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Weingut Hermann Ludes Riesling Feinherb 2021
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Weingut Hermann Ludes Riesling Feinherb 2021

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The “Hermann” – named after both the founder as well as his first-born son, the current proprietor along with his nephew Julian – is the “basic” wine. Interestingly, the family has some flatland vineyards (previously these fields were where the animals grazed, back in the times of poly-agriculture) some of which have slightly more interesting gravelly soils. In good years, the estate may use 10-15% of the top parcels of the flat vineyards to fill out the Hermann; otherwise it is all steep-slope vineyards from Thörnich, of course, but also from Klüsserath – they own half a hectare in the Klüsserath Bruderschaft.

In most vintages the wines is fermented to just off-dry (in 2021 it has about 26 grams residual sugar per liter with 10.8g of acid) and flaunts a precocious balance, a magical, just barely perceptible off-dry-ness that reminds me of the Weiser-Künstler Feinherb, yet the Ludes is not quite as cut or lifted. This is a curvier, also lighter and more ephemeral-feeling wine – as if you don’t really even have to drink it, as if it will just saturate and then evaporate, leaving a pleasing sorta wine-tingle. If the wine can feel perhaps monochromatic, it’s monochromatic in the way that Brice Marden’s early paintings were monochromatic – which is to say, layered, complex, richly textural… just sort of so-integrated that picking out the single layers is impossible. The wine smells of the perfume of fermentation, pears, quince, spice, flowers and rocks with a rustic spritzy energy. Just essential deliciousness.