From €9.95, £9 in bond, $17.40, HK$171
Last week I published tasting notes on the wines of two particularly gifted German women winemakers. Eva Fricke is much less established than Sybille Kuntz but, tasting through her carefully geographically delineated 2014 Rieslings, I was struck by the value offered by her ‘simple’ Estate Riesling.
This is no catch-all for the offcuts from her more specific bottlings but a serious wine on its own account. It is dry (like the majority of Rieslings bottled in Germany nowadays) and a very friendly 12% alcohol. It tastes as though all the sorting she had to do after heavy rains in September 2014 really paid off since this is a wine with a super-clean, really intense nose and an array of aromas including the floral and mineral ones normally associated with ripe Riesling but also something in the spice range, red pimento perhaps.
I was impressed by the structure of the wine. This tastes as though it will still be going strong a good two years from now and should provide great drinking without food or with quite spicy dishes. I liked the reverberation on the finish and felt that this was a wine a definite step up from most Estate Rieslings.
You can read more about her more expensive bottlings (also available in the US, Hong Kong and throughout Europe) here. Lay & Wheeler is the principal British retailer but Berry Bros & Rudd offer a couple of her vineyard-designated 2013s (we seem to have tasted just about every one of her wines, except for the 2013s). Wine-searcher.com lists many retailers in the US and elsewhere. Her 2014s are offered for sale in Hong Kong, but I note that stock is held in a UK bonded warehouse, very possibly the same one as supplies UK merchant Lay & Wheeler. The wines are imported into the UK by Fields Morris & Verdin and into the US by Farm Wine Imports of California and Bonhomie Wine Imports of New York. In Canada, the wines are exclusive to Metrovino.
If you put the name Eva Fricke in our search box, choosing either the Tasting notes or Everything else option, you can follow the progress of this winemaker from her upbringing in Bremen in the far north of Germany to her years at Leitz in the classic Rheingau to the establishment of her own estate downriver in Lorch. In New wave Germans in 2009 she had less than a hectare of vines but today she has six, including holdings in the very different Krone and Schlossberg sites, where vines are respectively 14 and 60 years old. Schlossberg, usually a little richer than the Krone Riesling, was the more successful in 2014. This is a Riesling-only enterprise.
She has made wine all over the world including in Bordeaux, Piemonte, South Africa, Australia and at Pingus in Ribera del Duero.
These are fine wines by any measure.