If you're looking for credentials then Steffen Christmann has well and truly got you covered. He and his wife Daniela are the 7th generation in the Christmann family to make wine on their vineyards in Pfalz. He was responsible for the conversion of the vineyards to biodynamic farming practices and is highly regarded for his precise, terroir focused mineral driven wines.
Not only is he one of Germany's most well regarded wine makers, he is also the current president of the V.D.P, a voluntarily association of German wine producers committed to high quality, dry Riesling production and recognising the highest quality sites in Germany.
Until the Christmann family took it on, the Idig site was all but forgotten and now it is one of the most highly regarded sites in the Palatine region in Pfalz and the GG wine is the cornerstone of their wine portfolio. The 2018 GG Idig is Christmann wine at its finest; clean, mineral driven and refined, a clear example of why the wine world has come to love the wines from this estate.
Idig was more or less forgotten until the early 1990s, when the Christmann family of Gimmeldingen purchased choice parcels of the original site and “put Idig on the map”, with recognition and awards by leading German and international wine critics for its top Rieslings. Idig is the cornerstone of the A. Christmann estate and one of the most highly-prized sites in the Pflaz. It's situated on top of solid limestone, deposited in the tertiary age from limestone deposits created during the break-up of the Upper Rhine Plain. The top layers of the site are made up of “terra fusca”, a combination of chalk, clay and red sandstone eroded from the Haardt hills over millennia and deposited on the slopes of Mittelhaardt. In the top layers of the soil there is a large amount of limestone but also a substantial amount of basalt. The GG grapes are selected according to strict criteria over one or two rounds of picking, taking only healthy fruit at the peak of ripeness, with yields generally around 40hl/ha.
Steffen Christmann is the current president of the VDP and his biodynamically produced wines are truly terroir-focused, clean and immense. A. Christmann’s history dates back to 1845 when Prof. Dr. Ludwig Häusser, professor of history at Heidelberg University and a member of the Vorparliament of the Pauluskirche together with his cousin Johann Martin, founded a small winery in Gimmeldingen as a hobby. During the next generation, winegrowing grew to become their main profession. In 1894 Eduard Christmann married Henriette Häusser, the granddaughter of the founder. Today the estate bears the name of her son Arnold, and Steffen runs it as seventh-generation custodian. Biodynamic producer
This is a remarkably mineral and taut style with dried citrus, quartz, ivory and brightly squeezed citrus. Edgy and compact on the palate with subtle, caressing phenolics and vibrant, bright acidity. Long and very citrusy on the finish.
MICHAEL SCHMIDT - JANCISROBINSON.COM
One could be tempted to call Steffen Christmann’s Idig the minimalist among Riesling Grosse Gewächse. Whereas others may revel in opulence, particularly in 2018, the Idig excels in noble restraint. But it is exactly this understatement of individual components, whether they be herbal, mineral or fruity, which allows the taster to focus on balance and elegance as the key elements of one of the most sophisticated of Germany’s Grosse Gewächse. The thinking-person’s Riesling. 18/20