An incredible dry Riesling buy from this unknown producer, Prinz, is starting to build a big reputation. The wines from this estate are very rare and never imported to the United States, but in 2020 are some of the most noteworthy yet and best buys in the region, rivaling greats across Germany. This is not a wine to pass up for those that love German Riesling.
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Fred Prinz is not a producer we have offered before, but there's no better time to get acquainted with this great address in the Rheingau than now. This passionate farming family consists of Fred and Sabrine Prinz and their son, who work the high elevation vineyards of the Rheingau sustainably using strict organic and biodynamic practices. This is a younger address as far as Germany goes, and Fred Prinz started making wine in 1991 as a hobby, but by 2004 and with 6 hectares of vines, things became serious. Today they have just under 10 hectares which, as mentioned, are farmed with the utmost respect for nature, coaxing out the best the vines and terroir have to offer. A high level of biodiversity is welcome in the vineyards, allowing other plants and grasses to grow between the vines, forcing the roots to go deeper in the soil for nutrients, influencing the wine's character, concentration, and minerality. Biodynamics followed here includes interesting practices that come with it, including burying cow horns filled with quartz and organic fertilizer in the summer and winter months, where they are dug up and used to stimulate growth and protect the vines. These are labor-intensive techniques that have an apparent effect on the quality of their fruit that keeps them committed to it, and we also appreciate the absence of chemicals used. Priz works four great vineyards, Schonhell being the one we are featuring today, south-southwest facing wind-exposed slope planted on gravel, sand, loess in 1970. This site naturally limits yields and can achieve a high level of ripeness, making it ideal for Grosses Gewachs. Hand-harvested and carefully selected undamaged grapes are pressed whole cluster very gently, allowing the must to settle for 24 hours before a monitored fermentation and bottling in spring. The 2020 Schönhell is an outstanding wine, one of the GG Riesling top buys of the vintage, proving that the Prinz estate, while the new kid on the block, is taking all the proper steps to be at the top. This is an extremely rare wine in the USA, and we currently have the only bottles available of any vintage from Prinz and is highly recommended for fans of German Riesling.