The Great Owl Lands: 2012 Weiser-Kunstler Ellergrub Grosse Eule

Posted by Joe Salamone

The Great Owl Lands
2012 Weiser-Künstler
Ellergrub Grosse Eule

"We will never tire at stating how great this Estate has been over the years and, as we expected, it produced also an outstanding 2012 collection." -The Mosel Fine Wine Review

This is a wine that we probably shouldn't offer out. Frankly, there's just so little wine. On the flip side, it feels impossible NOT to offer it.

For Weiser-Künstler fans, this represents one of the heights of their great collection, and a wine that stands out stylistically. This is a singular expression of Riesling and is not to be missed.

The Grosse Eule (Great Owl) is the estate's top dry wine (Grosse Eule is a play on Grosses Gewächs). The decision of which vineyard to source it from is made each vintage. In 2012 it was sourced from their best vines in Ellergrub. Many German fanatics would rate this under-the-radar vineyard as one of the best in the Middle Mosel. Weiser-Künstler's parcel in this steeply terraced, mostly blue slate, vineyard is home to hundred-year old ungrafted vines.

It is a fascinatingly cerebral Riesling. Weiser-Künstler gives their Grosse Eule a 24-hour maceration. It then goes into old barriques to be made in a more oxidative fashion (meaning simply, that from vine to bottle, the juice sees more exposure to air than is typical). The idea is to mimic how Rieslings were made in the old days.

The results are really stunning. Think of a more textural and savory expression of Riesling. It's deep and mysterious. Riesling's stone fruits are present, but to this add a bold stony, saline streak with herbal nuance and spice. All of this is delivered with power and length yet a walk-on-tiptoes agility and utter clarity.

I'm going to keep this short and fairly subdued. This is a wine that I really, really like, but it seems smart to hold some of my enthusiasm back. We have a tiny amount of this wine and I don't want to cause my colleagues any headaches. Weiser-Künstler is a tiny 3ha estate and is producing some of the best wines in the Mosel. Let's just leave it at that.

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

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits