Gunderloch, Jean Baptiste Riesling Kabinett
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In 1890 the banker Carl Gunderloch purchased the "Gunderloch" manor house in Nackenheim. He also purchased property in the Rothenberg and Engelsberg vineyards which still constitutes the nucleus of the Gunderloch estate. As the story goes, he used to trek from Gundersblum, his place of birth, to his bank in Mainz. On these daily journeys he carefully observed how the sun played off the hills along the Rhein Terrace. Based on these observations he purchased vineyard property that appeared to collect sunlight most efficiently. Today the estate, as a result of these shrewd acquisitions, owns unquestionably the best vineyards in Nackenheim. In 1920 Carl Gunderloch transferred the estate to his granddaughter Elisabeth Usinger and her husband Dr. Franz Usinger. They managed the estate till 1965 when their son Carl Otto took over after having assisted his parents since 1945. In 1969 he added a winebar where the estate's wines could be enjoyed with or without regional dishes from the Rheinhessen area. Today the estate is managed by Carl Otto's oldest daughter Agnes Hasselbach-Usinger and her husband,a viticultural engineer, Fritz Hasselbach. The Gunderloch estate also has an interesting tie to the German dramatist Carl Zuckmaier. Zuckmaier, who became a Hollywood screenwriter, was born in Nackenheim and a friend of Carl Gunderloch. Zuckmaier not only wrote the screenplay for the film "The Blue Angel", but also the plays "The Captain from Koepenick" and "The Devils General". He also used the Gunderloch estate for the setting, and Carl Gunderloch as the main character for his very first play "Der froehliche Weinberg" (the jolly vineyard). In this play Zuckmaier renamed Carl Gunderloch "Jean Baptiste" which is where the brand name used on the Gunderloch "Jean Baptiste" Kabinett is borrowed from. The estate has over 28 acres of vineyards. The breakdown by varietal is 80% Riesling, 10% Silvaner, 5% Müller-Thurgau and the remaining 5%: Ruländer, Kerner, Scheurebe and Gewürztraminer. The average yield is held to 45 hl/ha, amongst the lowest in Germany, and results in wines of high extract and quality. They are full, elegant wines that often have a steely acid bite. It is easy to think you are drinking a Spätlese, when in actuality the wine is a Kabinett. Taut, fresh, slightly minerally nose. The palate is herby and quite dense with lemony acidity underlying the savoury fruit. Hint of sweetness. Tasty in a full style.
This has a lovely floral nose, magnolia and roses, toffee, and the tiniest hint of petrol. On the palate it is off-dry, with very subtle creamy citrus, more key lime pie than key lime, moving toward apple on the mid-palate, all lightly-honeyed, with an acid background and bright citrus tartness around the edges. From start to finish a sweet nuttiness lingers very lightly under all the other flavors. The floral accents come alive again on the finish.