As a native of Bernkastel, Germany who emigrated to the Finger Lakes in the 1960s, Hermann J. Wiemer was uniquely qualified to help establish and create a wine region now known for its Riesling identity. His mother’s family had been making wine in Germany’s Mosel Valley for more than 300 years. His father, a skilled nurseryman, had been in charge of the Agricultural Experiment Station in Bernkastel and was responsible for restoring vines in the Mosel region after WWII. As a result, he recognized the importance of grafting vinifera on American rootstock. Ultimately, this conviction led Hermann’s father to convince Dr. Thanisch – who maintained the most famous Riesling vineyard in the world – to graft Mosel Rieslings onto American rootstock.
Hermann J Wiemer Cuvee Brut is a 65/35 blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, bottled in August 2014 and disgorged in August 2018. It comes in with five grams of residual sugar and 12% alcohol. It is quite dry. The Pinot Noir was sourced exclusively from Magdalena Vineyard, the Chardonnay from HJW and Josef Vineyards. This was seen before, but this is a new disgorgement. (Kudos to Wiemer for being transparent-the disgorgement is noted with a stamp on the back label.) This has fleshed out, showing both more concentration and more intensity. Big, dense and palate-coating, this adds a gripping, dry and long finish with a little sharpness. There are some whispers of complexity now, too, but it is still young.