Welcome to Pop or FLOP
Ratings are necessary to better understand a sparkling wine.
I chose a simple POP or FLOP rating system. Anything I want to see again is a POP. Else it’s a FLOP. What ticks my boxes you can read find in the sparkling wine cellar.
Don’t take ratings too serious. A sparkling wine is good if it tastes no matter what rating it has received! Your taste is important but stay informed.
🌐 Region: Heilbronn, Württemberg
🇩🇪 Country: Germany
🍾 Variety: Winzersekt
🍇 Grape varieties: Riesling
🌶️ Taste: brut
📅 Vintage: 2016
📅 Disgorgement date: –
🥂 Alcohol: 13,0%
🍭 Sugar content: 6,8 g/l
⚠️ Total acidity: 5,3 g/l
💰 Price: 14,90 €
🏆 Rating: POP
🥂 Drink of the day: 1 April 2020
Did you know that Heilbronn is the oldest wine town in the area Württemberg, Germany? Wine is grown there since 1250 years. Most of the vineyards are along the river Neckar, but also the side rivers Sulm, Jagst and Kocher. The vineyards reach to the city limit of Heilbronn. It’s a beautiful scenery. A good view over the city and the vineyards you have from the Wartberg.
In the middle of the vineyards is the wine house Kistenmacher & Hengerer. Wine production has a 600 years tradition in the family. They are firstly mentioned 1418, respectively 1460 as winemakers in Heilbronn. The vines are in average 28 years old.
Grapes are picked by hand and sorted several times before the grape juice is pressed. After that the fermentation starts.
What I specifically like is that Kistenmacher & Hengerer is making Winzersekt (‘Vintners Sekt’). In addition disgorgement dates are on the labels. A vintage can have up to 3 disgorgement dates. That gives a perfect picture about the ageing of the sparkling wine. I like to compare different disgorgement dates.
Riesling is a white grape. It represents, like no other grape, today’s German wine culture.
Riesling had a bad reputation in the past because it was used to produce cheap sweet wine for the masses. Today Riesling stands for high quality, crisp, refreshing wines with pronounced acidity. An ideal base for sparkling wine.
Young Riesling sparkling wines have a rather acidic, not harmonious palate. The full maturity of the Sekt is reached after prolonged vinification.
Kistenmacher & Hengerer Riesling 2016 has a present, fine mousseux. About the color, I am not quite sure whether it is more greenish or a straw colour. How about greenish straw?
Very green. The fragrance reminds me of plants. A bit woody, followed by citrus fruits.
Slim, sour and some citrus. Fine and juicy, with plenty of bite in between. Clear green and yeasty notes. The finish is well balanced and acidic.
POP or Flop
FLOP! I’m so sorry. It is not an April Fool’s joke. The Kistenmacher & Hengerer Riesling 2016 is no taste explosion on my palate. On the other hand, it didn’t fail completely neither. The quality is great. Young Riesling is just not my taste. It should have been longer on the lees. It is too lean and acidic. With a little more patience, this would certainly be a brilliant aged Riesling sparkling wine.
Riesling has more potential. The storage life of high quality Rieslings is almost unlimited. Interesting fruit aromas are still present after more than 20 years. Fortunately, there are winegrowers, such as Bardong or Solter, catering for my niche Riesling sparkling wine taste.
Then again try the Riesling when you are at the winery. Maybe young Riesling is more your thing.
Events and Tastings
Kistenmacher & Hengerer is in any case worth a visit. We show up every time we are in the area. Hospitality is written in big letters there. Sabine and Jonathan has a lot to tell about their products. If you are lucky Hans shows up, but he is mainly busy in the cellar and the vineyards. Time flies and you have a good time tasting the wine and Winzersekt.
Several events are offered during the year. My special event is the Christmas market in December. Homemade Glühwein and snacks in the garden with view into the vineyards. All dates can be found here.
Oh and there is the Heilbronner Weindorf. It’s the traditional wine festival and Kistenmacher & Hengerer presents their wines and sparkling wines together with many other local winemakers.