Keller Kirchspiel RR 2011

Posted by Joe Salamone

Red Soil /Natural Balance
2011 Keller Riesling Kirchspiel "RR"

We don't exactly know how to position this bottling within Keller's stable of wine: The Kirchspiel GG's evil twin brother?

Something like that.

If Keller has for all intents and purposes defined what Riesling can do on limestone soils, this is an outlier, a rebel, sourced as it is from red soils in the Kirchspiel vineyard.

Since we first brought this bottle in it's developed a life of its own. This has quickly become one of our favorite under-the-radar Keller bottlings.

With only about a third of a hectare with this soil, there are only about 1,500 bottles produced. We get one parcel. This parcel is small.Alas, this wine may be gone by the time the holiday is over.

2011 Harvest at Keller

The Kirchspiel "RR" is about as cerebral as Riesling gets.

Sourced from a red-soil parcel amidst a sea of limestone in the Kirchspiel Vineyard, Klaus-Peter nearly always lets the juice from this unique parcel ferment naturally - thus it nearly always has a little bit of residual sugar. As with Lauer or Van Volxem or a handful of others, this wine falls into that "dry-tasting" category.

As we all know (and love), Riesling is a most sensitive grape variety and small differences in soil type account for very big differences in expression. This Kirchspiel, from red soil, shows a more brooding, darker mineral expression that is pungent, with wet stones and moist earth, even tobacco and clay. The fruit matches the mineral profile, ripe stone fruit with notes of petrol and mint.

It's a twisted Kirchspiel (in a good way!), a very complex bottling - wilder, juicier and more saturating than its more straight-edged brother the Kirchspiel GG.

This is a wine with enough mid-palate weight to be very versatile at the table. It's not necessarily a Riesling to drink with steak (though that actually sounds damn fun), but it is a wine that will hold its own with bolder flavors. The little bit of residual sugar also adds a unique textural element, a sappy touch that is attenuated and pulled into something very fine by the acidity.

This wine flaunts a very natural, very spot-on, balance!

It's also a wine that will develop in the cellar. Even if the 2011ers are, for the most part, juicy and delicious and meant to be consumed in the first decade of life, if you forget about this in some dusty corner of the cellar, we wouldn't worry about it. When you find it again, you'll be very happy.

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463. Keep in mind while we are at work, we don't have a full staff and well... we're laboring more slowly out of respect for the holiday. We may not get back to you until tomorrow.

Have a GREAT holiday!

Joe Salmone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits