Stephen's Wine of the Year: "The German Montrachet"

Posted by CrushWine

Stephen's Wine of the Year
2010 Keller Riesling Hubacker GG
"[Keller's] wines are the German Montrachets."
Jancis Robinson, Financial Times

My choice for a wine of the year is both shocking, and not surprising at all.

Not surprising at all because Klaus-Peter Keller is widely regarded as the leading practitioner of dry Riesling in Germany, if not the world. His "Grand Cru" dry Rieslings, or "GGs" as they are known, are highly sought after cult bottlings.

Aside from Jancis Robinson's incredible quote above, the Keller winery has also won a Vinitaly Award (other winners: Chateau Margaux, Vega Sicilia, Penfolds, etc) and the German wine review Gault Millau has given Keller basically every award out there including "Producer of the Year," "Collection of the Year" and in 2007, "Dry Riesling of the Year."

Have no doubt: Keller's dry Rieslings are some of the most statuesque, forceful, graceful and haunting white wines you will ever have.

If you've never experienced one, today is the day because you will never see this bottle at this price again. We are offering the 2010 Hubacker at a razor-sharp price to introduce this wine, this producer, to as many people as possible.

They both deserve it.

Now, if this pick is at all surprising, it is the specific choice of the wine/vineyard: Hubacker. Keller's arsenal includes some of the greatest vineyards in the Rheinhessen: Pettenthal, Absterde, Morstein. To a German wine fan, this is like listing Montrachet, Romanée and La Tâche all in the same breath.

Hubacker is the underdog. It is always one of the more exotic wines in Keller's stable. In the past, to my palate, it has sometimes lacked the incredible definition and cut of the others. To be perfectly frank, until perhaps 2008 it was my least favorite Keller Riesling.

Then things began to change.

I still remember, very clearly, sitting with Klaus-Peter in 2010 and tasting the 2009 and shaking my head in disbelief - somehow, without losing any of the exoticism and power and ripeness of the vineyard, he had given the Hubacker an outrageous cut - a density and mineral core as strong as Absterde and Morstein and the legends. Klaus-Peter just smiled.

In 2010, the wine has reached a new level. In my opinion, it is the greatest Hubacker KP has made. The complexity of the vintage - with extreme ripeness and extreme acidities - seems to have played right into the strengths of Hubacker.

The 2010er is broader, deeper and more forceful than any young Hubacker I have ever had. It is immense, a penetrating wine that has outrageous lift, an absolute lazer beam of a Riesling that moves from citrus and stone fruits to more exotic notes of orange, guava, papaya. I've had the wine on two occasions and both have been multi-day experiences. The wine only grew, slowly unfurling over a 36-48-hour period.

If you choose to open this wine this winter, open the bottle 24 hours before consuming. This is a structured bottle with a muscular minerality/acidity - it will do well in the cellar for many years. John Gilman gives it a lifespan until 2040!

Fans of white Burgundy, Chablis, Champagne, Austrian whites, the more disciplined Alsacians (think Trimbach), this wine will NOT disappoint. But frankly, beyond that, this is a world-class, mineral driven white that can compete with any great white wine in the world, no question.

The problem is not quality - at Keller it never was. The problem is quantity. Today, that will still be the problem. We have a sizeable parcel that we've been holding for this offer - yet still, we expect a very quick sell out.

Please reply as soon as you can to this email and give us your maximum order - we will allocate from there.

To order, reply to this email or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Stephen Bitterolf
Wine Director
Crush Wine & Spirits

2010 Keller Hubacker GG