Login
Wine Buying Guides

What lies inside (and outside) the bottle

by Bettina Bäck

How do you measure the quality of a winery?

By the ratings of its top wines? Or by the quality of its entry-level wines? Whichever way you look at it, Gut Hermannsberg in Germany's Nahe has the right answer for both approaches. And, to prove it, the estate wines of the new vintage are equipped with a label that makes this focus visually unmistakable. The wines are characterised by wonderful depth and radiance. Pure pleasure for the palate as well as for the eye!

Old values & new design

The estate wines of Gut Hermannsberg receive the same meticulous craftsmanship and attention as its top wines. This is not surprising, given Gut Hermannsberg's magnificent portfolio of vineyards, which includes no less than seven Grosses Gewächs sites. Cultivation, vine care and processing are intensive and elaborate for all wines. The older, deeply rooted vines have a chance to become VDP.GROSSES GEWÄCHS. The grapes of younger vines are intended for the estate wines. All wines, from the Gutswein to the GG, receive a detailed selection in the wine press house and also maceration times. In the cellar, the wines are given plenty of time to develop naturally. It is not until April – typical for Gut Hermannsberg – that winemaker Karsten Peter bottles the estate wines.

The typical signature of the winery is also clearly noticeable in the entry-level wines. The highest Riesling quality meets accessibility here – a balancing act that Karsten Peter masters with aplomb every year. "Our estate wines represent the quality of the Rieslings and Pinot Blancs on the Nahe and develop their own unique style: elegance, aromas, coolness and a slightly lower alcohol content. They display and combine all the advantages that make the region so special," says managing director Achim Kirchner, describing the introduction to the great world of Riesling at Gut Hermannsberg.

With the 2022 vintage, the winery wants to focus more clearly on the essentials in its estate wines. This is easy to see in the new labels: with large-print puns, more space is given to the wine styles typical of the region. JUST stands for "Just Riesling", which simply means "only Riesling". A Riesling that is uncomplicated and yet invites pure drinking pleasure at a high quality level. FINE alludes to the region's and the winery's long tradition of Rieslings with a fine balance i.e. Rieslings with a fine heart. And WEISS is an elegant Pinot Blanc, the most important grape variety on the Nahe next to Riesling.

"With the new labels, we want to put more focus on our estate wines, because we are thrilled by the enormous quality and expression of these wines every year. Everyone talks about the Grosses Gewächse, but the "small" Gewächse [growth] can be really great," says managing director Jasper Reidel, explaining the relaunch.

JUST

Fresh and fruity yet elegant, JUST opens the doors to the Riesling world of Gut Hermannsberg. A Riesling that proudly presents its origin. Carried by exotic fruit aromas and juicy acidity: flavours of citrus, white peach and crisp apple. The salty minerality and the typical herbal spiciness lead to a pleasant drinking flow and stimulating freshness in the finish. An entry at a high level!

FINE

The finely balanced Riesling FINE has a long tradition in the former Royal Prussian Winegrowing Domaine and stands for an exciting interplay of sweetness and acidity. Few other wines express the strengths of the Nahe Riesling in a comparable way. Apple, pear and passion fruit harmonise with a juicy acidity and subtle hints of sweet mango. Pure Riesling enjoyment, with the typical style of Gut Hermannsberg!

WEISSburgunder

The Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) reflects the diversity of the volcanic soils. The aromatic complexity of this estate wine is already apparent on the nose. Its light, exotic aromas are complemented by crisp, yellow apple. It skilfully plays with fruit and acidity. The finish is long and slightly creamy, with clear notes of red apple. The Weissburgunder wonderfully conveys the typicality of the Nahe: elegant, cool and yet powerful.

  • The 2022 estate wines in the new design are available via the Gut Hermannsberg webshop for € 11.50

©

The 2022 vintage

The most recent vintage was not an easy one on the Nahe: after a somewhat early bud break and sufficient rainfall and sun in May/June, everything seemed to point to an optimal wine year at first. But then came an unusually hot summer with maximum temperatures of up to 43°C and no rain at all. These conditions demanded everything from the vines, although the deep-rooted old vines, which make up the lion's share of Gut Hermannsberg's seven Grosse Gewächs sites, were not plagued by drought stress.

This year, it was once again extremely important to defoliate the grape zone with particular restraint in order to protect the grapes from the sun and thus preserve as much freshness and elegance as possible. The team at Gut Hermannsberg once again put in a significant effort in terms of manual labour. "In the end, all the work could be tasted in every single berry and that's what counts," sums up winemaker and farm manager Karsten Peter.

The harvest lasted from 6 September to 11 October. In a long-term comparison, an unusually early start to the harvest, but one that has almost become a habit for winemaker Karsten Peter in recent years. The large temperature differences between sunny days and cool nights ensured harmonious aroma and acid development in the grapes. During the harvest, fantastic autumn weather alternated with longer periods of rain. The record-breaking efforts of the harvest team at Gut Hermannsberg nevertheless made it possible to harvest wonderfully ripe, golden-yellow grapes. Perfect timing was the key to success here. Technical enhancements also helped: the use of no less than three wine presses made precise processing possible.

Despite the heat of the summer, the wines from 2022 show a cool style, balanced and full of tension.

Gut Hermannsberg winemaker Karsten Peter

Looking back, we are left full of admiration for how our grapes not only survived this changeable year, but mastered it brilliantly. Let's hear it for the Grosse Lage [Premier Cru] vineyards and thank you to everyone who helped us achieve these wonderful results.

Karsten Peter
About Gut Hermannsberg

The original “Royal Prussian Winegrowing Domaine” was founded in 1902 as a state-run model winery for Riesling. It is notable for its picturesque location above the Nahe River (90 minutes southwest of Frankfurt am Main). Every one of the storied estate’s 30 hectares of vineyard has been classified by the VDP as a GROSSE.LAGE.

Gut Hermannsberg
Vormals Königlich-Preussische Weinbaudomäne
55585 Niederhausen
Germany

Gut Hermannsberg

Bettina Bäck von Wine+Partners
Bettina Bäck
Senior Project Manager

Bettina has been with Wine+Partners since 2002, with countless projects domestic and international under her belt. She currently manages sommelier world champion Marc Almert, the culinary think tank Koch.Campus, the Styrian wineries Weingut Muster.Gamlitz, Weingut Langmann and the STK wineries, the culinary concept store Kärntnerei and the Kozlović wine estate in Istria.