Columbia Valley, Washington
WINEMAKER – Armin Diel
Armin Diel is one of Germany’s most acclaimed Riesling producers. His family has owned the celebrated estate of Schlossgut Diel, in Burg Layen, in the Nahe River Valley since 1802. Involved in the estate from the early years of his childhood, Armin assumed management of the winery, a 12th century medieval castle and its prestigious vineyards. All three parcels (Goldloch, Pittermannchen, Burgberg) have been classified on an official ground tax map with the highest possible ranking since 1901, giving them status comparable to a Burgundy Grand Cru. The estate is a member of the prestigious “Verband Deutscher Prädikatsweingüter” (VDP) and Armin is president of the VDP-Nahe section. Schlossgut Diel is internationally renowned for its white wines, predominately Rieslings, across a wide range of styles.
About half of the grapes came from German clones planted in the Horse Heaven Hills, planted in 2004 in close consultation with managing partner Armin Diel, selected to give the wine its distinct minerality. Sagemoor Farms Vineyards (21%) provide otes of apricot and honey. Yakima Valley’s Phil Church Vineyard (15%) contributes bright acidity. And Underwood Mountain (8%) in the Coumbia Gorge was the coolest site used in the vintage’s blend, enhances the wine’s lively, assertive character.
Hand-harvested grapes were gently sorted and whole cluster pressed to avoid any bitterness while enhancing clean, crisp character and freshness in the finished wine. Fermented at a cool 60 degrees in stainless steel tanks using a collection of German yeasts, Armin selected his favorite lots of the vintage to achieve a lively Riesling styled with a racy, complex character.
91 points – Wine Spectator
90 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate