Karthauserhof - Ruwer's Mineral-Drenched Terroir Speaks

Posted by CrushWine

Up in the foresty, dew-covered Ruwer Valley, rising eastward from the famed Mosel, the Karthauserhof estate has been producing some of the most glowingly austere, mineral-drenched Rieslings since 1335.

The great Rieslings of this estate have the reputation for aging themselves into greatness. With a decade (or many more) in the cellar, a Karthauserhof's citrus widens to introduce exotic spices, herbs and wax notes; the minerality becomes much more detailed and textured, a fireworks show of minerals and flowers exploding on the palate.

We are proud to have a back-vintage library of these minerally Rieslings; all of these wines are treats for any Riesling fanatic.

For mature Rieslings of considerable rarity, these are just incredible deals. A 1989 Auslese for under $50? These are wines that deserve to be experienced at least once.

From a nimble 1976 Auslese to the kaleidoscopic, citrus-mineral-and-ocean water experience of the 1979 Auslese, to the transcendental glowing balance of the 1989 and 1990 Auslesen to the enveloping and more luxurious 1997s and beyond - all of these are killer expressions of this great terroir.

The charm of a Karthauserhof is nearly impossible to describe - when younger, they offer crisp shavings of green apples and pears dappled with slate and a waxy, pine-needle quality... as if the very forest itself had penetrated the cellars, softly sneaking into the barrels as the wine shivered its way through fermentation.

Aged Riesling is one of the best kept secrets out there - they also happen to be just extraordinary values when you consider the financial commitment it takes to patiently wait for these wines to reveal themselves. If you haven't tried a wise old Riesling, any one of these wines will be revelatory.

Ludwig Breiling has been the winemaker at Karthauserhof for many years and his signature is an exquisitely enchanting dance of minerality and acidity. These two sensations are for a Karthauserhof more than mere descriptors, they are the very core of the composition. The fruit, though lean and graceful, is never the most important part of a Karthauserhof. Rather, the wines quietly reveal a singular delicacy, a wispiness that is persistent and almost always refreshing, like a brisk morning fog where you can almost smell and taste the cold stones in the stream and the lemon orchards over the hill - which is, not surprisingly, very much the atmosphere at the estate.

Also, please note that in September of 2007 I was lucky enough to travel through Germany with legendary importer Rudi Wiest. I have long been a fan of the great wines of Germany but I have to say this trip was nothing short of a revelation. I had the opportunity not only to speak with the winemakers and walk their vineyards with them, I got to taste roughly 400 wines, most of them from the 2006 vintage. I'm happy to offer some of the highlights of this trip in the form of my "German Travelogue: Karthauserhof" - a semi-long-winded recount of my experience at Karthauserfhof, filled with witty anecdotes, incredible insights and mediocre photographs. To read more about Karthauserhof, please do click here.

To view our real-time inventory of back-vintage Karthauserhof, please click below.