The Felsenberg is a fascinating monopole site that had once been farmed centuries ago, but was then abandoned. Today, it is in fact a part of the nature preserve called the Berntal, with the Rings planting of French Pinot Noir clones 9 years ago being the only vineyard that will ever be planted here, as it is a nature preserve that cannot be developed any further. It is a little pocket of a valley to the north of the Saumagen/Steinacker vinyeards, facing fully south; when standing up on the plateau of the Steinacker at its northern edge, you can see the valley below. Its soils are a unique blend of an intense amount of hard limestone rock, with the same rare Terra Rossa soils of the Weilberg found deep beneath the limestone/marl. The tubelike valley has a strong afternoon/evening cooling effect, à la the Combes of Burgundy. Now in its 6th vintage of production, it has taken on a more harmonized and intense sense of expressiveness, which to my taste is the best iteration yet. As it has been historically, it was entirely destemmed by hand, including the tiny “jacks”, or small pieces of stem that often remain inside the berry when picked. Its sensual appeal is undeniable, positively silky and deep in its red fruits and violet florals, yet not quite as dense as the Saumagen, and its limestone component almost pixilated in its sense of detail, versus the more limestone intense Saumagen. In its overall impression, it is clearly of Grand cru caliber in its sense of class, complexity, and sustain, finally starting to show its more adult face as the vines age. Again, if such a creature were from Burgundy, wine lovers would be flipping their top for its sense of complexity and pleasure. A little * awarded here, this being the finest vintage for this tiny production yet. Man oh man, these “kids” are good…..
“The 2018 Spätburgunder GG Leistadter Felsenberg opens with a wonderfully pure, precise and concentrated bouquet of dark and red berries intertwined with refreshing chalk and lemon juice aromas and a very fine toast note. Gorgeous! Silky and smooth on the highly delicate palate, this is an intense, generous, dense, very long and powerful yet always energetic and tensioned Pinot with spectacular reduction. Total production: 850 liters from 65 ars (which is only four barrels instead of the normal seven). This exciting Pinot Noir is from a pretty steep vineyard on two plots planted on “terra fusca” and limestone soils in 2010 in a natural reserve close to Leistadt. Planted with 10,000 vines per hectare, the vines are trained on a low trellising system (French clones such as Fin, Très Fin, 828, 667). One part (from the upper terrace) was fermented with 100% whole clusters, the other part with 20% whole clusters. Tasted as an unbottled sample, this only a provisional score; I will taste the final result in later summer.” 94-96 Stephan Reinhardt for the 2018, NOT THE 2020 OFFERED HERE