• The King of Dry:   Klaus Peter Keller Riesling

    The King of Dry: Klaus Peter Keller Riesling

    Perhaps no producer in the world has seen a rise in popularity and prices at the rate we are witnessing with Klaus Peter Keller's Rheinhessen Grosses Gewächs wines. The quality has been superb for many years now, but small production met with rapidly growing interest is a bit of a nightmare scenario as a retailer.

    Today, I'm happy to offer a small parcel of some of Keller's top wines, the 2016 Hubacker GG, RR Goldkapsel, and Frauenberg Spätburgunder GG.

    RR Goldkapsel is the cult classic wine of the estate, sourced from a 0.33 ha parcel of red soil located in the limetsone-dominant Kirchspiel vineyard. Because Keller ferments this naturally there is always a touch of residual sugar left, which really balances the darker mineral expression of this parcel.

    Hubacker is one of the most powerful and deeply concentrated dry Rieslings in the Keller lineup. Sourced from a vineyard of loess, loam, and marl, with large blocks of limestone scattered throughout.

    Frauenberg is an excellent choice for blinding your Francophile friends. The Burgundian kinship was deepened when Keller worked alongside Eric Rousseau in Gevrey-Chambertin & Hubert Lignier in Morey-Saint-Denis. That's good company.


    "If I had to choose one wine to show how great dry German Riesling can be I would choose a Keller riesling. Those wines are the German Montrachets"
    - Jancis Robinson

    The quote has turned many heads toward the Rheinhessen since it was first published in 2008. Robinson's expertise crosses over an infinite array of regions and producers. When declarations at this level are made, people pay close attention. 
    Posted by Alexander Rosen
  • 2007 Unicorn Tears:  Koehler-Ruprecht

    2007 Unicorn Tears: Koehler-Ruprecht "R" & "RR" Dry Riesling

    Magical is a word that adequately sums up the Koehler-Ruprecht estate in Germany's Pfalz region. But, when we are talking about the super rare reserve bottlings, "R" and"RR", we've entered another dimension of dry Riesling. 

    Today, I'm happy to offer the 
    2007 Koehler-Ruprecht Saumagen Riesling Auslese Trocken "R" and "RR" for $119 and $149, respectively. This is the only listing for any vintage of either wine in the entire U.S.

    The "R" and "RR" come from a special selection of the smallest, golden berries harvested in the Saumagen vineyard. The "RR" is differentiated partially by its extra aging in barrel as compared to the "R". 2007 saw near perfect balance for the whites in Alsace, and much like in Burgundy, there's a freshness to this vintage that continues to appeal to more classic-leaning palates.

    The wines of Koehler-Ruprecht bear little resemblance to those of neighboring producers, nor to those next door in France's Alsace. Though Riesling is the focus here, a super-natural element exists within all of their wines that make them stand out among their contemporaries. These are some of the very most fascinating wines on earth, and it's the extreme hands-off approach here that's largely responsible for that singular quality. 


    The winemaking has remained about the same since the early 18th century when the domaine was established. Ferments occur completely naturally. Aging takes place in larger old German oak barrels. The vineyards are worked without herbicides, pesticides, or irrigation. The sweet spot of the holdings comes from Kallstadter's famed Saumagen vineyard, which translates to "pig's stomach" due to its shape. The Pfalz is home to an amalgamation of soils. But, here in Saumagen, it's limestone that takes center stage and bears the most responsibility for this site's crystalline nature, and peerless transformative abilities in bottle.

    Koehler-Ruprecht produces Rieslings dry, off-dry, and sweet, but it's their trocken (dry) bottlings that really hit the mark for me. With age these begin to convert into absolutely mystical wines. Their calling card is a cotton candy note that slowly develops. The protective influence of the Vosges mountains to the west gives the Pfalz the lowest amount of rainfall in Germany. This abundance of sunlight gives ample texture and full-throttle ripeness. Finding wines from the Pfalz that avoid getting a little chunky can be challenging. Koehler-Ruprecht's dry versions always carry a flashy mineral streak that brilliantly juxtaposes with the golden apple, sweet corn, ginger, and quintessential cotton candy note. 

    I was thrilled to receive this quad of Saumagen bottlings. Each vintage offers a perfect illustration into how all these elements balance together, unfolding slowly over time.The wines are pure, textured, with a laser-cut focus to them - Riesling at its most enchanting.

    The different designations like Kabinett and Auslese refer to the ripeness level at picking. Auslese, picked later, will show more weight, and power. While Kabinett will show more delicate and agile. Each wine is fermented completely dry.
    Posted by Alexander Rosen