A Visit to Immich-Batterieberg

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This is Gernot Kollmann.

Perhaps you know that he used to make wine at Van Volxem, or that he was the winemaker for a bit at Knebel. Perhaps you’ve tasted some of the wines he made at the recently revived Immich-Batterieberg in 2009 and 2010. If so, you should jump to the bottom of this offer to see the wines, since we know you’ll want some of his 2011s.

 

It was a beautiful day in Enkirch, where Gernot lives at the Immich estate.

 

We had just been to visit Clemens and Rita Busch, and they joined us for dinner. Gernot, incidentally, is a great cook!

 

Before dinner, we had tasted through all the 2009s and 2010s. Afterward, we headed down to the cellar for a late-night tasting of the maturing 2011s.

 

Some growers in the Mosel use only Fuder (traditional barrels), others use only stainless steel. Gernot, as you can see, isn't particularly dogmatic.

 

The wines are often blended from cask, tank, fuder and barrique. Gernot quickly buzzed around the cellar, assembling blends on the fly.

 

We slept well that night after tasting, and got back down to business again in the morning, heading to the top of the Enkircher Ellergrub.

 

Look at the blue slate in the Enkircher Ellergrub:

 

Look at how dramatic, how steep and rugged the slope is. You can imagine how much work goes into tending these vines, especially without pesticides or herbicides, as Gernot chooses to do.

 

And the wines? Batterieberg and Ellergrub continue to be stunning. Escheburg, the blend from the four main sites wasn’t made in 2010 due to the small vintage, and we’re glad it’s back. We're also very excited by the appearance in the U.S. for the first time of Steffensberg and Zeppwingert, the last of which was simply breathtaking when tasted recently. Gernot works very hard and is doing remarkable things in a part of the Mosel that most people don’t know about. We’re paying attention, and think you should as well. These wines are expected to arrive into stock in the next few weeks. -jfr

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Immich-Batterieberg 2011 Mosel C.A.I. Riesling

CAI is a blend made mostly of purchased fruit. 2011 is more friendly than the screamingly intense 2010 and will pair with more varied cuisine. It is, for all intents and purposes, dry and is made in all stainless steel. Very fruity and ripe, this is one that is best enjoyed quite cool. There's serious minerality here, much darker toned than the salty 2010; Gernot is a master blender and he's put together another terrific CAI this year. The grapes come from 5 hectares spread across much of the Mosel, with sites as far apart as Enkirch and the Saar. The breakdown is an unexpected combination of divergent vineyards, both well-known and not so much. For those keeping score, (and why not?), there's 1 ha ungrafted vines from the Dhroner Hofberg, 0.5 ha Oberemmeler Altenberg, 0.5 ha Wiltinger Klosterberg, and smaller sections of the Kinheminer Rosenberg, Kröver Steffensberg, Wolfer Sonnenberg, and from Enkirch there are parcels from Steffensberg, Hattenberg, Zeppwingert, Steffensberg and the foot of the Batterieberg. -jfr

  • Out of Stock
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Immich-Batterieberg 2011 Mosel Escheburg Riesling

40% Ellergrub, 40% Batterieberg, 20% Steffensberg, including some old, ungrafted vines (thanks to Lars Carlberg's site for this info). Escheburg is just singing right now, and is an even better introduction to the estate's style than CAI, as it all comes from estate fruit from three of their signature vineyards. It's dry this year but stuffed with loads of complex fruit (peach, apple, etc) and an absolutely piercing sense of minerality. Great balance, and quite filigreed. My notes in the cellar said "terrific acid!" and the wine in the bottle is living up to this. -jfr

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  • white
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  • $32.99

Immich-Batterieberg 2011 Mosel Steffensberg Riesling

Steffensberg is Immich's only site that isn't on the famous Starkenburger Hang, the southwest facing slope directly overlooking the Mosel. Steffensberg is just north of here in a side valley off the river and faces directly south. It's warmer here, with more direct sun exposure, so this dry wine is a touch more rounder and more generous than the Batterieberg. Right now it's more open aromatically and quite expressive on the palate with full ripe flavors of grapefruit, peach and orange pith. 60+ year-old vines on deep soil rich in iron oxide. -jfr

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Immich-Batterieberg 2011 Mosel Batterieberg Riesling

Batterieberg is a 1.1 hectare monopole of the estate's. It abuts the Mosel and is surrounded on all other sides by Zeppwingert. It's made up of blue and gray slate with quite a bit of quartz as well. In the cellar we tasted three components that would eventually be blended: one from stainless steel tank, one from barrel and one from barrel that only had wine from 80 year-old vines. It became clear that Batterieberg isn't about plush fruit, it's about precise, cutting minerals and herbal, minty garrigue-like tones. Six months later in bottle, the fruit has started to inch forward but the crunchy quartz and slate notes remain the wine's defining characteristics. Epic dry wine with unreal aging potential. -jfr

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Immich-Batterieberg 2011 Mosel Ellergrub Riesling

This was my favorite of the lineup in 2010 and it's in close competition for that title in 2011 again. We're in feinherb territory here (just off-dry), and we tasted parcels in the cellar from barrel and stainless steel tank. Both were simply amazing, with the barrel showing a slightly silkier texture. While Ellergrub is softer than the dry wines and doesn't display the herbaceous streak found in Batterieberg, it more than makes up for this with its elegance, balance, feeling of weightlessness and overall sense of purity. I wouldn't be surprised if Ellergrub quickly becomes the cult favorite the more that people get to know these wines. 1.4 hectare, blue slate. -jfr

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Immich-Batterieberg 2011 Mosel Zeppwingert Riesling

Finally, Zeppwingert. Gernot only has .5 hectares and it's directly next to Batterieberg. It's a terraced, ungrafted, old-vine section, and the vines used to belong to our friends at Weiser-Künstler until they sold to Kollmann. Aromatically vivid, with a light underlying wild streak to the nose, the wine is the sweetest of the lineup (many others in the Mosel would call it a feinherb, though; this is still dinner Riesling). Perfect balance, and while some of the other wines may be more contemplative, Zeppwingert is hands down the most delicious. This is another one with "sky's the limit" aging potential. I'm excited to track its development over many years. -jfr

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  • $59.99