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Weiser-Kunstler Steffensberg “im Lowenbaum” Riesling 2020

$65.00

Dry Mosel riesling at it’s incomparable best. Expressive sensual and exotic notes of mustard seed, yellow peach, kiwifruit, cherry, smoke, fresh compost and grapefruit. Packed with flavour, yet light as a feather. Where else could decadence be married to such a lightness of touch. Silky and ripe with blackcurrant, lavender soap, fennel, green peppercorns, pawpaw and apricot. Buoyant uplifting acidity and finishing with a subtle textural grip. Stunning, singular wine. Waters Wine Co

This 2020er Enkircher Steffensberg Im Löwenbaum Riesling Trocken is a bone-dry wine (with 3 g/l of residual sugar) made fruit harvested in the prime Löwenbaum sector of the vineyard (classified “dark red” on the old Prussian taxation map). It offers a subtly ample but still nicely precise nose made of white peach, a hint of melon, a dash of blood orange, smoke, cardamom, and whipped cream. The wine proves packed with juicy and slightly ripe flavors on the palate and leaves a feel of melon, citrusy fruits, and smoke wrapped into ripe acidity in the long finish. The aftertaste is incredibly persistent despite the wine only showing 12% of alcohol. We would not be surprised if it eventually even exceeds our high rating. 2023 – 92+ points – Mosel Fine Wines

 

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Producer Profile

Weiser Kunstler’s vineyards of Ellegrub, Steffensberg and Gaispfad are Grand Cru vineyards, by any measure (except the VDP’s, who coincidently have no members working these sites). They accorded the status of Grand Cru to their vineyards based on the 1897 Prussian viticultural map Mosel-Weinbau-Karte.

Holding just over 4.5 hectares, all of which planted to Riesling, much of which is old vine and ungrafted. Situated in Traben-Trabach their total holdings comprise Wolfer Sonnenlay, Steffensberg, Zeppwingert, Enkircher Ellergrub and Trabener Gaipfad. All parcels are tiny, reminding one of Burgundy, but the Mosel is more complicated, due to the shifting sands of officialdom, and unofficial classifications that are woefully incomplete. Tasting the wines of Weiser Kunstler will leave you in no doubt of their status as one of Germany’s supreme traditional estates, or in the greatness of their raw material.

All vineyards are worked by hand, impossible not to and are run along organic lines. Wines are fermented with natural yeasts and raised in steel and fuder, sometimes both. Steel for acidity, fuder for softness, texture and curve. As with many of the best dry German Rieslings the dry wines have a level of extract from skin contact. They are rather gourmand in style and certainly benefit from food. The Pradikat wines are traditionally styled.

Wolfer Sonnenlay roots the estates youngest vines at 50 years old. With excellent drainage due to the slate derived soils, warms days, and bone chilling nights. Yields are low, with great flavour concentration, clarity, pure mouthfeel and ripe acids at very low alcohols; like Donnhoff’s Oberhauser Leistenberg, a great site for Kabinett.

Steffensberg is south facing, rich in iron oxide and the slate is more decomposed, making for richer and deeper soils. The corresponding wines are the richest of the portfolio, but not in the sense that most of us would understand it; power, depth, width and energy, with an almost weightlessness that is all Mosel. The finest part of the vineyard is known as Im Lowenbaum, to be bottled separately. It is hard to imagine a dry Riesling of greater refinement, but taste a Steffensberg and Im Lowenbaum together and the weave of small and greater differences becomes apparent.

Gaispfad is a steep site (need it be said?) with ungrafted 80 year old vines. They have a decent size holding of 0.5 hectare. The soil is iron rich, with red and grey slate and produces very pure, linear wines of richness and texture. They possess a lightness, an almost sleek athletic profile with a very direct line and structure.

Enkircher Ellegrub is the estates top parcel, with a holding of 1.8 hectares of ungrafted, over 100 year old vines. The yields here are minuscule and the vineyard almost impossible to work. Comprised of weathered grey and blue slate, with a smaller iron content than their other grand sites. The Kabinett is simply one of the finest examples in Germany. Chiseled, pure, invigorating, deep, crystalline and with a breadth and energy matched by only the very best and not surpassed. For all their power and authority, they have a lithe playfulness and ease of drinking that is category defining.

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