Overview of the Wine
The wines have an in-your-face, love-it-or-hate-it sensibility. They are unfailingly honest. They present a bizarre vocabulary: dried earth and rocks, herbs, something vaguely subterranean, a savory, briny, smoky atmosphere that slowly reveals fine layers of bright citrus. For all this depth and mysteriousness, Becker’s white wines are like Becker himself: angular, tensile with awkward elbows and muscle and sinew pulled tightly over a lean frame. They flaunt a rather prominent acidity that recalls the more nervy wines of the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer, though there is a weight, a density that speaks of the Rheingau. They seem to have more to do with great Chablis than with what we often think of as German Riesling.
Becker is a strong advocate of wild-yeast fermentations. This practice puts the graying wild-statesman of German winemaking right next to the young German hipster-growers, as obsessed with natural yeasts as anything else. On the other hand, since vintage 2003 Becker has bottled his wine with glass closures, which of course alienates him from this same population.
Becker prefers to use pressurized tanks for fermentation, relishing a quick, warm fermentation (a similar method is used at places like J.J. Prüm, Keller, etc). Then he racks the juice into the traditional barrels of the Rheingau for at least two years of barrel age before bottling. In other words: Gun the shit out of it and then slam on the breaks and wait out all the others. Even with these very long élevages, Becker seems to release wines willy-nilly – he keeps older vintages around because, in a way, the wines demand it. I have had plenty of Kabinett Trockens at well over 20 years of age and they are gossamer and fine and sprightly and profound.
Grape / Blend
Winemaker's Tasting Notes
While HaJo is more of a dry wine specialist, he will make some Prädikat wines - never too much - and they are icons of an age gone by... while they are not nervy like Mosel wines are nervy, they definitely have more energy and zing to them than nearly any other Rheingau Prädikat wines I've had. The nose is ripe apple and bosc pear, layers of gravely minearlity and a perfectly poised grip. Just beautiful juice.
Product size: 750ml