Happening Now Tasting 35: Weingut Bernhard Ellwanger Roter Riesling Großheppacher Steingrüble 2014, Württemberg

It' about time to continue my hyper "Happening Now Tasting" auchtonotous palatal trip throughout Europe's wine nations (at snail pace I am afraid). Today I’d like to stick to local waters! Germany! Roter Riesling or Red Riesling from Württemberg! Roter Riesling is an ancient mutation of Weisser Riesling (aka the well-known Rhine Riesling). At present there are, or better there are again – because since 2002 it got a little bit more fashionable again, round about 30 ha of Roter Riesling in all German viticultural areas combined. The amphelographic features of this red fellow are mostly identical to the ones of its famous white relative. Well, apart of the colour of the skin. Obviously! The hue does look a bit like the one of Pinot Gris. It is believed that the origins of Roter Rieslings are in the River Rhine valley between Karlsruhe and Worms. Today's one comes from the Remstal in Württemberg. The vines for Weingut Bernhard Ellwanger's Großheppacher Steingrüble Roter Riesling 2014 are round about 5 years old. So, not even a teenager. Let's have our first sip ... 

5:18 pm (popped and poured)

Colour: lush straw'ish yellow colour with a slight notion of copper (perhaps, or just in my head)

Nose: yellow grapefruit, caramelized sugar, apple peel, some hay, hint of baby powder, freshly cut twigs, dextro energy; so far a bit rustic and rather bold

Taste: grapefruit, much more dextro energy, strong smoke, some red-brown apples (a bit caramelized – some sort of baked apple danish), aromas are a bit shy at the moment, solid but not too strong acid, realtivly heavy and rough body, kinda phenolic; overall a bit crude and snappy

8:32 pm

Nose: much more grapefruit zesty, smoke, dextro energy not so strong anymore (luckily), emerging elderberry syrup (not really sweet), greenery still active

Taste: also zesty grapefruit, stronger smoke (sea smoke), less dextro energy, mineral characteristics much stronger now - quite crude ones, somehow I am under the impression of some mild tannins (?), aromas of apples in retreat, same for the caramelized flavours; pretty heavy and robust stuff right now, acid seems more zippy

11:01 am (the day after)

Nose: a bit more sweet and gentle than yesterday, dextro is gone, smoke quiet; overall more integrated - anyway still a rather rustic and rough white

Taste: still rather zippy and snappy but definitely more leveled out than yesterday - slightly sour, grapefruit totally dominant, vital twigs, nice smoke, body is still pretty pretty big and rough

8:23 pm 

Nose: as a matter effect it is really getting more and more likeable; rather gentle and a bit blossomy, smoke seems rather suitable; the overall rustic character is remaining - however in a much more interesting way

Taste: pretty much the same, perhaps a little bit more integrated, mellow and not as tense as before  

No substantial development in the past hours. So time for my short résumé Overall an interesting Riesling without being a "common" Riesling. This Rote Riesling had a firm body, rustic characteristics, was a bit snappy and showed notable mineral attributes. Its nose was much more multi-layered and balanced. To me a very solid so la-la*** wine with character and robust charme. Hard to compare with "common" Riesling, I guess ...

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