Weiser-Kunstler

VISIT THIS PRODUCER'S WEBSITE
LOCATE ON GOOGLE MAPS
VISIT IMPORTER'S WEBSITE
Country of Origin: Germany
Location: Traben-Trarbach, Middle Mosel
People: Konstantin Weiser & Alexandra Künstler, Owners & Winemakers
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Weiser-Kunstler 2016 Riesling Feinherb, Mosel Login MFW 88 In Stock
Weiser-Kunstler 2015 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel Login MFW 92 WA 92+ AG 93 In Stock
Weiser-Kunstler 2016 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel Login Special Order Item
Weiser-Kunstler 2015 Zeppwingert Sekt, Mosel Login In Stock



David Rayer & Jean Fish, Mosel Fine Wine Review
“These are consistently among the top wines produced anywhere in the Mosel, made from painstakingly strict selections from prime steep vineyards planted with old ungrafted vines. Yet prices remain moderate… Savvy readers should plunge on these wines.”


Vinous 6/22/2017
"Whether bone dry, off-dry or overtly sweet, the Weiser-Künstler wines are characterized by energy, levity and clarity. Gentle handling of the young wines with minimal filtration and modest levels of sulfur all no doubt play positive roles. But there can be little question that the decisive factors are meticulousness in the vineyards – featuring creative and labor-intensive variations on organic viticulture – and the choice of parcels, many of whose vines are nearly old enough to recall the Fin de Siècle era when this stretch of Mosel enjoyed a reputation rivaled by few others."


From some of the most demanding vineyard sites in the world, the meditative and humble Konstantin Weiser and Alexandra Künstler craft magical wines unlike any other estate in Germany. Stylistically, their Rieslings are delicate, porcelain, detailed, mineral and pure. The focus is on Mosel Rieslings with noticeable residual sugar (Prädikat wines), but they make excellent dry and off-dry Rieslings as well. In other words, Weiser-Künstler does it all, and does it all beautifully. The dry Rieslings are razor sharp, more about mineral, salt and flower than about fruit. They feel like porcelain in their weight and purity. The Prädikat wines are “old school,” with lower amounts of residual sugar and higher amounts of acidity than most. They shiver with tension and acidity and remain fresh, agile and versatile. While this estate remains an insider’s secret, this is changing and every year demand rises. Supply, however, does not.

Founded in 2005, this tiny estate of just over three hectares is located in Traben-Trarbach, which is downstream from the famous “Hollywood” section of the Middle Mosel. Around the turn of the 20th century, Traben-Trarbach was one of the wealthiest towns in the Mosel. It was the heart of the Mosel Riesling trade. Mosel Rieslings during this time were considered the greatest wines in the world. Much of the grand architecture of Traben-Trarbach was built during this period. The stunning Jugendstil (“Art Nouveau”) Hotel Bellevue is perhaps the most iconic building of the village. This is an era that seems to inform much of the feel of Weiser-Künstler. The labels of this estate take their cue from the Jugendstil designers. The owl on the label represents wisdom, a reference to Konstantin's last name, Weiser.

Most importantly, the dawn of the 20th century was the height of fame for the vineyards that Weiser-Künstler now own and farm. The Lintz map of the Mosel from 1897 details the three key vineyards of Weiser-Künstler (Ellergrub, Gaispfad (spelled Geispfad on old maps) and Steffensberg) as grand cru sites (view map in image gallery). As a whole, this stretch is quainter than the grand amphitheaters of Piesport or Trittenheim, but it is every bit their equal. Traben-Trarbach fell into obscurity in the latter half of the 20th century, with many vineyards going abandoned. Therefore, the vines near Traben-Trarbach have not seen the “modernization” that many sites in the Mosel have. The vineyards still have their jutting, ladder-like terraces. The vines on these terraces are very old, ungrafted and high-density planted. This area of the Middle Mosel, literally, has roots that run very deep. One can taste that profundity in the wines.

Weiser-Künstler is a member of Der Klitzkleine Ring, which is a small circle of growers who show their wines together and labor in saving plots of old, precious Riesling vines on steep, slate slopes from being cut down. Konstantin and Alexandra are preserving the ancient terraces of Traben-Trarbach. They are in the vineyards daily, and it is obvious that they are most comfortable in their vineyards. They farm their vines organically and biodynmically with organic certification in the works. Because of stonewalls and the steepness of the sites, all the work has to be done by hand with a hoe.

Fermentation occurs spontaneously with native yeast in the cold cellar underneath their property. After brief skin contact (helping to reduce acidity), pressing occurs in an old pneumatic Willmes press. Stainless steel vats, old oak Fuder and second-hand barriques are used to influence the wines' structure. "Stainless steel better keeps the acidity, and wood helps to round it out," Konstantin says.

Vineyard Information: Gaispfad is adjacent to Ellergrub on the same, stony, southwest- and west-facing escarpment, known as the Starkenburger Hang. The slate soil here has more iron oxide than Ellergrub and is some redder slate, along with gray-blue slate and quartz. Steffensberg is a south-facing hillside vineyard in a side valley. It's at the lower end of the Ahringsbach, behind Enkirch, where the deep topsoil has plenty of iron oxide. Their choice parcel is in Ellergrub—a top vineyard site in the Middle Mosel. This steep, terraced slope consisting primarily of blue and gray slate, along with quartz, is the heart of the Weiser-Künstler property. The ungrafted Riesling vines located here are up to 100 years old.

Reviews

  • Weiser-Kunstler 2015 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel
    Mosel Fine Wines
    Rating: 92 (6/1/2016)

    This Riesling was fermented in fuder and left on its gross lees almost until bottling. An initial whiff of smoke and spontaneous fermentation quickly give way to gorgeous scents of white flowers, yellow peach, candied fruits and peach kernel. The wine shines through great presence and intensity on the palate. The structure is smooth but also exhibits great depth and mineral presence in the fully dry-tasting finish.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2015 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92+ (4/28/2017)

    From roughly 45-year-old vines cultivated on gray slate in a coolish side valley of the Mosel, the 2015 Enkircher Steffensberg Riesling macerated for eight hours and fermented/aged in traditional fuders. It opens with a rich and ripe but super precise, piquant and coolish bouquet of bright and fresh Riesling flavors intermixed with aromas of lemon perfume on weathered slate. Lush on the palate, with generous, sensual, very precise and elegant fruit and piquant crystallinity, this is a great Mosel classic with a long and salty mouthwatering finish. However, the wine is a bit less complex and intense than the dry crus.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2015 Riesling, Steffensberg Grand Cru, Mosel
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (6/22/2017)

    An aromatically enticing, crisply refreshing amalgam of apple and lime tinged with basil is complemented by a polished feel and a long finish of utmost clarity. Hints of raw almond, crushed stone and pungent mustard seed offer fascination and invigoration, while a wealth of mineral salts tug relentlessly at the salivary glands. Although this wine, like the estate’s other dry “grands crus,” was encouraged in its fermentation by a relatively warm cellar environment, Weiser believes that it’s probably best that their Steffensberg typically stops (as it has again here) before it reaches analytical dryness, in this instance at scarcely more than 11 percent alcohol. It’s a terrific advertisement for the virtues of its authors and of a site that has reemerged to claim a rightfully exalted reputation.
  • Weiser-Kunstler 2016 Riesling Feinherb, Mosel
    Mosel Fine Wines
    Rating: 88 (6/26/2017)

    The wine develops a beautiful nose of apricot blossom, pear and cassis, with some smoky slate in the background. It is nicely balanced and zesty on the palate and proves deliciously tart in the long finish. While very enjoyable now, this will gain from a year of bottle aging.