The detailed description of the Riesling Fuchs leads us to a unique part of the Hipping Grosse Lage, known as the Fuchsloch. The character of this wine reflects the careful, artisanal harvesting of grapes around four decades old, which were harvested when the golden cut was reached - a point that marks an early gilding of the grapes. After manual harvesting, the grapes were crushed with the feet and macerated for a period of three days before finally being pressed over a period of 36 hours without prior clarification.
The authentic fermentation, determined by the temperature of an old 600-litre wooden barrel, occurred under low-oxygen conditions, followed by malolactic fermentation. The wine then spent a period of 35 months under a perfect, reducing flor yeast. This process allowed the wine to be bottled not only unsulphured and unfiltered, but also slightly cloudy - a completed, reductive method of winemaking that can be recognised in Kai Schätzel's earlier wines. An alcohol content of 11.5% vol and a residual sugar of 0.5g with 7g acidity can be found in the final result without any added sulphur.
In colour, the Riesling Fuchs is described as a medium straw yellow, slightly cloudy. Its aroma is strongly reminiscent of that of the 2020 Hipping, with notes of apples, quinces and pears as well as their skins. In addition, scents of lanolin and apple juice with a hint of liquorice and hops are perceptible. The whole is rounded off by subtle accents of grapefruit, star fruit and physalis.
On the palate, the wine is intense, delicious and silky-round. Its freshness comes from the sparkling acidity, a clear minerality and the influence of the Flor yeast. These characteristics are complemented by a fine tannin and ripe fruit notes. The wine's unusual style is reminiscent of selected natural wines from the Anjou region, a rather rare find in Rheinhessen. However, the mixture of tension and relaxation, openness and self-confidence are insanely attractive. In addition, there is an impressive depth and length that make this wine unique overall.
A recommended culinary pairing with the Riesling Fuchs would be seafood combined with a peppery sauce, or steamed eggs accompanied by a pea coulis, dried mushrooms and sorrel. An alternative food recommendation would also be a sole enhanced by charred smoke and a leek coulis.
Schätzel Winery, Obersdorfer Str. 34, 55283 Nierstein, Rheinhessen, Germany. Organic certificate: DE-ÖKO-039