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People |

Johannes Hasselbach, since 2016

Posed phott of Johannes Hasselbach


Focus |

Rieslings of the Roter Hang from a 135 year old historical estate, infused with a youthful exuberance. No longer pushing for ripeness, you can expect wine made in the vineyards, not the cellar, with lower sugar and alcohol levels with a tighter structure, just oozing with minerality.


Country |


Modern graphic map of wine regions of Germany

Region |


Photo taken from the top of a wine vineyard in the German wine region Rheinhessen

Village |



Climate |

Cool Continental, although things are quickling heating up in the Rheinhessen


Vineyards |

24 hectares across the two villages of Nackeheim and Nierstein

    • Rothenberg: The crown jewel of the family estate, owning 65% of it. It’s one of the top Grosse Lage (Grand Cru) sites along the 5 km long stretch of the Roter Hang. This iron rich cliff along the Rhein river is known for spicy, savory, long lived wines. Their parcels have vines up to 40 years old.
    • Pettenthal: finer soil than Rothenberg, pebbly with broken rocks and less geological compression. Wines tend to show a slightly finer structure, are more filigreed and tense.
    • Hipping: The smallest of the Gunderloch holdings from a super steep site.
Close up photo of common stone found in soils of Rheinhessen wine vineyards


Grape Varieties |

Riesling. Plus some pinot blanc, pinot gris, silvaner, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir for the German market.

Photo of bunch or riesling grapes being harvested at Gunerloch winery

Farming |

Practicing organic

    • Started certification process in 2022
    • Super low yields harvested, especially for the Rheinhessen


Cellar Work |

Moving towards low intervention

    • GG’s are macerated for a few days then quickly pressed into barrel
    • There is no clarification of the must
    • Fermentations start spontaneously
    • Finished to dryness


About the winery |

The Rheinhessen is Germany's largest wine region and encompasses both the majority of its bulk wine production AND its very finest dry wines, like "The German Montrachet" of Keller.

Gunderloch is both one of its most important historically, being a top estate for 135 years, and heading sure shot into the 21st century under the leadership of forward thinking  Johannes Hasselbach. The wines today may be the best they’ve ever been. He's pulled the wines into the modern era, by pulling back all the unnecessary “make-up” of the last 50 years. Wines are made in the vineyards, farming is now organic, the cellar is a place for allowing time to finish the wines, not dress them up.

His goals are lofty, from reducing residual sugar and alcohol, quite a feat in the new age of climate change, to adding complexity with spontaneous fermentation. He's moving away from purely reductive techniques by incorporating used barrels with longer maturation and playing with skin contact.

Of course it helps to have a host of desirable vineyard sites with which to work from including "Roter Hang", Rheinhessen's notorious red slope, and its three most important Grand Cru sites: Rothenberg, Pettenthal and Hipping. 

In the hands of Johannes these sites are able to produce wines that have gained notoriety for their exceptional balance, grace, and filigreed nuance.


What do the wines taste like?

They tend to show a darker side of Riesling, probably thanks to the iron rich soils. Darker fruits, herbs, spices, are overlaid onto the typical Riesling aromas of yellow and citrus fruits, salty, stony minerality with some floral and sometimes tea notes. 

The structure is about power and density, but pulled back from the edge of being baroque or over ripe. Johannes and put a lot of work into using oxygen instead of reductive practices to coax out a more savory side of these wines. 

If you haven’t had Gunderloch in a while, it's time to give them another chance, and if you’ve never had Gunderloch then now is the time.


Wines on Offer |

Gunderloch, Fritz`s Riesling, 2022 $13.99 $12.31

A feinherb or "off-dry" style (around 20-25g/l RS) named in honor of Johannes' father, world-renowned winemaker Fritz Hasselbach. The vineyards are very close to the Rhein on steep slopes facing south-east. The combination of red slate soil, closeness to the river, great sun exposure and steep vineyards—are the perfect combination to produce Fritz’s Riesling, one of the best value wines in the Riesling world.


Gunderloch, Riesling Fenchelberg Grosses Gewachs (Auction), 2021 $164.99 $145.19

2020 was the first release for this GG and is only through the VDP auction. Bowler won a few bottles of this in the bidding and can offer them to us today. Grown organically, ruthlessly selected, vinified dry at 12% alcohol, aged in barrel for nine months, exceedingly small in quantity.

"A clear red thread emerges - power without richness, tension without severity.The Fenchelberg-Wingert in the Rothenberg location, family-owned since 1890 as our local mountain, is unique. The sensory proximity to the Rothenberg is clearly noticeable, but the individuality of this plot really came to light for us in the 2nd year." -- Winemaker's Note


Bottle of Gunderloch, Riesling Hasselbach Trocken, 2022


 Gunderloch, Riesling Hasselbach Trocken, 2022 $14.99 $13.19

Juicy, sleek, aromatic and lively DRY Riesling (about 7g RS) grown along the Rhine in soils of red slate and clay, harvested on the early side of the season to capture perfect acidity. Yellow fruits and vivid, convincing minerality spring easily from this wine.



Gunderloch, Riesling Hipping Grosses Gewachs, 2022


 Gunderloch, Riesling Hipping Grosses Gewachs, 2022 $74.99 $65.99

Niersteiner Hipping is Gunderloch’s smallest grand cru, sourced from an extremely steep portion of the vineyard. Spontaneously fermented, barrel-aged, and picked at very low yields. It is a tick lighter than the other GGs and less about the stones than about its raft of salty, sexy, tropical fruit.



Bottle of Gunderloch, Riesling Jean-Baptiste Kabinett, 2022

 Gunderloch, Riesling Jean-Baptiste Kabinett, 2022 $20.99 $18.47

The "calling card" of Gunderloch, one of the top three wineries in the Rheinhessen and a beacon of great winemaking throughout Germany. The JBK as we call it is certified organic starting with this vintage, and sourced from the blood red slate soils of the Roter Hang (the "red cliff"). It must be noted that it all comes from the three grand cru sites where the estate gets its GG wines: Pettenthal (mainly), Rothenberg, and Hipping. That is a helluva provenance for a fruity Kabinett wine!!! Hovering around 22-25g/l RS with juicy, balancing acids, this is textbook Kabi, the kind you can teach a class with, the kind that tastes great with a huge variety of flavorful cuisine, the kind that makes people irrationally and exuberantly happy.



Gunderloch, Riesling Niersteiner Trocken, 2022

 Gunderloch, Riesling Niersteiner Trocken, 2022 $35.99 $31.67

The dry Nierstein Riesling is entirely sourced in the Pettenthal and the vines were cultivated to become Grosses Gewächs. Laser-like in its focus, shocking high acid for Rheinhessen in a warm year, and basically a Spatlese Trocken disguised as a village wine, punching way above its class. Pure, elegant, gripping at the finish - and definitely in need of some serious seafood.


 Bottle of Gunderloch, Riesling Pettenthal Grosses Gewachs, 2016

 Gunderloch, Riesling Pettenthal Grosses Gewachs, 2016 $74.99 $65.99

The citrus coloured 2016 Pettenthal Riesling GG has a clear, fresh/coolish and spicy bouquet of ripe and concentrated Riesling berries, slate and very discreet toast aromas. Full-bodied, round and creamy piquant on the palate, with lush and intense fruit, grainy tannins and some prominent oak that still has to be integrated (Hoesch 1200-liter Stückfass) this is a complex and mouth-filling Pettenthal that needs some years to develop and gain finesse. 91 pts” -- Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate


Bottle of Gunderloch, Riesling Pettenthal Grosses Gewachs, 2021

 Gunderloch, Riesling Pettenthal Grosses Gewachs, 2021 $74.99 $65.99

The 2021 Pettenthal Riesling trocken GG offers a clear, deep yet bright and complex, very elegant and beautifully flinty bouquet of crushed or finely weathered stones, herbs (dried rosemary) and ripe mirabelles. Rich and dense on the palate, this is a powerful and firmly structured Riesling with crystalline acidity and uplifting salinity. The finish is still very young, which means tight and grippy, even slightly dryish, but this will all come together. 12.5% stated alcohol. Screw-cap closure. Tasted at the domain in August 2022. 94 pts” -- Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate


Gunderloch, Riesling Rothenberg Beerenauslese (BA), 2015 (375ml) $230.00 $202.40

Picked early, during the main harvest. Pineapple, cumin, curry, a very clean, clear botrytis, finely spiced, candied fruit. Viscous in the mouth, but also permeated by a steely, very transparent acidity, intensively tactile and mineral, an intensity of great finesse, a lot of juice and nerve in the finish, great elegance - and almost animating to drink. 97 pts” -- Falstaff


Bottle of Gunderloch, Riesling Rothenberg Grosses Gewachs, 2022

 Gunderloch, Riesling Rothenberg Grosses Gewachs, 2022 $89.99 $79.19

The flagship wine of the estate, their best wine from their best vineyard. Certified organic for the first time this year.





Gunderloch, Riesling Rothenberg Spatlese, 2021 $47.99 $42.23

This category of medium-sweet wines may not be in favor, but that doesn’t take anything away from this riesling Spätlese masterpiece that swims against the current with great energy and determination. So much pink grapefruit, rose hip and pomegranate, with wild herbs leaping from the glass. Such brilliance at the very long finish. A minor miracle that the 2021 vintage made possible! From organically grown grapes. Vegan. Drink or hold. Screw cap. 95 pts” -- James Suckling


Gunderloch, Riesling Rothenberg Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA), 2015 (375ml) $420.00 $369.60

Their TBAs made Gunderloch a legend. . .

"An astonishing Trockenbeerenauslese from this producer. Enormously concentrated and extremely pure. Dried exotic fruits character, very lush and creamy, but easily enough acidity to carry this and the luscious sweetness. The finish is long and complete. Drinkable now, but this could easily mature another half century. 98 pts" -- James Suckling


Bottle of Gunderloch, Riesling vom Roten Schiefer Trocken, 2021
Gunderloch, Riesling vom Roten Schiefer Trocken, 2021 $20.99 $18.47

From the Rothenberg, Pettenthal and Hipping grand crus and vinified in stainless steel until late winter, the 2021 Riesling trocken vom Roten Schiefer offers a clear, pure and refined, bright and flinty Riesling bouquet with notes of red stones. Light but lush and round on the palate, this is an elegant, refined and crystalline as well as saline dry Riesling bottled with 12% stated alcohol. An excellent estate wine with the red slope character. 88 pts" -- Stephan Reinhardt, The Wine Advocate