The Emrich-Schönleber family is present in the area of Monzingen, on the western edge of the wine area of Nahe, in Germany, as early as 1750, when some correspondence report that the Emrich family had inherited land there. Since then this family has never stopped tying its name to those areas, engaging in a mixed production based on agriculture, cattle breeding and viticulture. After the second half of the ’60s, however, there was a decisive change of direction, operated by Wilhelm and, subsequently, by his son Werner, with the conversion of the entire property to exclusive wine production. Today Werner continues to take care of the agronomic part in the vineyards, which have gone from the original 2 hectares to the current 20, assisted by the young Frank, current owner of the estate, who mainly follows the phase of winemaking in the cellar.
The Schönleber family is aware of the high value of its vineyards in Monzingen, whose excellent quality was praised, at the beginning of the 19th century, by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, (but also by the famous pioneer of German viticulture Johann Philipp Bronner), and to preserve it commits itself to a work that already in the vineyard is characterized by the maximum nature respect. The research of the balance between soil and plants, and between natural water resources and grapes produced, the assiduous manual care of each vegetative phase, the return to the soil of what is taken from the plants, in the form of organic compost, these are just some of the tricks that the Schönlebers adopt with conviction and dedication.
Among the wines produced, the Riesling Lenz (=Spring) comes from the parcels of property that do not possess the denomination Grosse Lage, the top quality, according to the hierarchy established by the organization of the elite of German winemakers, the Verband Deutscher Prädikats und Qualitätsweinguter, also known as VDP. The steep and precipitous vineyards, between 160 and 250 meters above sea level, produce grapes that are harvested rather late, only at the maximum grapes’ ripeness moment. In the cellar, after a very delicate pressing, the must is left to ferment spontaneously, in steel containers, then the wine obtained rests a few months (always in steel) before bottling and marketing. The 2019 vintage has a very pale straw yellow color, with some greenish streaks and a range of aromas that start from nectarine, sweet almond, strawberry tree honey and chlorophyll, with a contour of kumquat, hawthorn, hydrocarbon and wet rock. The taste is characterized by a pleasant alternation between a sparkling citrine acidity and a glyceric softness (never excessive), which gives a whispered idea of sweetness. In the center of the palate then, slowly, also emerges the sapid-mineral tactile part, along with the return of citrus and hydrocarbon that accompany the sip until a good length closure.
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