Gimmeldingen’s Gift: ’18s From A. Christmann

  1. Rieslings from Christmann are like balm. Though they are never loud, there is something subtle and true about them that gets under your skin.
    Anne Krebiehl MW, The Wines of Germany

  1. 2018 A. Christmann Riesling RRP $39
    The Pfalz Riesling is produced from the first few picks of grapes in our classified sites. These are always harvested at the perfect degree of ripeness limiting the amount of fruit acid to a moderate level. The wine unites the minerality, finesse and elegant fruit of the sandstone soils in Gimmeldingen, Deidesheim and Ruppertsberg. – Steffen Christmann

    A gently flinty nose here with a wealth of ripe-lemon and pithy-lime aromas. This has a very succulent palate that carves a deep channel of yellow-citrus flavor. Taut finish. Drink or hold. Screw cap. 93 points. Nick Stock, December 2019

    Very lively estate Riesling with a delightful combination of floral and fruity aromas. Fresh, light and charming. 16.5/20 Michael Schmidt, April 2019

    2017 A. Christmann Gimmeldingen Riesling RRP $53
    The Gimmeldingen Riesling VDP Ortswein is produced from grapes from two young vineyards in Gimmeldingen: the Kapelleberg and Biengarten sites, which are both classified as VDP Erste Lage (premier cru). The grapes used for the village Riesling are always at their optimal ripeness. The red sandstone gives the wine its delicate notes, combined with a greater complexity which comes from the influence of the clay and limestone. The remarkable variation between day and night temperatures gives the wine a piquant acidity and minerality. The wine drinks very well when young and has great aging potential. – Steffen Christmann

Concentration and drive are calling cards of this wine, as are edgy texture, green apple and floral scents, green apple and fennel flavours with general ‘minerality’ in the mix. Zingy, zippy, long and shapely, this feels like high quality wine from the get-go. 94 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front April 2019

2018 A. Christmann Reiterpfad-Hofstück Riesling Grosses Gewächs RRP $141
The Reiterpfad site comprises of 60 hectares of red sandstone, formed over millennia from the   Haardt hills. The large terraces slope gently towards the east-southeast. The best two portions of the land are to be found in the eastern section, along the wine route. As of 2014 only these two sections, the “Hofstück” and the “Achtmorgenweg” retain the “VDP Grosse Lage” classification. The rest of the Reiterpfad site has been revised to VDP Erste Lage status.
The Grand Cru harvest of the Reiterpfad-Hofstück site takes place after the early harvest. During one or two rounds of picking the grapes are selected according to strict criteria, taking only healthy grapes at the peak of ripeness. The yields are generally around 40hl/ha so that the grapes achieve optimal taste.
The whole grapes are carefully transported to the pressing room (Kelterhaus) where they are crushed. After a short period of maceration lasting between 3 and 6 hours, the grapes are slowly and carefully pressed. The must is left to settle overnight and is then fermented using yeast produced by our winery. Until it is ready to be bottled, the unfined and untreated wine is left to mature on the lees and fine lees in both stainless steel vats and large, traditional wooden barrels.

Bitter lemons and orange pith, as well as barely ripe nectarines and loquat. Medium-to full-bodied with raw power to the acidity and crystalline purity to the citrus fruit. Long and mineral on the finish. Drink now or hold. 95 points. Nick Stock, December 2019

Gentle like all Christmann’s Grosse Gewächse, particularly on the nose, but nevertheless enticing with subtle herbal and fruity aromas. The palate combines the taste of fresh pear with fine nuances of spice and dried herbs. A little more luscious than in other vintages, but still putting subtlety and elegance first. 18/20
Michael Schmidt, August 2019

2017 A. Christmann Reiterpfad-Hofstück Riesling Grosses Gewächs RRP $141

A fabulous GG to drink now, thanks to an exotic-fruit character that’s totally ripe yet so delicate, the succulence not a jot too much. Great balance through the long, very polished finish. From biodynamically grown grapes. Respekt certified. Drink or hold. 95 points. Stuart Pigott, September 2018

2018 A. Christmann Idig Riesling Grosses Gewächs RRP $165

Idig was more or less forgotten until the early 1990s, when the Christmann family of Gimmeldingen purchased choice parcels of the original site and “put Idig on the map”, with recognition and awards by leading German and international wine critics for its top Rieslings. Idig is the cornerstone of the A. Christmann estate and one of the most highly-prized sites in the Pflaz. It’s situated on top of solid limestone, deposited in the tertiary age from limestone deposits created during the break-up of the Upper Rhine Plain. The top layers of the site are made up of “terra fusca”, a combination of chalk, clay and red sandstone eroded from the Haardt hills over millennia and deposited on the slopes of Mittelhaardt. In the top layers of the soil there is a large amount of limestone but also a substantial amount of basalt. The GG grapes are selected according to strict criteria over one or two rounds of picking, taking only healthy fruit at the peak of ripeness, with yields generally around 40hl/ha.

This is a remarkably mineral and taut style with dried citrus, quartz, ivory and brightly squeezed citrus. Edgy and compact on the palate with subtle, caressing phenolics and vibrant, bright acidity. Long and very citrusy on the finish. Drink now or hold. 96 points. Nick Stock, December 2019

One could be tempted to call Steffen Christmann’s Idig the minimalist among Riesling Grosse Gewächse. Whereas others may revel in opulence, particularly in 2018, the Idig excels in noble restraint. But it is exactly this understatement of individual components, whether they be herbal, mineral or fruity, which allows the taster to focus on balance and elegance as the key elements of one of the most sophisticated of Germany’s Grosse Gewächse. The thinking-person’s Riesling. 18.5/20 Michael Schmidt, August 2019

2013 A. Christmann Idig Grosses Gewächs Riesling MAGNUM RRP $298
Some toasty notes, drizzle of honey, punch of ripe green apple. It’s a beautiful bouquet, evocative of complex, layered Riesling. Hedonistic flavours of green apple, honey, brioche, but with crackling acidity, lively chalky fringes, a focus, but also generosity and drive. Slate and lime characters. Driven and delicious. 97 points. Mike Bennie, The Wine Front March 2015