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Brother Georg and Philipp Rumpf, along with Georg’s wife Julia and his mother.
Rieslings with plenty of Nahe fruit, but balanced and built for aging
- Defined as very cold winters, hot, short, fairly rainy summers, with long, cool, dry autumns.
- Until climate change this was the very northern edge of where grapes could ripen fully, but only about 7 out of 10 years.
- Now: winters are usually not as cold, summers are much hotter, drought is a serious problem 4 or the last 5 years, and autumns start later and are often much wetter than they used to be.
- The unpredictability of the weather is what makes wines especially vintage sensitive and creates havoc (and high costs!) for winemakers.
- Nahe is a little warmer on average than the Mosel and cooler than most of the other wine regions in Germany. There are some very warm vineyard sites, giving an almost mediterranean feel, but also with a few cooler, almost Saar-like areas as well.
- Cool climate wines are high in acid, low in alcohol, light in body, and often show a lot of mineral flavors rather than fruit.
- Usually white wines are made, but some light reds, like Pinot Noir can also ripen well.
- Warmer vintages: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2015 produce wines with lower acidity, higher alcohols, and richer fruit flavors.
- Cooler vintages: 2021, 2013, 2010, 2008 produce what are now considered “classic” cool-climate wines
- 2022 is an enigma. It was hot and very dry for most of the growing season, but rain and long cold fall ended up giving us wines that taste more like “classic” cool-climate wines than rich, ripe wines.
40 hectares of vines in the most northern part of the Nahe, along with a site right next door in the Rheinhessen
- Münsterer Dautenpflänzer: Grand Cru amphitheater, south facing, and their older section is steep. Loess, subsoil is quartz – Daute means “shoot” and pflänzer means “plant”, an homage to the fact that this was once a nursery. The warmest location in the Nahe. They have some Riesling but also 50 year old vines of Scheurebe here.
- Münsterer im Pitterberg: A monopoly of 1.5 ha on blue slate at a 45-60% incline with 70 year old Riesling vines.
- Münsterer Pitterberg: Erste Lage (1er Cru) with Devonian weathered grey slate, a 30-60% steep incline and south-west facing site. They own 9 of the 10 ha with vines up to 70 years old. Thi is where Stefan’s favorite wine comes from.
- Münsterer Rheinberg: Weathered quartzite and sandy loam, south-east facing, 20 - 65% steep gradient, with richer soils in the lower sections.
- Münsterer Kapellenberg: Quartz, red shale and loess, south, south-east facing, 10 - 55% with several of their sections being very steep. Similar to Rheinberg where the lower sections have richer soils.
- Binger Scharlachberg Rheinhessen: Grand Cru, Quartz and red sandstone/red slate – The name means scarlet hill, planted in terraced sections rather than straight slopes. Just across the Nahe to the east of Münster, this vineyard is technically in the Rhienhessen in its far northwest boundary.
- Bingerbrücker Abtei im Ruppertsberg: a Erste Lage site, but one of their prized possessions with vines from 1937. Phyllite, which is essentially mica slate – south facing very steep, 80% incline hillside. Abtei means abbey and this vineyard belonged to the abbey at Bingen, home to Hildegard vom Bingen. Most northern vineyard in the Nahe.
- Dorsheimer Burgberg: Grand Cru, Volcanic Permian era conglomerate, and quartz – quite steep (30-60%) in Dorsheim, one village south of Münster. Very excellent wines from this tiny vineyard.
- The King of White Grapes.
- High acid, semi aromatic
- A huge variation in style potential from very light and dry, sparkling to the most unctuously sweet wines on the planet.
- Divisive for its high acidity and sugar retaining capabilities
- Perfect in its dynamic nature, ability to transmit the slightest nuance of terroir and being capable of aging for hundreds of years.
15% Pinot Blanc / Weissburgunder
- A white skinned mutation of Pinot Noir
- The secret weapon of the Teutonics. They make the best versions of this grape, and they don’t share them.
- Germany is now the world’s leading producer of Pinot Blanc
- pale to straw yellow in color, and delicate on the nose. A slightly nutlike aroma is typical. Vinified dry, its medium to full body and fine acidity complement many types of food.
- Good examples age very well, although generally made with the aim of everyday fresh and dry wines in mind. Even these seemingly innocuous wines have the ability to age over decades..
13% Pinot Gris / Grauburgunder
- A pink-skinned genetic mutation of Pinot Noir.
- Likely introduced from across the border in nearby Alsace by Cistercian monks.
- Takes on many styles in Germany.
- The country is the world’s third-largest producer of the grape.
- Typically dry and can range from light and fresh to rich and oak-aged.
- Most of the time, these wines are more concentrated and flavorful than Pinot Grigio of Italy, with notes of apple, pear, and nuts.
- Because of its pink skins, Pinot Gris also makes delicious orange wines.
6% Pinot Noir / Spätburgunder
- German Pinot Noir wines are vinified as dry red wines with complex cherry aroma with subtle hints of smoke and almond, slight tannins, and high acidity, with a long finish.
- Had a poor reputation thanks to high yielding, work-horse, clonal material.
- Now Burgundy clones dominate vineyards for the best producers showcasing this incredible variety's true potential
- A crossing of Riesling and Bukettrebe (until 2012 thought to be Silvaner)
- Scheurebe was created by Georg Scheu in 1916.
- Though it was first bred in the Rheinhessen, it quickly became a favorite across the country when it was released to the public in the middle of the 20th century.
- Regions: Most of Scheurebe’s plantings are still in the Rheinhessen, though it’s also grown in the Pfalz, Nahe, and Franken.
- Styles: Initially bred to be an aromatic variety, Scheurebe is known for its pronounced, fruity aromas.
- It has fresh acidity and is often made as a lusciously sweet wine, though dry versions are becoming more common.
5% Other Grapes
- Working towards certification
- Sheep graze in the vineyards
- They make their own compost
- Green spaces around their vineyards
Traditional and Conventional
- Mostly spontaneous fermentation
- Will use inoculated yeast to finish to dryness if necessary
- Both stainless steel and large, old, neutral barrel are employed
- GG’s are direct pressed and stay on full lees until 1 week before bottling
- Then a quick filter, rest again and bottled
200 years in the north of Nahe and a family committed to excellence have allowed them to slowly acquire a wealth of great vineyards to work with. Georg is now at the helm of viticulture and winemaking, but it was his father who committed to organic farming after an agricultural class in 2013.
Philipp, Georg’s brother who also graduated from Geisenheim, is focused on wine economics. Georg’s wife Julia helps him in all tasks around the winery. His mother runs a great restaurant next door, where the food and hospitality pair perfectly with the wines of the estate.
Humble beginnings have led them on a steady march towards pure, terroir driven wines in their little corner of the Nahe. As friends and neighbors of Dönnhoff, they knew they had to find their own place in the hearts of Riesling lovers, and so they focused their attention on value; these are good wines at great prices. Gradually brothers George & Philipp have elevated these wines to a level far exceeding their fair asking price.
Fruity, delicious, joyous wines that show off the sunshine from the far north of the Nahe.
While these had a reputation for being mostly sweet, and a bit clunky, the last 5 years has seen a great reckoning of style. The sweet wines have residual sugar levels some 40 grams per liter lower than those a decade ago. Dry wines are focused on minerality and ageability.
Much of this has to do with the quality of the site, as organic practices have allowed for later ripening and more phenolic development. Also the higher elevation vineyards are now the focus, bringing more freshness and levity into these already scrumptious bottles of wine.
Kruger-Rumpf, Kapellenberg Erstes Gewächs Trocken, 2022 $35.99 $31.67
Kruger-Rumpf, Pinot Blanc Estate Trocken, 2022 $25.99 $22.87
Kruger-Rumpf, Pinot Brut Rosé, NV $30.99 $27.27
Kruger-Rumpf, Pinot Noir Rosé EstateTrocken, 2022 $20.99 $18.47
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Abtei 1937 Erstes Gewächs Trocken, 2022 $44.99 $39.59
First vintage was five years ago and it's been one of my favorites in the line up ever since. Abtei is a vineyard that belonged to the abbey and is the most northern vineyard of the Nahe, on a south facing parcel with the Rhein river and the Rheingau right behind its crest. Planted in 1937 the wines just have the mix of levity and concentration only found in really old vines. Picked in September in an old stückfass of 1200 L. Special phyllite soils for a unique minerality plus lots of slate with layers of quartzite. The site gets much cooler air at night, than the other northern Nahe vineyards, which comes down from the Mosel. Yummy, yummy cool fruit and acid, some white and a dash of yellow peach, mineral, elegant, evaporates on your palate with just enough texture to remind you it's there. Tiny production.
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Burgberg Grosses Gewächs, 2022 $64.99 $57.19
Deep concentration but a nice elegance, rich and spicy, offset by a steely, lean core, then all wrapped up in perfectly ripe fruit spanning from white orange pith to peaches to. Very dry finish. Only 3 g/l residual sugar, very regal, bitter and smoky in a good way. Tiny grapes = more concentration.
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Dautenpflänzer Grosses Gewächs, 2022 $48.99 $43.11
An example of how the hot 2022 vintage behaved like a cool vintage. Lower yields than normal, and they were having to wait it out to get adequate ripeness. Normally they pick at a potential alcohol of 15%, but they had to wait until the end of October for only a potential alcohol of 12%, meaning loads of physiological ripeness, without heavy sugar weights. The opposite of a power house GG, elegant, delicate, mineral, very fresh, open and simply charming.
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Dautenpflänzer Im Langenberg Feinherb, 2021 $54.99 $48.39
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Estate, 2022 $21.99 $19.35
Sourced from 2 vineyards, as a pre-selection of 1er Cru sites and younger 10 to 20 year old vines, same as the dry wine. From a few stainless steel tanks where the fermentation decides to stop between 20 to 40 g/l residual sugar. (Weirdly the GG and 1er Cru wines want to finish to dryness, nutrition from older vines maybe?). They cool down some of the tanks to use as dosage for sparkling wine. This is just delicious Nahe peach juice, 15 to 16 g/l residual sugar in the finished wine, totally slurpable, lovely acid, orange, dash of lime skin.
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling EstateTrocken, 2022 $21.99 $19.35
Fuzzy peach juice, almost Rheingau-like (not surprising, it's a stone's throw away). Ripe and vibrant, fresh spritz, tart, supple, delicious, sweetie finish, never bone dry. 5 to 6 g/l residual sugar, quartzsite and slate vineyards, usually the same 2, fermented and aged in 80% stainless steel and 20% neutral barrels.
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Im Pitterberg Grosses Gewächs, 2022 $52.99 $46.63
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Im Pitterberg Grosses Gewächs, 2022 (375ml) $32.99 $29.03
9 hectares of blue Devonian slate with a lot of minerality, fruity. A touch disjointed at this early stage with lots of phenolics, but the underpinning of a lot of slate. Give it time.
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Münsterer Dautenpflänzer Spätlese, 2022 $27.99 $24.63
★★★ Very hard to make Spätlese in 2022 and could only do with the right site, from old vines (these were planted in the 50s), with low yields. This was picked at 94 to 90 Oschle, which used to be the Kabinett level but the last few years they’ve pulled back to more “classic” expressions of the Prädikat, rather than 100 point Parker wines. 100% in old barrels, 65 to 70 g/l residual sugar, whole cluster pressing for a very silky mouthfeel. Smells really great, like the Mosel, fresh, clear, licorice. Excellent, one of the leanest Spätlese I've had this trip, from the Nahe no less.
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Münsterer Im Pitterberg Kabinett, 2022 $27.99 $24.63
★★★★ Kabi for Papi. Started making this in 2018. Less than 40 g/l residual sugar. Grand Cru slate heavy site, planted in 60s and 70s, fermented and aged in all neutral barrels. Subtle nose of white flower, orange peel, light spice, sunshine, wildflower bouquet, yummy and delicate. A real Kabinett 7.5% abv and crazy value.
Kruger-Rumpf, Riesling Münsterer Rheinberg Kabinett, 2021 $23.99 $21.11
Sweetie, delicious Orangina, a bit heavier than the others and could use a kick of levity. Sourced from an east facing, cooler site with a mix of quartzite and slate vineyards and fermented and aged in 60% stainless steel 40% barrels. Less than 40 g/l residual sugar which is about 20 g RS less than five years ago. They’ve reverted back to a more classical styling of Kabinett rather than the punchy Parker years.
Kruger-Rumpf, Scheurebe Kabinett, 2022 $26.99 $23.75
When Grandpa took over vineyards in the 50s, Grandma loved Scheurebe and said it must be planted in the Grand Cru sites for the best version. Made in a riesling style, slightly soapy, fresh, acid, tropical, loud and charming. Can age for decades, please cellar at least 10 years.