2 Wines - 2 Soils - 1 Vineyard: 2009 Keller

Posted by CrushWine

Kirchspiel vs. Kirchspiel
2009 Keller Riesling Kirchspiel RR
2009 Keller Riesling Kirchspiel GG

One cult winemaker, one famed vineyard, two soils...

Let the fun begin.

It's Friday, so we'll cut to the chase: With the 2009 vintage, I think Klaus-Peter Keller has assembled his greatest collection to date. The wines are both monumental and refined and the whole ironic part of all of this is that Keller is doing everything possible to do less. (See my vintage report for more on this 2009 "less is more" phenomenon at Keller.)

Klaus-Peter has quickly become one of the most famous, if not the most famous, winemaker in Germany. In northern Europe, it seems like only David Hasselhoff is more popular than Keller.

Amongst German winemakers, only the legendary Egon Müller has such a devoted, fanatical following. And while wine geeks may argue this point or that point, for me there is little question that Keller is making the most powerful, statuesque and elegant dry Rieslings in Germany.


As Jancis Robinson penned in the Financial Times: "[Keller's] wines are the German Montrachets." For more on Keller, see my vintage report or John Gilman's excellent write up of the estate in his View from the Cellar newsletter.

What Klaus-Peter Keller achieved in 2009 is a level of fine-ness above and beyond all the rest, with the few exceptions of the Saar Valley and a few Mosel producers. And the Saar and Mosel, for all their mineral greatness, simply cannot match the power and statuesque form of Keller’s great dry Rieslings.

Today, make room for two bottles, because neither should be missed. Seriously.

This offering is as geeky as it gets; two wines, sourced from different sections, different soils, of the same vineyard. If ever there was a chance to put on stage the incredible ability of Riesling to give expression to unique terroirs, this is it.

The first wine, the Kirchspiel RR, is a brooding Riesling, sourced from a red soil parcel of the Kirchspiel vineyard. I had heard a lot about the RR yet had never had the chance to taste it. Finally, this year when I visited Klaus-Peter I got to taste the bottle and it was one of my favorites - there is a fascinating, dark-hued minerality to the wine, as if stones had been sourced from the darkest corner of the Black Forest itself, with almost Ruwer-like notes of herbs, tobacco, forest floor.

Yet don't worry (this is a Keller wine!) so there are also bright, clear glazes of fruit, a silken yet muscular acidity - absolutely mind-twisting balance. Indeed the RR was left to ferment to its own conclusion, and so it has about 11 grams of residual sugar - technically halb-trocken though the wine is dry tasting. (Note: "Dry" Rieslings, according to German wine law, have to have 9 or fewer grams of residual sugar per liter.)

We have the only small parcel of this wine in the U.S. and so far as I know, it's the first time this wine has ever made it to the states.

The second wine on offer today is the Kirchspiel GG. This is a wine we have offered out the last two years as the greatest deal in the Keller arsenal - again this label is more than appropriate. The Kirchspiel GG is a soaring diva, a wine that simply shrieks of purity and mineral. The Kirchspiel is razor sharp, with a form that is so agile and seamless. Beautiful high-toned fruit (lemon, lime zest), astounding clarity (you can smell the limestone) and incredible grip.

The Kirchspiel feels once again to me like the little brother of the already-legendary Abtserde. No, it does not have the force or focus of the Abtserde - but it also doesn't have the $100+ price tag.

While we encourage collectors (or should we say fanatics?) to give us your maximum request, we seriously encourage everyone to try at least one bottle. Both of these wines represent the pinnacle of German winemaking at the moment. Please note, while we will take all requests, due to expected demand all orders will be subject to confirmation.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Director
Crush Wine & Spirits

2009 Keller Kirchspiel(s)


Westhofener Kirchspiel RR

View from the Cellar: "As readers might recall, the “RR” bottling all hails from a section of the Kirchspiel vineyard that is all red soils. The 2009 offers up a more citrus-centric aromatic profile than the Von der Fels, as it delivers scents of oranges, sweet grapefruit, wild yeast, great minerality and every type of citrus zest known to humankind. On the palate the wine is fullish, crisp and complex, with just a touch of sweetness on the attack, great focus and balance, bright acids and lovely length and grip on the very long and classy finish. Another terrific value."

Westhofener Kirchspiel GG

View from the Cellar:

"The 2009 Kirchspiel Grosses Gewächs is stunning. The bouquet is deep, nicely reserved and simply terrific, as it offers up scents of tart orange, grapefruit, crystalline minerality, incipient notes of petrol, classy wild yeast tones and a topnote of orange peel. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, crisp and very, very racy, with a great base of minerality, laser-like focus, a rock solid core of fruit and superb length and grip on the snappy finish. High class juice. 2016-2040+."

The Kirchspiel RR is in stock; the Kirchspiel GG is pre-arrival
NET | No further discount