Entry-Level Riesling From a Legendary Rheinhessen Producer

Today’s Story: Weingut Keller

Weingut Keller is a highly-regarded German winery established in 1789 by Johann Leonhard Keller. Located in the Flörsheim-Dalsheim municipality of the Rheinhessen, Keller commenced with property in the remarkable Hubacker Vineyard that is now classified Erste Lage by the VDP. Though the Keller family business has quite a history, its current leader Klaus-Peter Keller catapulted the wines to new heights after taking over in 2001. Klaus-Peter studied oenology and viticulture in Geisenheim, though he cut his teeth working with wine in South Africa and at the incredible estates of Domaines Hubert Lignier and Armand Rousseau in Burgundy. Klaus-Peter, over the past couple decades, has helped revitalize the Rheinhessen as well by producing some of the most serious and highly sought-after Rieslings in the world. Working with the incredible sites of Hubacker, Bürgel, Kirchspiel, Morstein, and Abtserde coupled with his insatiable focus on vineyard work itself this is no surprise.

In terms of winemaking, Klaus-Peter made a few changes from his father but largely puts most of his focus in the vineyards themselves. One of the more pronounced changes in winemaking, though, is that now the Rieslings ferment more in old oak fuder versus stainless steel. Klaus-Peter also allows maceration of many of his white wines to last from 30-40 days before pressing the fruit and running the juice off into fuder. When possible, he also utilizes native yeast fermentation. For his higher level wines, like the Grosses Gewächs for example, he allows extended time on the lees before bottling. These wines are often held back longer before release as well, and generally command eye-popping prices.

Today’s Wine: 2019 Riesling Trocken

100% Riesling; 11% ABV

The 2019 Riesling Trocken is medium straw in color. The aromas are of medium (+) intensity, with the nose showcasing notes of lemon pith, lime zest, white peach, pear, white flower blossom, petrol, and slate. Meanwhile the flavors are also of medium (+) intensity and the palate displays notes of lemon, green apple, lime zest, stone fruit, honeysuckle, crushed rock, mild smoke, and mineral. This dry white is medium-bodied with high acidity, low alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish.

Price: $30. I think this is a very fair price-point for this bottling, though there is no denying there are better “values” out there closer to the $20 mark. That being said though, I’ve had the privilege of enjoying some of the Keller GG bottlings and this offers a nice glimpse into the prowess of Klaus-Peter for the price.

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