2009 Keller: The fun begins...

Posted by CrushWine

The $30 Cult Wine from Klaus-Peter Keller
2009 Keller Riesling "Von der Fels"
JUST ARRIVED - One Parcel Only!

Nature sometimes has a twisted sense of humor: For what is likely Klaus-Peter Keller's best "Von der Fels" to date, quantities are down significantly...

This is the one and only parcel we'll be getting.

All this to say act sooner rather than later!

We started fielding calls and emails for Klaus-Peter Keller's wines in March and it's only gotten more intense. We expect this small tranche to disappear quickly.

And for good reason: Klaus-Peter mastered this vintage in a way I don't think any other winemaker did. The approach was counter-intuitive, focusing not on intensifying ripeness but on slowing it down. For the full story, click here.

In a vintage where many wines, especially in the south, buckle under the weight of their own fruit, the Keller lineup is incredibly rigid, strong, polished acidities give the wines great poise and simply breathtaking clarity.

This is likely the greatest collection Klaus-Peter Keller has made to date, and it all begins with the "von der Fels."

The "von der Fels" is a dry Riesling that presents near-Grand Cru quality at about half to a third of the price of Keller's top Grosses Gewächs - and this isn't hyperbole in the least.

As John Gilman has pointed out, only about 20% of the production from any of the "Grand Cru" vineyards makes it into the Grosses Gewächs bottlings. A good portion of the rest ends up in the "von der Fels" and a few others.

The "von der Fels" is Keller's quiet cult wine. There simply isn't a better dry Riesling value in the Keller arsenal and while people are begging to be put on waiting lists for the G-Max, those in the know are loading up on some of the few cases of "von der Fels" that come into the U.S. ever year. (Only a handful of retailers in the U.S. ever see any of Keller's wines, let alone the "von der Fels" and the Grosses Gewächs.)

The 2009 "von der Fels" is simply heartbreaking - in a grand old ripe vintage, the wine is incredibly fresh, with a cooling nose of blue-green minerality and an articulated spectrum of garden notes, from rose, lilac, lavender, to fresh grasses and watercress. For me, nearly every year, the nose of the "von der Fels" plays with the cliché of "walking through a garden after a summer rain," and this does it once again, in spades.

If the 2008 was all about focus, the 2009 "von der Fels" is all about elegance - the palate-feel and polish of this wine are simply stunning, reaching what I think is honestly a new level for the bottling. The mid-palate is dense and compact, with intense washes of grapefruit, peaches, apricot, orange and even subtle hints of lemon - incredible purity.

In some ways the 2009 feels to me more like a baby Kirchspiel GG - this is beyond a doubt the most elegant and statuesque "von der Fels" I've ever had (and though my experience is not comprehensive, I've had them all since 2004). Still, while the "von der Fels" is complex enough for the wine geek and connoisseur, it remains refreshing enough for just about any summer day. I've already burned through two bottles in this summer heat. Still, if you can, keep some for the cellar because this is a wine that will age for 5-10 years easily.

Though Klaus-Peter is always very generous with us, this is a vintage with limited quantities (you've no doubt already read all about this in my provocative and thrilling 2009 German vintage report) - our allocation is down about 33%. Unfortunately, we don't expect to have this wine in stock very long...

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

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Director
Crush Wine & Spirits

2009 Keller Riesling "von der Fels" (Dry)

View from the Cellar: "The bouquet on the 2009 is flat out fantastic, as it soars from the glass in a blaze of grapefruit, tart orange, petrol, plenty of stony mineral tones and wild yeasts galore in the upper register. On the palate the wine is deep, medium-full and very intensely flavored, with great mid-palate depth, ripe acids and great focus on the very long and transparent finish. A great wine this year and a most stunning value! 2010-2025."

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