The Rhine turns westward just past Mainz, flowing along a 30-kilometer crescent-shaped stretch of warm, southerly exposed vineyards that have been a center of German wine production since Roman times.
It was in the Rheingau that Riesling’s potential was first realized and developed. Peter and Angela Kühn, at their biodynamically farmed 15-hectare estate in Oestreich, honor this tradition with finely honed Riesling of the first order.
Lenchen is located a stone’s throw from the fabled Schloss Vollrads, and benefits from similar exposure and soil (rich clay and gravelly loam). The finest parcels lie nearest to the Pfingstbach, a tiny creek running down the hill through a shallow hollow that provides just enough moisture to encourage healthy botrytis on the ripe clusters of Riesling grown there.
Peter Kühn’s lyrical expression of this vineyard conveys a sense of lush fruit and full-bodied depth woven together by Lenchen’s naturally firm acidity.
Sushi, Pork or Veal with Cream and Mushroom Sauces, Game Bird Roasts
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It’s known that the Romans first planted many of Germany’s finest vineyard sites. With the rise of the early Christian church, the vine had been intimately intertwined with religious and secular history.
By the late 18th century, it was the Church which was responsible for quality controls such as laws against the adulteration of wines, replacement of lesser-known varietals with the noble Riesling grape, and the custom of distinguishing certain vineyard sites as being superior.
The Rheingau has a long – standing reputation as the finest wine producing region in Germany. This area was where the distinct qualities of the Riesling grape was discovered and nurtured by the Benedictines. The small village of Oestrich (in the heart of the region) holds two of the most esteemed vineyards, Doosberg and Lenchen.
The micro-climate is tempered by the Rhein River, and the soil is more calcereous (reminiscent of Burgundy) than that found in other famous Riesling vineyards.
The heavier Spätlese & dry or off-dry Auslese wines are excellent with fish (including sushi & sashimi, and smoked fish), poultry, and other white meat dishes.
German wines pair well with reduction sauces having an edge of caramelization and the addition of cream or crème fraiche. German wines are naturally well suited to cut through the edge of sweetness and fat from these elegant sauces. In contrast, garlic-laden, tomato-based sauces and olive-oil preparations combat the delicate aromas and texture of most German wines.
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