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Short Notes on Künstler, Fritz Haag and PJ Kühn

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We took a small trip to Rheingau last Sunday and visited some estates which held their annual vintage presentation.

First at Künstler Estate we tasted some wines which were true to his style, very slim and filigree Rieslings. The high acidity of the vintage found its way in many wines though. Some I found even lack a bit of fruit. I liked the Hochheimer Hölle Kabinett trocken for its filigree style with earth notes and light fruit, but my favorite was the Stielweg alte Reben trocken, a nicely balanced and vibrant Riesling with intense minerality and a nice presence on the palate. The First Growths weren’t ready for tasting yet of course.

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Sun-soaked vines in Hochheim (Reichestal I believe)

Fritz Haag from the Moselle was also presenting his vintage as a guest at Künstler’s estate. His collection was a big hit with each single wine being worth a try. Favorites were the Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett Feinherb as well as the Brauneberger Riesling Kabinett (non-dry), both with slate notes, finesse, and perfectly integrated elegant acidity. The acidity really suits those slate soil wines: it has just the right intensity to balance out the sweetness and create a counterpoint to the slight smokiness of the slate. Those Kabinetts are such that you wouldn’t necessarily treat them like sweet wines – matching them with savoury dishes can be more than appropriate. Of course, if you like sweet wines, Haag’s Brauneburger Juffer Sonnenuhr Spätlese and Auslese were out of this world, with especially the Auslese showing intense flavor underlined by a brilliant acidity.

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Older wine press at PJ Kühn

At Peter Jakob Kühn’s estate I again liked the 2007 St. Nikolaus Riesling, a wine with its very own personality, not really comparable to other Rieslings from the region. Then I confirmed my recently gained opinion on the 2008 Lenchen BA. Probably one of the best sweet wines of the vintage in Germany. Ok this statement doesn’t hold regarding my lack of experience, but at least it’s the best I’ve had in a long time, and I’m interested in reading other opinions.

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A raven overseeing the vineyards at Kühn

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