Keller: The Greatest Abtserde Ever?

Posted by Joe Salamone

One for the Ages
2008 Keller Riesling Abtserde GG
Single Parcel - Only Price in the World

This is one of the greatest dry German Rieslings we've ever had.

At this point, any sort of introduction feels silly: Klaus-Peter Keller is one of the world's greatest practitioners of dry Rieslings.

These are among the world's most epic white wines - bar none - wholly deserving of their cult status, the crazy accolades and praise they've received (Jancis Robinson's quote in the Financial Times stands out: "[Keller's] wines are the German Montrachets.")

If you want to read more about Keller, feel free to peruse our considerable library of Keller offers here.

Today we offer what is simply the greatest Keller we've ever had, a wine that is one of the monuments of dry German Riesling. This is obviously only a guess, our educated opinion, but we'd say that this will become one of the legends of German wine and it has a lifespan that will be measured in decades.

These are currently the only bottles available in the world and they come to us with a perfect provenance and at a price that is about $20 less than they were when last spotted on the market about a year ago.

The magic here is three-fold: producer (discussed above), vintage and vineyard.

2008 was one of those misunderstood vintages. As with Burgundy, the wines emerged from their elevage with all the charm of a fist; they were tightly coiled, inward-looking, brooding monsters. In essence, they were incomprehensible.

However, as they have slowly emerged, it's become clear that (especially in the Nahe and Rheinhessen) these are formidable wines with the most disciplined structure since, say, the Moselaners of 2001. They seem to have all the tension and rigor of 2004 (without any of the bitterness) matched to a depth that is nearly comparable to 2007.

For purists, the 2008 Keller collection is perhaps unmatchable.

Finally, the site: The Abtserde vineyard may prove to be Keller's top site. In the Middle Ages, this site was considered the finest vineyard in Keller's area of the Rheinhessen, known as the Hügelland. The wines from the vineyard were strictly reserved for the Bishop of nearby Worms.

The Kellers must have felt they were onto something with the Abtserde site. It was not only the first vineyard they purchased after much investigation, but they showed super-human patience in the negotiations. Consider that they bought their parcel way back in 1996 yet were forced to wait nearly ten years for the current lease to end in 2005 before they could produce a single bottle under their label.

The 2008 Abtserde GG is only the 3rd GG from this vineyard; in just about every year, those who taste the Abtserde next to the rare G-Max note a similarity in power, depth and structure. The two bottlings are not far off - in fact in any given vintage, the Abtserde is sometimes considered the superior. (Obviously only time will tell the full story.)

This is as pure, as focused, as intense, as filigreed an expression of dry Riesling as exists.

It is also just silly-rare. We expect this parcel to sell out very quickly. Please give us your dream order and we'll do our best, though we will likely have to allocate.

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

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits