2009 Balthasar Ress, “Hattenheim Nussbrunnen”, Riesling, Spätlese, Rheingau, Germany


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Roving Sommelier is passionate about premium quality German regional wines. In addition, I love Riesling with a passion. I love its fruitiness, vibrant freshness and mouth-watering acidity, which, for me makes Riesling very food friendly. There is scarcely another white grape variety that reflects the characteristics of its terroir as precisely as Riesling does.

I visited Balthasar Ress back in 2006 when I was part of an organised sommelier trip around top German vineyards. For me, it was a great experience, not only because I got to meet other fellow sommeliers, but also to enjoy some decent food and wine. Germans love their hospitality. I also noticed that our glasses always remained topped up.

Balthasar Ress is located in the quaint village of Eltville and has been making fine wines since 1870. The Grand Cru “Nussbrunnen” vineyard in nearby Hattenheim has a south-southeast exposure. The name derives from a “Brunnen,” or spring, that was once surrounded by nut trees. The source of the spring is still visible today. It lies well protected from cold northerly winds on the lower reaches of the slope, adjacent to the “Wisselbrunnen” vineyard. Among the finest parcels of vines in the Rheingau is the 1.5-hectare parcel within Nussbrunnen that is owned by the Balthasar Ress estate. Its special soil conditions, e.g. deep, loam-loess soils that guarantee an excellent water balance, as well as the prevailing microclimate, are among the reasons that Nussbrunnen is such a top site. These are the prerequisites that enable grapes to consistently yield top-quality wines.

The wine is characterful, highly aromatic and fresh with lovely, citrus oil and floral notes. What is more, it’s only 7.5% alcohol, so it could be a great aperitif wine. Best enjoyed chilled and in a convivial atmosphere.



Alcohol: 7.5% abv (75cl)

Closure: Cork

Grape variety: Riesling

Flavour Profile: Clean, Fresh, Dry, Highly aromatic, Delicate, Citrus, Zesty, Apple, Grapefruit, Stone Fruits, Floral, Mouth-watering acidity