Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


Gut Hermannsberg celebrates an anniversary: since 10 years impressive Rieslings come from the former State Domain.

Eine Reise durch die Jahrzehnte: Kupfergrube von 1914 bis 2005. © Ralf Kaiser

Gut Hermannsberg celebrates an anniversary: since 10 years impressive Rieslings come from the former State Domain.

Ten years ago Jens Reidel and Christine Dinse purchased a wine estate. Not just any wine estate, rather the former Royal Prussian Wine Domain at Niederhausen-Schlossböckelheim on the Nahe. The estate that was founded in 1902 as model Riesling producer had a great history and long decline behind it when in 2009 Reidel, who made his money as a financial investor, and his wife took over the picturesquely situated property with 30 hectares of top vineyard sites. They not only made a major investment, but also brought serious patience and the young winemaker Karsten Peter to the project. He had a plan right from the beginning.

At the very latest, now at the 10th anniversary it is clear how good that plan for Gut Hermannsberg, as the estate has been called since 2010, really was. Already, just a couple of years after the renovation of the old buildings and the construction of a super-modern press house the wines caused a furor and the estate was named “Rising Star of the Year” by the Gault Millau wine guide. It now belongs to the first league of German wine estates and every year, particularly from the steep Kupfergrube site, the winemaker produces Rieslings that are praised by the wine critics in the highest tones.      

To celebrate the anniversary a couple of days ago Reidel, Dinse and Peter not only threw a big party, but also opened their rarities cellar and presented 17 vintages of Kupfergrube from 1914 through 2016. They made clear how amazingly well the wines from this rugged, terraced vineyard that was once the site of a copper mine can age. Even the regular quality wines from the years 1914, 1923 and 1933 were astonishingly lively with an intense bouquet and depth. The surprising vitality, matured sweetness and spice, impressive elegance and balance of the Spätlese and Auslese wines from 1949, 1969 and 1979 sent the participants into raptures. In short, these were not only rarities to admire, but wines you can still really drink.

Because the Rieslings from the Kupfergrube have this enormous ageing potential Karsten Peter has long sold them as Late Release wines, that is after they have matured for one year longer than classic GGs (Große Gewächse). From the 2017 vintage the winemaker is going a step further: his Kupfergrube GGs will first be released after five years of maturation – a great rarity in the German wine industry.

The reasons that all these top wines may not be attractive for every customer start with the price of just under 50 Euros. Thankfully, Karsten Peter also offers very good single-vineyard, village and estate wines for considerably cheaper prices. The 2017 Just Riesling for 9,90 Euros per bottle is a wonderfully fresh, juicy, fruit-driven wine for beginners.