Materne & Schmitt
Rebecca Materne & Janina Schmitt
Traditionally made Riesling from steep, slatey, terraced sites
Sub Region/Village |
3 different towns Winninger, Koberner and Lehmener
- The Terrassen Mosel is the warmest subsection of the Mosel, nearest its end into the Rhein river
- Vineyards are all scattered across Winninger, Koberner and Lehmener.
- All are slate sites.
- 3.5 hectares across 40 different plots.
- Lehmener Ausoniusstein: The only single vineyard wine they bottle. An incredible Grosse Lage, of gray and green slate with pockets of rare limestone from a coral reef. Perched high up on a super steep site above the river, it still manages to have a good water supply, necessary for the 100+ year old un-grafted vines.
Grape Varieties |
- A death defying feat on 30 degree slopes.
Cellar Work |
Very low intervention, rare for the Mosel
- Extremely low yields, 20 to 35 hl/ha (most farmers here are closer to 60-80hl/ha, and higher is not unusual)
- Macerated on skins
- Gently pressed
- Gravity fed into cellar
- Spontaneous fermentation
- no temperature control
- No additions or fining
- Sulfur never past 60 ppm
About the winery |
This is our first time featuring the wines of these two incredible women and it was way overdue.
Neither of them came from a winemaking family and built everything from scratch. They met in school at Geisenheim, the UC Davis of Germany, in a country and a wine region with a frighteningly low percentage of female vignerons. 11 years in they now deserve our undivided attention.
Their chosen home of Winningen in the far-flung Terrassen Mosel didn’t help their notoriety. An hour away from the “Miracle Mile” of the Middle Mosel, are tiny villages few have ever heard of, along with the world’s steepest vineyards. Its most famous names are Knebel and Heymann-Löwenstein, whom they trained with, so lovers of those two will certainly find something here worth appreciating.
What do the wines taste like?
Slate. Crystalline structure, almost powdery texture, very precise and focused. Aromatics range from subtle to more effusive from rocks and salt to spicy and sanguine to peachy and roasted lemon although fruit is always in the background. There is a slight sponti/yeasty, just a touch of crunchy oxidation, but it's welcome compared to the overly polished wines readily found in most other places.
There is a lively electricity to these wines. A nerviness hard to achieve in a conventional winery, often muted by manipulations. Here the low alcohols are in balance with the lower than normal acidity and moderate sugar levels for refreshing wines of nuance and terroir.
Wines on Offer |
Materne & Schmitt, Riesling Kabinett, 2021 $30.99 $27.27
“Yummy, yummy, yummy. Perfection. This wine just made me dumb with its outrageous deliciousness. It’s the kind of Mosel Riesling I live for” - CD 9g TA, 30g/l RS, 9% abv.
"Super sharp and salty, my palate is vibrating, truly electric. lemon juice, ripe phenolic, mineral water, pooling along the edges" -- CD
M&S owns only 2,500 square meters of vines in this epic grand cru which contains a high percentage of 100+ year old un-grafted vines. Perched dizzyingly high and steep over the northern Mosel, the vineyard combines high elevation, a good water supply, and plenty of gray-blue slate with calcareous chunks of rock from an ancient coral reef. The result? Penetrating aromatics and terrific nerve and purity in the wines. Vinified in steel to a seriously dry 1.4g RS and 6.6g acid (but it feels way higher than that thanks to the wine's innate minerality and very low RS). An incredible, rare wine.
Materne & Schmitt, Riesling Trocken Koberner, 2019 $33.99 $29.91
12.5% abv. Natural, dry Riesling made from the Estate’s holdings in the steep hills of the Weissenberg and Fahrberg overlooking the village of Kobern. More blue slate found here. No additions, no subtractions, spontaneous ferments, and long, gradual maturation. Very salty with serious DENSITY! Riper, pear-like fruit commands the palate. A wine for the cellar.
Materne & Schmitt, Riesling Trocken Lehmener, 2020 $33.99 $29.91
Bone-dry Riesling made from holdings in the lower part of the Lay and in the Ausoniusstein. Soils are gray-blue slate w/ calcareous elements from an ancient coral reef. Vinified in steel with no additions, spontaneous ferments, minimal sulfur, and long, gradual maturation. The wine is beautifully balanced on the elegant and spicy palate and braced by a gorgeously crystalline structure. By far the leanest and most precise, mineral-driven wine made here.
Materne & Schmitt, Riesling Trocken Winninger, 2020 $33.99 $29.91
The 2020 Winninger is a dry Riesling made from a blend of estate’s holdings closest to their winery in the Grand Cru sites Winninger Brückstück, Röttgen, Hamm and steep hill parts of Domgarten. These are some of the most forbiddingly steep sites in the entire world, covered in pure slate. Some of the juice was aged in acacia barrels. This darker-hued wine offers a profound mineral nose, high toned fruit, and terrific nerve and structure.
Natural, but with the most classic results possible, rather than some of the more slap-stick “natural” wines to be found in the valley. A dry Riesling from this woman-owned micro-estate working on the natural end of the spectrum, sourced from absurdly steep terraces in the far northern Mosel, mostly from Winningen. A short maceration on the skins, natural settling by gravity, spontaneous fermentation, no chaptalization, no fining, no additions or reductions of any kind. The wine develops for almost a year on the lees in stainless steel tanks; filtered and sulphured minimally before bottling.