The base wine is a 2018 vintage Riesling from the upper (300m above river level) parcels of the Enkircher Ellergrub, a very barren, extremely steep blue slate site full of old, rootless vines. All aromatic plants are gathered within 50 meters of the grapes, among them the all-important wormwood, which is mostly foraged between the vines. As with the rosehip and hawthorn collected by the edge of the vineyard, it is extracted cold in alcohol.
At 14.5% alcohol, this vermouth is at the lower end of the alcohol range permitted for this type of wine and contains no added sugar.
Absurdly, the winery isn’t allowed to refer to it as Dry or Extra Dry vermouth, as these legally require more alcohol.
This is a fine, light, elegant aperitif vermouth with invigorating bitterness and acidity that also still clearly shows the wine roots. It’s perfectly balanced and really good with cold ice – which is to say ice that has come straight out of the freezer.