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Tasting the new Vintage at Keller in Rheinhessen

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Last saturday, we stopped-by at Keller estate’s yearly vintage presentation in Flörsheim-Dalsheim.

The German 2010 vintage has received some early bashing by the press, at a time when the first wines haven’t even been released. Right now, voices are more mixed and many feel reminded of the 2008 vintage which was also a bit more on acidity than fruit and still managed to find many fans. Probably 2010 is even more a so called winemaker’s vintage where high quality also depends on the instinct, talent and luck of the vintner. What one can affirm for sure is lacking in 2010 is quantity! Volumes were down approx 30% compared to 2009.

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So of course, I didn’t expect to taste bad wines at Keller. But still, I was amazed how even the entry level wines showed such a well integrated and pulsating acidity combined with good aromatic deepness. The simple Riesling Trocken at 7,20 Euro is already a good value – a thirst-quenching, mineral-loaded wine. And the flagship wine Von der Fels has even been rated 92+ points by John Gilman, calling it „one of the finest “von der Fels“ vintages I can recall”. So at about 15 Euro, an equally astonishing value.

Another wine that shows well is the Riesling RR (about 20 Eur) stemming from red soils with a compelling spiciness which only seems amplified by an electric, yet elegant acidity.

As for the Grosse Gewächse, barrel samples of Kirchspiel, Hubacker and Morstein were poured. I found the Kirchspiel to be the most open at the moment, with vibrant acidity and joyful aromatics. Hubacker and Morstein were both reserved but one could feel they were hiding a lot – it’s the calm before the storm.

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But the wine that impressed me most that day was their 2009 Dalsheimer Bürgel Spätburgunder Felix Grosses Gewächs. An insane Pinot Noir with great weight, purity and balance – this is just world class and one of the best German Pinots I had in a long time. Now it sounds a bit inconsistent that I was most impressed by a Pinot while I’m a big fan of their Rieslings and of course I also knew before that the Kellers make good reds, but I guess I was never struck like this by one of them and thus got cut off my guard here – so the amazement-potential was quite high! Still, I believe this is a great Pinot and even if I’m less and less a fan of points, I’m quite curious on how this will be rated by others.

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Insanely pure colour!


PS: if one can judge the quality of a winemaker by the quality of empty bottles in front of the house, then these boxes filled with Dujac, Knoll and others are probably another good sign ;=).

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  1. Barry Said,

    Hi Alex…
    Good to see the ‘Umbau’ have been completed at Keller’s property…
    and good to see that you are finally being converted to Pinot Noir (smile)

    The 2009 vintage for Spätburgunder is sure to be very good across the board. This one sounds excellent…will he still have some around September…or maybe I should order by post…or maybe you should have bought some…and what is the price?

  2. Blindtaster Said,

    Hi Barry, I am a big fan of Pinot when it tastes like this. Rather elegant than rustic. I think it is 39 Eur a bottle on pre-order – delivery is in September. I’m sure you can order some by phone or fax! ;) I opted for some Riesling.. again! Cheers

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