his approach in the cellar is as natural as possible, using only indigenous yeasts to ferment the must and harvesting only fully ripe grapes. All his wines, with the exception of the Auslese, are fermented to full dryness. The felicitous position of his vineyards, low yields and Jochen’s determination to pick at optimum ripeness ensures full flavour and eliminates any need for residual sugar to balance unripe flavours.
The Organic Riesling is ripe, clean, scented and zesty, offering outstanding value. The ‘Bechtheimer’ Riesling, a selection from his vineyards within the village of Bechtheim, is fuller, richer and more complex, but similarly bone dry with a fantastic ageing potential. The fruit for the ‘Geyersberg’ Riesling is from his best vineyard and shows greater intensity than the Bechtheimer.
The ‘Wunderwerk’ Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) is aged for three years in small oak barrels, one third of which are new. It is scented, supple and lively: a wonderfully pure Pinot Noir from this outstanding producer.
Jochen also owns vineyards in neighbouring Westhofen village. Here the grapes take more time to ripen due to the cooler climate and produce stunningly pure and mineral Rieslings. `Westhofener Aulerde` Auslese combines the minerality of Westhofen vineyards with incredible richness and complexity from the botrytis-affected Riesling berries. Aromas of wild lavender, spice and honey interblend effortlessly in this wonderfully fresh sweet wine which displays a delicate 8.5% abv.
Jochen’s latest project, ‘Vintages’, reinforces his reputation for innovation. Inspired by the meticulous work of the cellar masters in Champagne, Jochen is determined to showcase that still wines can gain depth and complexity from the skilful blending of different, but complementary, vintages.
`Vintages` Riesling is a pure dry wine blending the uniqueness of four harvests: the fine ripe aromas from 2017, the balance from 2018, the elegance from 2019 and the mineral freshness from 2020.
`Vintages` red is a harmonious ensemble of St. Laurent and Pinot Noir from 2018 and 2017. Fermented separately before blending and ageing in barriques for three years, this multi-vintage wine has a fruit-driven bouquet and a silky palate.
The fruit for the `Vintages` Riesling is sourced from a selection of Jochen’s vineyards within the village of Bechtheim. The best sites include Hasensprung, Geyersberg and the neigbouring Rosengarten. These vineyards see plenty of sunshine all year round, resulting in richer wines, full of character. Soil is made up of loess and marl. Jochen's approach in the vineyard is simple: to intervene as little as possible. Low yields and careful selection ensures excellent fruit.
Jochen’s latest project, ‘Vintages’, reinforces his reputation for innovation. Inspired by the meticulous work of the cellar masters in Champagne, Jochen is determined to showcase that still wines can gain depth and complexity from the skilful blending of different, but complementary, vintages. `Vintages` Riesling is a pure dry wine blending the uniqueness of five harvests: the fine ripe aromas from 2017, the balance from 2018, the elegance from 2019, the mineral freshness from 2020 and the fruitiness form 2021. The organic Riesling grapes were harvested by hand, destemmed and macerated on skins for 8 hours. The juice was fermented with indigenous yeasts in 90% stainless steel tanks and 10% in `Halbstückfass`, 600 litre oak barrels. Maturation followed in the same vessels before the final blending and bottling in August 2022.
This is a pure dry Riesling with invigorating freshness boasting citrus notes, green apple, peach, fresh grass and meadow flowers. The palate is juicy and multi-layered, with good substance and a long, intense finish.