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Lukas Hammelmann
the wines should probably not be this good?
pushing boundaries in the Pfalz, 3rd ed.

{ these wines are simply a force unto themselves; they are utterly singular, showing a wild mish-mash of influence and style, from Schäfer-Fröhlich to Rebholz, Clemens Busch, Weiser-Künstler, Stefan Vetter and Jonas Dostert... }
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Hammelmann's wines are, without question, among the most exciting wines we have discovered in the last two years. If any of the estates above are of interest to you, we cannot recommend these wines enough.

Yet for us the wines are also among the most difficult to contextualize, to find suitable reference points for. By nearly any geographical understanding, these wines simply should not be as good as they are. In our first meeting back in August of 2021, Lukas talked about his hometown of Zeiskam in the lower Pfalz and about how all the growers from the more famous towns would joke that "Zeiskam is only good for potatoes."

That Hammelmann's wines not only far transcend what others see as their humble origins - but in many cases embarrass the wines of these more famous appellations - speaks to Hammelmann's brilliance, his skill, his pride, his relentless work ethic, more than a little stubbornness and perhaps even some anger.

Part of the genius here seems born through a tremendous force of will; perhaps some of it is born in a desire to show who's who.

And the truth is, at least as far as the Pfalz is concerned, there are few estates whose wines show the cut and rigor of the best Hammelmann bottling - it's as simple as that.

Of our references above, only Rebholz is in the Pfalz and while these wines can show a similar thrust, they are nearly always a bit weightier than a Hammelmann. The closest comparison, we think, are the wines of Schäfer-Fröhlich; Hammelmann's wines show something of the force and extreme cut and clarity of Schäfer-Fröhlich - a similar focus on soil and stone. Like Clemens Busch, Hammelmann's wines can show a certain glaze - perhaps the only nod to the warmth of the landscape he is working in. They can show a density of fruit, normally a bright citrus glaze, on the mid-palate.

Like Weiser-Künstler, Vetter and Dostert, acidity plays a ruthless and unflinching role in these wines. It provides not only the energy and the structure, it surges through nearly every element of the wine like a live wire of electricity.

Yet if we are unable to contextualize or explain these wines better, part of this is also due to the fact that while Lukas is brilliant, he is also young and his story is just beginning.

In addition, Hammelmann is still exploring many of his sites, experimenting with ways in which to show their potential best. For some sites - like the Schlossberg Terrassen, made from a tiny parcel of ungrafted vines, rescued back from the forest after many years fallow - this is the very first vintage, a premiere of sorts.

This is a wildly fascinating story; these are wildly exciting wines.

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