James Suckling 99 Punkte: The deepest waters are the most mysterious, because you look ever further down and never know what you're going to discover another five fathoms deeper. And just so, this beautiful riesling has seductive fruit that drags you into an abyss of beauty and joy. What stunning texture, and what a long, refined finish. From biodynamically grown grapes with Respekt certification. Drink or hold.
Parker-Stephan Reinhardt 96, 2026-2040,
The 2019 Idig GG is pure and chalky on the deep, intense, fully ripe yet elegant, refined and lemon-scented nose with its ripe mirabelle aromas. Silky and juicy on the first palate, this is an elegant, very complex, tight and mineral Idig with structure, finesse and well-dosed power. The finish is pure and salty, beautifully citric and very long, with promising grip and tension. Tasted shortly after the bottling in April 2020. To be released in September this year.
Steffen and Sophie Christmann are happy with their 2019s. "We had short hot periods in 2019, but besides this the temperatures were only moderately warm," remembers Sophie. After the Pinot Blancs and Chardonnays for sparkling wine, which were picked on September 4, the father-and-daughter team started harvesting Riesling and Pinot Noir pretty early again—on September 9 –– and were done in almost two weeks, on the 25th. "Everything was perfectly ripe, which we can taste now in the wines," Steffen says. The alcohol levels are "neither too low nor too high but moderate"—for example, the Grosses Gewächs Rieslings are around 12.5% alcohol. Steffen stresses that the biodynamic farming was "enormously helpful again in 2019." He explained that "for many years, we’ve been bringing our grapes to an earlier ripeness than our neighbors. This was important namely last year because the rain period started on our very last harvest day. The weather did not become any better again in October; we were very lucky because in October rainfalls added up to 100 milliliters." The grapes “were neither green nor pink but in-between," Sophie Christmann said. She then described what she understands as perfect ripeness: "They have to be soft and taste ripe but have to have tension as well." Picked between 88° and 93° Oechsle, Christmann's 2019s have pronounced, vivacious and frisky acidity and taste fresher and more vibrant than the 2018s, whose pH levels increased dramatically in the end. In 2019, however, the pH levels were at 3.0-3.1. The 2019 Idig GG, for example, has the highest acidity level since the 2010 vintage, but the acidity is significantly finer and more ripe. Still, the second (malolactic) fermentation is not wanted here; the Christmanns like to keep the freshness and “al dente” acidity in their wines and try to avoid a rounder, softer style even in the Pinot Blancs. Especially the latter has changed for the better since the wine is kept on the full lees until March. The fruit is less expressive today, and the wine shows more spices, herbs and salt. Any comparisons of the 2019 with earlier vintages? Not really. The structure is similar to the 2001s and 2002s, and the acidity is similar to 2013 but less sharp. Christmann's Idig Riesling is one of the stars of the vintage, and the Ölberg "Kapelle" is one of the greatest surprises. Also, the Riesling V from the Vogelsang has never been as great as the 2019, which is the first vintage that shows the great potential of this coolish limestone terroir. My favorite Pinot Noir ("Kalkbuckel") comes from a special plot inside the Idig, and it was still not clear how this impressive wine would be marketed or if at all.