We drive the busy roadway along the Rhein river in the city of Nierstein and arrive at the FK Schmit estate in Rheinhessen. It looks just like the label on the bottles, and Franz Karl Schmitt explains the house was built in 1925 post WWII. You may have enjoyed his 2007 Weissherbst (Rosé) this year, especially at Thanksgiving and I am happy to let you know the 2008 is in tank, clarifying right now and will be bottled in two weeks.
We sit in a small parlor with the wine samples and his cat watching from a room across the hall. Franz Karl talks of his vineyards being on “the red slope” referring to the red decomposing rock we see along the river. This red rock is the primary reason we love Rheinhessen’s acidity. He also produces wines from the grand cru vineyard, Niersteiner Hipping. We taste the 2007 Hipping and it is truly excellent, although a bit backwards at this very early stage of life. I look forward to retasting this wine down the road. We work through just six wines, and I have my highest “buy” ratio, preferring 5 of the 6 wines as possible vintages for the store. In fairness, the sixth was a 1997 vintage bottle, no longer available for purchase, but to show me how his wines age.
As we visit 12 wines on the table today, I am treated to new vintages of his Scheurebe, which we religiously sell in Durham and a fantastic Gewurztraminer. I can’t wait to see these back home