All wines stored at 55° and 70% humidity
Magical is a word that adequately sums up the Koehler-Ruprecht estate in Germany's Pfalz region. The wines bear little resemblance to those of neighboring producers, nor 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.
Koehler-Ruprecht produces Rieslings dry, off-dry, and sweet, but it's their trocken (dry) bottlings that hit the mark for me. With age, these begin to convert into absolutely mystical wines. 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.
The winemaking has remained about the same since the early 18th century when the domaine was established. Ferments occur entirely 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 the bottle.
*This 2016 bottling came directly from the domaine.