Rheinhessen - Alzey
Chris Barth looks after 7 hectares of vines around the town of Alzey in Rheinhessen, in the southern part of the region before it becomes Pfalz. The varied soil types and favourable climate means this region is also home to a wide variety of grape varieties, not just great Riesling but also Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir), Sylvaner, Chardonnay, Grauburgunder (Pinot Gris), Muller-Thurgau and Gewurztraminer. This region is home to many new, fresh faced, ambitious winegrowers who are making thrilling dry wines without chemicals in the vineyard or unnecessary manipulations/additions in the winemaking.
Melaphyr Riesling 2021
Riesling Sous Voile 2020
Chris's vineyards are certified biodynamic, with an emphasis on preserving biodiversity and the health of the soil. The vineyards he works are on rolling terrain with a few hundred meters of elevation, perfect for growing Riesling and other cool climate grape varieties.
His top wine comes from vineyards on limestone soil (in Albig) and a wonderful volcanic basalt soil called 'Melaphyr' (in Alzey), from which the wine takes it's name. Chris works with mostly neutral vessels making racy and textural wines with bags of energy that have a generous feel to them whilst keeping a classic laser focussed acidity through the wine.
The wines go through malolactic fermentation and have no additions apart from some small amounts of SO2 at bottling, if needed. The bottles are a little different from the norm in this region and are the wider burgundy type, a reminder that these wines are quite different to most of the wines produced in this region!
The unique 'Melaphyr' soil, pure volcanic basalt from the Paleolithic period