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Werner Elflein, Schillerstraße 78, 41464 Neuss, Germany. E‑mail: info@weinfreaks.de.

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Turning one into three

Kilian Schmitges' three-barrel experiment

11 January 2024
Werner Elflein

aus-eins-mach-drei.jpgPhoto: weinfreaks.de
Kilian Schmitges' experimental wines

Mosel winemaker Kilian Schmitges from Erden embarked on an unusual experiment in autumn 2016, distributing the grapes from his best dry Riesling evenly across three different containers. What makes it special: In addition to a steel tank and an oak barrel, a granite barrel was also used. While the three wines (labelled Steel, Stone and Wood) were still very similar in the first year after bottling, they now reveal significant differences as they mature. Initially, the stainless steel version was ahead of the granite version, but with the appropriate time lag, we have a completely different ranking.

The stone barrel made from a nine-tonne block of granite weighs a good still weighs a good two tonnes with the lid. While granite barrels are already are already used more frequently in Austria, they are almost unknown in Germany. Kilian Schmitges was given the opportunity to try out the 15000 euro barrel for a year.

The expectations were high. “Granite goes very well with Mosel Riesling, there's nothing more natural than stone,” says Schmitges. “Just as the barrique barrel imparts its unmistakable flavour to the wine, the granite barrel is now intended to emphasise the minerality in the wine.”

The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitively settled — but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk.

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I must not only punish but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong. It must be understood that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.

The wines at a glance

Symbols
The rating of the wine reflects the mean value from a tasting by our jury.
The wine was evaluated in a blind tasting.
The wine was tasted as a barrel sample or before an official test number (Amtliche Prüfungsnummer or Staatliche Prüfnummer) was issued.
In our tasting, the wine exhibited a qualitative defect or a wine fault. Depending on the type and severity of the defect or wine fault, the wine was downgraded or rejected.

Schmitges

Hauptstraße 24 • 54492 Erden • Germany
Phone: +49 6532 2743 • Fax: +49 6532 3934
Internet: www.schmitges-weine.de • E‑mail: info@schmitges-weine.de

The winery at weinfreaks.de with all its wines

WinewhitedryRiesling

2016 Erden Treppchen Riesling Steel Qualitätswein trocken

Germany

Mosel • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 2582071 19 17 • 12.5 % alcohol

15.5

Tasted on 21 October 2023 by Werner Elflein

Light yellow colour. Quite a closed powdery fragrance with a reductive component. Otherwise shows greater similarities with the Wood version. However, despite being aged in stainless steel, it appears fuller and creamier in the centre. Green-herbaceous minerality, very long. In the slimming finish with a slight phenolic bitterness.

15.5

Tasted on 21 October 2023 by Werner Elflein and Ioulia Elflein under four eyes

16

Tasted on 25 June 2017 by Werner Elflein

16

Tasted on 25 June 2017 by Werner Elflein and Ioulia Elflein under four eyes

WinewhitedryRiesling

2016 Erden Treppchen Riesling Stone Qualitätswein trocken

Germany

Mosel • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 2582071 18 17 • 12.5 % alcohol

16

Tasted on 21 October 2023 by Werner Elflein

Light yellow colour. Extremely focussed, both on the nose and in the mouth. Clear fruit expression, a hint of strawberry, but also with a somewhat reductive character. On the palate with a vegetal note, a certain phenolic flavour and polished acidity. As expected, emphasises minerality and has rough edges. Very good length. Combines slender elegance with stoic composure.

16

Tasted on 21 October 2023 by Werner Elflein and Ioulia Elflein under four eyes

15.5

Tasted on 25 June 2017 by Werner Elflein

15.5

Tasted on 25 June 2017 by Werner Elflein and Ioulia Elflein under four eyes

WinewhitedryRiesling

2016 Erden Treppchen Riesling Wood Qualitätswein trocken

Germany

Mosel • Geschützte Ursprungsbezeichnung (g. U.)

Amtliche Prüfungsnummer 2582071 17 17 • 12.5 % alcohol

17

Tasted on 21 October 2023 by Werner Elflein

Light yellow colour. Open and well-developed on the nose. Hints of yellow fruit, green leaves, blackcurrant and eucalyptus with a delicate mineral note. On the palate, probably the finest and most balanced Riesling of the trio Steel, Stone and Wood. Shows very good complexity and a certain creaminess, especially on the finish. Traces of nettle and woodruff. Slightly herbaceous, with piquant acidity and excellent length. Contrary to our initial prognosis, it has developed very positively.

17

Tasted on 21 October 2023 by Werner Elflein and Ioulia Elflein under four eyes

15

Tasted on 25 June 2017 by Werner Elflein

15

Tasted on 25 June 2017 by Werner Elflein and Ioulia Elflein under four eyes