Field Blend Selections: A Look at 2015-16 Rieslings

A fresh, bright and fruity Riesling, just bottled, can be an absolute pleasure… but what is it like in a year or two? Can that freshness fool us, make us fall in love prematurely? Perhaps, but that is why I was happy to try some 2015 and 2016 Rieslings from the Field Blend Selections portfolio and compare notes. I must say that both vintages are beautiful in their own right, with the 2015 now beginning to shed some of the primary fruit and reveal a deep minerality and brightness that will surely last decades. The 2016 are demure, elegant, but don’t mistake their bashfulness for weakness – they will woo you with their softer, yellow tones and seduce with their grace. 

2016 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz Birkweiler Riesling trocken showed bright yellow peach and mineral notes on the nose. The palate was ripe, with lovely stone and tropical fruit, opening with a broader feel but getting a touch lighter toward the back-palate. The finish was bright, zesty with a hint of almond. 

 2015 Weingut Ökonomierat Rebholz Siebeldinger Im Sonnenschein Riesling Großes Gewächs opened with a hint of petrol, but it quickly blew off to reveal a stony, chalky nose with a ripe, citrus driven palate. This is a rich, dense wine, already quite complex – alternating between the riper tropical notes and the dry and bright mineral. A powerhouse that should age into an excellent example of the style. 

2015 Zilliken (Forstmeister Geltz) Riesling was rather reticent on the nose, but bright and fresh on the palate, with a plethora of autumnal fruit. It showed drier than one would expect, with a lighter, softer touch toward the finish. 

I clearly enjoyed the 2015 Zilliken (Forstmeister Geltz) Saarburger Rausch Riesling Kabinett on release but oh my, it really is in a lovely place now! It is still showing much larger than expected, but with 69g of RS it really is a powerful Spatlese. Ripe while peach, apricot and baked apple dominate the nose and the palate, with a rich, creamy note and a bright cranberry streak through the middle. The wine finishes with ripe mango and citrus zest, and I can easily see this aging wonderfully.  

2016 Schäfer-Fröhlich Riesling Vulkangestein trocken showed an intense mineral and wet stone profile, with a core of ripe peach and zesty, spicy citrus rind. Lighter that it showed a year ago, this wine becomes all about the texture, stone, flint and a long, spicy finish. 

 While I was not terribly impressed with this wine on release, the 2016 Schäfer-Fröhlich Bockenauer Felseneck Riesling Kabinett was showing its colors today. Very floral on the nose, with white peach and yellow flowers. The palate was rich, with red berry, peach and citrus notes, leading to a zesty finish with a hint of pineapple.  

2016 Schloss Lieser Riesling SL Feinherb is a great introduction to Riesling. I really enjoyed it last fall, and it is still showing the same bright, lively stone fruit, with just a hint of sweetness and cream. The minerality takes over on the back palate, leading to a fresh, bright finish. A perfect summer wine. 

Today’s stunner was the 2016 Schloss Lieser Niederberg Helden Riesling Spätlese. I already fell in love with this wine, having tasted it on release and in Germany last year. Where last year the wine showed ripe peach and nectarine, the wine is now dominated by an elegant minerality that underscores the power and potential of this wine. Complex and complete, the wine only requires your patience… and it will blossom.  

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