Winnica Silesian is a new brand to the polish wine market, but they already managed to get widespread attention. The foundation is strong – there is a lovely story, a vivid design, there are the personality and the young strength, as well as and good social media coverage. But is there also a final product – the wine? Well, yes!
The first thing one notices is the beautiful label design. Each of the labels bears a different picture of the family or the property, accompanied by a short story and wine description. The Roter Riesling’s label tells us a story about the founder’s brother, his horse, and his temper, which shall be resembled in the character of the wine – cheerful, young and playful.
Before we get to the wine, what is the Roter Riesling? For a long time, it was believed that the grape is the ancestor of the well-known white Riesling grape. The DNA analysis conducted in 2009 contradicted the popular view. It turned out that the red Riesling is a mutation of the white grape. It is more resistant to the Botrytis (which means we won’t see any red Riesling Eiswein), should bring more acidity forward, while exhibiting almost identic aromas as the white Riesling. The Roter Riesling varietal was cultivated partially in the area of Rheingau and the hessianWeinstrasse, planted commonly together with the white Riesling grape already in the Middle Ages. Currently, not a popular grape anymore, yet the University of Geisenheim is also working on Roter Riesling as a part of the reinitiation of the indigenous grapes to the local viticulture. Thank the effort of the Institut für Rebenzüchtung (which would translate to something like “Institute for Grape Cultivation Studies”) running under the same University, the grape is officially recognized and admitted for the production of Qualitätswein, which is a big deal. In the German retail market, one can find bottles of Roter Riesling without any bigger problem, but the popularity is nowhere close to white Riesling.
The 2018 Roter Riesling from Winnica Silesian is their commercial debut not only with that particular grape but in general. The winery is a joint effort of the three generations of one family. They all are involved in the production of wines. Winnica Silesian gets the consulting support from two experienced winemakers – Michał Pajdosz, from another polish winery Winnica Jakubów; and Matthias Schuh from Weingut Schuh near Dresden in the east part of the country. I think the knowledge transfer within the whole team is one the reasons why Winnica Silesian is open for a few brave decisions like prolongated yeast contact, Trockenbeereauslese, or of course, planting of the Roter Riesling next to the classic Riesling.
“When it is possible, we will definitely plant more.” – Answered Sonia Mazurek when asked about the Roter Riesling. Currently, the vineyard is planted on 11 hectares of land, most of the soil is schist (slate), which will add to the adicity level. The vines were planted in 2016, and once truly deep-rooted, the wine will profit from another range of beautiful aromas, bringing more to already delicious wine.
The aromas to notice with the 2018 Roter Riesling are the classic cool climate Riesling’s aromas – few floral notes, present citric aromas (grapefruit, lemon zest). It’s young, nevertheless – very correct, precise. Right after opening the bottle, the wine works very fresh, with good acidity and very well incorporated alcohol (12% ABV) from the very beginning. Still, it comes a little flat – it needs a bit of breathing to release the aromas. I found it sensitive to the temperature, more than expected – it gives very little when served too cold. The standard Riesling’s serving temperature lies around 7 – 10 Celcius. I found the best result with that 2018 Roter Riesling around 12 degrees. It might not seem like a huge difference, but it is very noticeable, the aromas start to flow. After some time since the bottle was opened – one can notice clear litchi, also a little bit of peach and wild strawberry.
Of course, next to the already interesting nose and the optics (absolutely beautiful, vibrant orange color), the palate is profiting from 3 and ½ weeks of skins maceration. The wine won a bit fuller body than the usual cool climate Riesling offers.
All wines by Winnica Silesian are produced only with own grown grapes, all harvested and selected by hand. The grapes are vinified and bottled at the winery. I’m really curious about how the aromas and quality will develop over time. All their vines are, of course, still very young. Once a proper yield control and management will be possible and take place, the results will be fascinating. Especially since even at a young age of the winery – the team behind Winnica Silesian is already able to deliver a wine of good quality. I strongly believe that in a few years – they will produce some indeed bomb Roter Rieslings.
👀 Appearance: clear, medium-, color orange
👃 Nose: clean, medium intensity fresh with clear citric aromas (primarily grapefruit, lemon zest), after decanting – intensity medium+ primarily litchi, and peach, secondary – wild strawberry
👅 Palate: dry, medium+ acidity – very good incorporated, balanced, additionally aromas of green apple on the palate
💣 ABV: 12%