2008 Weingut Keller Westhofener Kirchspiel Riesling Großes Gewächs- Germany, Rheinhessen (11/22/2013)
Tasted over the course of two nights, I found this to be very good but short of excellent. Night one the wine was quite intense, with a minty, green note combining with stone fruit elements. I found the palate to be simultaneously rich and austere, which was odd to say the least. On night two the mintiness went away to be replaced by a more directly mineral presence and a touch of finishing bitterness. It’s an interesting wine, but not something I would go for on a regular basis.
Any other GGs you would buy instead? I have quite a bit of Keller and a recent 07 Hubacker was awesome. That said, a recent VanVolxem was even better (at half the price!). I have some Wittmann and Donnhoff in the cellar and Willi-S on the way. The Karthauserhof (you know what I mean) Auslese Trocken and Weil trockens have been great to me in the past too.
Thanks for any recs.
Stylistically I prefer Donnhoff, but then I prefer Donnhoff everything.
I am still doing a pretty wide exploration of the GG and GG-type wines. The only thing I buy each and every year is a mixed 6-pack of the 3 Donnhoff GGs. As they are now pushing $60 they have reached the upper end of my price limit. Any higher, and I will seriously consider passing.
So that being said, Keller, Shaefer-Frohlich and Schonleber are rare buys for me. My first sampling of the Willi Schaefer Himmelreich GG will be the 2012 which is on its way (at some point - Crush is turning into an east coast version of Premier Cru, with no insight as to arrival times on wines).
I do find the Morstein, Abtserde and G-Max to be amazing wines, but I am not a buyer at those prices as I think there’s a lot of equally good if not better dry Riesling elsewhere in Germany (for my tastes, Rebholz, Schafer-Frohlich and Schonleber) and Austria. Had a bottle of Alzinger Hollerin Smaragd last night that I would take over any Keller at that price point.
The 2008s are pretty young still from Klaus-Peter (had the '08 Morstein last week- not from my stash, but someone popped it here in Beaune to see if it was starting to move- it was not), and even and '06 Kirschpiel and '06 Hermansshohle GG from Helmut were still very young at the same tasting here. I am only starting to drink a few 2001ers and 2002ers from folks like Donnhoff and Schaefer in the noble sweet style, and would assume you are still working on yours from the late '90s for the most part, so I am not sure why we should be expecting the '08 Kirchspiel to be more forward than the more traditional bottlings. Given its very low RS, it will probably need more bottle age, not less, to show its true qualities, no?
I thought that several bottles of 2008 Keller Hubacker were drinking very well, although no doubt they need additional time in the bottle to reach their peak. But the Hubacker struck me a bit stonier and more floral that a bottle of the Kirschpiel sampled a few years ago, so perhaps drinking better early (paradoxically, perhaps, because relying less on the RS to resolve itself).
A 2008 Keller Abtserde was off the charts in terms of richness and aromatic complexity, but here even more so time is required to get the full expression of what the wine could do…
Thanks for the tn.
May i suggest that instead of the GG’s you try to locate a bottle of Keller Von der Fels 2012 instead - I’m sure that it will be much more to your liking. In 2012 it’s a lat ‘airier’ and for the first time seems more like a slate Riesling than a limestone one although I’m pretty sure that all grapes come from limestone terroir. Less expensive than most (if not all?) GG’s and yielding more drinking pleasure too as it’s less stern structure/maceration wise.
A magnum of Morstein Scheurebe Trocken 2012 tasted on the same trip was crazy good - very much Morstein and not too much Scheurebe!
On a side note: W. Schäfer Domprobst Kabinett and Maximin-Grünhaus Abtsberg Kabinett are benchmark wines to look for in the 2012 vintage.